So excited as this is my first post about Splurgeworthy and Budget Minded wines. And of course, I’m starting with a Splurgeworthy wine but I suspect given some of the price points, I’ll have more Budget Minded than Splurgeworthy wines to report on. So without further ado.

The Setup

We treated ourselves to the 2008 Hourglass Cabernet Sauvignon on a Saturday evening. Because Monday night for such a wine is just wrong! I’d actually had Hourglass’s HG III Red Blend a couple of months ago at a local restaurant and really loved it. That piqued my interest in the wine. I purchased this wine for $140 plus tax but I saw that it retails for anywhere from $135-200. We were grilling pretty late after Thing 1 and Thing 2 had gone to bed, so I took the opportunity to decant the wine while doing the prep for the grill. I was tempted to take a swig right away but left it alone. And since we were sitting out pretty late, I got all fancy and lit some candles.


The Skinny

Hourglass has a little bit of a cult following. They are a Napa winery and released their first wine in 1997. The name of the winery actually comes from their location in Napa Valley. Apparently Napa Valley is shaped liked an hourglass with the Mayacamas mountains in the West and the Vaca mountains in the east. The mountain ranges sort of pinch together in the middle of the region like an hourglass and this is where the Hourglass Vineyard is located.

The Hourglass claim to fame came with their inaugural release of their 1997 vintage. 1997 was considered a great vintage year in Napa. For grins, the Hourglass Cab was featured in a tasting of 100 point cult wines including the 1997 vintages of Screaming Eagle, Harlan Estate, and Bryant Family. These are wines that sell for serious bucks, sometimes even thousands of dollars. To everyone’s surprise, the Hourgalss held its own in the tasting and when news spread, they became superstars. The rest is sort of history.

The Wine

So after decanting for about and hour and a half, we finally poured ourselves a glass.


The color of the wine reminded me of the brick of my last house and was almost brown. On the nose I got some sweet black cherry fruit and jam as well a a bit of earth. The husband said it reminded him of the smell of making blackberry preserves. Tasting it revealed a smooth wine, with silky, well-integrated tannins. There was a decent amount of acidity but the wine was well balanced. More of the back cherry fruit on the palate. The husband first exclaimed “wow” and then asked how much I paid for the wine. Dude, it’s already open! Just drink up! He also found the wine to be silky and picked up some raspberry fruit. We had grilled some goat ribs (a long FFA auction story there) which were all wrong with the wine. I actually just loved drinking it on its own. Silky, smooth, and sexy.


imageI also tried the wine the next day (gasp! we had a little left) and it had certainly evolved. It seemed “bigger” and more “chewy” and even seemed a little drier. I was actually expecting the opposite but all good. It was still fantastic. So I may pick up one or two more of the 2008s but their current vintage is 2013 so I’m curious to try that as well.


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