I first tasted some offerings from Hawk and Horse Vineyards about a year ago and was impressed with what they're doing. I have a penchant for boutique wineries and they fit the bill nicely with their well made, hand crafted estate offerings. Lake County has been on the upswing in a number of ways. More fruit is sourced there, additional wineries are based there and the wine drinking public is more aware of it as a region than even a couple of years ago. These are good things for consumers. I was eager to taste the 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon from these folks and experience their latest vintage. The Hawk & Horse Vineyards 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon is an Estate wine. All of the fruit for this offering comes from their Lake County mountain vineyard which is CCOF Organic and Demeter Biodynamic certified. This wine is almost all Cabernet Sauvignon (98%), with a small dollop of Merlot (2%) blended in. The aging of this wine was accomplished over 18 months in French oak; the barrels utilized were a 50/50 split of new and 2 years old. Bottle aging followed prior to releases. 1,150 cases of this wine were produced and it has a suggested retail price of $65.
Red floral notes lead the nose of this Cabernet Sauvignon. Hints of cherry, cedar and a touch of spice join in as well. The cherry characteristics continue on the plate where they dominate the show along with additional spice notes and lots of minerals. Earth, espresso and bits of chicory emerge on the finish along bits of leather and wisps of green herbs. This is lovely, dry Mountain Cabernet with terrific structure, firm tannins and length to spare. It’s quite nice now and quite accessible after an hour or so in the decanter. However, if you have the patience to lay this wine down for 5 or more years you’ll be rewarded for your time. Fans of boutique Cabernets from Napa and Sonoma would be well advised to look at the great wines like this one that are emerging from Lake County.