Is Hess a good Californian producer?

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Is Hess a good Californian producer?

Postby Otto » Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:17 am

Alko will soon get a small batch of Hess Cabernet Sauvignon Mount Veeder 2007. The price here is 35€ which will inevitably sound very high for you living in America, but the sad reality of living in Finland is that US wines will usually cost about twice what you pay for them. But I have a couple tastings coming up where a good US Cab would be welcome, so do you think this will be ok?
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Re: Is Hess a good Californian producer?

Postby David M. Bueker » Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:23 am

You ask if it will be ok...more like oak.
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Re: Is Hess a good Californian producer?

Postby John Treder » Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:25 pm

For once I agree with David. And I don't mind oak.
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Re: Is Hess a good Californian producer?

Postby Jenise » Sat Oct 13, 2012 7:41 pm

And very fruit forward. The opposite of everything you like, Otto.
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Re: Is Hess a good Californian producer?

Postby James Roscoe » Sun Oct 14, 2012 2:13 pm

When was the last time anyone tried the Hess? California is moving away from the use of new oak just as the Europeans are ramping up their use. I think the pendulum is swinging back, but I am not familiar with Hess in particular.
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Re: Is Hess a good Californian producer?

Postby Hoke » Sun Oct 14, 2012 5:40 pm

James, yes they have been moderating their style away from heavy oak and malo. Was down there about a month ago (old friend works at the winery, and it's a beautiful place.

Note: Hess is a portfolio, not just a Napa winery, so there's a big diff between their estate, their Napa, and their lower-priced Hess Select line. They also have some really impressive Argentinians like Coloma and Amalaya. My favorite from Hess is actually Artezin, with two different classically styled ( that is, before they were all goofed and jammed and over-ripened).

The Artezin Mendo Zin is lean and mean and Zin spicy. The Dry Creek version is more bramble and Dry Creek dago red---in other words, delicious!
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Re: Is Hess a good Californian producer?

Postby Jenise » Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:30 pm

James Roscoe wrote:When was the last time anyone tried the Hess? California is moving away from the use of new oak just as the Europeans are ramping up their use. I think the pendulum is swinging back, but I am not familiar with Hess in particular.


2004 Mt Veeder Cab, about a year ago. And it is the juicy, oaky, full-frontal style of wine I associate with the winery. Not undrinkable for the person tolerant of a range of styles, but pretty opposite what Otto would hope for.
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Re: Is Hess a good Californian producer?

Postby James Roscoe » Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:27 pm

Or of what it appears Otto would hope for based on his notes and comments.
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Re: Is Hess a good Californian producer?

Postby Brian K Miller » Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:50 pm

I would note that 35 Euros is actually a really good price for the Hess Mount Veeder. The FULL retail price is often well above $50.

In my experience, overall, Hess is a "meh" wine. Not all that bad (by modern Napa standards they are middle of the road on oakiness and fruit jam), but for the money there are far more interesting Napa and Sonoma wines out there.

It is a stunning place, though. Well worth a visit, for the art collection alone.

Heck...maybe I'll bicycle up there this weekend! I am intrigued to see how the style is evolving. they have great mountain vineyard sites, soooo...
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Re: Is Hess a good Californian producer?

Postby Otto » Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:00 pm

Like I said, this would be for a tasting, not for personal pleasure. And if it really costs that much in the US, I feel it is my duty to buy one since it's so rare to get US at anywhere close to what you would pay in the States. Thanks for all the info!
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Re: Is Hess a good Californian producer?

Postby Jenise » Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:01 pm

James Roscoe wrote:Or of what it appears Otto would hope for based on his notes and comments.


Same thing, isn't it?
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Re: Is Hess a good Californian producer?

Postby James Roscoe » Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:15 pm

Jenise wrote:
James Roscoe wrote:Or of what it appears Otto would hope for based on his notes and comments.


Same thing, isn't it?

I was being a stickler! Nothing like exact communication! :twisted:
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