Wine Review: 2008 Hawk and Horse Red Hills Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon

This wine has always showed well at competitions and it is certified biodynamic. When I received a sample bottle, I was glad to get the chance to review it under our criteria, which is consuming a bottle with a meal. The Red Hills of Lake County (not to be confused with all of the other AVA’s that mention Red Hills in their name) produces Cabernet Sauvignon with a distinct sense of place. The wine is a brooding dark hulking monster of a Cabernet that will indelibly impress your memory with a flavor profile that is unique enough to remember even if it is another five or ten years before you taste it again.

The first winery we ever worked for was in Lake County, and when we returned to judge the Lake County Wine Awards last year, I found out just how true that statement is–dark berry and cassis liqueur aromas mingle with a good dose of vanilla. On the palate, this one is true to form Lake County style Cabernet leaning a bit more towards bold than smooth offering up fresh tobacco leaf, blackberry, vanilla and five-spice powder.

The finish is a bit taut with grippy tannins indicating a long shelf life as long as the wine is handled properly. I do not usually recommend Cabernet Sauvignon pairings with smoked BBQ, but this one is begging for an 18-hour smoked Texas brisket, portobello wellingtons or a grilled lamb leg stuffed with garlic and rosemary. You should expect good things from Hawk and Horse winery.
Rating: Very Good (89) | $65 | 14.1% ABV

Buy this wine directly from the winery: Hawk and Horse


About the Author:

Marc has held almost every position in the food & wine industry and is committed to Celebrating Hospitality with Pride. In addition to being the co-founder and editor-at-large for Enobytes, Marc is a wine blogger contributor to (Wine Bytes) and writes the Wine Knowledge column in the print magazine About Face. The Contra Costa County Times, San Jose Mercury News, Tacoma Times Tribune and Washington Post have either interviewed or quoted Marc on his viniferous and culinary opinions. Marc has also appeared on Portland's "Vine Time" on News Radio 750 KXL and on California's Central Coast "From the Growing of the Grape to the Glass" on KUHL-AM 1410. He is also the author of A History of Pacific Northwest Cuisine: Mastodons to Molecular Gastronomy. While continuing to tenaciously search for what he may finally proclaim as his favorite wine Marc is relentless in his quest for the ultimate food and wine experience.

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