The Lion has been the emblem of the Hess Family for nine generations. It has come to symbolize the bold and persevering nature of founder Donald Hess and our winery home on Mount Veeder. The Hess Collection has long been known for its big, bold, mountain Cabernets and a little Malbec finds its way into many of our blends. The name Lion Tamer has become a nickname for Malbec because we use it as our tannin tamer. Much like a Lion Tamer who uses a deft hand to soothe powerful, instinctive animals, Winemaker Dave Guffy uses Malbec to soothe powerful tannins. This red blend brings all the roar of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah, and when blended with Malbec, produces a big, lush wine that finishes with smooth and tamed round tannins.
I find blending the Lion Tamer wine is both challenging and rewarding, especially when you start with Malbec at the core. The signature of Lion Tamer is a generous palate of black raspberry and surprisingly lush tannins. Malbec serves as our “tannin tamer” in this wine, but on its own brings heady floral aromas of violets and bold, juicy flavors upon entry. Layering in Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon create complex notes of black plum and blackcurrant with subtle elements of cocoa. The wine’s plush texture and ripe, juicy core of black fruit are brightened by 2% of Mourvèdre that delivers the perfect amount of cheerful red fruit. The blend together creates a wine with delicious notes of black plum, cassis and boysenberry that are concentrated in the mid-palate and enveloped in bright cherry notes that deliver a graceful elegance and balanced finish.
||The Hess Collection - Lion Tamer
||Napa Valley, California