With the catastrophic fires of 2020 the wine world has been holding its collective breath to see what will come from this vintage in the Napa Valley. Fortunately scientific advances in dealing with the fruit from that year have been up to the challenge, and we were able to blend our best lots to make 402 cases of a big, elegant, and beautiful Like A Hawk. Showing black cherry, cassis, vanilla, mocha and a hint of raspberry jam, this dense, dark, and energetic wine is sure to please.

With 50% cabernet sauvignon, 49% syrah and 1% viognier, the wine balances a complex aromatic profile with ripe tannins, dark color, and a deep mouthfeel.

Wait! Viognier? In a red wine? What’s that all about?

I am glad you asked. A touch of viognier has been co-fermented with syrah for a very long time in syrah’s native Cotes du Rhone. It adds a little spunk to the palate and makes the wine darker through the alchemical “magic” of co-pigmentation. Anthocyanins, the pigment in red wine, are not stable without flavanols, which are found in the pulp. Syrah has flavanols, but not enough to support all of the anthocyanin in the skins. The addition of viognier fills that gap and intensifies the color of the red wine. A similar use of white wine grapes in red wine was done in the traditional formulation of chianti classico.

If you would like to dig deeper into the topic, the Journal of the American Society of Enology and Viticulture has an article here: https://www.ajevonline.org/content/52/2/67 (it does require subscription).

If you would rather just dig into the wine, come by the Hill Family Estate tasting room in downtown Yountville and pick up a bottle of this magnificent bold wine!