Timing it right

Dave Faries


An example of this is the 2009 cabernet sauvignon from Hawk and Horse. It is cordial on the nose, offering a greeting that is both warm and seasoned, with a cheerful glint. A rich compote of dark berries and black cherries billows over the rim, draping hints of licorice and loam. Behind this, a backdrop of vanilla-soaked wood, milk chocolate and tufted leather forms.

It’s a compelling introduction, yet the wine extends even more — soft white pepper, meadow flowers, an elusive minerality. Indeed, the bouquet is so finely developed, the impressions braid together into a whole that almost defies definition. That sensation of berries, stewed down and condensed into something lavish, presents itself again on the palate. The plush cushion of blackberries, blueberries and cherries falls over a bed of tilled earth and soft vanilla. Deft notes of licorice and chocolate add depth, followed by the awakening crack of pepper.



For full article: http://www.record-bee.com/general-news/20171011/timing-it-right

The Tasting Panel

Publisher’s Picks

October 2017 Issue


Hawk & Horse Vineyards 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Hills AVA, Lake County ($70) Only 1,500 cases are made of this striking Cab (with 3% Petit Verdot), grown on rocky red volcanic soils. The Demeter-certified Biodynamic winery is home to 18 acres of vineyard and a herd of Scottish Highland cattle. Fragrant notes of violet and mountain brush combine with summer blueberry. The chalky dry tannins move to a mineral core, with a velvety mouthfeel emerging with bright boysenberry, beets, tomato leaf, and bacon. 94


How to help after the Napa, Sonoma fires

By Heather Lipp


What about next year’s vintage? If history is any predictor, wine from this vintage actually may be amazing! Part of the reason I say this is based upon tasting a number of vintages of Hawk and Horse Vineyards, a small family owned winery slightly north of Napa. In the last few years, Hawk and Horse has had to deal with two different fires right by their vineyards. Both crept right up to the edge of the vines after harvest. We’ve tasted the vintage right after one of the two fires, and do you know what? It was fantastic! So, if history and our palettes are any guide, we’re not worried.


For full article: https://www.10kbottles.com/napa_sonoma_strong/

Incredible Cabernet Sauvignon
Hawk and Horse Vineyards


Click the link below to read the wonderful review!


The American Wine Society Wine Journal
Hawk and Horse Vineyards
2011 Cabernet Sauvignon
Red Hills, Lake County, California


Deep, dark and dense is this full bodied, complex Cabernet Sauv. Cassis, loganberry, and black cherryfruit meld with tobacco leaf, a touch of earth, underlying oak, cocoa and pencil shaving nauances. Nicelybuilt with purity of fruit, flawless texture, and classic Cab Sauv characteristics. The integration of finebalance, depth of fruit and firm tannins suggests more years of enjoyment ahead. Food Pairing: Flank steak Bordelaise |SRP: $75| www.hawkandhorsevineyards.com/wines

Wine Splash!
Hawk and Horse Vineyards
Lake County
2011 Latigo Dessert Wine

By RICK FILLMORE August 2nd, 2017

A luxurious port style dessert wine made from organic Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and is meantto soothe the savage palate at 19% alcohol! In the glass, violet in color with garnet tones.Intense aroma’s of ripe plum, anise, and rich black cherries. Velvety smooth across the palate,bursting with dark fruit and light balanced tannins. Sumptuous flavors of ripe black cherry, driedplum, tobacco, and anise. Smooth, creamy, and dreamy. On the second sip, more black cherryflavors came through along with notes of chocolate, smoke, and sweet caramel! This is awonderful dessert wine full of character and personality! I feel like I am in an episode of“Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”! This is the perfect sweet wine to pair with chocolate trufflesor that cigar you have been hiding in the drawer. Very concentrated, luxurious, and the idealafter dinner drink. You can order this wine online from the Hawk and Horse Winery at https://www.hawkandhorsevineyards.com/wines and have it lovingly delivered to your doorstep. 93 Points and about $50 for a 375 ml bottle. WineSplashing!!


Wine Splash!
Hawk and Horse Vineyards Lake County 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon

By: RICK FILLMORE Jun 22, 2017

From the Red Hills AVA in Lake County, California comes a fantastic Cabernet Sauvignon that shines brighter than Lake County diamonds! You can taste Napa and Sonoma wines over and over but it doesn’t change the fact that more great wines are coming from other area’s of California as well. The Red Hills AVA is about 25 north of Calistoga and it has seen its share of droughts and fires but continues to produce some elegant award winning wines!

In the glass, garnet in color, almost opaque. The nose is intense with aroma’s of black cherries, blackberries, ripe plums, and anise. Full bodied across the palate, rich with well balanced tannins. Bold flavors of ripe blackberries, cassis, cocoa, tobacco, and forest floor fruits. This Cabernet is not a one horse show, it honestly has a whole stampede of flavors! On the second sip, more flavors of earth was pronounced followed by ripe plum and anise leading to a long, lingering finish. The tannins on the finish are grippy but still nicely balanced and graceful.

