The Lion Tamer Napa Valley Red 2014
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"Another fascinating wine..." ~ Robert Parker, Jr.'s Wine AdvocateThe Lion Tamer delivers a circus of flavors to the mouth. Buckets of dark, ripe, juicy fruit, delicious earthiness, floral and spice notes and graceful tannins, to name a few. Prepare a big platter of taqueria style carne asada tacos with tomatillo sauce, red onions and queso fresco to accompany your first glasses; the delight will be palpable. Braised lamb shanks over a chorizo four bean stew will match the bold flavor of the wine beautifully. Bring out the tannins in this Tamer with grilled skirt steak with chimichurri sauce. A meatless eggplant lasagne will highlight the spice notes. You just have to decide what you're craving. Be sure to ahve another bottle or two in the wings to go with a farmhouse cheddar, some toasted walnuts and dried fruits for your big finish. Step right up winelovers!!
Robert Parker, Jr.'s Wine Advocate: "Another fascinating wine that symbolizes the new level of quality as well as innovation and creativeness at Hess Collection is the 2014 Proprietary Red The Lion Tamer, a red blend, which is 55% Malbec, 15% Zinfandel, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petite Sirah and 8% Merlot. It comes from vineyards throughout Napa and is a delicious, Mediterranean style of wine, with notes of forest floor, underbrush, lavender, loads of black cherry and blackcurrant, a nice, spicy meatiness and a medium to full-bodied finish. Drink it over the next 5-6 years (2016-2022).
As I indicated last year, the Hess Collection winery up on Mt. Veeder is profiting from a complete makeover and producing better and better wines as well as more special cuvées." Dec 2016
Winery: “We affectionately call this wine “Tamer” because blending Lion Tamer is both challenging and rewarding especially when you start with Malbec as the core. Malbec on its own brings heady, floral aromas of violets and can be what I call the wild child. Big, bold and juicy upon entry, Malbec is virtually loaded with flavor. When you layer in Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon, you get complex layers of blackberries, milk chocolate, black plums and exotic perfume that carry throughout a plush texture and a ripe juicy core of black fruits. The signature of Lion Tamer is a generous palate of black raspberry and surprisingly lush tannins.” ~ Dave Guffy, Director of Winemaking
"The lion has been the emblem of the Hess Family for nine generations. It has come to symbolize the bold and persevering nature of founder Donald Hess and our winery home on Mount Veeder. The Hess Collection has long been known for its big, bold, mountain Cabernets and a little Malbec finds its way into many of our blends. The name “Lion Tamer” has become a nickname for Malbec because we use it as our tannin tamer. Much like a Lion Tamer who uses a deft hand to soothe powerful, instinctive animals, Winemaker Dave Guffy uses Malbec to soothe powerful tannins. This red blend brings all the roar of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah, and when blended with Malbec, produces a big, lush wine that finishes with smooth and tamed round tannins."
Varietal: 55% Malbec, 15% Zinfandel, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petite Sirah, 8% Merlot
14.8% Total Acidity g/100ml:
0.63 pH: 3.72 Aging: 20 months in 80% new French oak barrels
Napa Valley, California
Production: Limited at 2,729 dozen