The winery is located in the Red Hills sub-AVA of Clear Lake AVA. This is about an hour drive north of Calistoga, California. The vineyard sits at 2,200 feet in rocky red volcanic soil. To be both DEMETER Biodynamic and CCOF Organic is no small feat, but Hawk and Horse Vineyards has done both! The subject of both these accomplishments is a story unto itself and to be told at a later time. The winery is set on the historic El Roble Grande Ranch, a horse breeding facility, which was let go until it was acquired and worked by the new owners. Those new owners Mitch & Tracey Hawkins along with David Boies and Christopher Boies began carving out a portion of the 900 acre ranch to form an 18 acre vineyard. The vines were planted in 1999 and 2004 was their first vintage. With the red volcanic soil of the ranch, it won an International Gold Medal out of the chute! Today the tasting room was the former tack room where saddles and memorabilia from the past still grace the walls. Dr. Dick Peterson is consulting winemaker with Tracey Hawkins. Dr. Peterson has a long and distinguished career after receiving his Ph.D. in Agricultural Chemistry from the University of California. His background and career include E & J Gallo, Beaulieu Vineyard, The Monterey Vineyard, Screaming Eagle and Atlas Peak.
The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Hills
The wine on the eyes was a deep purple and red brick in color with a medium viscosity. On the nose aromas waft into the olfactory senses bringing raspberries, blackberries and floral aromatics. On the palate, it opens up to a juicy fruit assortment of black cherry and hint of pipe tobacco. The finish is medium, but intriguing are the soft and rounded tannins for what is smelled as a big bold red wine. The integrated soft and round tannins integrated into the finish make for an enjoyable food pairing wine or stand alone. 100% French oak barrels are used with 80% being new. 1800 cases were produced and it sells for $75.
The Food and Wine Pairing
Paired with oven baked Country Pork Ribs with a homemade rub and either drizzled or covered with a barbecue sauce. Ingredients for the rib rub include: chili powder, dark brown sugar, smoked paprika, cumin, dried oregano, kosher salt, red pepper flakes (crushed) and black pepper. Total cooking time was 2 hours and 30-45 minutes on low heat. The aroma and flavor was very similar to just coming off the grill. We used a “spicier” BBQ sauce, but that paired nicely with the wine. The fruit and smoothness of the wine, calmed down the spice and smokiness on the ribs and BBQ sauce very nicely. An excellent choice of wine with the meal.