As is regular we drink wine with dinner. Last night a Bobby came over as Jennifer was making steak in the sous-vide. As we are on a lose weight / eat healthy kick right now it was Beef Fillet, a delicious spanakopita type spinach filling & cauliflower purée.
I decided we would have the 2012 Chateau Monbousquet to go along with the steak. Bobby brought over the Hall Darwin 2012 & he immediately said this is their "cheap" bottle & he got it from Hall on their 1 yr anniversary of being in their wine club. Now I must say I have a bit of a love/hate with Hall. Some of their wines like Eighteen Seventy Three Cabernet $74.99 & their T Bar T Ranch Sauvignon Blanc $35 I really didn't like very much at all but others like Jacks Masterpiece $189 & Kathryn Hall Cabernet $182 I have liked quite a lot. So Bobby is always bringing over Hall to see if I prefer it or not.
After looking up the Darwin on Vivino & seeing it was around $55 I had a feeling I might just like this one.
Overall I gave it a very solid 4 Stars. I was quite impressed and surprised at just how powerful it was on the palate & how earthy it came across on the nose. Jennifer didn't like it that much but hey, Its still summer here ( September ) & we know how she is with red wines in the summer. It did smack you pretty solidly in the face and was pretty powerful. Hall Darwin 2012 red did however have good balance. It wasn't to earthy or to fruity which can sometimes be the case with Hall wines. There was some solid tannins that added a bit of crunch but loads of tobacco & smoky notes which made it very pleasant.
The best part of it is that the Darwin 2012 was full of surprise for me. It wasn't at all what I was expecting & that fact alone meant it got a high score. Napa can sometimes be a bit monotonous. yes generally always delicious with its big bold fruit, great tannins and structure but its nice every now and then to get some surprise in your glass. I'd happily pay the $55 for this wine if it was available to non club members.