I started with a half glass of this Cabernet without decanting but poured again using a Vinturi which really opened this wine up! Don’t miss the lovely character and complexities of this wine so decant, Decant, DECANT! Pair this wine with steaks off the grill, beef, leg of lamb, or a hearty tomato sauce pasta! Or pair this wine with dark chocolate truffles for dessert and experience the true adventures of life! The Hawk and Horse Red Hills Lake County 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon is amazing and is a definite 94 points! Drink now (decant) or cellar til 2028……but who can wait? Average of $70 a bottle. WineSplashing!!


9 Big California Red Wines for Dads

By: THE ROBB REPORT Jun 15, 2017

Although their 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon has just been released, our accolades go to the family-owned boutique Hawk & Horse Vineyards 2011 Library Reserve ($75), a 98 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 2 percent Petite Verdot blend that is very moderately priced for such an elegant Bordeaux-style red. Extremely aromatic, with prominent notes of rose petals and blackberries, it also has a tantalizing musty character, with hints of cedar in its long, dry finish. It is a wine that, in many ways, reflects the ranch-vineyard’s symbiotic relationship with nature, specifically the horses on the ranchland owned by vintners Mitch and Tracey Hawkins and Tracey’s step-dad, David Boies, paired with the majestic hawks circling the Lake County skies overhead. It is the perfect wine to sip while grilling a steak over an open flame. Afterward, enjoy their Latigo port-style wine ($50) with a Nicaraguan cigar. Often hard to find, you may have better luck ordering the 2011 Hawk & Horse Library Vintage and Latigo directly from the winery.


Pine Wine: Finding a port for romance

By: JOHN VANKAT Feb 8, 2017

February is a very romantic month. Valentine’s Day and cool winter nights set the stage, and wine plays the principal supporting role. Perhaps the most romantic wine is Port, which is ideal for winter thanks to the warmth of brandy added during winemaking. Port traditionally comes from the Douro region of northern Portugal, where it is made from many red grape varieties and shipped from its namesake city of Oporto. Today, other countries produce similar wines often labeled as Port or tasting Port-like. One of the best known styles of Port is Tawny, which is named for its amber color. Tawny Ports are blends of several vintages. Most common are “10 Year” and “20 Year” Tawny Ports. They increase in quality and price with more vintages in the blend. The other well-known Port style is more fruit forward. It is exemplified by Vintage Port, which is made from the grapes of single vintage. However, other, less expensive, non-vintage Ports also have this style. Ports cost about the same as other wines, but they can be great bargains. Servings are generally small (because of the higher alcohol content), so bottles last longer. Plus, all except Vintage Port hold their quality far longer after opening than regular wines, even a few weeks (check the winery’s website).

Hawk and Horse 2012 Port style “Latigo, Red Hills, Lake County” ($50; 375 ml). The style is that of Late Bottled Vintage Port with fine quality. Richly sweet with strong fruit, but also very well-balanced with fine, crisp acidity. The finish is outstandingly long and very pleasing. Available from hawkandhorsevineyards.com.


Hawk and Horse Vineyards

2012 Red Hills, Cabernet Sauvignon, Lake County

TASTINGS - October 2016

93 Points “Exceptional”

“Dark ruby black color. Aromas and flavors of menthol mint lozenge, eucalyptus honey, berry chutney on toast, and chocolate fondue with pound cake with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to- full body and a sleek, complex, medium-long currant custard tart, spiced peaches and apples, and black walnuts finish with soft, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A sleek, lively cabernet that will give a pleasurable lift to a fine meal”.

For full review: "http://www.tastings.com/Wine-Review/Hawk-and-Horse-Vineyards-2012-Red-Hills-Cabernet-Sauvignon-Lake-County-USA-11-05-2016.aspx

Hawk and Horse Vineyards Lake County CA

Napa Food & Vine California Girl Blog
September 2016

They gave us an opportunity to taste three of their wines. The 2013 Sua Sponte was the first one we tried. It had been bottled on the previous week. California Girl and I were the first people outside of the winery to try this new blend. Most of Hawk and Horse’s products are estate wines. (Wines made from grapes grown entirely on their property) This wine was made mainly from grapes from vineyards in the Pritchard Hill area of Napa Valley. It is a mix of Petit Verdot, Cab Franc, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The last element, contributing just 3% of the wine, is the only one from their own vineyard.

The colour was a dark reddish-brown. Its nose offered a mix of berries, with raspberry prominent. There was medium plus acidity. On the palate, the wine offers a rich complexity including plum, cloves, and black tea. The wine sells for $140 a bottle.

