“PRIME SOLUM” you likely have never heard of but “William Hill” you have. Bill Hill started developing vineyards in 1974 and hasn’t stopped. He also developed and then sold the William Hill Winery that bears his name to Allied Domeq. It is now owned by Gallo and is now making the best wines made there since Hill sold it. Hill, in the mean time, has continued to develop vineyards. Currently, he is involved in Expression and Tetra but his flagship wine is Prime Solum from his home Brokenrock ranch in southern Napa Valley. As noted below, I like the wine a lot but I am on record in telling him that both the name and the package could be better – just saying.
PRIME SOLUM Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley, Napa Valley, 2013 ($46.99)
A blend of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon with 2% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, and 1% Cabernet Franc (90% Brokenrock Vineyard and 10% Circle S / Sugarloaf Vineyard). Clusters gravity fed to de-stemmer. Whole berries hand and electronically-sorted and gravity-fed into small (1-3 ton), closed-top fermenters. No whole clusters. Cold-soak for 2 days, followed by a hot fermentation. Cap managed by a combination of punch-downs and gentle pump-overs depending on the stage of fermentation. Tanks drained and pressed 18 days after dryness and barreled immediately. Malo-lactic fermentation in barrels. Aged 27 months in French-oak barrels (40% new). Purple-red with well formed legs; dry, medium full-bodied with balanced acidity; medium chewy phenolics. Supple ripe, juicy red and darker and darkest red fruit accented with tobacco leaf and dust. Supple, balanced, complex, integrated, complete. Dare I say “elegant”? I dare. BearScore: 95.