Mission Codename Hill of the Sun
Have you ever found a painting at a yard sale, only realize there’s a million-dollar rare art print hidden in the frame?
Me neither. Buuuut we found this wine, and it’s kind of the same thing. Hidden away for years, buried in the cellar, aging to perfection. We tasted it last week, it was superb, serious stuff, drinking way above its price point. Honestly, this has some serious Pahlmeyer type vibes - ripe, tannic, silky yet burly.
But Loma del Sol??
The last vintage update on their website was 2008! And the price we got …seems like it got stuck back in 1998! We did some digging and peeled back the layers. Then realized the vineyard source - straight from Sonoma Mountain, specifically the Michael Murray Vineyard. Where the likes of Paul Hobbs, Arrowood, and Robert Mondavi source fruit. And Loma del Sol too – only because Joe Votek has been meticulously farming this organically grown vineyard for over 30 years.
Eventually, he decided “why not make my own from here??” And so, he started bottling this awesome juice from the prized site. The results are worthwhile, and beyond.
Still packed with jammy red/black fruits to the brim with the bottle age enhancing it with tertiary notes of worn leather, hoisin sauce, and a sweet pipe tobacco edge. The color is vibrant like the nose, with a ruby heart fading gently to a narrow garnet rim. The palate shows serious heft, with the long new oak aging adding layers of vanilla and baking spices. It’s impeccably balanced between well-integrated berry and barrel, showing a full body and an impressively long finish that echoes the aromas and flavors. This may as well be the biggest secret we landed from Sonoma Mountain, at peak, ready to enjoy with that all-day simmered Bolognese either on spaghetti and meatballs or nobly in lasagna form.
No wonder Sonoma Mountain fruit is a covert ingredient in some of the top reds labeled Napa Valley! There is that 25% allowed from anywhere law you may recall. The biggest difference? You’d hardly ever see a Napa red of such quality and depth for 24 bucks, thanks to the staggering 56% savings.
Bad news last, wish there were more - 4 barrels made and far less remained when we got to it.
Impeccably balanced and packed with jammy fruit
The color is vibrant like the nose, with a ruby heart fading gently to a narrow garnet rim
Packed with jammy red/black fruits to the brim with the bottle age adding worn leather, and a sweet pipe tobacco edge
The palate is hefty with the long new oak aging adding layers of vanilla and baking spices
Impeccably balanced between well-integrated berry and barrel, showing a full body and an impressively long finish
Ready to enjoy with that all-day simmered Bolognese either on spaghetti and meatballs or nobly in lasagna form
What the Winery Says
2013 'Loma del Sol' Sonoma Mountain Cabernet Blend
- Joe Votek
- 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Malbec, 8% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot
- Michael Murray Vineyard
- Sonoma Mountain, Sonoma County
- 18 months
- 50% new French oak
- 4 barrels