Hungry Hollow Wines

Hungry Hollow WinesAs you might have read here Hungry Hollow is the latest label from one of my long standing favorites; Navarro Vineyards (reviews). As the story goes this is an old railway that used to run lumber from the town of Navarro to be loaded on ships bound for San Francisco. The most eastern end of that track resided in Hungry Hollow where the “wine flowed freely in boarding houses and dance halls”. Previously sold off in bulk Navarro (thankfully) decided to recognize the state of the economy and introduce a new line of “local wines at prices every thrifty and hard-working man or woman can afford.” I applaud them for doing so. The initial release consists of a Riesling, Gewurztraminer and a Syrah. Best of all those interested in trying it can get a sample pack of all three for $30 with one cent shipping which I strongly recommend you do. But first some thoughts on the wines…

  • 2010 Hungry Hollow Riesling ($10) – From Navarro’s fifteen year old Campsite vineyard this one is made from three clones, each barreled separately, spanning three different countries of origin. Juicy and rich on the palate with loads of green apples and a moderate acidity that keeps it crisp throughout. A dry version with (thank goodness for me) not even a hint of sweetness making this extremely food friendly. True to their goal this one is a good working man’s Riesling.
  • 2010 Hungry Hollow Gewurztraminer ($10) – Gewürztraminer is Anderson Valley’s most respected grape and this one is a blend of Navarro estate fruit and the neighboring Valley Foothills Vineyard. Crafted using a blend of modern techniques and ancient methods this one has crisp, floral nose with tropical fruits. Lush and full with more tropical fruit on the palate and a spiced acidity that lasts through a crisp, lightly sweet, finish. If you are a fan of this varietal you’ll want to stock up!
  • 2009 Hungry Hollow Syrah ($12) – Made from two Australian clones (labeled as Shiraz Down Under) of purchased Mendocino County fruit, some from seventy year old vines, this one is bold from the get go. Nice, dark, chewy fruit on the palate with lively, bright acidity leading to a rich, chocolaty finish that lingers pleasantly. Big and balanced enough to remain food friendly. Reminiscent of cool climate Syrah demanding twice the price tag (or more) this one is ready to drink now and it’s worth stashing a few more in the cellar.

So there you have it. Given you can try all three for $30 with one cent shipping I think this offer is almost too good to pass up. Give them a try! And if you do be sure to let me know what you think…

2009 Hungry Hollow Syrah

Again if you are new to Hungry Hollow it is a label from Navarro Vineyards billed as a line of “local wines at prices every thrifty and hard-working man or woman can afford.” You can try their first three offerings; this Syrah, the Riesling and the Gewurztraminer, for $30 plus one cent shipping. Feel free to click on over there and order this now but if you need further proof to inspire you read on…

2009 Hungry Hollow SyrahPrice: $11.99 @ Navarro Vineyards

What They Said:

Per Navarro Vineyards “The vines that produced this Syrah are an Australian selection, which would be labeled as Shiraz Down Under. The vines are trained to an old-fashioned goblet that works extremely well for Syrah grown on the Rhône as well as in Australia. We like the wine produced from these vines and have been lucky enough to purchase these grapes for several years. The berries are small and the clusters compact; the wine produced is darkly colored with complex tannins and delicate aromas of violets and cherry. The wine was aged in seasoned French oak barrels for ten months and aged in the bottle for another year in our temperature controlled cellar. The polar opposite of the 2010 Hungry Hollow Riesling, it is 14.1% alcohol with deep lingering flavors to match; a bold, chewy wine sporting flavors of black cherry, loganberry jam and currants backed up with hints of caramel and bittersweet chocolate. Serve with duck with olives, grilled burgers, shitake mushroom risotto or your favorite juicy steak.”

What I Think:

(14.1%) Nice, dark, chewy fruit with black cherry and currant on the palate. Lively, bright acidity and black olives notes on the mid-palate which lead to a rich, chocolaty finish with oak spice that lingers pleasantly. Tightly wound but food friendly, punching well below its 14.1% weight class. I like the prospects of this one given some short term aging. Well worth the $12 price of admission especially if you are a fan of cool climate Syrah which is hard to find at this price point.

Wine Geek Notes: 1,422 cases made; Sugars at harvest: 24.9° Brix; Made with Australian clones; Aged in seasoned French oak barrels for ten months and aged in the bottle for another year.

