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Heart of the Hill Cabernet Sauvignon

A New Wine From Our Esteemed Vineyard

Heart of the Hill vineyard hero shot

Today is an exciting day.

First, a little background. 2015 represented the 40th anniversary of the Kiona Estate vineyard, and we celebrated that milestone with a new wine: 2012 Estate Red Mountain Old Block. As many of you know, Old Block's purpose was to focus attention on a single block (Old Block) in a single vineyard (Kiona Estate). 

But that was only Phase One of many. We farm several distinct estate vineyards on Red Mountain. If we're going to dial in and showcase one esteemed site, it was only natural to want to do the same for all of them. 

Enter 2016 Estate Red Mountain Heart of the Hill Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is a continuation on Old Block's vineyard-designation theme, and Phase Two of our project. Credit goes to our friends and neighbors at Fidélitas, who have proven that vineyard-designated Red Mountain wines are something that the greater wine-drinking public is interested in. I'm not sure we would have blended this wine (or Old Block) without seeing their success in that arena. 

We planted the first 20 acres of Heart of the Hill in 2006. As you can imagine, planting a vineyard is very expensive, so we opted to spread that expenditure out over time; we added subsequent 20-acre blocks until the vineyard was fully planted in 2014. The site sits in the middle of the Red Mountain AVA and has quickly developed a reputation as a powerhouse player on the hill, with a proliferation of vineyard-designated offerings from several of our top winery customers. At 148.5 acres under vine, it's our largest site so we're *really* pleased that there's a lot of demand for the fruit. 

Screen Shot 2019 07 12 At 1 41 24 Pm

Yeah yeah, no Artz Vineyard yet on this graphic. It's coming. Heart of the Hill is #2.

Because this is a direct-to-consumer exclusive, low-production wine (much like the Old Block), I felt we had the creative license to abandon the traditional Kiona aesthetic, instead opting to give the wine a unique look that helps tell a story. The front label is a stylized representation of the vineyard's overall footprint (fun fact: the name of this shape is a 'tetromino') with the Heart of the Hill EKG branding that I designed a couple of years ago. It's stark and compelling and fits in nicely next to Old Block. 


The back label doubles down on providing context via illustration/shape instead of text: we've highlighted the blocks used in the blend. Some of you may recognize this tactic as one employed in our tasting room with our vineyard maps and composition codes. Anyways, the idea is to show the drinker where the wine comes from rather than just writing a flowery description of the wine. 

2016 Estate Red Mountain Heart of the Hill Cabernet Sauvignon  Back Label

A few quick points on the wine that I think are particularly noteworthy. All of the Cabernet Sauvignon Kiona has planted at Kiona Estate, Ranch at the End of the Road, and Artz is Clone 8, considered by the industry to be the "main" Cabernet Sauvignon clone. Most of the Cabernet Sauvignon planted at Heart of the Hill is Clone 2, which tends to produce darker, more intensely concentrated wine (when compared to Clone 8). This wine is 100% Clone 2. Secondly, production for our inaugural vintage on this wine is pretty small: it clocks in at about 138 cases. We'll pour it for as long as we have it. Lastly, the wine has already received some nice accolades, including a 92 from James Suckling, a 92 from the International Wine Review, and a 95 from Sunset Magazine. It also got an 87 from Wine Enthusiast, so I suppose they're an outlier (shrug). 

Today represents the first time we are releasing this new wine to the public. It'll feature predominately in our tasting lineup for the rest of the summer. I would encourage you to visit our Red Mountain tasting room to try it out!