The other two wines were made with Cabernet Sauvignon from their vineyard which sits at an elevation of 2200 feet. The vineyard is farmed using the principles of Biodynamic agriculture; a process explained on Hawk and Horse’s website. They make between 2200 and 2500 cases of wine a year. The 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon sells for $70. It has a small amount of Petit Verdot added. The nose offered a mix of plum and raspberry. In the mouth the medium to heavy acidity was balanced well by the distinct tannin and a rich mouthful of dark berry fruit. Apparently the weather that impacted Napa red wine in 2011 did not have the same effect in Lake County; this was a splendid wine, drinkable now, but bearing the promise of improving over the course of the next few years Read full review here http://napafoodandvine.com/2016/09/12/hawk-horse- vineyards/

California Cabernet offers elegance in a glass

By Julie Glenn
July 2016

Are you tired of Napa cabernet sauvignon? I know it sounds anti-wine to say such a thing — unpatriotic bordering on sacrilege — and I don’t want to tromp on Napa terroir. But have you noticed it’s all starting to taste the same? Maybe my tastebuds have been spoiled by vintage after vintage of stellar Napa cabs, or winemaking technology has evolved to ensure there’s never a bad vintage, creating a homogenized flavor profile.

Or perhaps, as a member of the fickle wine community, I look for something new when the whole world jumps on a grape bandwagon. I mean, who can forget the “anything but Chardonnay” movement or the anti-merlot sentiment that followed the “Sideways” movie. I doubt Napa cab will face the same fate since it’s not only a grape but an appellation and an institution. But still, I’ve found myself seeking something different in my cabernet sauvignon. Something lighter, less fruit forward, and a bit more restrained.

My search takes me north and a bit inland to Lake County, California which, with a unique combination of altitude and red volcanic soil, is making some of the most interesting wine I’ve recently tried. Known for growing grapes and shipping them to Napa or Sonoma, Lake is now showing what its unique terroir can do. Seven regions here have earned the American Viticultural Area (AVA) designation, Red Hills AVA being the stand-out with top quality cabernet sauvignon.

It’s the kind of vineyard land Disney would create if there was ever a Princess Sauvignon of Verasionland. The soil here sparkles thanks to glittering “Lake County diamonds” which are little chunks of quartz deposited eons ago between volcanic eruptions and shifting oceans. As the sun passes over the vineyards those “diamonds” look like Tinkerbell spilled some pixie dust. The magic is in the soil which gives the wine grown here a minerality and strong tannic structure. Couple that with the elevation of 1,350-2,600 feet giving access to cooling airflow from the Pacific and you have a winemaker’s dream sequence -- especially if that winemaker wants to avoid spraying for mold, mildew and bugs. Lake County has one of the lowest application rates in California for pesticides and other sprays.

Mitch Hawkins of Hawk and Horse Vineyard will be in town next week to host a five-course dinner and sign a few bottles. (Photo: Julie Glenn) The resulting wine is dreamy, too, and next week we’ll have a chance to meet with one of the best Red Hills winemakers at a wine dinner at Season’s 52 in North Naples.

Mitch Hawkins of Hawk and Horse Vineyard will be in town to host a five-course dinner and sign a few bottles on Tuesday, July 26. The vineyard is certified 100 percent biodynamic and Hawkins uses minimal intervention in the cellar so what you’re getting is a pure representation of what’s grown on 18 acres of hand farmed Red Hills AVA land.


Hawk and Horse Vineyards 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon (Red Hills Lake County)

By Jim Gordon
August 2016

91 Points
Editor’s Choice

This wine has bold aromas of wood smoke and vanilla, a very firm, fine-grained and tannic texture, and lots of black cherry and dark plum flavors. It's a big, robust wine—pour alongside hefty proteins and settle back for the evening.

Wines for Easter Dinner

By Stacy Slinkard
March 2016

This limited production of Hawk and Horse Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 from California's Lake County in the Red Hills AVA, is well-situated in the northern Mayacamas Mountains and tows a stringent Demeter Biodynamic certification along with it. Not your typical California Cabernet, this bottle carries an almost Old World elegance, perhaps its the 80% new French Oak, or the minimalist philosophies that direct cellar operations, maybe its the touch of Bordeaux-inspired Petit Verdot; whatever it is the sum of this wine is the consummate calling for an Easter Dinner that features prime rib.

The Bordeaux Conundrum

By Robert Whitley
April 2016

Hawk and Horse 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Hills ($70) — The hand of Dr. Richard Peterson is evident in this vintage from Hawk and Horse, a Lake County winery that flies a bit under the radar despite having racked up a number of stellar vintages. Its best wines are cabernet sauvignon, and this one is a beauty. The elegance, structure and seductive mouthfeel are typical of a Peterson-inspired wine. He is one of California's most respected consulting winemakers and has served Hawk and Horse well. This cab in particular is a stunner.
Rating: 94.

Bachhus & Beery Wine Blog

October 2014

Hawk and Horse Vineyards 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon. 100% Cabernet and Bio dynamically farmed, this is a big Cabernet Sauvignon. A round mouth-feel with chewy tannins and balanced acidity. A nose of black cherry and blackberry with hints of raspberry and intriguing campfire smoke. On the palate, the wine offers flavors of black cherry and blackberry with subtle notes of ripe strawberry and cacao to add complexity. Espresso on the long finish. In the Sommelier Challenge International Wine Competition, this wine took Best of Show for Red Wines; Best of Class for Cabernet Sauvignon and the Platinum medal!

