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  Napa Valley     [all categories]
  Napa Valley - Wineries to Visit
  Napa, Day 4

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Author Topic:   Napa, Day 4
posted 03-11-2011 05:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
I forgot one interesting fact about Hartwell. Years ago, 2 engineer friends were hiking when they got into a patch of burrs which stuck to their socks and pants and made it almost impossible to separate. Thinking that there should be some use for something like this, they took their find and examined it under a microscope. They discovered that little hooks on the ends made it hard to separate. Being engineers, they came up with the idea of Velcro. Mr. Hartwell took some of his money from Velcro and started his winery. Now you know the whole story.


posted 03-10-2011 01:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
As always Hawkeye, sounds like a great trip.


posted 03-10-2011 01:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
We were excited about the possibilities that this day may bring. In the past, we have not paid much attention to the Stags Leap area of Napa, mainly because it is on the lower side of the Silverado Trail. We had a line up of mostly “open to the public” wineries with a couple of “appointment” wineries thrown in. We drove to the bottom of the Trail and started our climb back up.

SIGNORELLO ESTATE - We were a little before the 10:00 opening (we like to get an early start) so sat in the drive until the gate opened. At 5 minutes after, I called and they opened the gate. The tasting room and the hostess, Kathlin Walters were warm and inviting. We tasted five wines, a flight of 04, 05, 06 and 07 Cabernet Saavignon Estate and the 06 Padrone Estate blend of Cab, Merlot, and Cab Franc. It still had 83% Cab so technically would be considered a Cab. the 07 Estate Cab wa our favorite and the one following us home. It had all the fruit with even a hint of chocolate which touched Mrs. Hawkeye’s fancy. The tasting fee was $15 and was not refunded with a purchase.

STELTZNER - We tasted 5 wines, Pinot, Pinotage, Merlot, and 2 Cabs. From top to bottom, I rated these wine as very good. We had never heard of the Pinotage, so was interested in it’s heritage. It is of South African heritage and a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault (which I have not hear of either) and was created in 1926. It was a very interesting taste and one which we liked. But our favorite was the 05 Estate “Pool Block” stags Leap Cab. It had dark, rich berries and a nice lingering finish. This was the one we brought home. Their tasting fee was $10.00 and not deducted from a purchase. They also have a very reasonable wine cave tour which I might put on the agenda for our small October group. Another nice find.

It was now lunchtime, and we were not too far from the Yountville Crossroad so we drove over and had lunch at Pacific Blues, one of our favorite lunch venues.

HARTWELL ESTATE - Earler in the morning, I had noticed Hartwell on the map in the area we were visiting and it was an appointment only winery so I called and was able to schedule and appointment for 1:00. The first tasting was the 07 Estate Reserve Cab Stags Leap District. It was bold, full bodied with plenty of berries and sweet tannins. Good enough to bring home . . . but wait. The next was the 07 Hartwell Estate Miste Hill Cabernet, Stags Leap District. Again, lots of berries and a nice silky finish. Good enough to bring home . . . but wait. We tasted the 02 Library Hartwell Estate Cab that just blew us away (can I say that here?). Each year, we look for a special bottle to bring home for our wedding anniversary and this was the one. At $140.00, it was a little over our price point, but for such an occasion, who is counting. This year in August it will be 54 years for me and 35 for Mrs Hawkeye because she says she is younger than me and it could not be that many years for her. The tasting fee, at $25.00 is a little steep, but I am glad we did it.

REGUSCI WINERY - I believe Wolfman had Regusci on his list also. We had tasted here a few years ago and for some reason just never went back. I like their tasting room with the old long “western style” bar, a feeling of years gone bye. We tasted their array of offerings but purchased the 07 Regusci Patriarch Proprietary Blend of 55% Cab, 35% Merlot and 10% Cab Franc. Dark in the glass, it tasted like all the berries rolled into one and a very nice finish. I can easily recommend this as a stop on the agenda.

BALDACCI WINERY - This has become one of my favorites in the Valley. We tasted the 07 IV Sons Cab of which we have several bottles in our cooler. The 08 should be released very soon. Next on the menu was the 08 Mathilde Russian River Pinot which was tasting very well with enough body to satisfy our Cab palates and one of which is following us home. Then we hit the heavies. The 07 Brenda’s Vineyard Stags Leap Cab was very bold but just a little too dry on my palate. I knew we were going to get blown away by the next. I had written several posts ago that we opened one of our two bottles of 07 Baldacci Diamond Mountain Cab and wished I had more. Well, we now have more. A complex mix of berries with the hint of chocolate that Mrs. Hawkeye loves. She can pick this out every time.

Enough tasting for the day. I had wanted to make Raymond, but it just wasn’t in the cards. We did stop by Chase Family Cellars to say hello to our friend, Jeff Blaum the winery manager. He said he had heard we were in the area and was wondering if we were going to stop. How word travels. Had a glass of Zin with Jeff and looked at pictures of his son, Charlie. What a charmer that 3 year old is. Back to Calistoga and maybe a nap before dinner. Cheers!


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