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Barrel Tasting!


OK. OK. That is a little bit of puffery. Agreed We are not actually tasting from the barrel but we are tasting around the barrel and, possibly, some of the grapes that came from the barrel. Anyone who has shopped @MetroWines knows that we stand behind the wines of Hook & Ladder for quality, price and character. We have been very fortunate to have been chosen to receive one of the coveted American Oak Wine Barrels from the Hook and Ladder Winery!! This is beyond exciting. Way beyond. To have had the door @MetroWines open for only 3 months and see a Hook & Ladder Barrel roll through it is just flat out mind boggling. It's beautiful. 

Come see it! And to celebrate we pour The Tillerman, a unique blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and here's the twist, Sangiovese, on Wednesday to the music of Brad Earnhardt, President of the Classical Guitar Society and a big fan of Hook and Ladder Pinot Noir

Wine Maker notes on The Tillerman here. Page down for our review on the Wine Blog.


The Russian River Valley is an appellation with varying climates and soils. Hook & Ladder’s Los Amigos Vineyard sits in the warmer northeastern section of the appellation, just south of the town of Healdsburg, where the days are slightly warmer. Here the Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Sangiovese develop strong, bold flavors.


The 2010 growing season was filled with uneven weather. An overall cold summer gave way to heat spikes in late August, right before harvest. Some crop was damaged by sun burn, and would never be picked. The cold summer lead to a later harvest than normal. The threat of rain at the very end of the season dictated our harvest dates.


With The Tillerman we strive for a boldly flavored, balanced, and well-structured red wine. To achieve this we evaluate various lots and varietals produced from the Los Amigos Ranch. The 2010 vintage yielded ripe, richly flavored Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Sangiovese. We decided to blend these grapes with our Merlot to soften the palate. The varietals were fermented and aged separately in European and American Oak for 17 months before blending and bottling.


The Tillerman steers the back of the Hook & Ladder truck, a position our founder, Cecil, held for many years in San Francisco. Tillerman, the wine, is deep red-violet in color, possessing complex aromas of black stone fruit with hints of cinnamon and dry herbs. On the palate flavors of cherries and cassis are followed by a lingering currant and ripe cranberry finish, allowing this blend to show well through rich meals, yet not overpower lighter dishes. 

Gone Italian
Young Professionals of Asheville Wine Tasting Note...