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  Napa Valley     [all categories]
  Napa Valley - Wineries to Visit
  October Trip Day 1

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Author Topic:   October Trip Day 1
posted 11-07-2011 10:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
Great start to I hope a great trip! (you sophisticated fellow, you!)


posted 11-04-2011 12:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Nice, Hawkeye.
EVeryone loves your ad libs, so we look forward to your recount of the rest of the trip.


posted 11-04-2011 06:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Day 1 - Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Our arrival day in the valley of wine. We began our day in Tennessee at 3:15 AM when the alarm went off signaling the beginning of another trip to Wine Country. The plane left Chattanooga about 6:00 AM headed for Atlanta where we would get our connection to Sacramento. We landed about 10:30 AM and picked up our luggage and rental car and hit on the road about 11:30. In a hurry to get to Napa Valley, we picked up a quick McDonald’s meal along the way and was quickly back on the road.

Our first and only appointment for the day was in St. Helena at 2:30 PM. Arriving in the Valley a little early, we made an unscheduled stop at Hope & Grace in Yountville. Those of you who are looking for Pinot, you could not do much better than tasting the two releases here. I am a cab and zin person, always have been, always will be, but the 08 Doctor’s Vineyard Santa Lucia combines fruit and body, and at $46 was considered a very good buy. But wait, their 08 Hendricks Doctor’s Vineyard was a cut above with berries that cling to your palate with a long lingering finish. At $75, I doubt you could find a much better Pino in the Valley. Then on to our favorite, the cabs. We tasted 2, the 2007 and 2008 Lewelling, St. Helena. The 07 was filled with fruit and a long lingering finish. The 08 has not been released yet and really needed some time to develop in the bottle. Open it in a couple years and let it decant, and you will probably have an incredible cab. The 07, at $58, followed us home. Matthew was our host and led us through their offerings. He was knowledgeable and fun making for a great experience.

Now, let me digress for a moment. I can remember when we started drinking wine back in the 60s and at maybe $7 per bottle, Mateus was our favorite. As our palates have changed and our tastes have become more sophisticated (I can’t believe I said that), our outlay per bottle has steadily risen. I can remember a time when I would not think of paying $50 for a bottle of wine . . . then it was $75 . . . then more! I used to balk at paying high end prices but I can tell you first hand, there is a difference, and you can taste it.

Then on to St. Helena to our appointment at Salon St. Helena. This is a new tasting room featuring the wines of Harris Estate Vineyards and Jones Family Vineyards, both having Thomas Rivers Brown as winemaker. I first tasted TRB made wines when I purchased an 07 Harris Lakeview vineyard cab from the winery. All I can say is, “It was incredible”. I became an instant fan and selected five wineries on this trip with TRB as winemaker. By the way, he was named Winemaker of the Year in 2010 and has had more 100 point wines than any other winemaker. The first wine we tasted was the Harris 08 Indulgence cab. Lots of fruit, smooth and balanced, incredible nose. The second was the 07 Jake’s Creek vineyard cab. Bold, smooth with lots of fruit. The next was the Jones 08 “The Sisters” cab. Very fruit forward with a very nice finish. And the last was the Jones Estate cab. We were told that this was more in the French style, more earth with not as much fruit, a little softer. We enjoyed all of these wines and even thought they were on the high end, bottles of each followed us home. Asa Baird was our host and he made the experience enjoyable. I gave all these wines a WOW, and am looking forward to tasting more of Thomas Rivers Brown magic. The fee was a little steep at $35, but knowing the wine, it was definitely worth it. When I mentioned to Asa that I had ordered from Harris before, he waived the fee.

This was written while we were still in NV adn now that we are home, I discovered that I left my tasting book somewhere and will have to ad lib the rest of the trip.


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