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2019 Hamel Family Wines Nuns Canyon Vineyards, Moon Mountain District, Sonoma

George Hamel had been the founder and COO of a San Francisco investment firm. George and Pamela Hamel moved to their estate home in Sonoma Valley in 2006. The Hamels began growing grapes on the property behind their home and crafted 290 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon with their inaugural vintage in 2006. Today, they manage four vineyard sites with their son, John overseeing winemaking while Geoff Labitzke was appointed as the general manager. He oversees sales, marketing, and business operations at Hamel. Additionally, Geoff is one of 57 Americans to have earned the designation of Master of Wine.

At 1,200-1,600 feet in elevation, the Nuns Canyon vineyard is positioned on the western slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains in Sonoma. This single vineyard parcel is positioned on a volcanic site with rocky, red iron-rich sub-soils. The vineyard has been dry farmed since 2018.

This mountain-based Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is 78% Cabernet Sauvignon and 22% Cabernet Franc. Medium-dark, nearly black in color, it is a deeply extracted wine that exudes ripe black fruits and garrigue. Encased in the core is a mineral richness with dried leather, herbs, cedar, graphite and plenty of savory spices. This wine is built on strength, persistence and power, but with enough tension to keep it fresh and vibrant through the finish. This wine will definitely benefit from cellar aging.

By W Peter Hoyne

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