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Monday, June 04, 2007

Back from my Napa trip!

I just got home from my Napa Valley trip! Here's a quick summery of the wineries in which I visited and what I thought were the highlights of each:

Darioush:
This was probably the most impeccable facility I have ever seen(along with Opus one). Everything from the tasting room to the barrel room is kept in pristine condition and the architecture was brilliant. The Viognier was by far their best wine of the bunch. We tasted the Cab Franc, Cab Sauv, Merlot, Viognier, and the Shiraz.

Chimney Rock:
The wines showed very well here and we were lucky enough to taste through a vertical of their reserve Cabernets 2000-2003. I enjoyed the 02' the best. The Elevage was good but not as good as I was expecting. Good experience and nice wines.

Cliff Lede:
The wines were fabulous at Lede and basically spoke for themselves. In fact we visited them first on Saturday and it was difficult to find better wines that these for the rest of the day. The 03' Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon was probably the best wine we tasted. A buddy I was with bought a few magnums of it!

Signorello:
The wines here were just ok for me, and the service was a bit snooty. The Pinot showed better than the Cab and the Zinfandel might have been the best wine we tasted. I think they pride themselves on their Cab too, which I was a little disappointed with.

Silverado:
Great service and a feel good atmosphere led to a overall good time at Silverado Vineyards. The highlight was the "Solo" and their dessert wine which I though was a screaming effort. The view was fantastic and picture worthy and the girls behind the bar were looking gooooood!

Heitz:
Fantastic service and a very generous tasting bar. The Martha's Vineyard Cabernet and the Trailside Cab were amongst my favorites while the Chard just wasn't my cup of tea. The host was very generous and even gave me a free T-shirt. My buddy bought the 98' Trailside Vineyard Cab and said it was amongst his favorite wines of the trip.

Marryvale: A good experience and although the wines didn't light me up I enjoyed the good hospitality and knowledgeable staff (Thanks Ed)! The white wines were showing the best and I was very surprised because I had never tasted and white from Marryvale. Both Chards I tasted would have easily scored over 90 points.

Louis Martini:
Wow, what a generous history along with generous staff and great prosciutto! The tour was short but sweet but when we went down stairs to taste the wines the experience could not have been better. If only the wines tasted as good as the prosciutto then I would have been very impressed.

Domaine Chandon:
Without doubt this was the best tour of the trip. The facility was beautiful as well as the grounds. The staff was friendly and accomidating and really knew how to bring a blissful experience to well versed winos! The wines showed very well and especially the Etoile Brut and Rose. The Chef was fantastic and the meal was fantastically prepared. Look closely when visiting this winery, the wildlife is very beautiful(birds, bugs, squirels). A+ Chandon!

Regusci:
They presented what was in my opinion the best Cabernet of the entire trip. The Angelo's Reserve Cabernet was as good of a wine as I have ever tasted. The complexity of this wine blew me away and I actually got a signed bottle from Angelo himself, who is the original owner and a beautiful old gentleman. Try their olive oil if you get a chance!

Whitehall Lane:
I was impressed with the 2002 Reserve Cabernet but the man pouring the wines didn't want to admit that the wine smelt like it had been aged more than usual for a 2002. I tasted the wine with an admired teacher of wine and we both agreed that the 2002 smelt alot older than the 03' and wondered if it was oxidation or a different aging method that produced the funk. Nevertheless I really enjoyed the reserve cab's.

Pine Ridge:
These wines were just ok for me and they almost seemed a bit tired or maybe I was just tired. The Stag's Leap Cabernet was the best wine. The service was fun and the gentleman that served us was very witty and fun.

I might be forgetting a few places we visited but overall I would have to say that this was a fantastic look into wineries along the Silverado Trail and the Stag's Leap District (With exception of Chandon, Whitehall, Heitz, Marryvale, Martini, they are on 29). The beer at ol' Anna's Cantina wasn't to shabby either.
Joe said...

no overlap with my trip - glad you had fun. I will be doing sonoma this fall. Cheers!

 
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