Hamel Family Wines
Pam and George Hamel began their journey in the family wine business in 2006 when they bought a house in Kenwood, Sonoma Valley. The property came with 1 acre of Cabernet Sauvignon vines. Today, the site occupies 124 acres. The grapes are sourced from estate vineyards in Sonoma Valley and Moon Mountain. John Hamel II had directed the winegrowing and operations since 2017. John expresses “Practices like biodynamic and dry-farming allow the vines to have a deep and natural connection to where they are growing, and ultimately we strive to have this connection expressed in the wine.”
The 2017 Isthmus Red is a blend primarily of Cabernet Sauvignon with a smaller amount of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and a bit of Petit Verdot from the estate vineyards of Hamel Family Ranch and Nuns Canyon Vineyard. It is aged for 14 months in French Oak. With each swirl in the glass, the wine reveals complex aromas of fresh dark cherries, cedar, forest floor, leather and a whiff of tobacco. The palate is full bodied with a concentrated core that has silky edges. The tannins are refined and persist through to the finish. I tasted the wine the following day and it revealed more balance and elegance. The wine has a rewarding future given an additional five to ten years of aging. It’s hard to be patient and cellar a wine of this caliber when the wine is great to drink now!
By Perry Miroballi