Hill Family Estate
2004 "Origin" Red Wine
Red Blend •Estate Vineyard
California: Napa Valley
What We Say
If you are visiting us for the first time, Welcome! The Wine Spies feature one exceptional wine each day – and we only bring you wines that we ourselves seek out and love. Always, the wines are great. Sometimes even better than that, as is the case with today’s wine from Hill Family Estate.
UNIQUE WINE ALERT!: Today’s wine is an exceptional red blend with original flavors and deep aromas. Delicious, too!
SAVINGS ALERT!: Enjoy Free Ground Shipping when you buy 6 or more bottles, with coupon code: NAPASPY
Mission Codename: Divine Origin
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Sleuth out a superior red blend for our Operatives
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Hill Family Estate
Wine Subject: 2004 Origin
Winemaker: Alison Green Doran
Backgrounder: Red blends can be among the most drinkable, delicious and even fun wines to drink. Blends allow us to put aside preconceived notions of what characteristics a single-varietal wine should have – and let you focus on the flavors, smells and the simpler pleasures of drinking wine. Blends allow the winemaker to craft interesting wines. Today’s wine from Hill Family Vineyard goes beyond interesting and ventures into newer territory, by delivering a wine that is ultra unique, but also tenderly delicious. Read Agent Red’s tasting notes and Mission Brief below for the full story on today’s great red blend
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep garnet to burgundy with great clarity and a concentrated heart, this wine has a very tight surface appearance and some of the skinniest legs we have seen on a red blend
Smell – Very compelling and super aromatic with varied fruit then spice than fruit again as waves of cherry, warm baking spices, blackberry, clove and smoky plum wash over you. This is a wine that is hard to keep your nose out of long enough to taste!
Feel – Soft and round and very light at first, then the wine grips gently at the outer edges of your tongue with its smooth but balanced tannins, and delicate yet also serious texture
Taste – This wine is deeply layered and wonderfully concentrated as it delivers powerful – but not overpowering – bright flavors of cherry, raspberry and cassis with darker follow-on flavors of blueberry cobbler, light toasted oak and mild spice
Finish – A super long finish in the mouth, as flavors change from sweet and fruity to more lightly-tart, leaving behind a final whisp of soft spice and edible flowers
Conclusion – What a great wine this is… We Wine Spies have it rough, I know, with so many wines to taste each day. A key indicator of a wines greatness is apparent when we finish an entire bottle of a particular wine. Our sample bottle went fast, with each spy present at the tasting going back for seconds or thirds. While you know of my personal fondness for single varietal wines, my senses really do appreciate a really skillful red blend like this fabulous wine from Hill Family Estate!
The Hill Family could not be more qualified to make great wines. Since common wisdom holds that great wines are made in the vineyard, Doug Hill seems uniquely qualified, for his 25+ year wine odyssey started with him tending vineyards in the Napa Valley.
As vineyard manager for more than a thousand acres vineyards, Doug was responsible for the meticulous care of grapes for the finest wineries in the Napa Valley. His stewardship of the vines, it could be said, led to the creation of the finest of wines.
It was only natural that Doug should one day create his own wines, from his own vineyards – and that those wines should, of course, begin life in the vineyards themselves.
Today, the wines that the Hill Family Estate produces are grown in fields tended by Doug himself. Each of Hill Family’s wines show the care of the man and the character unique to each vineyard.
The Hill Family Estate Origin wine is a unique and very outstanding red blend that benefits not only from Doug’s care for his grapes, but also from the careful selection of grapes from some of the seven vineyards where Doug grows his fruit.
Today’s wine is lush, layered and deeply aromatic with a richness of taste, flavor and feel that are unique and very pleasing. This is a wine that conveys what commitment, beautiful vineyards, great fruit, tender care and the magical combination of these things taste like.
What the Winery Says
Hill Family Estate, Member, Napa Valley Vintners
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About This Wine:
“Origin” is the most interesting and balanced wine every year at Hill Family Estate. The aroma is rich and ripe of elder flower and black cherry with deep spice notes. Still has some underlying youthful lively tannin supporting the whole length of the palate. This wine has a rich and ripe aroma of elder flower and black cherry with a deep spice note. The palate is nicely balanced with cedar, plum and berry flavors.
About The Winery:
Rich in Character – Hill Family Estate brings us wines as rich in character and complexity as the skill and expertise of the vintner. Doug Hill’s passion has been to create a wine that captivates the palate, and is as impressive as the quality vineyards of the Napa Valley he has grown to appreciate over the last twenty-five years. Doug’s vast vineyard management experience provides an in-depth appreciation for the patience required to harvest excellence. Doug’s patience has resulted in the opportune time for the release of Hill Family Estate wines.
Doug and Darci’s children now bring a growing passion for quality wines which have been a part of the Hill Family heritage. Ryan brings an enthusiasm for food and wine and the experience he has gained working in restaurants which gives him a better understanding of consumer expectations.
Vision – The shared vision of Doug, Darci, Ryan, and Carly shows a promise of many harvests that will be well worth the wait. They invite you to put your reservations in for these quality wines in limited production which reflect the excellence in the vineyard under Doug Hill’s expertise.
At Hill Family Estate, we pride ourselves in having some of the best vineyards in the Napa Valley. During the past two decades, proprietor Doug Hill has managed over 1,000 acres of vines, honing the skills needed to produce quality grapes for some of the most prestigious wineries. In 2001, Doug began to select the finest grapes from the Oak Knoll, Carneros and Atlas Peak Vineyard sites for Hill Family Estate’s first crush. Today, Doug continues to manage over 750 acres in the valley, devoting his life toward growing and producing the most excellent fruit possible from the specific vineyards that he farms in the Napa Valley.
We are pleased to have Alison Green Doran as winemaker for Hill Family Estate. Her patient attitude and multitude of experience allows the best characteristics of the grapes we produce to be encapsulated in the bottle. Raised in Palos Verdes with plenty of horses and surfing, Alison was drawn into winemaking in 1973. Her father, an oil man and long time Alexander Valley vineyard owner Russell Green, had bought the Simi Winery in 1969 and brought in Andre Tchelistcheff as a consultant soon after.
By working as a harvest intern beside Andre for 6 months at Simi in 1973, Alison found both her life’s work and her mentor. Andre found her a 5 month Stagaire position in Alsace for the crush of 1975 and then an enologist position with start-up Hoffman Mountain Ranch in Paso Robles.
After finishing her Fermentation Science degree at UC Davis, she began working for the Firestone Vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley in 1976. Starting as lab tech, she worked her way to bottling supervisor and then to cellar master and then in 1981, to winemaker. With the pioneering spirit of the Firestone Family, their commitment to quality and the ideal climate and soils around the vineyard, many award winning wines were made. The Firestones’ generosity and balanced life style made for a special and stable platform for understanding the long term influences of vineyard management on winemaking. Alison became well acquanited with how to pull maximum potential for wine quality from a vineyard site.
Alison married Mark Doran in 1994 and now has two young sons. She left the Firestone Vineyard in 2000, moving back to the family ranch and vineyard in Alexander Valley. She now has several select clients who want to approach site specific winemaking with exuberance and intensity.
Wine Type: Red Wine
Alcohol %: 14.6