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  Napa Valley     [all categories]
  Napa Valley - Wineries to Visit
  November Trip report, part 1 (third try)

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Author Topic:   November Trip report, part 1 (third try)
posted 12-12-2010 01:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
The walking part of the Shafer tour isn't long at all - just a bit out into their yard so that they can point to the various vineyard locations. The Kuleto walk was very long and lots of ups and downs - so probably not too comfortable for you.

I'm off to compose the next portion of the report! I've missed chatting with everyone!


posted 12-12-2010 01:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Damombo,

You will be happy to know that your posts came through. We have not tried many of the restaurants in Yountville except for Bistro Jeanty and Pacific Blues. Maybe next time.

I have Shafer on my list for a visit. Tasted there a few years ago. I do have a hard time walking some of these tours because of bad hips. Not the kind that can be fixed with replacements. The just cannot figure out what is going on.

Great report, will now go read part 2.

[This message has been edited by Hawkeye (edited 12-12-2010).]


posted 12-12-2010 12:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
(sorry it has taken so long to post - I have had an unusually crazy several weeks! Is it the Universe trying to balance my two trips to Napa/Sonoma in 3 months with some negative stuff???? Who knows, but here is what I have so far...)

We arrived in Yountville early enough to stop by NapaStyle and taste Michael Chiarrello’s wines. We do enjoy his reds: the Giana Zin and the Eileen Cab are just delicious. We sent a case home Their winemaker is Thomas Brown - I must try the other places he makes wine for, because this guy is brilliant (in my humble opinion). Checked into the Napa Valley Lodge and headed to Bottega for dinner. And it was amazing - (Hawkeye, you will be happy to know that we had excellent service) We started with a burrata of butternut squash followed by mushroom risotto and short ribs. Dee-licious! We forced ourselves to have the panna cotta (we were stuffed and really didn’t need anything more) and it was absolutely perfect. Every dish was expertly seasoned and perfectly prepared - I highly recommend a meal there! Went back to the Napa Valley Lodge, and they had put a bottle of wine with a congratulations card in our room! They had called a few days before we arrived to see if we were celebrating anything special and I had mentioned that we were celebrating our 34th wedding anniversary. It was a very nice touch!

Our first full day of fabulousness began with breakfast at Pacific Blues in Yountville - they do a great breakfast, and as you all know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Especially if you are planning a full day of wine tasting! First appointment was at Shafer. A very elegant tasting. We started with a bit of a tour/talk outside. It was overcast, but not raining. A flock of geese came in for a landing on their pond as we were gathering - fun to see! We then moved inside and sat at a long table with each of their 5 wines already poured and waiting for us. The host then took us through each wine. The Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay had subtle oakiness, lots of citrus and was very crisp. The Merlot had a lush berry nose, lovely long finish, and was soft, but big fruit in the mouth. (see, I was trying to write very eloquent notes! lasted for this winery only...) Anyway, I’m not a big Merlot lover, but this one I really enjoyed. The One Point Five Cab was delicious and very full bodied in the mouth. Relentless, the blend named in honor of the winemaker’s relentless pursuit of quality, had a hint of smoke on the nose, blueberries in the mouth, and a peppery finish. The final taste was of the 2006 Hillside Select ($215). Here is what the winemaker has to say: “The first thing I get on opening a bottle is the immediate aromatic beauty. There’s nothing closed about this nose. The aliveness is followed in the mouth with a core of juicy, black fruit, chocolate, black plums, cassis, black and red cherry, black tea, and vanilla and spice. Ripe tannins put together good structure for very long term aging.” (I figure that for a bottle that expensive, I’d let them do the describing!) I did enjoy each of their wines and did enjoy the style of this tasting. The sun came out while we were sitting there, plus John Shafer came in to say hello. The winemaker, Elias Fernandez, has been with them for over 20 years. Another winemaker I’m a fan of!

to be continued...


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