“PRIME SOLUM” you likely have never heard of but “William Hill” you have. Bill Hill started developing vineyards in 1974 and hasn’t stopped. He also developed and then sold the William Hill Winery that bears his name to Allied Domeq. It is now owned by Gallo and is now making the best wines made there since Hill sold it. Hill, in the mean time, has continued to develop vineyards (click here for a list) and make wines under other names. Currently, he is involved in Expression and Tetra but his newest wine is Prime Solum from his home Brokenrock ranch in southern Napa Valley. As noted below, I like the wine a lot but I am on record in telling him the package could be better – just saying.
PRIME SOLUM Cabernet Sauvignon, Brokenrock Vineyard – Napa Valley, 2009 ($59.99)
A 14.5% alcohol blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, and 9% Petite Verdot grown on a southwest facing hillside in the southern part of Napa Valley (just south of Stags Leap District) planted at 2,312 vines/acre with a yield of 3.0 lbs per vine. Whole berry sorted and gravity-fed into small (1-3 ton) closed-top fermenters for a 5 day cold-soak followed by a hot fermentation with a combination of punch-downs and gentle pump-overs. Malo-lactic fermentation and aging 20 months in French oak barrels (40% new). Purple in color with well formed legs; dry, medium-full-bodied with balanced acidity and chewy phenolics. Elegant, lovely, tobacco leaf Cabernet. Lots of red and some black fruit. Black pepper and a bit of cedar. Classically Cabernet. Long and elegant. Lovely. I want it with dinner. BS: 94.
“The discovery of a wine is of greater moment than the discovery of a constellation. The universe is too full of stars.” – Benjamin Franklin