About Hess Collection 2015 Lion Tamer Red, Napa Valley
The name Lion Tamer has become Hess Collection Winemaker Dave Guffy's nickname for Malbec because it's his tannin tamer. Guffy uses Malbec to soothe the powerful tannins of the big, bold, mountain fruit that the Hess Collection vineyards on Mt. Veeder are famous for. For this red he blends 50% Malbec, 23% Zinfandel, 11% Petite Sirah, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot, 4% Merlot and 2% Mourvedre. The wine is aged in 40% new French oak barrels for 22 months. This red blend brings all the roar of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah but the Malbec makes it a lush wine that finishes with smooth, round, well-tamed tannins. The Wine Advocate scored it 92 points saying "Composed of 50% Malbec, 23% Zinfandel and 11% Petite Sirah with smaller parts of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot and Mourvèdre, the 2015 Proprietary Red The Lion Tamer is scented of warm blackcurrants, preserved plums and dark chocolate with touches of pencil shavings, dried Provence herbs and underbrush. Medium to full-bodied, it fills the palate with ripe black fruit and plush tannins, finishing long and lively." and Wine Spectator scored it 92 saying "Smooth and harmonious, with supple cherry, dark berry, cedar, gravel and floral notes that glide across the palate gracefully, ending long and pure. Malbec, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot and Mourvèdre. Drink now through 2028."