Last evening’s wine tasting event was the wines of William Hill. On hand for this event were five wines. Overall, there were none that stood out as being stellar, and none that were horrible. All seemed to be decent, but only one made the trip home with me because it was it was a decent wine for the sale price. So here we go in the order presented…
2001 William Hill Napa Chardonnay $12
This was the favorite of the crowd with its very rich toasty/oak flavor, its slightly citrus aroma. I thought that it was a bit acidic. But I think that is what pleased the crowd. Either it was much too young or they used too much American Oak. In either case, I liked the next one better.
2000 William Hill Reserve Chardonnay $19
Okay, so if I said that the crowd liked the first one, I’d say that they didn’t much care for this one, especially at the price. I on the other hand thought this was quite nice. I too wonder whether I’d pay this amount for the wine, as I’ve had the same quality for less. This one had a beautiful deep golden color, not a lot going on in the nose, but what was there was pleasant. (A different glass might help that.) This wine is very smooth and well-balanced. It starts elegant and finishes boldly without becoming harsh.
2000 William Hill Napa Merlot $18
I’ll state right up front that I’m generally a Merlot-hater. I was even bragging that I had just recently rid my cooler of its last infection of Merlot. Okay, so I generally think that they are too soft and they die off harshly in the finish. This one did have one redeeming value – there was a little smoke or coffee ground flavor in the middle, but I’m getting ahead of myself here. It has a nice deep color, fruity aroma and the regular characteristics of a typical young Merlot – except for that afore-mentioned smoky flavor in the middle. I think there is some Cabernet Sauvignon in there, otherwise I would hate it, right? Oh I almost forgot there was a small amount of earthiness in there. A woman sitting at my table hated it – probably for the reasons that I liked it. No, I’m not going to buy it, but I’ve had worse…
2000 William Hill Napa Cabernet Sauvignon $18
Okay so one of those big wine magazines really liked this one. So you should probably buy it. I will say though at this price point, I’d just as soon spend two dollars more, and buy the 2000 Stonestreet Cabernet Sauvignon. Of course you need to decant that one a bunch before drinking it, but it has the tones of chocolate that I like and that this one is missing. This wine (we are back to the William Hill here, please try to keep up with me,) has a very nice dark appearance typical of a nice Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. The aroma was light. The flavor had a nice smokiness but this wine is a little soft for my taste.
1999 William Hill Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon $35
Okay so I sort of slapped the wine magazine on the last one. They like this wine too. I agree with them in this case. It is very dark in appearance. A light black cherry or blackberry aroma with a hint of the oak. As for the taste, it has nice tannins. The fruit carries through from the start to the finish. Someone in the crowd suggested that this one could stand to be cellared for seven to ten years. I think that I agree. This would go well with a nicely-marbled rib-eye steak. I tried it with dark chocolate, and the two didn’t pair well. Okay, so after it sit and opened up a bit, I liked it even more. There is some nice smoke or perhaps cigar-box flavor that comes through. I bought one of these.
The prices listed here are the posted retail prices at the wine store where the tasting was held.