Rating: Buy It

2010 Hungry Hollow Gewurztraminer

If you missed the upfront on Hungry Hollow Wines from my last post let’s cut to the skinny. Hungry Hollow is a new label from Navarro Vineyards and is billed as a new line of “local wines at prices every thrifty and hard-working man or woman can afford.” You can try their first three offerings; this Gewurztraminer, the Riesling and the Syrah, for $30 plus one cent shipping. If you are a fan of wine I recommend you click on thru and order this now but if you need further proof to inspire you read on…

Price: $9.99 @ Navarro Vineyards

What They Said:

2010 Hungry Hollow GewurztraminerPer Navarro Vineyards “Gewürztraminer is Anderson Valley’s most respected grape for white wine; the fruit for this bottling was grown by Navarro Vineyards and neighboring Valley Foothills Vineyard. We blended modern technology with ancient winemaking: the wine was fermented and aged in seasoned oak ovals which have been fitted with modern stainless steel cooling panels inside the casks so that the winemaker can control fermentation temperatures. After fermentation, we adhered to traditional practices by allowing the wine to rest for seven months on the yeast that was generated by the fermentation. Gewürztraminer’s signature aromas and flavors are of lychee, grapefruit, ginger and cardamom which are enhanced with hints of bread pudding and toast. A full, spicy wine that particularly complements piquant foods: Indian curries, Asian spicy sesame noodles, carnitas with green salsa or blackened rock fish.”

What I Think:

(13%) Crisp, floral nose with tropical fruits. Lush and full on the palate with lychee and peach flavors. From there a spiced acidity drives through a touch sweet, a touch bright but still crisp finish. A wine I could drink regularly. Given the difficulty of finding an enjoyable sub $10 Gewurzt I’m tempted to stock up. If you are a fan of this varietal I would do so.

Wine Geek Notes: 797 Alcohol cases made; Total Acidity: 7.2 g/L pH Level: 3.37; Residual Sugars: 0.5%

Rating: Buy It

2010 Hungry Hollow Riesling

Hungry Hollow is the latest label from one of my long standing favorites; Navarro Vineyards (reviews). The reference is to an old railway that used to run lumber from the town of Navarro to be loaded on ships bound for San Francisco. The most eastern end of that track resided in Hungry Hollow where the “wine flowed freely in boarding houses and dance halls”. Previously sold off in bulk Navarro (thankfully) decided to recognize the state of the economy and introduce a new line of “local wines at prices every thrifty and hard-working man or woman can afford.” I applaud them for doing so. The initial release consists of a Riesling (review below), Gewurztraminer and a Syrah. Best of all those interested in trying it can get a sample pack of all three for $30 with one cent shipping. I’m enjoying the Gewurztraminer as I write and looking forward to the Syrah soon but in the meantime here are my thoughts on the Riesling…

2010 Hungry Hollow RieslingPrice: $9.99 @ Navarro Vineyards

What They Said:

Per Navarro Vineyards “Navarro’s Campsite vineyard is out favorite source of Riesling. It was planted fifteen years ago on gravely soil to three different clones, each one a preferred choice in three different countries: clone 49 from Alsace, Neustadt 90 from Germany and FPMS 9 from California. We kept the lots separate during winemaking as they ripened at different rates. This vintage was the coolest on record, the grapes ripened very slowly and it was late October before the grapes had turned from green to gold finally signaling that the grapes were ripe. Clone 9 we discovered had less sugar than normal and produced a wine with very low alcohol reminiscent of German Rieslings from the Rheinpfalz. The pretty aromas are of jasmine, green apple and apricot. Pippin apple dominates the flavors with suggestions of lime zest and peach. The finish is remarkably dry due to high natural acidity and the restrained alcohol of only 11.3% keeps it refreshing. This is a light, crisp wine to serve before supper or to accompany crab, abalone, clams, halibut or your own version of fisherman’s stew.”

What I Think:

(11.3%) Citrus, banana and apricot on the nose. Juicy, rich palate with loads of green apples backed up by peach flavors and moderate acidity that keeps it crisp throughout. Including through the citrus driven finish which is short but refreshing. This is a dry version with (thank goodness for me) not even a hint of sweetness. While I’d like a bit more acidity this is certainly fairly priced at $10. My recommendation is to drink this a touch colder than your typical white. Either way Riesling is by nature extremely food friendly and this is easy to recommend with salads, seafood, Asian dishes and more.

Wine Geek Notes: 22.4 brix. Residual Sugar = 0.9g/l. Bottle says 12.5%abv web says 11.3%. Made from a blend of three clones; clone 49 from Alsace, Neustadt 90 from Germany and FPMS 9 from California.