James The Wine Guy


Hawk and Horse Vineyards 2011 Latigo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVPqzUemWVI (Episode #2298)

Hawk and Horse Vineyards 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon - 93 Points

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oERBmSq2NSU&feature=youtu.be (Episode #2294)

Rockin Red Blog

By Michelle Williams
April 2016

Hawk and Horse Cabernet Sauvignon 2011: This wine was crafted from 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Petite Verdot from grapes cultivated on their 18 acre estate mountain vineyards at elevation up to 2200 feet in rocky red volcanic soil in vineyards that are CCOf Organic and Demeter Biodynamic certified. This wine was a beautifully crafted example of a classic Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep ruby with violet hues in the glass; notes of dark cherries, black berries, plums, black licorice, dark chocolate, damp tobacco leaves, spice notes, and black pepper; lush and juicy mouth-feel with layers of flavors, elegant and refined yet also restrained, full body, well-structured round acidity with well integrated tannins, long elegant finish that coats the mouth and begs for another sip; 20 months in 80% new French oak and 20% in two year old French oak; 14.5% alcohol; SRP $65. I did not read the winemaking notes until after drinking the wine. It was immediately evident this beautiful wine was crafted with a light hand, allowing the wine to shine on its own from vineyard to glass. Winemaker’s Notes: “Hand crafted in an old world style. We use minimal intervention in the cellar in order to bring the highest expression of our Lank County Red Hills vineyard’s terroir to every glass.” INDEED!

I had been cooking like crazy for a couple of weeks. I knew this wine would like some beef but did not want to make an elaborate, heavy meal. Therefore, I opted for a salad made with peppered and marinated grilled London broil atop butter lettuce with fresh strawberries, blue berries, black berries, slivered almonds, crumbled creamy blue cheese and topped with a Panera brand raspberry vinaigrette dressing. The salad was awesome and the flavors and textures blended seamlessly with the wine. I did not know how big the Cab would be so I really was not sure the pairing was going to work. It did! I was thrilled. And I must say my husband really enjoyed both the salad and the wine! In fact, he really loved the wine! After reading the notes the recommended pairing is grilled spring lamb chops with peppercorn sauce or chocolate lava cake. I say a resounded YES to both! Guess I should have read it before I made a salad; however, it is a true testament to an “old world” style wine that can pair beautifully with a steak salad without overpowering it! https://rockinredblog.com/2016/04/11/a-delicious- surprise-from- hawk-horse- vineyards/

Rockin Red Blog

By Michelle Williams
April 2016

Hawk and Horse Vineyards Latigo 2011: Latigo is a fortified wine produced in a port style with Cabernet Sauvignon grapes fortified with varietal high-proof brandy; dark garnet in the glass, brooding aromas of dark cherries, red currants, dark chocolate, candied roses, spice and balsamic notes, and a hint of smoke; it was thick with a great mouth-coating texture but not as thick as syrup, rich and round on the palate with balanced acidity and tannins, concentrated flavors with a long, dazzling finish; residual sugar 13%, 18% alcohol, 27 months in new Marchive French oak from Allier Forest, France; really delicious dessert wine that is a yummy treat without weighing you down; SRP $45/375ml or $85/750ml.

The Latigo would certainly have been dessert enough. However, I chose to serve it with a bowl of strawberry truffle gelato. Wow! A perfect mingling of flavors that made a great reward after eating salad for dinner! The following evening we enjoyed the Latigo by itself for another option of a great treat. It would also pair well with a creamy cheese and dried figs. https://rockinredblog.com/2016/04/11/a-delicious- surprise-from- hawk-horse- vineyards/

SNOOTH by Gregory Dal Piaz

The Best of Both Worlds

If port is sometimes too much for you, but the dried fruit of late harvest wines leaves you flat, consider something like this off-the-wall fortified wine from Hawk and Horse Vineyards. Lake County Cabernet fortified with grape spirits to only 16% alcohol, this is a dynamite bottle of wine. Not inexpensive, but damn is it good!2006 Hawk and Horse Vineyards Latigo Dessert wine, Red Hills lake Co. CA 16% $45 Made with Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

This is lovely, intense and rich on the nose, with notes of burnt sugar, dried herbs, wood spice, vanilla and date and dried plum fruit. Sweet on entry but not terribly heavy, this is open and broad on the palate and filled with red fruit. Strawberry, cherry and a touch of plum glide across the palate topped with gentle wood spice and toasted marshmallow notes. Lots of vanilla drives the wine through the long, red fruited, plum and caramel laden finish. Dangerously easy to drink and so well integrated. This is very aromatic on the finish, with licorice and strawberry popping out with air. I like! 92pts  Read more: http://www.snooth.com/articles/red-dessert-wines/?viewall=1#ixzz2ECkXSkxN

by Fred Swan
October 2012

The Red Hills AVA of Lake County, established in 1984, lies on the southwestern shores of Clear Lake and entirely within the larger Clear Lake AVA. There are upwards of 30,000 acres within the Red Hills AVA boundaries, but just under 10% are planted to wine grapes. It is a warm region and does well with Bordeaux varieties, including Sauvignon Blanc, as well as Zinfandel and Petite Sirah. The grapes are used not just in local wines but also for blending in higher profile regions such as Napa Valley and Sonoma County.

