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Thursday, February 13, 2014

EJ Gallo is much more than EJ Gallo--Just Sample their WILLIAM HILL ESTATE Varietals by Philip S. Kampe



William Hill Estates

It is easy to understand why EJ Gallo is a household name.
Founded in 1938 by Ernest and Julio Gallo, the wine company has recently grown by leaps and bounds through recent acquisitions of numerous wine companies.

As a privately held company, it has been a difficult task to compile a list of Gallo’s holdings. Acquisitions from the Napa Valley and Sonoma have raised the bar for the Gallo holdings.
One of which is William Hill Estates, a winery founded in 1978 by none other than William, known to all as Bill, Hill.

The unique property setting, as explained by dynamic winemaker and visionary, Ralf Holdenreid, is on the Silverado Bench in southern Napa Valley, above the valley floor and below the ever so steep slopes of Atlas Peak. The Silverado Bench is a bend in the Napa River as it made its way to the valley thousands of years ago..

The rare soil profile resulted when river rocks mixed with volcanic soil. Couple the soil with southwestern exposure, explained Mr. Holdenreid, and you have perfect conditions for the grapes to thrive.
We grow red Bordeaux varietals because our location is perfect for those varietals to be true to their origin.

Our wines are fruit-driven, full of dark fruit aromas, some have hints of strawberry jam, others are earthy, yet velvety.

With those descriptions, it is easy to tell why William Hill Winemaker, Ralf Holdenreid, is on top of his game. He is grateful that he has the opportunity to craft expressive wines from the 140 acre estate.

I had the opportunity to sample a select group of William Hill wines, recently, and now understand why these under $15 retail wines have made a huge impact in the industry.

I can recommend three 2012 William Hill wines that are worth purchasing:

2012 Napa Valley Chardonnay
This ‘Classic California Chardonnay’ is a perfect California style, oaked Chardonnay that many of us dream about, me included. The wine is rich, buttery, toasty and well balanced with the necessary acid that pairs well with food.



2012 North Coast Chardonnay
What a perfect food wine the 2012 North Coast Chardonnay is.
With its caramel, butterscotch overtone, stone fruit bite and floral aromatic notes, this wine pairs perfectly with  goat's milk cheese, grains, seafood, specifically lobster,  trout, shrimp, oysters, mussels and scallops.

2012 North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon
Ralf explained that this was the initial vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon from the North Coast.
2012 was an exceptional year. The wine will need time to develop to its true potential, but, when it does, expect an overly complex wine that should focus on dark fruit, intense structure with  hints of cocoa and caramel on the palate.

My take on the 2012 North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon 
:Buy it now and store it in your wine cellar.
A case could cost as little as $144 from your wine merchant with a 20% case discount.
It is a no-brain er!

William Hill Estates is here to stay.
Why not take advantage of its low price points for the 2012 vintage?



Philip S. Kampe

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