HG III is a wine Hourglass created in 2012 as a young-vine, early-drinking, restaurant-friendly red. In this vintage, winemaker Tony Biagi took fantastic young vine Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from Hourglass’ estate vineyard, and blended it with 20% Petite Sirah to yield a fresh, vibrant, drinkable red with notes of black cherries and blueberries, not to mention cola and cocoa powder. A great introduction to the Hourglass style.
In 1976, Ned Smith purchased a small, four-acre parcel atop a knoll two miles north of St. Helena between Highway 29 and the Silverado Trail in Napa Valley (not far from Grace Family Vineyard) and planted Zinfandel, hoping to trade his grapes for wine from local vintners. Little did he know that his hobby vineyard was in a sweet spot for Cabernet Sauvignon, something his son Jeff discovered after his father passed away in 1990. Hourglass takes its name from its position at the “pinch” of Napa Valley’s unique hourglass shape. It draws cooling breezes from the south and west, allowing perfect ripeness from year to year. Hourglass’ critical acclaim keeps snowballing – and we were lucky enough to have gotten in on the ground floor. They also own “Blueline” vineyard, a spectacular site not far from Duckhorn’s 3 Palms Vineyard near Calistoga.
Moving to the barrel samples, the 2017 HG3 is a fruity, forward, total charmer that gives up medium to full-bodied notes of blue and black fruits and leafy herbs. It’s well-made and already hard to resist, yet I suspect it will keep for more than a decade