Hess Select California Rosé 2020

Medium copper color; red fruits, white peach, strawberry on the nose; strawberry, watermelon, citrus, cherry, raspberry, stone fruit on the palate.

Hess Select California Rosé 2020

Dry; fresh and delicious red fruits. Crisp, approachable acidity (3.48 pH). Fermented in stainless steel, no oak influence, which delivered delicious red fruits. Medium body, heavier than you anticipate in a rosé, but the excellent fruit carries the day here. 13.5% ABV

Hess Select are the Hess Family Wine Estates entry-level offerings. They feature attractive pricing and good-quality-for-price (QPR) value. This solidly fits that mold. Hess also makes significantly higher quality wines, especially from their Mount Veeder blocks. Hess Family Wine Estates is a family-owned, fifth-generation company committed to responsible agriculture and business practices. Certified Napa Green, a commitment they have pursued since 1978.

Hess enjoys a storied history in Napa wine. In the 1880s, the families of Fisher, Brandlin, and Streich H. Hudeman settled on the property where the Hess Collection Winery now sits. Hudemann established a botanical garden that included a 12-acre vineyard and small winery. From 1884 to 1900 Rudolph Jordan owned the estate and made significant contributions to winemaking, including being the first to use cool fermentation and inoculated yeast.

Col. Theodore Gier, a prominent wine merchant and leader in the California wine industry owned the property from 1900 to 1929. Gier planted more vineyards and built the three-story winery that today holds the Hess Collection’s art gallery and its historic barrel chai (an above-ground building that stores wine in casks).

The stock market crash ended Grier’s operations, and in 1930 the Christian Brothers purchased the property to establish a new novitiate, school, and winery. The Brothers expanded the winery and began producing Mont La Salle wines, a major provider of Catholic sacramental wines still today, although now from other properties and different owners.

Donald Hess

In 1978, Donald Hess, a Swiss entrepreneur, purchased 900 acres of land on Mount Veeder, with 20 acres planted in wine vines. Looking for space for grape production, he leased the Christian Brothers winery on Mount Veeder in 1986. In 1989, he opened a visitor center and a gallery to present his extensive art collection. In addition to vineyard purchases, Hess also set aside more than 600 acres to support wildlife corridors, fish-friendly farming practices, and biodiversity with the mantra: “nurture the land and return what you take.”

Dave Guffy

Over succeeding years, Dave Guffy became the second director of winemaking and Hess increased its emphasis on sustainable winegrowing, including helping establish the Napa Green program and gaining certification in 2008. Donald Hess retired in 2011 and Timothy Persson, Donald’s son-in-law, became the CEO, the fifth generation of the Hess family to guide the operation. Timothy is joined by his wife, Sabrina, whose mission is to develop The Hess Collection into a world-class brand and destination. The operation now is called Hess Persson Estates.

Hess family, current CEO Tim and Sabrina Persson—Donald Hess and his wife Ursula’s son-in-law and daughter and their children

Hess Select California Rosé 2020 is delightful romp in red-fruit joy. Significant body for a rosé, but the palate pleasing fruit allows this to carry it off with aplomb. Elegant effort with attractive initial attack and gracious finish. With its red fruit-forward character, works nicely as an aperitif or solo sipper. Pair with shellfish; spicy food; appetizers and snacks; vegetarian fare; fruity desserts. Cheese—feta, baby swiss, young cheddar, gouda, havarti. $12

Hess Collection website

Hess winemaking team—Dave Guffy, Alison Rodriguez, Stephanie Pope, Randal Johnson
Hess Collection winery
Hess Collection art gallery
Hess Collection barrel room
Hess Collection vineyard