Bella, How I Love Thee, Let Me Count The Ways


Bella has to be one of my favorite vineyards for big red wines. I regret the day I ever had to cut their club and am VERY happy to now be a member again. On the other hand, joining up again means that if I want another club I have to give up one that I already have. Ack!

I still have massive numbers of tomatoes in my garden (seriously, I think I grew mutant tomato plants, we must have picked hundreds of tomatoes and are still picking them) so I whipped up some fresh sauce, tossed in a bunch of basil and parmasean cheese, cooked up some pasta and called it a meal. With the dinner, I picked a bottle of the 2005 Bella Hillside Cuvee to drink. We picked up 2 bottles of this on our latest trip to Bella and received a 3rd in a club shipment. The wine cost $28 minus a club discount, clocked in a 14.9% alcohol by volume, and had a real cork closure. The Hillside Cuvee is a blend of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Zinfandel, 11% Petite Sirah, 10% Petite Verdot.


On the nose of the wine I found espresso, dark cherries, blackberries, plum, chocolate, brown sugar, currants. The fruit struck me as big and dark, with lots of hints of other enticing aromas. In the mouth I got flavors of blackberry, plum, currants, boysenberry, blueberry, spice, and a bit of chocolate. The fruit came through as fresh and tart.

Overall, the wine seemed a bit tannic, and it had a little bit of heat. I think this one needs some time, so I’ll hang onto my other two bottles and will report back over the next couple of years as we drink them. Not such a great match with my pasta dinner, but made for an excellent after dinner drink!

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