Loyal readers will know I am a HUGE fan of this wine. For 25-30 bucks at any decent supermarket, you literally CAN’T choose a better, more consistent wine. Yes, it is a corporate label, big production, and other products of theirs are common #sponsored #influencer jerk-off bait. But the 19 Block has been a favorite of mine in their roster for decades. And several things set this particular blend apart. First of all, Malbec has always played a big part. A tiny asterisk is also applied because it contains a bit of Syrah, something I typically frown on in BDX-inspired blends but judge ‘Proprietary Reds’ on a case-by-case basis. There have been rumors over the years of it being an actual field blend, although I was more apt to believe that idea 10 years ago and less so now. None-the-less, it is an outstanding wine deserving of your attention and dollars.
At 10, this one is remarkable in the glass. Gobs of coffee-laden spice flow out of the nose effortlessly, ripe and cohesive with the buttery tertiary the years have rubbed off around the edges. Deep black cherry, rich blackberry, cassis and amaretto vie for attention in the seamless bouquet being laid down for you. Everything screams PLEASE DRINK ME, but you just want to smell it forever.
But you have to drink it–eventually. Cool and confident on entry, an obliging sweet nectar kisses every surface, driving spice and tannin ahead of it, carefully doling out leather, sweat, mint, black tea, black pepper and acid into modestly into each pore. ‘Supple’ doesn’t even begin to encompass it, and while the mouth-feel is indeed elegant, rich and smooth, there are barbs of all the good stuff still poised to alert. Structure still crescendos in the finish–fruit NOT fading, rather blissfully enjoying the bubble-bath of briar and tannin.
Near-perfection start-to-finish, there literally isn’t anything to dislike about this wine.
2010 HESS COLLECTION ‘Block 19’ Red Blend cab/bec/SY/ME Mt. Veeder Napa Valley 14.4