Carter Cellars Hossfeld Coliseum Red Blend 2008

Tasting Notes

Sitting on the top section of the Hossfeld vineyard site is a small piece of Merlot planted on fractional rock outcroppings with very shallow soil. The fruit produced from these vines produces quite possibly the best mountainside Merlot in the southern Napa Valley. The addition of 2 barrels of Hossfeld Coliseum Cabernet Sauvignon make this blend stand out more than just the Merlot on its own, creating an intoxicating blend. A graceful nose containing blueberries, crème de cassis and milk chocolate soars from the glass and greets the senses. These notes are carried through the mid palate where they are wrapped in velvety tannins and a smooth rich delivery. While lighter in texture then the Cabernet Sauvignon from this vineyard, a sense of power is achieved through deft extraction from the pea size berries these vines produce. For the curious this wine will drink well young but will hit its stride in 3-5 years.


"The 2008 Hossfeld Coliseum (a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon) reveals a deep ruby/purple color along with dense black currant fruit intermixed with well-integrated sweet oak, licorice and spring flower notes. This complete, full-bodied, impressively endowed 2008 can be enjoyed over the next 10 or more years "

91 Points ~ Robert Parker


Map of the Coliseum Vineyard

The History of the Coliseum Vineyard

Twenty years ago people thought Henry Hossfeld was crazy because of the slope and the solid rock he was trying to grow vines on in the south-eastern Napa hills in an area known as Soda Canyon.  In fact, at planting, each vine hole was fractured into the terraces with a stick of dynamite. This dramatic site, steep and terraced like a Roman Coliseum has distinctive volcanic soils and as such, the resulting Cabernet fruit is also quite distinctive; structured graphite and herbal scented, compelling flavors. Today, we reap wines with massive fruit extraction, inky black color, and powerful tannins.

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The Vineyards

Explore the varied Napa vineyards of Carter Cellar's handcrafted wines, from the Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard to the Truchard.



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