William Hill Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Dark red color; plum, earth, blackberry, dark fruits on the nose; cherry, blackberry, plum, oak on the palate.

Blend of 90% cabernet sauvignon, 7% petit verdot, 1.5% petite sirah, 1.5% cabernet franc. Big in the mouth, smooth, ripe fruits, balanced, tannins respectful of your tongue and cheeks, certainly some oak but not overdone, plenty of alcohol at 15.2%. This is classic big boy Napa cab.

The William Hill Estate Winery was founded by vineyard developer William Hill in 1976 on a 200-acre site at the foot of Atlas Peak on the Silverado Bench in southern Napa. The location at the foot of Atlas Peak and the Vaca Mountains means the soils are thin, rocky, and do not have the nutrient abundance found in the Napa Valley floor—a good thing for a grape farmer because it forces vines to struggle for water and results in smaller berries with more intense color and flavor.

Today, William Hill is part of the Gallo portfolio. The winemaker is Mark Williams, son of a UC Davis viticulture professor and veteran of Bridlewood Estate Winery in Santa Barbara and Louis M. Martini in St. Helena. In an interview on the Napa Valley Vintners website, Williams opined on the most rewarding part of his work: “There are few products in this world that mature like wine. Starting in the vineyard and tasting the grapes, determining extraction during fermentation, the oak for aging, and then tasting it with family and friends long after it has bottled is absolutely fascinating. It reminds me of raising children and watching them grow over the years.” Indeed.

William Hill Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 is a widely available, big, almost jammy, plenty of alcohol, lots of red fruits, some black fruits, too; a high-dollar Napa cab for bit less than high dollar. $32-40

William Hill Estate website

Other photos: William Hill Estate winery, winemaker Mark Williams



William Hill winemaker Mark Williams