Hess Lion Tamer Red Blend 2018  Front Label
Hess Lion Tamer Red Blend 2018  Front LabelHess Lion Tamer Red Blend 2018  Front Bottle Shot

Hess Lion Tamer Red Blend 2018

  • WS92
  • WE91
750ML / 14.8% ABV
Other Vintages
  • WE93
  • RP90
  • WS92
  • RP92
  • WW92
  • RP93
  • WE90
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4.2 32 Ratings
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4.2 32 Ratings
750ML / 14.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Hess has long been known for their big, bold, mountain Cabernets and a little Malbec finds its way into many of their blends. The name Lion Tamer has become a nickname for Malbec because they use it as their tannin tamer. Much like a Lion Tamer who uses a deft hand to soothe powerful, instinctive animals, Winemaker Dave Guffy uses Malbec to soothe powerful tannins. This red blend brings all the roar of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah, and when blended with Malbec, produces a big, lush wine that finishes with smooth and tamed round tannins.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 92
Wine Spectator
Dense huckleberry and blackberry pie notes are rich and succulent on a dense, velvety frame, with details of dark chocolate, chai tea, sarsaparilla and fresh sage linger on the long, expressive finish. Malbec, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Carignan. Drink now through 2034.
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast

This blend of Malbec, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Carignan is a satisfyingly rich, round and silky. The full-bodied, supple palate boasts flavors of black cherry, currant and blueberry alongside hints of game and tobacco. 

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As fifth generation Hess family, Tim and Sabrina consider themselves stewards of the brand and the land. When Donald Hess came to California in the 1970s, he was attracted to California wine and became fascinated with Mount Veeder. Although few in Napa Valley were cultivating vines at elevation, Donald Hess believed the volcanic slopes of Mount Veeder provided the ideal combination of soils and microclimates to yield elegant wines with rich, complex flavors.

A pioneer by nature, Donald Hess was determined to defy convention and pursue winemaking at elevation, so in 1978, he established The Hess Collection Winery on the site of one of the region’s oldest wineries. He took the opportunity to marry his two creative passions in life—wine and art—and he established an art gallery within the winery as a means of sharing his private art collection. Donald Hess and his wife, Ursula, met through their shared love of art, and today, Ursula’s daughter, Sabrina, and her husband, Tim, continue the family legacy of sharing wine and art and the family’s ongoing commitment to making both accessible to all.

 Tim and Sabrina have chosen to call the Napa Valley their home. Tim was raised in Southern Africa and Europe, Sabrina raised in Switzerland and London, but the Napa Valley is where they have found their true calling. They strive to impart their own influence on the winery and support state-of-the-art innovations. Together, they continue to advance The Hess Collection as one of the premier family-owned and family-led companies in Napa Valley, and they are hopeful that someday their children too will carry on the Hess family heritage.

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Undoubtedly proving its merit over and over, Napa Valley is a now a leading force in the world of prestigious red wine regions. Though Cabernet Sauvignon dominates Napa Valley, other red varieties certainly thrive here. Important but often overlooked include Merlot and other Bordeaux varieties well-regarded on their own as well as for their blending capacities. Very old vine Zinfandel represents an important historical stronghold for the region and Pinot noir is produced in the cooler southern parts, close to the San Pablo Bay.

Perfectly situated running north to south, the valley acts as a corridor, pulling cool, moist air up from the San Pablo Bay in the evenings during the hot days of the growing season, which leads to even and slow grape ripening. Furthermore the valley claims over 100 soil variations including layers of volcanic, gravel, sand and silt—a combination excellent for world-class red wine production.

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PBC9344195_2018 Item# 725879

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