Robert Hall’s 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon is produced right here on American soil in the Paso Robles Wine Country which is centrally located between San Francisco and Los Angeles along California’s Central Coast. It is the fastest growing wine region and largest geographic appellation in California. It is a location that has optimal growing conditions for producing premium and ultra premium wines such as this Robert Hall red wine. One might be amazed to hear that the wine is grown in rich amounts of calcium and limestone, along with the very frequent fossil such as old whalebones.
The winery is owned and run by Robert and Margret Hall, with the occasional assistance from his grandchildren. The winery was started after Robert Hall’s short active duty in the military and travels around Southern France. While in France, he fell in love with the Rhone Wines that were produced in that region and decided that he was going to commit his life to the love of this type of wine. Later, after returning to America, he purchased land in the then under populated Paso Robles region and has since then been producing quality red and white wines. Since that time, the Robert Hall wines have been distinguished as a cabernet sauvignon that hints at the rich bodied tastes of the Rhone wines from France. Hence, if you prefer to drink the wines from the Rhone wines, you will enjoy the hidden secret of Robert Hall red wines.
Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most widely-planted of the world’s grape varieties, compared to the ever popular Chardonnay. This particular blend is 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 4% Syrah. It can be considered a full grape wine since it contains more than 75% of the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes which is required to be considered true instead of a blend, it is sold as a Cabernet Sauvignon. Always remember when purchasing a wine that if it does not state it is 100% of a certain grape such as Banfi Chianti Classico 100% Sangiovese it is always a blend. Hence, this is a blend of a few grapes. Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are recognized as having a high level of tannins which provides both structure and age ability to the wine. Therefore, these wines can be stored for years without losing the rich bodied flavor. It lacks a mid-palate richness though so it is combined with the, lower tannin Merlot and Syrah grapes. Then the Cabernet Franc is added to increase the bouquet aromas.
This particular vintage was subjected to a very rainy season, with an excess of 150% more rainfall than the normal average. This abundance provided the grapes with a high level of sweetness and moisture in the smaller than usual grapes. The weather was slightly cooler than usual throughout most of the season, minus a few warmer weeks which supplied the wine with an excellent ripe flavor of maturity. The grapes were then picked throughout the month of October. Then for ten days maceration was completed by a traditional pump-over which helps mix the wine since it has tendencies to settle during maceration. After settling, the wine was racked into French and eastern European oak barrels where it completed its malolactic fermentation. It matured for 16 months. Just before racking in the bottles, the wine was racked in stainless steel which tries to eliminate those tarry tastes that oak barrels provide in the wine.
The taster label suggests the wine should have an intense dark ruby red color however I thought it had a slight light red color complex. The clarity was bright and healthy, minus any cloudiness. After letting the wine breath for about thirty minutes, the smell of the wine contained a slight ammonia smell in my opinion. The bottle suggested it should have a slight black currant, cocoa and plum aromas however the 13.9% alcohol content completely over-powered this red wine. As for tasting the wine, I was deeply unimpressed. Although the winery has produced other quality wines, this red wine was not my favorite since it has such a high level of acid and tannin level that almost burns the mouth just after the first tasting. Along with the $18.99 per bottle price tag, I probably will not purchase this wine again from 2005. For the price tag, I would prefer to purchase a good Monticello Red Wine Gran Reserva, or for almost half the price a good Reserve from another winery.
Although I could not get past the ammonia smell and high tannin taste (leaves your mouth dry), I would not stop other full-time red wine lovers from purchasing this wine. It has an acquired taste; therefore most likely a new wine drinker will not enjoy this wine. It can be prepared with red meats, sharp cheddar with butter crackers and et cetera to dull down the intense dark red wine taste.