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Hourglass Blueline Vineyard Merlot 2016

Merlot from Napa Valley, California
  • JS93
  • JD93
  • V92
  • RP91
  • WS90
750ML / 0% ABV
Other Vintages
  • RP93
  • JD93
  • RP92
  • WE93
  • RP92
  • WS91
  • WS94
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Winemaker Notes

The 2016 Blueline Estate Merlot follows the defining thread of the vintage—supreme balance. The signature aromatics of mandarin orange peel and Asian 5 spice, are interlaced with a mineral graphite and a band of high tone rose petal. As Tony notes, “The 2016 is a hybrid of the ’12 and ’13 vintages. The bright aromatics and red fruits of ’12, and the darker fruit and structural elements of ’13.” The texture has a firm spine with a tight structural core, surrounded with a layer of silky fruit. Crème de cassis intermingles with dark sour cherry and an intriguing note of Asian hoisin. Deep and rich, yet alive with energy. A very complex layering of delicious fruit, wired with bright natural acidity and vibrant minerality. The finish is long and expansive. Amazingly approachable now, but it has the tannin and structural stuffing to age gracefully for a decade, or more.

Blend: 83% Merlot, 10% Cabernet, 7% Malbec

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JS 93
James Suckling
A soft and velvety merlot with dark berries and chocolate. Walnuts, too. Full-bodied, round and velvety. Shows merlot DNA. 20-plus vineyard age. Delicious. Drink now.
JD 93
Jeb Dunnuck
The 2016 Merlot Blueline Estate (there’s 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Malbec) was brought up in two-thirds new oak and is another beautiful wine from winemaker Tony Biagi. Ripe blue fruits, blood orange, mint, and leafy herbs all flow to a medium to full-bodied, ripe yet also elegant Merlot that shines for its balance and purity. Drink it over the coming decade.
V 92
Vinous
The 2016 Merlot Blueline has really filled out nicely over the last year. Black cherry, chocolate, menthol, lavender, licorice and spice add to the wine's undeniable appeal. Pliant and supple, with lovely aromatic top notes and terrific balance, the Merlot has a lot to offer.
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The deep purple-black colored 2016 Merlot Blueline Estate sings of crème de cassis, dried mulberries and mincemeat pie with hints of wilted roses, fallen leaves, cigar box and cloves. Medium to full-bodied, it fills the mouth with juicy, plushly textured black fruits and finishes with a menthol kick.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Rich, featuring concentrated dark plum and cherry tart flavors that are full, with rich, chocolaty overtones. The creamy finishes oozes with lush spiciness. Drink now through 2022.
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Hourglass

Hourglass

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Hourglass, California
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Hourglass wines represent a cutting-edge, modern Napa Valley winemaking style. Ned Smith bought the property in 1976 and his goal quickly shifted from fruit trees to his favorite wine, Zinfandel, with the lofty hope of supplying grapes to local wineries in exchange for finished wine. The land was eventually taken over by son Jeff Smith. In 1992, Jeff enlisted his family friend - and former rock band cohort - Bob Foley as winemaker for their new venture. Like so many aspiring guitarists, Bob had kept his day job over the years, making wine and garnering countless accolades and rock-star status for such labels as Robert Foley Vineyards, Switchback Ridge, Pride Mountain, School House and Paloma. Bob continues to make all the Hourglass wines and has the deep purple-stained hands to prove it. The calluses, however, are as much from guitar playing as his meticulous cellar work. Then, Hourglass's inaugural release came with the 1997 vintage, a seminal Napa vintage by many critics' standards.

With the christening of the winery at Blueline and its distinct single-varietal wines, Hourglass has entered an exciting new phase of its evolution. A brand synonymous with terroir-driven, modern Napa wines of the highest caliber, its goal is and will always remain the same: To capture the essence of two of Napa Valley's most expressive vineyard sites in bottled form, and to have the honor of sharing them with you and your families for decades to come.

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Napa Valley

Red Wine

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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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FBR122444_2016 Item# 509737