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Sip some surprises on the 'Hill'

This pair brings summer excitement
This pair brings summer excitementJulia Hollister

If you are looking for great Napa Valley varietals perched off the beaten path, William Hill Estate Winery is your stop.

“The Napa Valley label means hidden vineyards near the Silverado Trail,” said winemaker Ralf Holdenried. “It also means out-of-the-way places that make a wine truly special. The 2012 and 2013 vintages brought some challenges, but it also delivered grapes with great depth of flavor.”

The winery’s two varietals – 2012 merlot ($17) and 2013 sauvignon blanc ($17) – are great buys.

Holdenried stayed true to the signature style of William Hill Estate to craft an expressive sauvignon blanc from the cool-climate vineyards along California’s North Coast. He looked south to the warmer regions of the Central Coast to create a rich merlot.

Grapes from the Russian River Valley and North Sonoma County brought sauvignon blanc’s bright acidity and ripe fruit with tropical characteristics.

This crisp selection explodes with layers Meyer lemon, ruby grapefruit and Kaffir lime.
These exotic flavors blend lusciously with passion fruit and a hint of pineapple.

Pour this chilled with Chinese chicken salad, grilled shrimp or a soft Brie with garlic infused pita chips.

For a selection on the other end of the spectrum sip William Hill Estate Winery’s 2012 Central Coast merlot, reminiscent of a bold and brassy cabernet sauvignon.

The harvest that stretched deep into November produced grapes with vivid flavors and outstanding structure.

Aromas of blackberry, black cherry and toasty oak cascade into the glass with silky finesse. black pepper, juicy cherries and chocolate tantalize the palate.