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  Napa Valley     [all categories]
  Napa Valley - Wineries to Visit
  Wine Country Day 4 . . .

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Author Topic:   Wine Country Day 4 . . .
damombo
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posted 11-03-2010 12:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
You know, we had a pretty fabulous wine pairing dinner for friends last Labor Day weekend - tapas and wines and it went on for 7 courses. I'm thinking an annual Halloween Candy Wine Pairing Affair has a very festive ring to it! Get in shape for the candy season which is kicked off by Halloween! Halloween candy, Christmas candy, Valentine's candy and finally Easter candy!! I see a whole new industry developing!!!

IP: 76.31.54.111

yesilovewine
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posted 11-03-2010 09:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
You two are TOO funny!!!
I would never turn down chocolate either, with anything! Perhaps I need to tell you about the chocolate ports over in Sonoma County???
Damambo, those little packages are cute, aren't they?? Have you tried wine with Butterfingers yet? That one is a little harder than a straight Hershey bar...

IP: 96.225.226.107

Hawkeye
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posted 11-03-2010 08:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Damombo, If you are going to Bennett Lane on Saturday, they serve chocolate with their Cab. My wife was eating the chocolate one time with the Chardonnay and they called her on it. She put down the wine and just ate the chocolate. :-)

I have thought Trefethen wines were okay, but nothing really special. Not sure I would make a special trip to visit.

I am glad the tasting rooms don't stay open until 7:00 PM . . . at my age, that is my bedtime.

IP: 173.247.8.17

damombo
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posted 11-03-2010 07:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
I don't turn down chocolate and I don't turn down Zin! Thank goodness Halloween candy goes on for days and comes in cute little packages - plenty of chances to experiment with pairing

We visited Trefethen once several years ago. I don't recall how we felt about the wines - I do recall that there was a big club member event going on and they were very gracious about our dropping by, but they were also very busy. I'm certainly willing to go there again - just may not have time this trip. <sigh> If only they all stayed open until 7PM...

IP: 76.31.54.111

Hawkeye
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posted 11-03-2010 07:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Yesilovewine, we have tasted at Trefethen many times. For some reason I seem to be special there and they gave me a lifetime tasting pass. Don't have any idea why! My wife would argue and say that chocolate is good with any wine, even Chardonnay. She doesn't turn down chocolate.

IP: 173.247.8.17

yesilovewine
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posted 11-02-2010 11:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Damambo- Chocolate with ZIN!!!
Hawkeye, its a shame that we didn't have you to guide us in our early days- we might have been spending more time in Napa. You definitely have a commanding knowledge of Napa Valley.
Still and all, my favorite Napa winery experience was at Trefethen. Have you been there?

IP: 96.225.226.107

damombo
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posted 11-02-2010 04:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
Just sittin here snacking on the last of the skittles, sipping my Riesling (thanks, Yesilovewine!) , reading about Hawkeye's wonderful trip.... Tossed out the initial itinerary, think I'll just retrace most of Hawkeye's steps! heehee I do think we will try several (as many as we can fit) of these new to us places. My palate must be similar to yours, Hawkeye - love the big, bold Cabs and must have my Diet Coke! Love the big, jammy Zins and must have my Diet Coke! (skittles are gone, now to the M&Ms with a nice Cab)

IP: 76.31.54.111

Hawkeye
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posted 11-02-2010 11:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Day 3 - Saturday was spent in the Healdsburg area so it was posted on the Sonoma Message Board.

Day 4 - Sunday, October 24 - The rain is continuing, only harder at this point. Over 2” fell during the night. At this point, we had lost 4 of our group, so we were now 4 strong.

How many of you have heard of Midsummer Cellars? This was the first stop on Sunday morning. Just off the Silverado Trail on Sage Canyon Road, owned by Rollie and Sally Heitz, they only make three wines, all Cabs. We tasted all three, ‘07s, Canon Creek Vineyard (448 cases), Tomasson Vineyard (74 cases), and the Fowler Vineyard. At $40.00, $40.00 and $25.00, we thought they were all best buys. Normally we have not found wines of this quality at this price. Their tasting room is a little hole in the winery wall and quite charming. The Canyon Creek and Fowler were our favorites, but the Tomasson was not too shabby either. We shipped two bottles of each home. We will have to start getting very selective because our space at home is filling rapidly. I would suggest that Midsummer Cellars to be a MUST visit on your itinerary. Be sure to call for an appointment. Now you have heard of Midsummer Cellars!

It is now 11:00 am and we are scheduled at Conn Creek Winery, just back across Hwy 29 from Midsummer Cellars. Their ‘05 Bordeaux blend, Anthology which is their flagship wine, was tasting very well and would have been a part of my shipment home if I had more space. The ‘05 Collins Vineyard Cab was also tasting well and was my pick of the Cabs that we tasted. I think a trip to Conn Creek would be very worthwhile just for these two wines. A recommended stop since you have already been to Midsummer Cellars just across the street and are very close..

For lunch, we drove back across to Hwy 29 and drove to the south edge of St. Helena, to Pizzeria Tra Vigne, one of our favorite lunch stops. A peperoni pizza was consumed so we were happy again. I was also about a quart low on Diet Coke, so I caught up on that.

Our next appointment was at Burgess Cellars up Deer Park Road on Howell Mountain. The views from this winery are amazing (if it isn’t raining). We have tasted at Burgess several times, once with the owner, Tom Burgess, which was very special. Burgess is known for their big Howell Mountain Cabs that are bold in flavor and finish well. Since our last case is filling fast, we only purchased 2 of his ‘96 Library Howell Mountain Cabs that we thought were very special. This Cab contained 80% Cab, 12% Cab Franc, and 8% Merlot, and was made from grapes from the Burgess Estate Vineyard. If you like big Cabs. put Burgess Cellars on your list.

As the rain pours harder we ventured up Deer Park Road to Ladera Winery. I had attended a wine dinner in Chattanooga a couple weeks ago where Ladera wines were featured. We tasted several wines on their list, but the ‘06 Howell Mountain stood out above all the others. Do I lean toward the reds? You bet! Again, because of the case space (plus it is at the upper limits of my price point), we only purchased 2 bottles of their Cab. Wine Spectator just rated this wine at 94 points. Now, I don’t always agree with WS ratings, but I believe this one to be right on target. Just up the road a little way from Burgess, I would suggest a trip up just for their Cab.

Because of the weather, we canceled our last appointment only to taste another day.

We had dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in Calistoga, Bosco’s Italian Restaurant. The food is always good and the service here is superb.

[This message has been edited by Hawkeye (edited 11-02-2010).]

IP: 173.247.8.17

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