Cult Hourglass’s Opulent Napa Red Blend
Robert Parker’s affection for Hourglass winemaker Tony Biagi — “one of my favorite personalities in the valley” — is etched on the Wine Advocate scoreboard. He’s racked up an astonishing run of 99- and 98-point wines during his nearly decade-long tenure at PlumpJack and Cade (producing bottles that now retail for $300 to $800 per bottle). Parker has called his efforts “virtually perfect.” Hired away by cult winery Hourglass in 2012, Biagi set about creating “HG III” from a handful of select barrels that were destined for their Blueline Estate reds. The current release 2015 was culled from brilliant sites around Napa, courtesy of Biagi’s deep connections — but we’re under strict NDA and can’t say which ones. We can tell you that in Parker’s “spectacular, high-quality vintage,” Biagi crafted the biggest, boldest, most opulent expression of this wine yet. “This is the golden era in Napa,” Biagi told us with a telling wink. But only winemakers with connections as deep as his can take advantage. So, when you can snag a fabulously rich and supple Napa Red Blend like this, produced by Tony Biagi, for $50 per bottle, there’s no need to ask questions. Just hit “Buy” and enjoy.
Biagi packed this HG III Red Blend with fruit from one of Napa’s greatest growers on the west side of the Oak Knoll District along with Petite Sirah from select head-trained, old-vine parcels. The result, in the gorgeously ripe 2015 vintage is a blockbuster “HG III” release, dripping with black-fruit richness.
We like to defy the in-house bean counters, and have taken to ordering a bottle if we see it on the list at places like the Lodge at Pebble Beach and the Ritz Carlton in Lake Tahoe. The last time was at PRESS in St. Helena, but if you’re heading to Boulevard, Quince or Gary Danko in San Francisco anytime soon, you can certainly drop a pretty set of pennies on a bottle — or you can hit “Buy” today, and let us know what you think.
Vanessa Conlin DipWSET
Wine & Spirit Education Trust Diploma