by Natalie MacLean
The Hess Collection 19 Block Mountain Cuvée 2016, Mount Veeder, Napa Valley, California, United States (LCBO: 18879, $54.95).
A terrific, juicy Californian red wine blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Petit Verdot grapes from vines planted at 2,000 feet above sea level in the winery’s estate vineyards on the steep slopes of Mount Veeder. Deep purple in the glass with liquid dark cherry, black raspberries, blackberries, dark chocolate, cracked pepper, savoury and toasty oak spice flavours vibrant on the palate. Food pairings: Grilled meats, meat lover’s pizza, meaty stews. Alcohol: 14.5%. Sweetness: Extra Dry. 750 ml. Drink: 2020– 2030. Score: 92/100.