Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cult & Halloween = Hallovine

HalloVine is a distinctive wine released each year specifically to be enjoyed during the Halloween holiday season. The first Hallovine wine was released in 2000 by Madonna Estate winery in Napa Valley, California. Madonna Estate is a family-owned winery and uses 100% organically grown grapes, typically from the Carneros District of the NAPA Valley. They are dry-farmed as well, meaning the grapes are never watered by anyone other than Mother Nature. This generally leads to smaller but more intensely flavored grapes.
The label for the 2009 Hallovine release (shown above) was designed by artist Iva Wilcox, a San Francisco-based mixed media specialist. It incorporates a slight nod to Bacchus and an obvious Halloween flair.
My first chance to taste the Hallovine came this week, when I finally opened my 2009 Hallovine (released last year, but arrived too late to enjoy at Halloween, so I cellared it for the year, anxiously anticipating this week's tasting.)
The 2009 release is actually a 2006 NAPA Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. I opened my first bottle earlier this week. The evening was mild and I had just opened my windows to enjoy the fresh air, cool breeze and soft sounds of the rustling leaves.
Rich aromas of toasty oak, chocolate and berries swirled from my glass and tempted my tastebuds. This year's vintage was picked from the Rutherford bench of the NAPA Valley. The Rutherford bench has a growing reputation as producing the finest cabernet sauvignon grapes in the WORLD. And I'm telling you, this wine does not disappoint! It has a really delightful spiciness that is balanced by the richnes of sweet toasty French oak. Color is beautiful and intense. It is a very elegant, yet approachable wine, with a good, smooth finish. Alcohol content is 13.5%. If bottles are still available, they are in the $24-$26 range.
I'll be popping the cork on my last bottle of this delicious wine on Halloween eve.

It's a perfect wine to sip on a chilly fall evening by the fire, waiting for the goblins and ghosts of Halloween to show up. Or simply to share with friends. Happy Halloween!


  1. Lovely blog. What wonderful photos! Now I'm starving. I'm embarrassingly stupid about wine, so will have to use you as a resource.
    I followed you back here from Hokumburg, where I couldn't remember where I found the name "Goombah," but thought it had something like the meaning you describe.
    Thanks for your comments.
    —Another "simple midwesterner" Gig Thurmond

  2. Gig Thurmond - Thanks for your comments! The majority of the photos are my own and all the foods and wines have passed over my personal palate. Please come back often, and bring a friend!