If you aren’t familiar with Hamel Family Ranch Vineyards and Nuns Canyon you get a pass this one time, but this one time ONLY. It’s really time to seek out this special winery.
They’re a small Sonoma Valley based producer with two estates, Hamel Family and Nun’s Canyon with a focus on Cabernet Sauvignon. Using all their own fruit from their Sonoma and Moon Mountain Estates, they’re able to make some of the more intricate, cellar worthy and mesmerizing Cabernet blends that have been racking out HUGE scores of late.
Just how hot and consistent have they been?
Well, they’re one of a crazy select few wineries ever who can say that they have seen their last seven(!) wines submitted receive scores of 95-points or higher from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, the most respected publication in the world.
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95 Points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
The 2018 Isthmus is made up of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot from the Nuns Canyon and Hamel Family Ranch Vineyards. Notably, it was matured for 12 months in 26% new French oak barrels and transferred to concrete tanks for an additional 17 months’ maturation. Deep ruby in color, the nose features blackcurrants and cherries with slowly emerging wafts of tobacco, charcuterie, graphite and dried herbs. The medium-bodied palate is powdery and seamless, its structural balance giving it a featherweight feel in the mouth. Fresh, smooth, long and layered, it’s an easy-drinking yet complex meritage that will benefit from another 2-3 years in bottle to unwind.
93 Points (Cellar Selection), Wine Enthusiast
From the Sonoma Valley-based producer’s two estates, Hamel Family and Nun’s Canyon, this blends a majority of Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Thick, herbal and tannic in its youth, it has complex tones of iron, crushed rock and elusively tart, tangy fruit at its core, strong and powerful in concentration and structure. Enjoy best from 2028 through 2038.