hwc-2011-essenceHector Wine Company 2011 Essence ($25) is a blend of 40% syrah, 40% cabernet sauvignon and 20% merlot.

It shows many of the aromas you’d expect from a syrah blend made in cooler vintage. Aromas of black and white pepper, high-toned red fruits and just a bit of blueberry are joined by notes of American oak.

Medium-light on the palate, more peppery spice notes and cran-raspberry flavors are overwhelmed a bit by barrel flavors — particularly on the finish. Tannins that I suspect are from barrel rather than skins/seeds are a bit rustic as well. Lacks fruit for balance.

Producer: Hector Wine Company
AVA: Seneca Lake
Price: $25*

(2.5 out of 5, Average-to-Very Good)