We had a “vine” time last week at the 2009 Release Party for Kathryn Hall‘s HALL Wines, sampling seven of her Napa Valley wines that are now available, including the star everyone showed up to see – the 2009 HALL “Kathryn Hall” Cabernet Sauvignon. The event took place at West Hollywood’s Mercato di Vetro, and included an assortment of hors d’oeuvres like tuna tartare, kale crostini, and grilled vegetable involtini.
With mostly wine club members in attendance, it was easy to see the types who love HALL Wines – everyone! There were young singles, young couples, older singles and couples with a passion for wine, and even the handful of true wine snobs who made for interesting conversation and people watching.
In fact, it’s one of my favorite pastimes – watching “winos” sip, swirl, and sniff ever so precisely while they come up with grandiose words to describe the fruits and flavors they’re discerning. They take it so seriously and then as the evening goes on, it just becomes comedy because you know they’ve gotten too, shall we say sozzled, to notice the difference.
What was consistent, however, was the flavorful, gentle whites and earthy reds that for me didn’t taste as “in your face” as some Napa reds can be – there was a subtlety that left you wanting more. While I enjoyed the 2009 Cabs, my favorite red was the 2008 Napa River Ranch Merlot, which surprised me as I’m not typically a merlot lover.
Also unexpected was that my favorite by far of the wines we sampled was the first one we tried – the 2011 HALL Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc, truly one of the best Sav Blancs I’ve had – light, balanced, the right amount of sweet with dry for my palate, almost with an effervescence, and yet full of flavor that so many Sav Blancs lack in my opinion.
On a hot day, a chilled bottle of this would definitely compete for the Rosé that is my standard go-to when the weather calls for a refreshing glass to accompany an afternoon picnic of cheese and charcuterie among friends.
Kathryn Walt Hall is the proprietor of HALL Wines and has been involved in the California wine industry since her family first purchased a vineyard thirty years ago. She has had a distinguished career as a successful businesswoman, community activist, and most recently as the United States Ambassador to Austria.
From 1997 to July 2001, Kathryn served as the United States Ambassador to Austria. During her term as Ambassador, she worked hard to promote American wine in Austria and Europe. Since her return to America, she has resumed her role as proprietor of Kathryn Hall Vineyards. Continuing upon her experience promoting American agriculture in Austria, in September 2001 she was appointed to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee (ATAC) for international trade.
*** Earlier this summer, Pamela Sorensen (founder of Pamela’s Punch and the Pacific Punch) did an interview with Kathryn Hall, where she talked about her appointment as the U.S. Ambassador to Austria and of course, her love and passion for wine. Read the full interview here.
Lindsay Taub is an LA-based writer/editor who covers travel, lifestyle, culture, music/arts, food, wellness, and more. She calls Los Angeles home when she's there, but prefers to leave the city for the mountains and open spaces as often as possible. She loves cooking, gardening, live music, hiking with her three rescue dogs, and rustic luxury. Follow her on instagram/twitter @lindsaytaub and follow the Pacific Punch @ThePacificPunch or email email@example.com. Learn more at www.lindsaytaub.com and www.voyagevixens.com .***