Hardball Cellars is a boutique winery run by the Westerberg family that is passionate about wine, running their wine business and a love for baseball! Michael and Cindy have created a small lot, direct to consumer, line of wines from California that are sure to please any palate. They are hardworking, talented folks that believe in putting all they have into a product that they believe you will not only enjoy, but enjoy with the love and fun, as they do, with family and friends.
As I tasted through a couple of the Hardball Cellars wines….I quickly understood the passion that Michael and Cindy have in making these wines, but not only the passion…the desire to please many folks in drinking their wines. These wines are palate pleasing for the”masses”. I say that with all positiveness….there’s nothing negative about pleasing everyone! Many times with a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Pinot Noir….they are specific….meaning, the winemaker has a particular vision and it can be an awesome one to some people and not to many others. Wine is subjective. Right down to the winemaker.
The 2012 Hardball Cellars Russian River Pinot Noir is a garnet red with a tinge of “burnt red” like a “Boston Baked Bean”. The nose puts out a lovely baked rhubarb with a little “burnt toast”. At first sip, right out the bottle, the acidity is huge; almost in your face…so I would definitely let this Pinot open up a bit before sipping….when it does open up, it’s full of red cherries and plums with a nice acidity balance. A tart cranberry lingers on the finish making this a great wine to pair with food. SRP is $32.00.
The 2010 Hardball Cellars Napa Valley Coombsville Cabernet Sauvignon is a nice, dark garnet red in the glass with a light oak and big dark berry fruit on the nose. The dark fruit with notes of cranberry is what first hits you upon tasting. This Cabernet has good tannic structure and balance of fruit and acidity. As with many young wines, it needs to decant for a bit and this Cab particularly, (as suggested by the winemaker, Michael) drinks better at “room temperature”….bringing out more cassis and red plum in the wine. The 2010 Napa Valley Cab was even better on day two. It’s also a very good food pairing Cabernet Sauvignon. SRP is $36.00.
A key element that stands out for me with Hardball Cellars wines’ is how many people would like the wine. If you’re not a regular consumer of California Pinot Noir, but want to dabble in it and try some….this is a good one to try. If you like Cabernet Sauvignon but sometimes it’s too tannic or flat….this is a good, fruit forward Cab that will not break the bank or leave you puckering after a swallow! I give both these wines a THREE BOTTLE Rating. These are what I would call “step up wines”….they are pleasing to the everyday palate of wine drinkers…but they are not $10 grocery store shelf wines. They are a “step up” (or two) and for not much more money – worth a try for sure!
All of Hardball Cellars wines can be purchased via their website: www.hardballcellars.com and if you are in the area or traveling for vacation….stop by the DogPatch district of San Francisco, CA where you can do a full tasting and buy any of the Hardball Cellars wines! (DogPatch WineWorks 2455 3rd Street San Francisco, CA 94107 (415) 525-4440)
** Samples received courtesy of Hardball Cellars **