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Screen Shot 2015-03-28 at 11.53.02 AMPersonally, I have never been to California but my palate has traveled up and down the coast. I also have never been to Bordeaux but my palate has experienced the left and the right bank. For those of you who have traveled to these two regions, how do you decide where to go and what to do? How many days do you really need to have a good experience in Napa Valley.

Today’s selection comes from Napa Valley and is the 2009 William Hill Estate Winery Bench Blend Cabernet Sauvignon. I got this one from Underground Cellar, which has had some site problems lately. The nice part about the site is that this bottle retails above $40 but I did not pay that. It seems like the winery was ready to unload some older vintage bottles as currently the 2011 is available on their website.

The tasting notes I found on Wine.com:

Winemaker’s Notes

Among our best wines, the bottlings in our Bench Blend Collection illustrate the quintessential characteristics of Napa Valley: lush, expressive fruit. These wines are soft, elegant and beautifully integrated, melding grapes from hand selected vineyard blocks that deliver intense flavor characteristics. They are a testament to the extraordinary vineyards of southern Napa.

Critical Acclaim

  • V92
    Vinous / Antonio Galloni“William Hill’s 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Bench Blend bursts from the glass with layers of mocha, plums, black cherries, violet and spices. This is another of the richer, more voluptuous wines in the lineup. There is plenty of structure and acidity to lend vibrancy to the fruit. A long, polished finish makes it hard to resist a second taste.”

So what did I think?

Color – Deep dark red with bright red edges.

Nose – Clove, barley (?) and red fruit.

Taste – Red currant, black pepper, and a hint of plum.

Finish – Long with high acid and bold tannins.

Overall, this is a very bold fruit-balanced Cabernet Sauvignon. The nose brings more spices and earth while the taste brings the fruit. It is both smooth and bold and pretty complex. I highly recommend this for anyone who is looking for a good Cabernet Sauvignon that is well-balanced.

Rating: A-

~Justin