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🍷 Smith and Hook: the unfettered spirit of the Central Coast

This week, Armando has picked a highly rated Cabernet Sauvignon from Hook and Smith Winery. Perfect for all your holiday gatherings 🎄



Estate History


Over 40 years ago, on an old cattle ranch, the Hahn family founded Hook and Smith Winery in the hills of Monterey County. Smith & Hook has long stood for spirited, layered, and luscious wines made from California’s independent-minded Central Coast. Smith and Hook offers breathtaking views of the Santa Lucia Highlands estate vineyards, the greater Salinas Valley, and the Gabilan Range.


As Monterey’s fledgling wine industry started to take shape, Smith & Hook began to explore new Cabernet Sauvignon—starting in neighboring Paso Robles—discovering along the way a team of strong, like-minded growers in the warmer pockets of California’s craggy coastline. As the years passed, the Smith & Hook style emerged: robust, richly layered Cabernet-based reds.


Today, Smith & Hook wines embrace the unfettered spirit of the Central Coast, layering together fruit from five distinct Central Coast appellations: Arroyo Seco, Paso Robles, San Antonio Valley, Hames Valley & San Benito County.

Vineyard Notes


Fruit for this reserve wine is sourced from Truesdale vineyard in Paso Robles.


The well-drained arbuckle and sandy loam soils combined with the vineyard’s deep inland location at 1,560 feet elevation and south-facing slope create the ideal terroir for intensely flavored wines with depth of flavor, excellent structure, and naturally balanced acidity.

Tasting Notes


A deep purple ruby in the glass, this reserve is fragrant and beautifully defined on the nose with aromas of macerated black cherries, rich cassis, and candied violets, which are further complexed with plum, dried herbs, and cedar forest floor accents.


The Palate is vibrant, bursting with black and blue fruits and plum flavors, along with notes of warm fig and dark chocolate shavings.


The wine is creamy textured, with seamlessly integrated fine tannins and brick minerality that brings together all the layers in a long, succulent finish.

Winemaker Notes

A seductive deep brick red with crimson hues, this Reserve offers aromas of red cherries, cassis, cedar, warm gravel, and graphite. With time, the nose continues to evolve, revealing plum, leather, and tobacco accents. The wine is in constant motion, playfully dancing across the palate to finish with fine, dusty tannins.

Critical Acclaim Decanter

95 Points

Lovely, elegant nose - an inviting mix of restrained blackcurrants and cassis with a hint of menthol, leather, and newly sawn wood. A dense, weighty palate with good acidity and grippy tannins. Subtle black fruits linger pleasantly. Lovely structure and good freshness. Intriguing all round. Blend : 97% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petite Sirah


2019 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon PASO ROBLES


GROWING SEASON AND VINEYARDS


The 2019 growing season in Paso Robles had about average rainfall and plenty of sunshine. Going into veraison, consistently warm, mild temperatures during the day and coastal influences with cooler temperatures at night were ideal for the development of full canopy and full clusters.


The late season had a few typical heat spikes that slowed down the vine growth but enhanced flavors and sugar accumulation in the fruit. The fruit for this Reserve is sourced mostly from Truesdale vineyard in Paso Robles. The well-drained arbuckle and sandy loam soils combined with the vineyard’s deep inland location at 1,560 ft elevation and south-facing slope create the ideal terroir for intensely flavored wines with depth of flavor, excellent structure, and naturally balanced acidity.


WINEMAKING


The fruit was harvested in the cool morning and brought to the winery. The grapes were destemmed, sorted, and delivered to large stainless-steel tanks. The wine was fermented on the skins in small lots with 5% barrel fermented. Fermentation was managed by pump overs for maximum extraction of color and flavor. The lots were then individually pressed and settled before transferring into French oak barrels, where the wine was aged for 20 months.





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