Lions Head Luxury Collection–Gems From Hess

The Lions Head Collection features top of the line wines from Hess Family Wine Estates. A fifth-generation, family-owned company, Hess has always been about quality–in all their labels: The Hess Collection, Lions Head Collection, Hess Select, MacPhail, and Artezin from California–and Bodegas Colome and Amalaya in Argentina.

The Lions Head label was established by the latest generation of the Hess family to showcase premium fruit from California’s finest vineyards:

2017 Panthera Russian River Chardonnay is 100% Russian River fruit aged to creamy perfection in new French oak. At 14.8% abv, this Chardonnay is more a little decadent. 45.00

2017 Lion Tamer Cabernet Sauvignon gets its name from the 8% Malbec (used to tame the “Cabernet lion”)…there is also Petite Sirah in blend–adding even more color and depth. Mouthwatering and layered: mocha, berries, toast–all wrapped in silky tannins. Yikes. 60.00

2017 Panthera Russian River Chardonnay
2017 Lion Tamer Cabernet Sauvignon

Lucienne Single Vineyard Pinot Noirs–Sublime

2017 Luicenne–Hahn Family Wines‘ premium single vineyard Pinot Noirs establish bragging rights for these three Santa Lucia Highlands (SLH) superstars. High above the Salinas Valley, the Santa Lucia Highlands have proven ideal for producing exceptional Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio. Hahn chose to showcase three of their prize vineyards with single vineyard labels: Doctor’s Vineyard, Lone Tree Vineyard, and Smith Vineyard.

Paul Clifton, Hahn’s award-winning Director of Winemaking, likes to point out that great Pinot happens in the vineyard–and he’s not kidding:

Hahn Family Wines’ Single Vineyard Lucienne Pinot Noir

Doctor’s Vineyard is 200-plus acre patch square in the middle of the SLH–a drier and slightly milder climate producing a ripe, hearty Pinot Noir–smooth, round, and lingering. 50.00

Lone Oak Vineyard is a smaller, cooler climate location yielding an aromatic, cherry/spice Pinot whose complexity carries on and on to the end. Outstanding reviews. 50.00

Smith Vineyard was Hahn’s first estate vineyard and it has been producing impressive cool-climate Pinots since the 1970s. Soft raspberry/cherry flavors on a soft but solid body. 50.00

FEL Pinot Gris, 2018

Crazy aromas and mouthwatering flavors explode from FEL‘s tantalizing Pinot Gris. It’s hard to imagine this is the same grape that produces Pinot Grigio. Gooseberry and stone fruit flavors are all over the place. Worth a shot just to see what this little grape can do. Perfect for spicy Asian dishes or white meat. 25.00

2018 FEL Pinot Gris

Sidebar Kenner White

Q: What’s a “Kenner”?

A: Kenner is a white grape varietal produced from a cross of Riesling and Trollinger grapes (German).

Kenner is a big deal in Germany but there is only one planting in America: On the Mokelumne River in Lodi, CA–thanks to David Ramey–of the renowned Ramey Wine Cellars.

As you might expect, Sidebar’s Kenner comes across aromatic and spicy–with that amazing balance of juicy fruit and acidity found in off-dry wines. Delish. 25.00

2018 Sidebar Kerner

Nik Weis St. Urbans-Hof Bockstein Kabinett Riesling

As with many German Rieslings, the name is a bit of a mouthfull–but then, so is the wine. Nik Weis is a big name in German Rieslings and his 2018 Bockstein Kabinett is another notch on his belt. Kabinett Rieslings are made from grapes picked earliest in the harvest season–loads of light, bright fruit. Mouthwatering aromas give way to a lush palate of delicately sweet fruit balanced with clean minerality. Sublime. 26.00

2018 Nik Weis St. Urbans-Hof Bockstein Kabinett Riesling