I have some good news! I have found a really good wine that does not taste like it was made for every wine drinker on the planet. You may think that is NOT good news, but I say it is. After living in Italy for 3 years, I came home to America to find most of the “everyday drinking” wines tasting the same – all geared toward ease of drinking but lacking in complexity and finish. But alas, I have stumbled on a really great everyday wine that has some depth to it.
I was happy to see a new wine store in my town called Wine Styles. They carry many reasonably priced bottles of wine, have a monthly wine club and offer special events like tastings, pairings, etc. It was about day 3 of being in town that my husband and I walked into this store to purchase some wine (afterall, a hotel room with no wine is not really a hotel room at all). I was signing us up for the wine club, and my husband started talking with one of the employees. Turns out, the employee was professional surfer, Kyle Knox, who just happens to have a passion for wine. So much so, in fact, that he teamed up with Hill Family Estate to make his signature “Barrel Blend” wine (the pun is intended).
I bought a bottle to try and was very impressed. Gone was the overly fruit forward taste that had drained me of all hope in finding reasonably priced, reasonably complex California wine. This wine is really good. It is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petit Verdot and Malbec. Sounds enticing doesn’t it – a great blending of varietals. This wine is all about balance. Hill Family Estate winemaker Alison Doran puts it best: “The nose has a great ‘wow’ factor – unmistakably Napa in its elegance, but with an earthy blackberry and vanilla appeal that really makes you want to take a sip. And the palate is lovely, balanced, seductive and interesting, with plushy berry fruit and vanilla scented oak playing backup on tannins.”
Maybe it’s just me, but I also tasted plum. Whatever the case, this wine will be coming home with me often. I may not drink it literally everyday (retails for about $20 a bottle) but as often as I crave a balanced, interesting wine.