I’ve been fond of wines form Mount Veeder for many years now. But over the last year I’ve made a more concerted effort to try more of them. While I think a wide array of varietals shine up on Mt. Veeder the classic Bordeaux grapes are amongst those I feel stand out most often. Today I’m going to take a look at a selection from Hess Collection. They’re the largest winery on Mt Veeder by case production. Within their size though they do a wide variety of things; both small and large production wines are part of their portfolio. Their estate boasts 310 acres of vineyards which are sustainably farmed. Today I’ll look at one of their blends. The Hess Collection 2006 19 Block Cuvée is produced from estate fruit. The vineyard site the fruit was sourced from ranges in altitude from 1,300 to 2,000 feet. Fruit was selected from 19 blocks within the vineyard, thus the name of the wine. This selection is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (69%), Malbec (11%), Syrah (10%), Merlot (5%), Petit Verdot (3%) and Cabernet Franc (2%). Oak aging was accomplished over 18 months in French oak; 50% of the barrels were new. Just over 14,000 cases of this selection were produced and the suggested retail price is $35.
Leather and cherry notes are prominent on the nose of this Mt. Veeder blend. A host of berry fruit, (particularly blackberry) along with spice, and cigar box are part of the palate. Somewhere around mind-palate, dark, rich unsweetened chocolate notes kick in. The finish is nice and lengthy with black pepper, mineral notes and cherry that keeps echoing. This wine has a firm tannic structure that softens with some air, as well as firm acidity.
This is a very well rounded wine. While this selction is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, the other varietals shine through and create a very cohesive blend that makes this offering a clear case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. Though this wine also includes Syrah, stylistically it drinks like a Napa Valley Bordeaux or Meritage style blend. For a suggested retail price of $35 this wine over delivers in spades. With over 14,000 cases made it should be easy to locate too.