The two most unique aspects of the Red Hills AVA are its altitude and soil. The lowest portions of the AVA are 1,350 feet above sea level. Some areas reach 2,600 feet. Distinctive, deep red soil covers more than 90% of the AVA. Deposited by nearby volcanoes, it is gravelly — sometimes peppered with massive chunks of obsidian — and well-drained.

Hawk and Horse is a prototypical Red Hills AVA vineyard: 18 acres of red soil scattered with Konocti Diamonds (small, sparkling quartz crystals also known as Lake County Diamonds and Moon Tears). The vineyard undulates from 1,800 to 2,200. feet It is certified organic and biodynamic. The Cabernet Sauvignon vines were planted in 2001.

Dark ruby in the glass, the 2008 Hawk and Horse Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon offers aromas of ripe dark fruit (cassis and Chambord), sweet spice and clove orange. It’s nearly full-bodied in the mouth and opens with flavors of sweet black fruit, violets, oak and dark spice. Firm tannins (light-grained and chalky) build from the mid-palate and persist through the lengthy, spicy finish. The wine is ready now but, even after decanting, the tannins want a well-marbled steak. It should be softer after a couple of years in the cellar. Highly Recommended

2008 Hawk and Horse Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Red Hills AVA, Lake County
Rating: Highly Recommended
Drink: now - 2017
Closure: Cork
Production: 1,150 cases
Retail Price: $65.00

Winemakers: Dick Peterson and Scott Harvey

Blend: 98% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Merlot
Origin: Hawk and Horse Estate Vineyard, Red Hills AVA, Lake County

Aging: 18 months in French oak barrels - 50% new, 50% once used

Alcohol: 14.1%

Service Recommendations
Decanting: Splash decant
Temperature: 58º - 64º F
Food Pairings: Ribeye steak

Ratings Key:
Recommended = 87-89
Recommended+ = 89-90 
Highly Recommended = 90-92
Highly Recommended+ = 92-93
Very Highly Recommended = 93-95
Very Highly Recommended+ = 95=96
Highest Recommendation = 96-100

The wine above was provided by the winery for review.

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This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2012 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.


California Bordeaux Part 7: Lake County
FBWorld Team
October  2012

As we continue our survey of California Bordeaux, Lake County comes into focus this week. The region is under appreciated for the Bordeaux varieties it produces, as areas like Sonoma and Napa are much more prevalent in the public eye. Yet, there are some excellent examples of top-quality wines, as well as top notch values, to be enjoy from the county. Explore the region a bit and you might just be surprised by what you find. Here are a few fine discoveries we made:

Hawk & House Vineyards 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Rating: 92

Review:  Aromas of cherries, blackberries, and currants meld with notes of chocolate, pepper, and cedar on the nose. A sip reveals flavors of black cherry, blueberry, and cassis accented by suggestions of spice, dark chocolate, and toasty oak. A rich, lush Cab, fans of supple red will enjoy this wine.

Hawk & House Vineyards 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Rating: 90

Review:  Aromatics of cherries and bramble fruit come together with oak and sweet spice on the nose. Flavors of blueberry, plum, and black cherry meld with notes of clove and oak on the palate. A smooth, elegant red, it’s well suited for fans of plush, layered Cabs. 1,150 cases produced.


California Grapevine
December 2011

2007 Hawk and Horse Vineyards, Red Hills, Lake County ($65) – Medium to medium-dark ruby; herbal, cassis and black cherry aroma that shows appealing richness with toasty notes and hints of tar and licorice; medium-full body; tight, herbal, currant and dark berry flavors with firm acidity and undertones of cocoa and sweet oak; medium-full to full tannin; slightly tart on the finish; lingering aftertaste. Highly recommended. 14.1% alcohol; 430 cases; 100% CS; released August 2009. (Group Score: 16.0, 0/1/0; My Score: 16.5 [89/100], seventh place)

Reporting on Wine, Food and Travel, by Michelle Locke
November 2011

Hawk and Horse Vineyards This wine is from Lake County, which is north of Napa and one of those regions that always seems to be on the cusp of making it big but never quite does. But maybe that time has finally come if this wine is anything to go by. The cabernet sauvignon, priced around $65, is amazing _ dark, rich, robust, hearty, just right for sipping next to a crackling fire. Or gas inset, as the case may be.


Snooth: Drink Better Wines


“One of the top Cabernets that I've tasted, wonderful tones of french oak.”


The Press Democrat
By Virginie Boone (February 2011)

The family of Tracey Hawkins of Hawk & Horse bought the historic El Roble Grande Ranch in Lower Lake (now the southwest corner of the Red Hills AVA) more than 20 years ago as a family retreat and hillside vineyard site.

