Notes From The Cellar

2007 Hess Collection Mount Veeder 19 Block Cuvée

Steve Paulo

Big-Time High-Elevation Cab Blend

I’m a huge fan of this wine, for more than a few reasons.

It’s a mostly-Bordeaux-style blend (called “meritage” (rhymes with “heritage”) here in California), but there’s this dollop of Syrah thrown in for good measure.

2007 Hess Collection Mount Veeder 19 Block Cuvée

In general, I’ve found myself becoming a big fan of wine that, while officially from the Napa Valley, is not from the valley floor. One of my favorite Napa reds is Regusci’s “Angelo’s Vineyard” Hillside Cabernet Sauvignon from the eastern edge of the Stag’s Leap AVA. I have adored just about everything I’ve ever tried from Howell Mountain. I’m even going to put that on my birthday list this year: if you want to get me wine, just get me something—anything—from Howell Mountain.

Mount Veeder, an appelation that hugs the Napa/Sonoma county line along the western edge of Napa Valley, is one I haven’t been as familiar with. Most of my Napa Valley experience has been along the iconic St. Helena Highway (a.k.a. Highway 29) or the Silverado Trail, to the east. But that’s simply going to have to change. I want more.

To this wine in particular, then. The 2007 Hess Collection Mount Veeder 19 Block Cuvée (whew!) is a gorgeous wine in the glass: a burgundy red core with just barely-lighter ruby edges. The nose shows off subtle, but apparent, fruit notes. Mostly blackberry and raspberry, but some plum as well. The nose more obviously shows off some earthier tones, tobacco, cedar, and cigar box. Very rich.

The wine is medium bodied, a bit lighter than I’d expected, but it shows off right away, with lush, supple tannins and a long, lingering finish. The palate is a bit fruitier than the nose, and some of the notes lighten slightly to cherry and strawberry, but everything is nuanced and in balance. There is structure here, structure like a nun running detention. Not to be trifled with.

This is really great wine. This is really, really easy to recommend wine. I’m a recent convert, but I’m going to be doing some more exploring of Mount Veeder, I can promise you that much.

Price Point: $36

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