William Hill Estate's California Wines
By CHRISTOPHER BUONINCONTRI
|Sommelier Andrei Caciula at The Palm|
In today's world of fine wine, simplicity often equals beauty. Not to say there isn’t a time for that 2001 Châteauneuf du Pape gathering dust in the cellar; certainly there is. But far more often than not, wine critics—expert and amateur alike—prefer a more accessible, more straightforward label that excels in both versatility and solid overall quality.
Paired with a New York strip steak at Manhattan landmark The Palm, the William Hill Estate Winery 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon proves to be just that: a classic fullbodied Napa red that deftly complements the tenderness of the meat without coming off as overbearing.
“It is a member of our core wine list, selected last year,” says Andrei Caciula, The Palm’s sommelier in New York and assistant national director of wine for the restaurant’s brand nationwide. “Some of the locations have been carrying this wine for a number of years,” he notes, but only within the past year has it become available at all of the famous steak spot’s eateries across the country.
The 2006 Cabernet is a Bordeaux-style wine. Translation: It doesn’t have the “big chewy tannins” of other Cabernets, explains Caciula. “Sometimes you drink wines like that, and you need a glass of water just to swallow it down. This wine can be drunk by [itself ], sitting on a porch or with a good steak. It’s easy to drink; much more approachable to the palate.”
Located off the Silverado Trail on the Silverado Bench in Napa Valley, the William Hill Estate is well known for its distinctive terroir and its renowned viniculturist Ralf Holdenried, who grew up on a vineyard in Germany and studied at the University of Geisenheim before making his way to California in 1998. For all of the international refinement and intense craftsmanship that went into its production, however, it’s the bare elegance of its soft, concentrated flavor that makes the wine stand out. It would be ironic, if it weren’t so perfectly and deliciously simple. The Palm, 837 Second Ave., 840 Second Ave., 206 West St., 250 W. 50th St.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY SARI GOODFRIEND