“We looked at properties in the four North Coast counties, Sonoma, Napa, Mendo and Lake,” she said.

“When we saw El Roble Grande, we knew we had found a truly magical property that had all the elements of a world-class winegrowing region.

“Seems we were right. ... This site is proving to be all we had expected and more.”


My Vine Spot

Quick Sip: Hawk & Horse 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon

Hello Friends,
I don’t necessarily need a special day to uncork and enjoy a Cabernet-based wine... And one of the wines I thoroughly enjoyed [from start to finish] on #CabernetDay was the 2008 Hawk and Horse Vineyards’ Cabernet Sauvignon (98% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Merlot) from the Red Hills AVA of Lake County, California (which is north of Napa Valley). Hawk and Horse Vineyards, who released their first vintage in 2004, is a small family-owned-and-operated bio-dynamic/organic grower that has 18 acres of vine plantings primarily planted to Cabernet Sauvignon – a grape variety that apparently is well suited to the area. For me, this is a very pleasing, but still youthful wine that’s well-structured and balanced; offering blackberry, sweet dark cherries, plum, spice, and subtle perfume (of spring flowers) aromas that extend to the palate with medium tannins which lead to a nice lingering/lasting finish. The good folks at Hawk and Horse Vineyards made 1,150 cases of this tasty juice, which was hand-farmed and cropped at a low 1.7 tons per acre. While it drinks well now and improves with aeration; for the patient, I think it’s a wine that will reward its owner even more in several years.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Hawk and Horse Vineyards’ Latigo; a delicious Cabernet Sauvignon port-styled wine. Invite one or both of these bottles to your dinner table this fall. I believe you and your guests will be well pleased. The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon sells for $65, is sealed with natural cork, and clocks in at 14.1% ABV. To find this wine and learn more about Hawk and Horse Vineyards, click here. Cheers! 

Enoflyz Wine of the Week: 2008 Hawk and Horse Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

by Martin D. Redmond
July 2012 

My Wine of the Week (“WoW”) for July 7-July 13 is the 
2008 Hawk and Horse Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Winery
Hawk and Horse Vineyards was founded in 1999 by the Boies and Hawkins families.  It is located in Lake County, which is north of the Napa Valley. It is a family-owned and operated  1300 acre ranch that includes an 18 acres of vineyards  (15 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon planted in 2001, and 1 acre each of Cabernet Franc, Petite Sirah, and Petit Verdot planted in 2009).  The vineyard soil is rocky, red volcanic soil that are a natural product of volcanic activity from nearby (now dormant) Mt. Konocti.

Their first release was the 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon.  In addition to this Cab, they also produce a port-style dessert wine.

The Wine
The grapes used to produce this wine are estate-grown biodynamically farmed, organic grapes grown at elevations up to 2,200 feet. This is a great Cab! What stood out for me was how well-balanced it was. Initially, when I realized it was from Lake County, I expected  it to be priced lower.  However, this is a Cab that can hold its own with anything produced in Napa in my book, and is a good value when I think about Napa Valley Cabs that go for 2-3x, the price of this one.  It’s drinking beautifully now, but will easily age another 7-10 years. Highly Recommended.

Hawk and Horse Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

My tasting notes follow:
Dark nearly opaque carmine color with beguiling dark fruits, cedar wood, cacao, and a hint of floral aromas. On the palate it’s medium-bodied, round, elegant, vibrant and persistent with black cherry, cassis, vanilla spice and a hint of cacao. Medium long finish.  - 91pts

Alcohol: 14.1% alcohol.
Closure: Cork closure.
AVA:  CaliforniaNorth CoastRed Hills Lake County
Varietal(s): 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Merlot
Cooperage: 18 months in 50% new French oak; 50% 2-yr old French Oak
Retail: $65
Cases produced: 1,150

ENObytes Wine Review: 2008 Hawk and Horse Red Hills Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon
Posted on 27 June 2012

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


Terroirist Review: 2007 Hawk and Horse Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

USA, California, North Coast, Red Hills Lake County  SRP: $65.

On the nose, a beautiful Cabernet. Fresh blackberries and raspberries, chocolate, rhubarb, dried herbs, and sweet spices. The mouthfeel is lush but also shows great restraint; it’s both concentrated and light on its feet. An excellent wine. (93 pts.)




James The Wine Guy

August 2012 

Hear what this Wine Guy has to say about Hawk and Horse Vineyards Cabernet at: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrOpUu61wQc&feature=player_detailpage  (2008 Cab)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkHGJBEQ1Sc  (2007 Cab)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDvb1w8l8zU  (Latigo)



David Honig’s Wine of the Week: 2008 Hawk and Horse Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

The wine is very dark... even with a light behind it it is opaque in the center, royal purple around the edges. The nose shows fresh blackberry with coconut and vanilla lingering in the background. On the palate, blackberries and elderberries lead, with smoke and cayenne pepper in the background. Black cherries and unsweetened chocolate show in the mid-palate. Tannins are hugely aggressive and could use years in the cellar to settle down. Fortunately, it has acids and structure to last. This is a long-term investment that should pay off with a good steak in 2020 or later. Highly Recommended (91-92).  

