While in CA one must visit wine country! I was fortunate to have two days to tackle wine land and cover both (main) areas of wine land. On Day 1 we hit Napa and visited 3 wineries.
#1 V. Sattui Winery. For $15 you get to taste 6 wines of your choice. A few of us split a couple tastings to get a good feel for the wines. They were decent but for me, nothing to purchase. The unfortunate thing is that the pourer/employee was just somebody who worked there and did it all from the book. We were only supposed to taste one thing and nothing else. He didn’t care if we found different notes than what the bottle said. He told us we shouldn’t. Whoa! That’s odd. Overall, we had small sips of their (no prices mentioned on their tasting sheet):
-Sauvignon Blanc, Carsi Reserve — bland but crisp
-Chardonnay, Sattui Famil — buttery, light oak
-Pinot Noir, Los Carneros — peppery, smooth
-Zinfandel, Gilsson — dry
-Zinfandel, Ramazzotti, Old vine — fruity
-Syrah, Napa Valley — powerful
-Entanglement (GSM) — buttery
-Cabernet, Napa Valley — sweet, in a good way
-Muscat — thick, super sweet
-Madeira — sweet, not as thick as port
#2 Hall. For $35 you get 5 tastings, plus a little more… It was night and day compared to the first one. WOW! So great to share with friends, too. The pourer was so helpful on info, background and more. The tasting starts off with a nice bubbly. Can never go wrong with that. Next they give you (and we got extras of) — these are in random order because of their menu and my notes:
-Hall T Bar T Ranch Alexander Valley Sauvignon Blanc – crisp, a tiny bit of oak — $35
-Hall Darwin Syrah — pepper, garlic — $50
-Hall Coeur Cabernet Sauvignon — dry (least favorite) $70
-Hall Ellie’s Cabernet Sauvignon (92 pts WS) — jumps all over! $80
-Walt Blue Jay Anderson Valley Pinot Noir — fruity, nice, light $40
-Walt Rita’s Crown Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir – heavier, nice $75
-(?) Dutton Chard — Light Oak (sold out so don’t know which it was or the cost) — light oak
Loved this place and the wines! Would totally go back!
#3 Louis M. Martini. Third up, and at this one we opted for the Celebrated Reds Flight for $25, splitting the joy again.
-Cellar No. 254 Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé, 2014 — dry, fruit, nice –$28, left with a bottle.
On the next 3, we were suddenly in a hurry to get somewhere and none were very impressive to either my friend or me. Notes were not worth taking.
-Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012, $35
-Monte Rosso Vineyard, Mountain Red, 2012, $65
-Cellar No. 254 Meritage, 2011, $65