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

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Author Topic:   Napa Valley Day 4
posted 06-27-2011 09:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for carjeff   Click Here to Email carjeff     Edit/Delete Message

Thanks for the excellent report. I agree that Chappellet has excellent views and wine. It was our first winery on our first trip several years ago. Still one of our favorites.


posted 06-26-2011 06:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RichardSE     Edit/Delete Message
Thank you, Hawkeye

I like to cook and enjoy people that are better than I am. Food and wine pairings is particularly fun because wines and foods I might not normally enjoy can change when they are tried together.

The O'Shaugnessy Cab was good, but I had never had it before.


posted 06-26-2011 01:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Richard,

Another great in-depth review. Sounds like you are into food as much as wine . . . like Damombo.

I was interested in your O’Shaugnessy Cab since we are going to visit there in October.

Have not been to Chappellet Vineyards either. You are a good source. Will hit them in March.

I would guess 12 or more years ago we visited a winery on Prichard Hill called Harrison. It still shows it on the WineCountry.com map, but I believe it was sold several years ago (or maybe leased) and Mrs. Harrison went to New Zeland (I think) to make wine. Their wines were okay, but nothing special. I remember some of their labels having a Zebra on them.


[This message has been edited by Hawkeye (edited 06-26-2011).]


posted 06-26-2011 11:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for RichardSE     Edit/Delete Message
Saturday, May 28, 2011

We spent the morning at Oxbow Market and the farmer’s market next door. Between the two, we were able to get all the items we needed for our picnic at Chappellet Vineyards on Pritchard Hill. This is still our favorite winery, the views are incredible, the people are friendly and the wines are terrific – the perfect tirfecta for a Napa winery. We started with the 2009 Chenin Blanc ($28 retail) which we drank while walking around the winery. Tropical fruits and citrus give it an enjoyable nose and taste. It’s a nice wine that would pair well with Hawaiian fusion and Asian foods.

Next was the 2009 Napa Valley Chardonnay ($32 retail) which had a flowery nose and apple notes without being sweet. The 2008 Signature Cab ($48 retail) was poured while wee walked out to the vineyards and saw how the cab grapes were beginning to flower. We’ve had the 2008 Signature Cab a number of times and I really enjoy it. It’s got spice on the nose, delicious berries and a hint of anise on the tongue. After our tour of the vineyards, we headed back into the winery where they had a big table for a seated tasting. They even had down jackets if you’re too cold! The next wine we tasted was the 2008 Pritchard Hill Cab ($135 retail), their premium cab.It has a great nose of spices and black cherries and big berries and tannins on the tongue. This wine will need some age in the bottle, probably 7 years to reach it’s peak.

One of our fellow tour members asked about the wines that we received in our last shipment, so we got to taste two bonus wines. The 2008 Malbec ($48 retail) and the 2008 Clone 337 were in the wine club shipment a month or so ago. I think the Malbec is a club only wine, I don’t remember about the Clone 337. The Malbec had cherries and a little spice on the nose; definitely a berry fruit forward
wine. It had great acid and a nice long finish. The Clone 337 is a nice, but not great cabernet sauvignon wine. It had really nice fruit and good structure but I thought lacked the finish necessary to make it a really good wine.

We ended up purchasing a bottle of the Malbec for our picnic (and two more for my box) and headed over to the picnic area for our lunch. The last time we were at Chappellet, our picnic there was warmer. Still the view of the vineyards and Lake Hennessy below added to our picnic foods and the Malbec.

We ended up doing some shopping and sightseeing before heading back to our hotel to get ready for dinner at La Toque. We were looking forward to this because the same friend that recommended Solbar also recommended this restaurant. They’re known for their wine pairings, so Lois kindly agreed to drive (and limit herself to one glass of the 2007 Ladera Cab which the restaurant was pouring by the glass) while I had the wine pairings. For the first course, Lois had the Chef Garden Vegetable and Green Salad while I had the Maine Lobster salad with Manila Mango and Lemongrass paired with the 2007 Reisling from Kabinett. Even though I’m from Hawaii, I don’t normally choose to have mangos, but the sweetness from lobster and the mango and the wine melded together in different layers that made me wish there was more.

For the second course, Lois ordered the Soft Shelled Crab with Fregola Sarda and Green Garlic and I ordered the Ricotta Chick Pea Ravioli in a Parmesan Wild Mushroom broth that was paired with the 2007 Au Bon Climat Pinot “Isabelle”. We ended up trading because Lois didn’t care for her dish. From what I tasted of the Ravioli, it was very delicious -- almost meaty. The subtle taste of the dish went well with the Pinot. The soft shelled crab was tasty but not as good as the ravioli.

For the third course, Lois was feeling adventurous and ordered the South Texas Nilgal Antelope with Potato Wild Mushroom Terrine. I ordered the Prime Angus Rib Eye Served rare with Cheddared Pearl Tapioca and Rutherford Red Wine Sauce which was paired with the 2004 O’Shaugnessy Cab from Howell Mountain. That was one of the best dishes I’ve ever had! Even though the beef was rare, it had a smoke from the char that went perfectly with the oak elements from the O’Shaugnessy Cab. I’m not normally a tapioca fan, but it provided a nice counterbalance to the whole dish and matched well with the berries and cherries in the wine. Unfortunately, I ended up trading with Lois who didn’t care for the antelope. The antelope was done quite well, but still not my preference. The mushroom and potato terrine was good. Maybe it would have been better with the wine pairings. For dessert, we had the cheese plate, but frankly, we weren’t able to finish it, so we took some cheese back for a snack later. That was it for Saturday. All in all, a great Saturday.

(Just noticed, that I'm now a member.)

[This message has been edited by RichardSE (edited 06-26-2011).]


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