Summertime Sippers from Hess Select

As I sit writing this Cellar Note today’s temperature is expected to break the triple-digit mark. Strategies to keep cool will be needed. Umbrellas will be up on the patio and the misters turned on. Something cool in the glass will be required. We recently received three wines as tasting samples that will do nicely. These wines will keep you cool on a warm afternoon and will accompany a meal nicely. We recently paired them with a simple meal that was delicious.

Hess Select is a range of wines produced by Hess Family Wine Estates. These are wines for everyday enjoyment and are sourced from throughout California. Other wines in the Hess portfolio include The Hess Collection, Artezin, MacPhail Family Wines, Colomé and Amalaya.

Hess Select Pinot Gris2017 Hess Select Pinot Gris, Californiapale yellow in the glass with generous aromas of ripe pear and melon. Citrusy melon and pear flavors follow with nice acidity and a citrusy finish in this light-bodied wine. 14% abv. SRP $13

This Pinot Gris has surprisingly complex aromatics. One of the reasons we opened and tasted this wine first is that Pinot Gris is often very restrained. I knew immediately upon opening this wine that description did not fit. The aromas rushed out of the bottle.

Hess Select Sauvignon Blanc2016 Hess Select Sauvignon Blanc, North Coastpale yellow in the glass with hints of gooseberries and dried grass. The flavors include green melon, dried oat hay and dried herbs. The finish is juicy with nice acidity and a bit of citrus pith. 13.5% abv. SRP $13

If you’re looking for a Sauvignon Blanc that isn’t too grassy this one should please you. It announces itself as Sauvignon Blanc, but does not shout the fact at you.

Hess Select Chardonnay2016 Hess Select Chardonnay, Monterey Coastlight golden in the glass with primarily citrus and melon aromas. Hints of white flowers sneak into the background aromas. Flavors of ripe melon and ripe (but still tart) pineapple combine for ample flavor and finish with nice acidity. The wine is relatively light-bodied and is medium+ in length. 13.5% abv. SRP $13

This is an enjoyable Chardonnay with plenty of fruit flavor. The oak sits nicely in the background.

We paired these wines with a creamy mushroom pasta. This dish sounds simple, but the flavors are so complex. I scored wood ear mushrooms at the farmers market which have great depth of flavor and amazing texture. They made a delicious addition to this basic creamy pasta that otherwise simply includes sautéed onions, a bit of garlic and cream.



  1. I picked up the Hess Chardonnay to pair with plank grilled salmon and I must say it was wonderful. I am not a Chardonnay drinker. Not at all. 86 the oak and you have me. The Hess was a very good recommend and so incredibly priced for a non-chardonnay drinker too. Many many thanks. Great recommendation. Cheers.