Sourced from a perfectly situated estate site not a stones-throw away from the famed Duckhorn Three-Palms vineyard, comes a ripe, luscious Merlot that is drinking perfectly right now. Jeb Dunnuck raved “loads of exotic candied orange peel, violets, and pure red and blue fruits. It’s perfectly balanced, medium to full-bodied” This is everything a Merlot lover wants in a bottle – a rich, soft and elegant red that drinks so beautifully in the glass. No need to wait, pop those corks now. Highly recommended.
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.
Leading off the 2018s from barrel, the 2018 Merlot Blueline Estate offers loads of exotic candied orange peel, violets, and pure red and blue fruits. It’s perfectly balanced, medium to full-bodied, and certainly an impressive barrel sample. Based on 86% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Malbec and a splash of Petit Verdot, all from estate fruit in Calistoga, it’s going to drink nicely in its youth yet evolve for 15+ years.