Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Hice Cellars Paso Robles Cabernet Franc 2006

Hice Cellars Paso Robles Cabernet Franc 2006

For a simple wine fruit and cheese setting at home, we opened this obscure small boutique producer offering from Paso Robles. While simple easy drinking juice, it actually exceeded my modest expectations.  We picked this up at auction in a caveat emptor purchase which turned out to be a high QPR acquisition.

Ruby colored, medium bodied, rather simple, single dimensional but pleasant easy drinking black cherry and loganberry fruits with a moderate earthy tone of tobacco leaf and tree bark on a moderate tannin finish.

RM 87 points.


Marilyn Merlot 2012 Label Unveiling / Release

Marilyn Merlot 2012 Label Unveiling / Release

The turn of the calendar each year starts a new vintage year for wines and unveils new releases for each label. For collectors interested in maintaining a 'vertical' collection of a wine - sequential or multiple vintages of the same label, its another vintage selection to add to the line. Awaiting the new vintage label of a collector's series, such as an artist series or a photo series, is a special happening. See my blog "Marilyn Merlot and Norma Jean Wines - (Now That's) A Study in Branding". The anticipation of one such new release was met this week with the arrival of the 2012 vintage release of Nova Wines' Marilyn Merlot in local stores.

I've written about the branding phenomenon of this quirky label that has taken on much fanfare and for some an almost cult following. The 2012 label represents the 28th release of the Napa Valley Merlot featuring a label adorning the famous starlet actress. I admit I've fallen for the scheme and pick up a bottle each year to add to my 'vertical' collection that now spans more than a dozen years. And we continue to have fun gifting these bottles for special occasions and appropriate recipients.

This year's label is stylish and elegant with its black background showcasing the starlet's platinum hair, fair skin and luscious red lips, matching the red Marilyn signature.

According to the producer, this year's label photograph is from “The Black Cape Sitting” by Milton Greene.  It was shot in New York, 1955. Marilyn spent that whole year out of public view, living with the Greene family."

Nova Wines with their Marilyn series hold the exclusive license to Marilyn Monroe photography for such use.

The producer's tasting notes for the wines are: "Deep rich, youthful, purple hues are evidenced in the glass with aromas that have pleasing intensity.  Hints of cassis, raspberry, spice, and rhubarb are well integrated in the nose.  From entry to finish this wine has an even, alluring presence on the palate with a nicely balanced medium body.  The flavors follow the aromas with added nuances of red currants and oak nicely integrated with the vinous fruit and a moderately lingering finish augmented by a touch of chili pepper"

We'll review this wine in an upcoming tasting journal post.