2014 Sheldon Wines “The Red Hat” Field Blend Napa Valley.
The Sheldon’s brilliant and elegant red field blend The Red Hat is truly lovely stuff with graceful texture and layers of spice, earth and refined black fruits, this wine, a 60 case, 2.5 barrels, 12.8% cuvee of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah is medium full with supple tannins and wonderful mouth feel. I was thrilled to find this in the cellar, drinking with family, especially after reviewing the up coming 2015 already, I guess I didn’t get to it earlier, which may have been a reward in it’s self as it is really showing well right now! This wine is from old vines, head trained in an almost feral site that is part of a holistic orchard in many ways with organic practices and many inter planting of other crops and trees, it’s co-picked and co-fermented with native yeasts and mostly whole berries and low sulphur, in a very natural way. The nose is perfumed with violets, acacia and peppercorns with light cassis notes leading to a polished palate of blackberry, tangy currants, plum and tart blueberry as well as pepper, black olives, minty anise, kirsch, savory tobacco leaf and subtle leather notes, lingering with mineral, lavender and briar/cedar notes. No new oak, only well seasoned casks allow remarkable purity to shine through, The Red Hat 2014 is a special wine that is getting better in the bottle, it is unique, a California wine first and foremost, but with an old world style with it’s lower alcohol and leaner structure, this micro winery’s hand-crafted small lot The Red Hat is in the same league as offerings from Wind Gap, Arnot-Roberts and Broc Cellars, all modern lighter fashioned wines by a new generation of inspiring winemakers.
($48 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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