Last summer, we spent a few days in California, focusing on Napa Valley as a source for quality juice for our Block wine program. In addition to a few other successes, including wines from Michael Pozzan, we found the Block 955. We enjoyed the luxury accommodations of Garrett Ahnfeldt’s parents’ home, in the Napa mountains. Garrett’s wines, in stores under the ‘G’ label (G the 7th letter red blend and G-licious Chardonnay, and the new G Mountain Reserve Cabernet) are a welcomed addition to our Direct To You selection. Garrett also makes the Hailstone Cabernet with his partner Chris Zazo. Taste these two beauty/beasts Cabernets and you will see Garrett has a mind for quality.
We sat on the veranda, looking down at a distant and misty Napa Valley while we had lunch and a tasting of the available wines from Garrett and Chris. One in particular was a Merlot that showed qualities often missing in today’s merlot; varietal character, solid Napa framework and good structure and balance… only 2,000 cases are available. We said yes, of course, and after some discussion decided calling it a red blend rather than Merlot would be the best idea. Garrett added in a dollop (5%) Cabernet Franc and took it to bottling!
The Block 955 has a wonderful, multi-layered aroma of black cherry, cassis , and sweet vanilla. These aromatics carry through seamlessly to the palate, the mouth feel balanced between the dark fruit, soft tannins and sweet oak. The long, velvety finish is infused with black currant and cocoa.
Shayne Hebert, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits wine supervisor
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