July 2012

Hawk & Horse Vineyards 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Lake County, Red Hills AVA ($65) Grown on an 18-acre organic and
certified biodynamic mountain estate vineyard on rocky, volcanic soils about 2,200 feet in elevation. We were wowed: It was love at first nosing. Dramatic aromatics of roses and cranberries are startling. While the texture begins with an indulgent plushness, it becomes dusty and mouth-smacking mid-palate. The more you sip, the blacker the fruit, and a sinewy stream of dark chocolate runs parallel to the pool of plums and ink-berries. 94 points

California Grapevine
August 2012 

2008 Hawk and Horse Vineyards, Red Hills, Lake County ($65)

Medium ruby; attractive, herbal, cedary, dark cherry and blackberry fruit aroma with notes of cassis, espresso, and green olive; full body; rich, fleshy, currant and dark berry fruit flavors with spicy notes…medium-full to full tannin; lingering after taste. Approachable now though deserving a few more years of aging. Very highly recommended. (Group Score: 16.3, 2/2/2; My Score: 17 [91/100], first place)

Bacchus and Beery  

August 2012

2008 Hawk and Horse Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Hills, Lake County, CA, $65 (S)- Rating 3.9

~This dark rich Cabernet… European earthiness offers a nose of black cherry, dark fruit, cedar and leather. Upon opening, the tannins were a bit heavy but became more integrated and supple after 45 minutes of decanting…flavors of dark berries, cherry, black plum, blackberry, oaky spice, black coffee and earthy goodness. Demeter Biodynamic and CCOF Organic certified.


Gayot’s Top Rated Cabernet Sauvignon:

15/20 — 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon (April 2012)

Made from CCOF Organic- and Demeter Biodynamic-certified vineyards, this full-bodied 2008 Cab boasts complex aromas and flavors, excellent structure and supple tannins.

2006 Latigo - Top 10 Organic Wines (March 2012)

Perched at roughly 2,000 feet elevation in Lake County, California, Hawk and Horse Vineyards has achieved both biodynamic (Demeter) and organic (California Certified Organic Farmers) certification. Their 2006 Latigo is made from Cabernet Sauvignon fortified with 142-proof Germain-Robin brandy from neighboring Mendocino County. At 16.5 per cent ABV, the resulting Port-style wine is rather smooth and not too strong. It features rich, round flavors of black cherry, black currants and damson plum with just a hint of chocolaty caramel.


bacchus and beery Bacchus & Beery Wine Blog

December 2011

2007 Hawk and Horse Vineyards, Red Hills Cabernet Sauvignon, Lake County, CA, $65 (S) - Rating 4.1

Hawk and Horse has created one of the better Lake County Cabernets. Full-bodied with bold black cherry and blackberry flavors accentuated with notes of cocoa, toasty oak and dark spices. Well integrated and supple tannins add to the complexity and depth. Both Demeter Biodynamic and CCOF Organic certified. 




    Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Latigo 2006 Dessert Wine: Hawk and Horse makes an impressive Red Hills Lake County cabernet sauvignon, so it's no surprise they would excel with a port-style wine made from their same biodynamically farmed mountain grapes. Fortifying it with high-proof brandy, the lot is then aged 26 months in new French oak for aging. Owners Mitch and Tracey Hawkins clearly love horses and Latigo is a term for a supple leather strap that hangs off the left (or “port”) side of a Western saddle. Clever, eh? The wine is deliciously worthy of such a name, smelling sweetly of leather and spice and full of black chocolate, caramel and ripe cherry flavor. If you've got a cigar lover in your life, this would be a good match. Only 200 cases made. 16 percent alcohol and 13 percent residual sugar.

pulse logo_still_with_r

 Mitch Hawkins gets excited about water. Clean, pure, fresh spring water, which feeds his animals, his land, his family and his grapes. And don’t get him started about the air.

Located 45 minutes north of Sonoma, nestled in the county voted as having the cleanest air in the country, is a unique little pocket of land seemingly created for making great wine.

And then there’s the soil.

 “It’s unlike any other – it’s very true to our terroir and very, very site-specific to us,” said Hawk and Horse Vineyard owner, Mitch Hawkins. “The Red Hill AVA is a magnificent site. It’s been voted the cleanest air in the country. We have our own spring water flowing right out of the mountain, which is just clean, pure and unbelievable. The soil profile is just magnificent. It’s the soil people get really excited about.”

