2017 Hawk and Horse Vineyards – Block Three Cabernet Sauvignon
From San Francisco Chronicle
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 Block Three
The Block Three Cabernet Sauvignon is very different than their regular Cabernet Sauvignon. This one is an extremely BIG, BOLD and BEAUTIFUL wine! On the eyes was a deep purple and red brick in color with a heavy viscosity. On the nose aromas waft into the olfactory senses of toasted oak counterbalanced with raspberries, blackberries and floral aromatics. On the palate, it opens up to a juicy fruit assortment of black cherry and a hint of vanilla pipe tobacco. This is what I call a “chewy Cabernet” or as a friend calls it a “fork & knife Cabernet”, chewing each mouth filling sip. This is definitely a BBQ’ed ribeye or beef filet Cabernet companion. The finish is long lasting and the tannins are ever present with a refined edginess exposing layer upon layer of wonder. This wine tasted like a solid 10 year aged Napa Valley Cabernet but was really only bottled recently! It is a new favorite for sure and may make my list of Best Wines of The Year (comes out in December). The wine was aged in 100% French oak barrels for 22 months and only 150 cases were produced. It is a limited special wine and you need to contact the winery.
The Food and Wine Pairing
A month or so ago, I reviewed their 2017 Red Hills Cabernet Sauvignon, which is a “tamer” Cabernet Sauvignon, I mistakenly assumed this would be similar. Had a meat ravioli dish with a homemade Bolognese sauce topped with Parmesan and Romano shredded cheeses. Figured this would be a perfect pairing. The Block Three with its beautiful aromas and flavors, this wine out shined the dish completely. I am purchasing a couple of bottles to have with a BBQ’ed steak immediately!