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  Napa Valley     [all categories]
  Napa Valley - Wineries to Visit
  Trip Report

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Author Topic:   Trip Report
posted 06-14-2013 01:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Damombo,

AGain, another fantastic report. I enjoy reading your comments. Thanks.



posted 06-09-2013 10:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
Our group of 9 spent two days in Sonoma county and two days in Napa Valley.

Our Napa Valley visits were to Elyse, Arger-Martucci, Black Sears, Hall Rutherford, Gustavo (used to be Gustavo Thrace), Cakebread, Chase and Hartwell. Of these, Arger-Martucci, Gustavo and Hartwell were new for us.

The day we visited Arger-Martucci and Black Sears, it was actually rainy. We were supposed to taste outside at Arger-Martucci but instead decided to stay in the little tasting room. No need to get rain in our glasses! The group enjoyed the wines - they were having a Memorial Day sale and if you bought a case, it was half-off - so we sent a case home. Their current (just released) selections are 2007 - so they hold their wines a bit longer than others do before releasing them. We sent home Syrah, Petite Sirah, and Cab. All delicious!

Next stop was a chilly and rainy visit to Black Sears. We braved the elements for a quick chat in the vineyard, then dashed into the office and Chris took us on a tour of the cave. Our picnic was pretty much rained out (and it was very cold that day, up on the mountain top!) so we had lunch with Chris in his office - cozy, and fun and tasty. We had already tasted his wines (and there were 9 of us!) but he brought out another bottle to share with us over lunch. Always a wonderful experience visiting Chris on the mountain We bought futures of his upcoming zin and cab.

Elyse was a nice stop, but the wines weren’t really in our palate profile, so we won’t need to visit again. They have plenty of fans, so don’t let me stop you from visiting. (I think you should try everywhere at least once, because we all like different things, and those things change!)

Hall Rutherford, Chase and Cakebread are favorites with us, although this visit to Cakebread wasn’t quite up to the usual standard. The wines were a bit young and we didn’t get to the high end wines like last year - so maybe it was just an off day... Happen sometimes! And it really does depend somewhat on the person doing the pouring. If their personality doesn’t click, it’s not as fun.

Our last visit, and the last new-to-us place, was Hartwell. What a gorgeous property! They aren’t really set up to have 9 people visit, so it was a squeeze when we got to the tasting room, but we enjoyed it. Did the usual cave walk through, but they had a few things that were new and interesting to us (concrete vats and egg shaped vats). We did enjoy their wines, so a mixed case came home with us.

We had a good trip, but I did find that carting around a group of 9 was not as easy as just the two of us! Appointments are a little harder to get, and there is often a premium placed on the visit because of the size. It’s kind of annoying to have the tasting fees increased per person just because there are more of us - but as it turned out, we weren’t charged most places since we bought wine. I wonder if they increase the price because they think a large group will be loud and obnoxious... which we weren’t


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