Sunday, June 10, 2012

Hall 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon And Our Blind Tasting

Hall Napa Valley 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, $39.94-$46.99, 94 points, was the wine of focus for me, and though I had tried the 2005, 2006 vintages, my "wine tasters" had not. So, Ben, Ethan, and I did a  small vertical tasting with some interesting results. I added another Cabernet, not a Hall wine, to mix things up a bit (I'll review that wine on my next post).
From the picture of Ben to the right, you can see that he wanted to get past the white wines and receive those vaunted Hall Cabernets; I probably could have saved some time and just got Ben one of those Aluminum Foil Beanies, but it was just too warm.

Hall Napa Valley 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, full body carries light floral notes with plum and black currant, licorice and layers of fruit with hints of mocha. There is lots of spice and pepper beginning at mid-palate right through the long finish with a touch of eucalyptus. Good acidity is highlighted by noticeable tannin (Still a young wine).
The color was almost a murky magenta, brighter as it radiated outward to its transparent rim.
The nose was bright with black fruit, cooking spice, some gentle floral quality, and cedar; Ben got a "candied red fruit".
Ben also described this wine as "Open and inviting. . . (a) crystalline beauty." Wow, I think Hall might want to bottle that phrase. It's interesting to note that Ben enjoyed the 2005 Hall Cabernet the best, and by now it was quite smooth with the tamed tannin; he described the 2005 as: "Subdued, yet powerful, velvety and smooth, serene and courageous." All these attributes I wished described me.
Ethan was a bit subdued and unimpressed with all the Hall Cabernet wines, scoring them in the high eighties. However, the mystery alternative Cabernet was more to his liking.


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  1. I loved the 2005 Hall. We poured it by the glass at the wine bar where I used to work and lord knows I poured myself a number of "sample" tastes. I haven't had any more recent vintages but it sounds like the '08 is pretty darn nice in its own right.

    We used to be able to get to '05 around here for about $25.

    1. The good old days of $25 Hall Cabs! "There's no inflation!" Not!
      the '08 is a bit livelier, and I'd expect that from a younger '05 as well, but the balance comes with time. For me, the '06 was the most balanced and I think maybe at its peek. OK, these wines will age another ten years, but this is where my palate is at, the '06 was wonderful. maybe next year we'll be able to find not only the 2009, but the missing '07.

  2. I see you've been a busy boy tasting everything at the Liquor Mart! I hope you work there and get a good disount!

    I had me so o' that '08 Napa Cab recently. Not as impressed by it as you were but I was hoping to be with a $40 price tag. Perhaps it was just my mood that night. There are two bots sitting in the cellar and there they will lay for a while in the hopes that my initial assessment was erroneous.

  3. SS, well then, you join my son's club of not being impressed; I drank this bottle for three days and I liked it more than when I first opened it. Though this is a rather dense wine, I think the layers of flavors were waiting for (As John would put it) vini di medatazione! Wines of Meditation.