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My Rating (circle) :
Date Printed: 3/1/2015
W.H. Smith Piedra Hill Cabernet Sauvignon Purple Label 2005
W.H. Smith Piedra Hill Cabernet Sauvignon Purple Label 2005
(search item no. 103511)
boutique wine

Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 3/1/2015: $38.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Both the color and the nose scream "plums"! Dark intense fruit and jam-packed plum aromas let you know that you're onto something special. On the palate, there is great density to the fruit. The deep blackberry fruit, the bright acidity and the firm tannins spread out all over your mouth.

Food Pairing:
This is a red meat wine! Especially a juicy barbequed steak or grilled Saratoga lamb chops. Really any grilled or smoked foods will work well with the intensity of Purple Label. Don't forget to finish your meal with some dark chocolate – maybe a warm truffle cake.

The Vineyard:
The Piedra Hill Vineyard is becoming synonymous with award winning Cabernet-based wines from Howell Mountain. Bill and Joan Smith own, farm and make wine from this stunning six acre vineyard. The vineyard is dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, primarily clones #337, #191, #341, #338 and BV 4, and the other four Bordeaux varieties; Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. Piedra Hill Vineyard sits above the fog line, so temperatures are, on average, five to ten degrees cooler than on the valley floor. This creates higher natural acidity in the grapes and leads to even ripening of the fruit. The hallmarks of the Piedra Hill wines continue to be intensity of fruit and tremendous balance.

My Notes:

About W.H. Smith:

Luck and timing led Bill and Joan Smith into the wine business: enthusiasm, perseverance, and good advice from a few talented friends facilitated their success as world-class producers. A wrong turn while trying to visit Chappellet Vineyard led Bill Smith to discover and purchase the historic ghost winery, La Jota Vineyard Co., including 40 acres on top of Howell Mountain in the Napa Valley. Two years later, in 1976, Bill and his new wife, Joan, spent their honeymoon planting the first 2 acres of vines, which would grow to 28 acres by 1978. After a few classes in home winemaking at UC Davis, a lot of experimenting, and some priceless mentoring from friend and Howell Mountain neighbor Randy Dunn, the Smith’s produced La Jota Vineyard’s first Cabernet Sauvignon vintage in 1982. With Bill making the wine and Joan responsible for sales and marketing, the couple garnered attention and accolades—including being listed as #2 on Robert Parker’s roster of "heroes" in the December 1994 issue of The Wine Advocate.