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  Napa Valley     [all categories]
  Napa Valley - Wineries to Visit
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Author Topic:   New Turn
posted 10-17-2008 01:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
We travel to the wine country 2 - 4 times per year. Our normal lodging is at the Best Western Stephenson Manor Inn in Calistoga. It has recently undergone upgrading and the folks are friendly. By staying in Calistoga, you can cover all the ground . . . south along the Silverado Trail, south on Hwy 29 clear to Napa, west to Sonoma, and our most recent discovery, north on Hwy 128 toward Healdsburg and the Alexander Valley.

Starting north on Hwy 128, the first stop was on the north end of Calistoga, at Bennett Lane Winery. Their Maximus blend is their flagship and just received a 90 point score from Wine Spectator. At $35.00 per bottle, it is an excellent buy. They also have a 93 point '05 Cab that we liked very much. Normally we don't pay attention to the wine ratings, we just choose what we like.

Continuing north, the next stop was at Hanna Winery where the '07 Chardonnay stood out. Their '05 Bismark Mountain Zin was big and bold, the best in our opinion.

Next, was the Alexander Valley Vineyards. Our favorite there was the Alexander Valley Top Of The Crop Cabernet. At $35.00 per bottle we found it to be a good buy. It had received a 92 from Wine Enthusiast.

Next along Hwy 128, was Sausal Winery. We tasted most of the available wines there and chose the '05 Family Zin, and the '05 Private Reserve Zin. You can tell we are "red" people.

We found Robert Young Estates winery where many of the wineries purchase their grapes. Outstanding there was the '05 Big Rock Block Cab. Needs to age and mellow a little but still very good.

On the outskirts of Healdsburg, we found Simi Winery. the award winning '05 Landslide Cab was an outstanding bargain in case lots. Also, we enjoyed their Dry Creek Zin and the '04 Reserve Cab had a great bold fruit flavor.

This was a full day for us and we headed back to Calistoga with several purchases and many good memories. One thing nice about the Healdsburg area is that many of the wineries offer free tastings if you carry the Visa Signature Card. Some will also give a discount on wine purchases.


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