2007 Hagafen Cellars Napa Valley Syrah

Mission Codename: Sweet Sixth

Operative: Agent Red

Objective: Return to Hagafan Cellars, a Napa Valley gem found along the Silverado Trail in the Napa Valley. Taste their 2007 Napa Valley Estate Bottled Syrah. If the wine is exceptional, secure an allocation for our growing base of syrah-loving Operatives.

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Hagafen Cellars

Wine Subject: 2007 Napa Valley Estate Bottled Syrah

Winemaker: Ernie Weir

Backgrounder: Hagafen Cellars produces a diverse selection of prized varietals while remaining a hidden gem among wine industry giants. Nestled along the Silverado Trail in the exciting Stags Leap District, Hagafen Cellars is a gold medal-winning winery that crafts small lots of distinctive and delicious wines.

Varietal Backgrounder: The popularity of Syrah is undeniable. Big and bold in flavor and texture, it packs a concentrated punch of flavor that many people love. This Rhone varietal, although many believe that the grape originated in the Persia region, is 100% French in lineage. The Syrah grape is directly descendant from the Monduese Blanche and Dureza varietals and is grown worldwide with great success.

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Bark burgundy hues, with a deeper heart of black plum. When swirled, the wine settles very quickly. As it stops spinning, Skinny, wine-stained tears start high up the glass, before streaking quickly downward.

Smell – Sweet, spicy, lush and expressive, this wine leads with dark blackberry, sweet brown spice, blueberry and dried meats. As the wine breaths and opens up, it reveals sweet tobacco, leather, dark chocolate and toasty oak.

Feel – Soft and round, up front. Then, the wine becomes full-bodied and and softly grippy, with plush tannins providing texture and intrigue. After a few moments, the wine takes on a fleshy feel. Eventually, a mouth puckering dryness spreads to the cheeks and lips.

Taste – Lushly layered, with earthy fruit flavors, led by overripe blackberry, black cherry, dried fall leaves, subtle bramble and soft brown spice. As the wine stretches out, it reveals hints of chocolate, black pepper and subtle dried meats.

Finish – Dark fruit is supported well into the long finish by the soft spice and earthen characteristics. Flavors linger as the fleshy feel takes over. Lovely black pepper, chocolate and dried meat provide a delicious conclusion.

Conclusion – This terrific 2007 Napa Valley Syrah, from our great friends at Hagafen, is a delicious, complex, ripe wine that delivers an intriguing experience. Each of Ernie Hagafen’s wines is a unique treat that has delighted our tasting panel. Today’s wine was fantastic on opening but it really shone after it was decanted for thirty minutes. The more we swirled and sipped, the more the wine revealed more depth, more authentic fruit and more complexity. Enjoy this wine with a grilled Porterhouse – and special friends!

Mission Report:

WINEMAKER INTERVIEW

AGENT RED: Greetings, Ernie. We are thrilled to be showing your 2008 Napa Valley Syrah today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.

ERNIE WEIR: It is great to be back with you, once again, Red.

RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?

ERNIE: I have always had an attraction to this revered beverage.

RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?

ERNIE: I was enamored with the wines of Louis Martini in the 70s as I recall

RED: Who do you make wine for?

ERNIE: Most decidedly, we produce wines for consumers to enjoy

RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.

ERNIE: A luscious Estate Bottled Syrah from our Napa foothills vineyard along the eastern ridge.

RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?

ERNIE: Wild mushroom wild rice with any red meat.

RED: In your opinion, what makes the Napa Valley so special?

ERNIE: Cool enough to develop the nice black pepper, warm enough to ripen fully. Rolling foothills, well drained soils, cool evenings.

RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?

ERNIE: Barreling down vintage 2011 red wine.

RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?

ERNIE: Take it easy, do not fear and enjoy

RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

ERNIE: Make sure to share the wine with someone you enjoy, the experience will be one worth remembering

RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!

Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

The location of the Hagafen Cellars Estate vineyards and winery can be seen in this satellite photo.

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