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  Napa Valley     [all categories]
  Napa Valley - Wineries to Visit
  Quick trip report

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Author Topic:   Quick trip report
posted 03-07-2011 08:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Bigsemi, thanks so much for the info on Raymond. We had some that I just found on the rack a few weeks back and it was a magnificent Cab...makes me want to know more about this Napa winery.
Hawkeye- sure hope the missus is feeling better. We all look forward to reading about your adventures.
To both- that bug must be on the planes somewhere because Left Brain had it after his flight also...and he went eastward. Keep that sanitizer handy!!!!


posted 03-07-2011 07:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Big Semi,

Great report . . . short trip. I agree with you on Duckhorn, incredible Merlot but the price is a little high.

Sorry to hear that Mrs. Bigsemi was down in the dumps, expecially after the long ride out and for such a short time.

Just waiting to go to the Sacramento airport for an 11:30 flight out this morning. Don't get home until 11:30. Have to spend 3 hours in the Atlanta airport. As soon as I get home, get caught up and collect my thoughts, you will have a report on our trip.

Great trip, lots of new EXCELLENT wines to tell you about.


posted 03-06-2011 08:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bigsemi   Click Here to Email bigsemi     Edit/Delete Message
My wife and I were in Napa for a very fast weekend Feb 18th-20th. I flew out Friday morning, got into San Fran an hour late because Obama was holding crap up in San Fran. It turned a 60 mile drive into an almost 3 hour drive in the pouring rain up to our hotel in Napa(Best Western in the Vines, nice inexpensive spot). Fun way to get started. I met up with a good friend for dinner and drinks at Pacific Blues and Bardessono (They have some of the most high-Tech toilets you've ever seen in the bar area).

Saturday morning, headed up to Calistoga for a breakfast burrito and Mexican Mocha at Palisades Deli.

I then decided to do a bit of recon work for our 4 day trip in April, I stopped at Duckhorn first. It was a nice tasting, the merlots were very good, but everything was in the $80-95 price range. Wine has to really speak to me at that price point, so I don't think we'll be heading back. One real nice note about their wine club, all wine ships free, even just one bottle. I thought that was pretty cool, but that also tells me they way over charge for their wine, so they can afford to ship for free.

After that I headed to Raymond Vineyards. They were just recently bought by a french gentalman, and it seems they are going through a lot of changes. They've ripped out a ton of vines to switch over to organic/bio-dymanic. They've brought in goats and sheep for their lawn mowing talents, and totally redone the tasting room areas. Their Crystal Tasting Room, has a very cool night club feel to it. They are also, in the process of putting in several Club members lounges for tasting. The wine was good. They were pouring older vintages for president's weekend. They have a lot of good wines at very good price points, even their older vintages, prices ranged from $13-100. Lots of choices in between. We are definitely heading back in April.

After that it was time to grab a bite to eat (Burrito at La Luna), clean up and head back to SFO to pick up my wife. The rain that had stayed away in the morning and early afternoon reared it's ugly head again, but the drive down was not too bad. Unfortuantly my wife was starting to get the stomach bug that has been going around. Not what I wanted to hear, as we were heading to a Hall of Fame Members Wine Maker's Dinner at V. Sattui. Got back to the hotel, my wife cleaned up and put on her best smile, trying to ignore the armagedon going on in her little tummy.

We arrive to V. Sattui as they were finishing up hors-derves (sp). We were lucky enough to be seated up towards the front of the dinning area (Only about 30 people at the meal). We sat next to some of our friends and the Winery President, Tom Davies, and Wine Maker, Brooks Painter. It made for a lot of great conversation about the meal, and wine. My wife was able to make it through 2 coarses before I had to send her back to the hotel, needless to say she was crushed to have to leave the dinner.

The 4 coarses were incredible, maybe the best lamb I've ever eaten. Wine was paired with each coarse, Brooks would introduce the wine for the coarse, and then the chef would explain why they chose that particular dish to pair with the wine.

They introduced 2 new wines that night, a new Pinot, and a Meritage Blend, both were incredible. I know people like to say Sattui just has a great deli, but if you've not had some of their single vinyard wines you are missing the boat, Brooks has done an awesome job the last few years. I picked up 8 bottles of th PN and 4 of the Meritage. Thankfully our friends were able to give me a ride back down to our hotel.

We flew out early the next morning.

All in all it was a fast but friutful trip. We've really built some great relationships in the Valley, and with other members at Sattui. It is really awesome to have several people to visit when we are in town, and seeing lots of friends at the events at Sattui. I hope the rest of you have found a "Home away from home" in the valley.


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