96-100 | Robert Parker
is a wine producer located in St Helena, in California's Napa Valley. It specializes in wines made from the Bordeaux varieties, and in particular Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc.
The estate was founded by Katheryn Walt Hall
and her husband Craig after she inherited vineyards from her grape-grower father. Around half of Hall's wines come from around 120 hectares (300 acres) of estate vineyards, while the rest comes from a number of grower vineyards throughout Rutherford, St Helena, Atlas Peak and the Alexander Valley.
Grapes are handpicked block by block in each vineyard, with individual plots depending on soil type and terroir. The majority of the red grapes are then taken to the Hall winery in Rutherford, whereas the Sauvignon Blanc grapes and the fruit for the Napa Valley Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon wines are taken to the winery in St Helena for vinification.
Hall uses both natural and select strain yeasts for fermentation, which add complexity and depth to the finished wines. Some of the wines go through malolactic fermentation in small French oak barrels before being racked into larger French oak barrels for aging. The wines are also aged in bottle for a time before release – it is this long aging period that is typical of the Hall style.
The Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon from the Artisan Collection is perhaps the wine that Hall is best known for. It is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon from the Howell Mountain AVA in Napa. It is aged for 22 months in 75 percent new French oak and the 2012 vintage was recently awarded 98 points from wine critic, Robert Parker.