The Kathryn Hall Cabernet Sauvignon is widely recognized as Hall's premier estate cuvee. This wine showcases the legendary Sacrashe vineyard's distinctive hillside terroir; it is a massive, well structured wine born of low yielding vines, meticulous cultivation and exacting harvesting practices.
The 2003 Kathryn Hall displays an array of complex aromas of fruit, oak and terroir. Initially, the wine displays sweet fruit aromas of cassis, plum, and blackberry. However, as the aromas linger, one can discover subtle notes of nutmeg, vanilla, toasted pecans and chocolate express themselves beautifully. The flavors are full-bodied and lush, with the round, rich tannin structure that reflects its mountain-grown origins. This wine is drinking beautifully right now, but for those who prefer to defer their gratification, the 2003 will continue to evolve in complexity and character over the next 3-10 years.
93 POINTS. "What a roll this winery has been on the last several vintages. The '03 is huge, showing masses of forward, classic Cabernet fruit. Just erupts with dark berry-cherry, plum boysenberry and coffee flavors with rich, butterscotchy, gingersnap cookie note... Best 2009-2015." Cellar Selection. Wine Enthusiast, December 15, 2006
Hall Wines is located in Napa Valley and employs organic small-vine viticulture, precision winemaking, wild-yeast fermentation and micro-block blending to fully extract the purity and quintessence of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Their estate vineyards encompass more than 300 acres of classic Bordeaux varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc. The Halls have a strong respect for the environment and a commitment to cutting edge technology to yield the highest quality grapes. Through meticulous attention to detail in the vineyards, Hall wines are able to express the unique and diverse character of Napa Valley's soils and climate.
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It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Within the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just granted an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
It's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.