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  Napa Valley     [all categories]
  Napa Valley - Wineries to Visit
  Napa 4 day Summary

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Author Topic:   Napa 4 day Summary
Junior Member
posted 07-27-2012 05:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p5sky   Click Here to Email p5sky     Edit/Delete Message
A great source of wine wisdom is Andrew at the Bounty Hunter in Downtown Napa. He gave me some great tips for the next trip, most were appt only so it did not fit in this time.

We are looking at BCellars & Sawyer Cellars next trip. I may just order the Sawyer Syrah now, flavor notes of chocolate covered bacon, oh my


posted 07-27-2012 02:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RC456     Edit/Delete Message

great report and glad you had a great time.

We were told about Sbragia on our May trip by Brain over at Windsor Oaks. Went on his recommendation and will go back if for no other reason than to sit on that wonderful balcony and enjoying a bottle & view like we did in May!


Junior Member
posted 07-27-2012 02:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for gcb17   Click Here to Email gcb17     Edit/Delete Message
Thanks for the great trip summary, Sky. I recently had the Venge 2010 Scouts Honor and thoroughly enjoyed it. We actually received a shipment from Venge today which included a few more. Also, we will have to look at William Harrison for our next visit this December; we are big fans of the good Cab Francs.


posted 07-27-2012 09:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
Great trip report!

We have Sbragia on our itinerary for this October - have not been there before so I'm pleased to hear your review.

Guess we'd better put Venge on the list, just not sure if we can squeeze it in this time. Like Hawkeye said, trip reports are a great source of new prospects


posted 07-27-2012 07:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Sky,

Thanks for the great report. It is through this Message Board that we learn of new and exciting places to visit.

On our last trip, like you, we discovered Venge. I thought their wines were very good and we did bring home the Reserve Cab along with the Bone Ash Vineyard Cab which we will open tonight when we go to dinner at our favorite restaurant here in Chattanooga. We always share with the GM and sent him a list of wines that we were considering taking and offered to let him select. He picked the Bone Ash Vineyard Cab. We also also share a taste with our favorite server. This does pay off as we always receive outstanding service and an occasional extra tidbit or desert.

Hope & Grace is one of our favorites in Yountville. They have some outstanding Cabs. By chance, did you have Matt Beverly as hour host. We really enjoyed him and have requested his service again for October.

Had not heard of Herb Lamb Vineyards. Will try and work that one in for October. Also will put Hunnicutt on our list.

Napa does tend to keep drawing you back. It is one of my favorite places on earth.



Junior Member
posted 07-27-2012 01:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for p5sky   Click Here to Email p5sky     Edit/Delete Message
Okay, I had a pretty set itinerary but made many adjustments. I went to find small-production cabs and I got them. We had appointments each day, but not booked the entire day so I was able to have some fun.

Day 1
Appointment at Venge. This was a 1 on 1 experience and very relaxing. The winemaker, Kirk Venge, has many projects in the Napa region and all are impressive. We loved the white blend Spettro, got a few bottles. Also, the Scout's Honor red blend is a solid example of a zin/petite sirah blend. Unfortunately the Reserve cab was only available in a 3-pack so we held of at $375, but we did join the club for the experience of the portfolio including 3 cabs that score in the 92+ range and sell out each vintage.

Now here's where we took a HUGE turn . . . we headed into northern Sonoma for Sbragia. I love their wines and communicated with their club rep via email, so I wanted to go! It was a nice 60 min drive form Calistoga. We bought the Dry Creek, Howell Mtn, and Mt Veeder cabs. Wanted to pull the trigger on the collaboration project with Joe Montana but held back. Sbragia has a great patio and also sells by the glass so you can have a nice afternoon there.

We finished up down the road at Dutcher Crossing and got a few syrahs and reserve cabs, along with their yummy port.

Day 2
We had the whole day open without appts and met with my wife's college roommate for lunch. On the way we stopped in Turnbull, it is an easy wine to find in SoCal but I wanted the Black Label cab. We got the 93 pt 2007 along with the syrah.

After lunch we went to Yountville for Hope & Grace and their small production wines. The server was very informative and accommodating. I think we bought the most here: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Reserve Cab. Oh, also a nice, dry reisling for my wife's Thai food night with the girls.

Day 3
We had a prior purchase to pick up at Herb Lamb Vineyards at the base of Howell Mountain. They previously sold to Colgin and the Colgin wine cost $200+. So the owners of the vineyard decided to make their own wine. Jennifer Lamb invited us to her amazing home house to pick up our purchase. We sat out on the deck overlooking the Herb Lamb vineyard and facing Howell Mountain. We had all of their wines (200-300 cases each) and the estate cab was phenomenal. This baby can be aged for 15+ years.

Then we were off to Hunnicutt, made by Kirk Venge once again. This was a 1 on 1 tasting again, but she said she can handle 3-4 parties at a time. It was midweek and we were the only appt. We did a cave tour, met Justin Hunnicutt, and had a nice relaxing tasting that included a white, merlot, Cutt red blend, and reserve Rutherford cab. We walked out with the Cutt, an '04 Napa cab for dinner at Cole's Chop House, and their big boy, the 9-3-5 cab blend from the best juice from all 3 main vineyards.

We finished the day and the trip at William Harrison Winery on Silverado Trail. Shelly at Hunnicutt recommended this place for their cab franc, a wonderful grape if done properly. This is a small tasting room with a lot of history. The cab franc was wonderful as was the cab sauvignon, and deals at $5 and $50 after all the reserves we purchased. They had not released their Rutherford Estate, a Bordeaux blend from all estate fruit, but it is something I may purchase without tasting based on the quality of the cab franc and cab sauvignon.

I really enjoyed this Napa experience with only 2-3 wineries each day. We never felt rushed, and we had options based on local referrals. I did my research and found some great places, but there are more to visit and I am already setting up my list.


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