Friday, December 7, 2012

Schild Reserve Shiraz 2008 and Hall Napa Cab 2006

Schild Reserve Shiraz 2008 and Hall Napa Cab 2006

Two tasty contrasting wines taken BYOB to holiday dinner with friends Mark and Gayle at favorite local Italian Trattoria Angelis Italian in Naperville. The big flavorful chewy tongue coating Schild Reserve Shiraz was great with starters and salads, then the firmer tighter Hall Napa Cabernet Sauvignon  accompanied the entrees.

Ben Schild Barossa Valley Reserve Shiraz 2008

This wine is dedicated to the producer patriarch Ben Schild who has been farming the Schild Estate Three Springs property in Rowland Flat Barossa since 1952. Today the property is farmed by second and third generation Schilds. Fruit for this wine is sourced from a single vineyard in the Hills overlooking Lyndoch where the elevated location and cooling winds helped temper the effects of a warm year resulting in earlier ripening thereby avoiding a late season heat wave that afflicted other growers in the Southern Barossa.

By the way, a remarkable interesting side note; this is not the same wine but it is the same producer and vintage as the Schild Barossa Shiraz that after receiving high reviews, 94 points, and placing in Wine Spectator’s Top 10 Wines of the Year in 2010, naturally subsequently sold out. Schild then proceeded to purchase, blend and bottle additional wine from other producers, but still market such under the 'same' label. Extraordinary, unethical, deceptive, conniving, but legal, none-the-less.

(Imagine buying a new Ford but finding out Ford ran low on engines and purchased and provided alternative replacement engines from some other supplier. (See Bait and Switch?; Schild Estate: Questionable Bottling Practices in 2008 Shiraz; What Makes a Wine a Wine?).

Only after being challenged by reporters did the winery affix an extra label to the secondary bottlings identifying them as a second blend.

The colour of the Reserve was deep dark Ruby Red and inky purple. Huge aromas of blue fruits and violets give way to bright vibrant concentrated tongue coating flavors bursting with blueberry, black raspberry, ripe plum and chocolate, with hints of black pepper, spice and nicely integrated oak on a long lingering soft tannin finish.

RM 93 points - (perhaps  merits a 94).

Hall Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Deck the Halls with boughs of holly ... We discovered Hall wines during our Napa Wine Experience 2003 with their moderrn op-art scuplture garden. The 2006 vintage was a high achievement for this Estate standard label Napa Cabernet with a Wine Spectator 93 point rating. Their flagship wine, Katheryn Hall 2006, was #20 that same Wine Spectator's Top 100 of 2010 mentioned above, with a score of 96 points!. This year it was selected the #2 Wine of the Year in Wine Spectator's annual roundup.

This wine started with a tightly wound concentrated forward layer of cedar and graphite eventually revealing ripe black berry fruits. Dark inky color, rich, dense, concentrated, style, full-bodied, fruit forward ripe black currant, black berry and black cherry fruits with hints of milk chocolate and cassis on a long firm but smooth tannin finish. More closed and tight, not as lush and jammy as earlier tasting notes. This would be ideally suited with a charbroiled steak.

RM 92 points (vs 93 in earlier reviews).