My first visit to Hall was in early 2007 during my first of many trips to Napa. I was with a group of wine lovers and we had a long list on the itinerary that day. This winery, however, most definitely stood out as a gem in the bunch. We went on a tour of the facility and tasted many of their wines. Those that stood out for me at the time were the Napa Valley Merlot and the Napa Valley Cabernet. I have since visited this winery several more times as I joined the wine club in 2007 and have brought friends and family with me on subsequent visits.
Since that first experience, I have truly fallen in love with many more of the lush and delicious red wines that Hall produces. One of its stars is the Kathryn Hall Cabernet, which is a favorite of Wine Spectator reviewers and rightfully so. Over the past few years, newer single vineyard wines have been added to the portfolio and they are all unique but similarly lovely. They have great cellaring potential too as the tannins hold up to time, at least when I am patient enough to wait. My husband and I had a crazy love affair with the 2006 Napa Valley Cabernet, which certainly held its own relative to other much more expensive cabs from the valley. I use the past tense because we went through our entire stash.
Hall has two tasting rooms. The primary tasting room is on 29 in St. Helena and is currently undergoing renovations. Frank Gehry has designed a new tasting room that I will likely make a special trip to Napa to visit. The other facility is located well off the beaten path in the hills of Rutherford off the Silverado trail. In the lower level is a truly spectacular dining room with a chandelier that has no rival I have ever seen. Below is a photo that does not remotely do it justice. One day I hope to attend a wine club event in this room as I can only imagine how fun it would be to enjoy Hall wines in this setting.
Downsides? Not really. Hall has enjoyed considerable success of the past few years so expect crowds if you visit during peak times. One nice thing about the Rutherford locations is it is appointment only so you will have a more peaceful experience if you can plan ahead. And with success also comes higher prices but that is inevitable and the wines are certainly worthy of the high price points.
Rating: 4 out of 4 stars – highly recommend