 Along with his wife, Tracey, and her stepfather, David Boies, the three co-owners created a single-vineyard 100 percent cabernet sauvignon. They also make a cabernet sauvignon dessert wine. Their winery has been biodynamic from the beginning....Read More


Tall-Logo-with-Wne-Glass-and-Text-11-e1321489546135 - Copy

Hawk and Horse Vineyards was really the dream of owner, David Boies. His love of wine and of California’s North Coast wine growing region drove him to seek out a unique property that would support a vineyard of world class distinction. In 1982, after exhaustive searching he purchased what was then known as the historic El Roble Grande Ranch in Lower Lake, California. At that time, El Roble Grande was a rather run-down abandoned horse breeding facility situated on 900 acres of wilderness.

David’s vision of perfect growing conditions, such as rich soil, fresh water and clean air, transcended preconceived notions about county affiliations. David saw the high elevation sites, red volcanic soils, on-site water sources, pristine air and the rugged natural beauty of this most special place, and realized this was a land of great potential. His vision saw the opportunity to create something very unique and authentic from this wild land and that vision has now come to fruition....Read More


tasting panel

November 2011

Hawk and Horse Vineyards 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Hills–Lake County

Imagine violets and roses arising out of red volcanic soils: it happens in this dusty red. A garden of blueberry is not far behind. It ends on some daring, gritty tannins with a lemon peel edge. A rare breed. 

-94 Points. 

Gabe’s View

October 2011

Aromas of rose petals, bramble and black raspberries fill the nose of this 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon. Black and red cherry flavors play a significant role through the palate; black raspberry and blackberry characteristics, both fresh and dried are present as well. The long and impressive finish is marked by cranberries, sour cherries, rhubarb and earth along with dusty dark chocolate and spice. This is a well proportioned Cabernet that has firm tannins that yield with some aeration. The 2007 Cabernet from Hawk and Horse Vineyards is a beautiful wine that drinks well now and will also benefit from up to a decade of aging. If you’re drinking it today, I recommend decanting it for about 90 minutes and pairing it with something hearty for a winning combination. The Hawk and Horse Vineyards Latigo is a Port Style wine....Posted by Gabe's View...Read More

Pulling Corks And Forks

By Sandy Wasserman

October 2011

Making 2 wines under the guidance of well respected winemakers Dick Peterson and Scott Harvey, Hawk and Horse show off how good Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon can be.

The 2007 Cabernet is the 3rd release and is a burst of dried currants and cocoa. Aged for 18 months in French oak this wineis medium bodied and offers nice tannins with a long, lingering finish. With only 430 cases produced this wine is a greatexample of what a well balanced wine should be and should sell out at $65 so get yours soon.

As much as we loved the CS with our rib eyes, we almost went bonkers over their 2006 Latigo dessert wine.  This delicious, amber wines is made with CS grapes and then fortified with brandy.  The wine is aged for 26 months and when ready to drinkis a mouthful of cherries, raisins and cranberries that is medium in body and consistency.  Only 200 cases were made and is perfect for the upcoming fall and holiday season. Approx $45.  Posted by Sandy ...Read More

WorthyWines of the World 

                      Soaring and Grounded, October 2011

Here’s a fairly new winery located at the south end of Clear Lake that is focusing on Cabernet Sauvignon. This release shows blackberry, oak and cocoa powder on the nose with a touch of fall spice and light caramel note. The palate brings a very firm grip, with bright blackberry and black cherry fruit mixed with toasted oak, chocolate and light herb notes. Don’t think of this wine as a casual sipper - it cries out for rich foods with thick earthy sauces that will make its acidity work. Decant it for a good long while or age it for 5 to 10 years - You won’t be disappointed! ...Read More



The 2011 Lake County Wine Awards Competition

April 2011


California’s Lake County might be smaller than Napa or Sonoma, but its wines compete in quality.

The reputation of California's Lake County as a wine-growing region has long been overshadowed by its more famous neighbors, Mendocino, Napa and Sonoma, though producers in those areas have often sourced from Lake County to make more affordable wines...Read More

Zester Daily

By Virginie Boone

April 2011

California’s Lake County might be smaller than Napa or Sonoma, but its wines compete in quality.

The reputation of California's Lake County as a wine-growing region has long been overshadowed by its more famous neighbors, Mendocino, Napa and Sonoma, though producers in those areas have often sourced from Lake County to make more affordable wines...Read More


Wine Enthusiast

By Virginie Boone  (4/1/2011)

A stellar bottle from this newish Lake County-based producer, a Demeter Biodynamic and CCOF Organic certified producer with mountain-top vineyard land in the prime Red Hills sub-AVA. The Cab grows at 1,800-2,200 feet elevation in rocky, red soil, yielding a classically rich, red wine nuanced with subtle, soft tannins and enviable structure, giving it room to grow another 5–7 years.


Organic Wine Journal


The Boies and Hawkins families cordially invite you to visit their Demeter Biodynamic 900 acre ranch and vineyard Estate where they will meet you in person......Read More

Lake County Winegrape Commission: 

May 2010 Newsletter

Within the first few minutes of meeting Mitch and Tracey Hawkins at their Lower Lake ranch, I knew I had encountered two people who love their Lake County home, the horses in the nearby pastures, and the chance to show off their vineyards and other ranch property...Read More


Hawk and Horse Vineyards