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  Napa Valley     [all categories]
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  Report from our first trip

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Author Topic:   Report from our first trip
posted 06-17-2013 06:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message

Thanks for a great report. Looks like I will need to check into William Cole next trip.

Sorry you did not have a good experience at Bennett Lane. We really like their wines, although they can change from vintage to vintage.



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posted 06-16-2013 08:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Umass     Edit/Delete Message
Hillside Select is great. The whole experience at Shafer is wonderful. If you like Sav Blanc, you will love illumination from Quintessa. It was the first wine we tasted in Napa. I wasn't too excited to be tasting a white, but I quickly changed my tune. I can't sing William Cole's praises enough. If you like reds, you'll love them.


posted 06-16-2013 08:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
Thanks for coming back and sharing your thoughts! Sounds like y'all had a very special trip.
We have enjoyed visiting Shafer in the past - do love tasting their Hillside Select.
Sounds like we will have to see if we can get an appointment with the folks at William Cole!
We haven't been to Quintessa - but since Sauvignon Blanc is one of my favorite summer wines, sounds like we should go by there next visit!
Thanks for the report! Now I have two new places to add to my next itinerary


Junior Member
posted 06-16-2013 06:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Umass     Edit/Delete Message
We just got back from our first trip. What an amazing time, especially because we were celebrating our 10th anniversary, and it was our first trip without our girls.

Day 1- We started off at Quintessa. This is a special place for us because it is the wine we drank when we got married. Beautiful tour. Their Illumination Sav Blanc was probable the best white we tasted all trip. Next was Opus One. Good, but not great. We then went to Robert Sinskey. We really liked their Marcien and their SLD. After two recommendations, we finished our day at James Cole. They produce about 7 different varietals, but only 1300 total cases a year. Great wines. We bought one of each. Very fun way to end. They were playing loud music, and having a great time. It may turn some people off, but we loved it.

Day 2- We started at Outpost on Howell Mountain. Incredible views, great wines and great story about the other Thomas Brown wines they produce their including Schrader. Rich is a great guy. Next was O'Shaughnessy. Limited tasting. Just a cab and a chard, but we really liked the cab. Next was Bennett Lane in Calistoga. I heard about their Maximus. We bought a bottle to get the tasting fee waived, but probably wouldn't go back. We finished at Lava Vine in Calistoga. Another small producer with great wines and great atmosphere. My wife really enjoyed their viognier. We both liked their reds.

Day 3- We spent the morning at Spa Solage. Great Spa and great food. We then went to Clos Pegase. This wasn't planned. I've always wanted to try their Hommage Cab. It was okay, but their Pegase was very good. Next was Hall in St. Helena. Great Cabs. Highly recommend. They even had a nice Merlot. We finished at Alpha Omega. Very nice wines. They have a very crisp White Bordeuax and some incredible Malbec Zins.

Day 4- Our last day. We started at Shafer. I highly recommend this to everyone. To date, their one point five cab was the best wine I had tested, until later. The story, view and wines at Shafer were amazing. We also met John Shafer. Next was Anomaly. Another small producer, about a 1000 cases a year. Genevieve was great. Their wines are truly amazing. We ended the day at William Cole. This was an invite from two British couples we met at Shafer. They don't market their wines or offer them up for rating. It is just word of mouth. For the most part, they do tastings for members or friends of members. They only do about 600 to 800 cases of cabs a year. I thought these were the best wines we tasted all week. Absolutely incredible. They had a wine called Ten. It was a blend of wine from every year from 2000 to 2009. Amazing, especially because we were celebrating our tenth.

Cant wait to go back. Cheers.


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