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  Napa Valley     [all categories]
  Napa Valley - Wineries to Visit
  Wine Country Day 2 . . .

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Author Topic:   Wine Country Day 2 . . .
posted 10-31-2010 01:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Damombo,

Contact Gary Luchtel at gluchtel@aol.com
Tell him that I recommended them.

Jeff Blaume can be reached at jeff@chasecellars.com Tell him I sent you.

If you get a chance, try Bennett Lane also.

I sure hope you won't be disappointed.

[This message has been edited by Hawkeye (edited 10-31-2010).]


posted 10-31-2010 12:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
Sounds wonderful - we will add Chase and Surh Luchtel Cellars to our list! We will be receiving a case of assorted Zins from Biale next week, so if we can't get to their tasting room this trip, we'll go next time. Sorry that the service in the restaurants was lacking - wonder what's up with that?


posted 10-31-2010 12:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Day 2, Friday - We were joined by friends from Kentucky and California for a weekend of tasting and frivolity. We have known each other for several years and we got acquainted and became friends through our passion for dayllies. This is the second year that we have tasted together for a long weekend.

I am not going to pretend that I can pick up all the nuisances of smell and taste. We were told a long time ago, “Trust your mouth . . . if you like it, it is good.” You may not like some that I like and vice versa. It is a good thing that we all don’t like the same thing.

The day started with a misting rain at Chase Cellars on the south edge of St. Helena. We have been tasting there for years with Jeff Blaume, the winery manager. Their specialty is Zinfandel made from the 100 year old vines of the Hayne Vineyard which is known for it’s Zin. Helen Turley makes a Zin from the grapes of the Hayne Vineyard also. Jeff gave us a barrel tasting of their Savignon Blanc, a new wine for them. WOW, the citrusy (is that a word) taste was outstanding and my wife wanted some for breakfast. ;-) Then we moved on to the the ‘07 Hayne Vineyard Zin and it did not disappoint from the excellence of previous vintages. Next was the ‘07 Reserve Zin which was my favorite. We had both shipped home.This is one of the small wineries that is by appointment only and a highly recommended stop.

Next on the schedule was Milat Family Winery. The wines that we tasted did not have enough body for my taste. However, they have a Port wine chocolate sauce that is superb. Make a stop and just purchase the chocolate.

Lunch for a group of 8 was at Mustard’s. Is service non existant at Napa Valley eateries? The food around the table was very good but please give some good service also.

After lunch we went to Gustavo Thrace Winery in Napa. I did not think the wines tasted as they as they did in March, plus they were out of their Cab which was my favorite at the first tasting. Remember that Gustavo Brambila was one of the main characters in the movie “Bottle Shock” and was portrayed by Freddie Rodriguez.

The No. 1 find of the whole trip so far was Surh Luchtel Cellars, just ¼ mile from Biale Vineyards, a winery that had been recommended to me by another winery host. Gary Luchtel, one of the owners met us personally, looking harried trying to get grapes in because of the rain in the forecast. We sat around a table in the winery house and began with their wines. We tasted an ‘07 Pinot Noir, an ‘07 Zin, an ‘07 Mosaique (a Bordeaux blend) and a couple of their cabs. From top to bottom these were the best finds of the whole trip. We shipped the ‘07 Umino Vineyard Pino, ‘07 NV Zin and the ‘07 Mosaique NV home. I think you could ship any of their wines home and be happy. I would recommend this as a MUST stop! An appointment is necessary.

To finish the day, we had an appointment at Robert Biale Vineyards. Kandice Jessup is the tasting room manager and she alone makes the stop worthwhile. However, they do have Zins, and what Zins they are. We tasted several but came home with the ‘08 Black Chicken at $40.00 and the ‘08 Monte Rosso at $50.00. Kandice and her husband, Mark, are opening their own winery in the next year or two named for Mark’s son, J. Gregory Winery. Mark’s family used to own Jessup Vineyards and he was the winemaker. We tasted there several times and the wines were excellent, so I am expecting some great things from J. Gregory. Add Robert Biale to your MUST list to visit.

The evening ended with dinner for 8 at Bistro Jeanty in Yountville. The food was outstanding but the service sucks. I have come to expect the lack of service from Napa Valley restaurants.

[This message has been edited by Hawkeye (edited 10-31-2010).]

[This message has been edited by Hawkeye (edited 10-31-2010).]


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