Hourglass’s Estate Sauvignon has quietly become a benchmark for the varietal in our entire valley. It’s an excellent example of Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc any way you look at it—and frankly a better relative value than many marquee brands we've tasted— this is decidedly tropical but balanced, with notes of bananas foster, melon, and starfruit. Dripping with old-vine intensity, we couldn't resist this one.
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.