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Wine of the month for November

Wine of the month for November is Hook and Ladder 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley. The single Vineyard Cab comes from the family’s Los Amigos Ranch in the Chalk Hill area of the Russian River Valley. The wine is blended with a small amount of Merlot from the same area and aged in a combination of French and American Oak for 20 months before bottling. The wine is well balanced and offers hints of vanilla, cocoa, and spices on the nose with lots of ripe berry and oak in the taste. Hook and Ladder produces a variety of wines including Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Merlot and several blends in the red family of wines. In the white family they offer The Tillerman white blend, Chardonnay, White Zinfandel and Gewurztraminer. I have not sampled any of the white wines produced by Hook and Ladder, however, I did sample one of the red blends that was very good as well. The wines are all reasonably priced with reserve wines topping out at $35 and all other wines under $25. Hook and Ladder is produced by Cecil De Loach (a former San Francisco firefighter) and his wife Christine who have been making wine in Sonoma for more than 3 decades now. The family owned winery keeps the philosophy simple; make exceptional wines that people love to drink.

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