2021 Hourglass Estate – Sauvignon Blanc (750ML)
ORIGIN | California
VARIETAL | Sauvignon Blanc
WINEMAKER NOTES | Ned Smith was a visionary and a storyteller. These irrefutable qualities made him a highly successful ad man in San Francisco. They are also what compelled him to cash out of city life, pack up his family of seven, and follow a dream that led him to the remote Napa Valley of 1964.
Ned became a real estate agent, only the second to set up shop in the valley. He was a natural, a man who could scan a fallow parcel and envision for his clients the vineyards and winery yet to come. Over the next decade, he introduced many aspiring Napa vintners, such as Jack & Jamie Davies (Schramsberg), Dick Grace (Grace Family Vineyards), and Carl Doumani (Stag’s Leap) to the estates that would become the iconic wineries of today.
In 1976, Ned Smith purchased a small, four-acre parcel atop a knoll two miles north of St. Helena between Highway 29 and the Silverado Trail in Napa Valley (not far from Grace Family Vineyard) and planted Zinfandel, hoping to trade his grapes for wine from local vintners. Little did he know that his hobby vineyard was in a sweet spot for Cabernet Sauvignon, something his son Jeff discovered after his father passed away in 1990. Hourglass takes its name from its position at the “pinch” of Napa Valley’s unique hourglass shape. It draws cooling breezes from the south and west, allowing perfect ripeness from year to year. Hourglass’ critical acclaim keeps snowballing – and we were lucky enough to have gotten in on the ground floor. They also own “Blueline” vineyard, a spectacular site not far from Duckhorn’s 3 Palms Vineyard near Calistoga.
TASTING NOTES | Blending fruit from five renowned vineyards, the 2021 Sauvignon Blanc offers perfumed aromas of honey dew melon, Meyer lemon zest and peach blossom counterpointed by bright notes of Granny Smith apple, spearmint and freshly cut hay. On the palate, limeade, lemon meringue and Pippin apple intertwine with hints of brioche, honey and chamomile flowers. The addition of 5% Semillon, 40% barrel fermentation, and frequent lees stirring creates complexity, supple texture and depth, with focused acidity and chalky minerality providing precision and balance.