Hourglass 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
Jeff Smith’s father, Ned, originally planted the humble Zinfandel vine on what turned out to be one of the more remarkable tracts of land in St. Helena, Calif.—a place not lacking in viticultural wonders. When tragedy and misfortune befell the family—Ned Smith passed away, and phylloxera infected his vines shortly thereafter—Jeff’s mother wanted to sell the six acres, which are located at the narrowest point of the Napa Valley’s elongated hourglass shape. Interested in learning more about the property and its potential, Jeff consulted oenologist Mark Kliewer, who explained to him that the vineyard’s unique microclimate made it a near-perfect place to grow Cabernet Sauvignon. Jeff persuaded consulting winemaker extraordinaire Robert Foley to join his new venture, and, with that, one of California’s most exciting new wine labels was born. The Hourglass 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley (www.hourglasswine.com, $135) roils with the scents of fresh boysenberry, toasted cinnamon sticks, violets, red apple, and smoke. The palate is richly flavored with black cherry, coffee, licorice, and a pungent hint of tar.