Wine & Travel

Snooth User: rar8888

I am headed to Napa at the end of September and my theme is big bold reds.

Posted by rar8888, Aug 25, 2009.

Any suggestions on which winery's I should put on my list?


Reply by Eric Guido, Aug 25, 2009.

Pride, Pride, Pride and Pride. Do the Pride Experience tasting and you'll have plenty of big bold reds.

Reply by siebertj, Aug 25, 2009.

We just got back and with only four days the tops are easy.
Benziger winery - skip the free tasting go strait to the reserve tasting - by no short measure we spent more money here than anywhere!! All big reds.

Ty Caton - Tytanium - no I didn't miss spell this one - the rest of his wines are OK but Tytanium is the bomb!!

Lastly if you get time to visit Chateau Montlena - there Reserve Estate Cab is fantastic - they are all the way in Calistoga however.

We did a lot of cool events other than wine tasting if your interested in those reviews send me a message!!


Reply by Philip James, Aug 25, 2009.

Eric - I'm a big fan of the Pride Merlot.

Reply by rar8888, Aug 25, 2009.

Awesome. Thanks for the recommendations guys. Joe, I would love to hear about your other events as well.


Reply by dmcker, Aug 25, 2009.

In recent months there have been several other threads in this forum on the subject. Here's one of them:

Reply by siebertj, Aug 30, 2009.

To rar8888,

My wife and I went with another couple we know our first event was a tour at Mondavi; The Kalon vineyard trek tour. We arrived to meet Peter our tour guide; he was polite and informative. We loaded up(just the four of us) on our own little private tour; headed out to the vineyards. After a few lessons and a few walks we ended up in the I-Block vineyard; 'then Peter pulls out the I-Block fume blanc and pours us all a taste. As we sip he says "you are now drinking the wine made from the grapes from the vineyard you are standing in!!!" This was pretty exciting for us. Next we rode back to the Mondavi garden; the lunch included all the items from the garden; fresh vegetables, sandwiches, potato salad, and a modest desert. It was beautifull in the garden, the food was fantastic, oh by the way...we not only finished the rest of the Fume Blanc we then sipped on a bottle of thier Estate Cab....oh yeah then we had a bottle of their Moscato D'Oro wine with desert!! OK, at this point we could have been sent on our way happy and satisfied; not gonna happen. Peter gives us a tour of the inside of the winery; and continues the lesson. Did I mention that this also included a Reserve tasting!!! Sometimes I think its just me but all this was $75.00 a person; and we thout that the rest of the trip could not possibly compete; this kind of depressed us.(ha ha) I think the tour was supposed to be around two hours; ours took four!! Peter was also the person who created this tour. I will try to post all of our events before you leave!! Gotta go now.


Reply by Charles Emilio, Aug 30, 2009.

Is big and bold the same as a "Fruit Bomb" ?

Reply by dddunn, Sep 1, 2009.

I would absolutely go to Silver Oak Cellars, Oakville Crossroad. They only do Cab Savs, from two vineyards, Alexander Valley, and Napa. Really bold reds that deserve time in the cellar. Hopefully they'll be pouring some of the older vintages. They're really special. Also Luna Vineyards. Reserve Sangiovese and Reserve Cab Sav are really amazing. VERY memorable.

Reply by John Andrews, Sep 1, 2009.

@rar8888 ... what is your price range? Are you looking to buy or just taste? There are huge variations in price and style.

To help us give some good recommendations it might be helpful for you to tell us what you consider a big bold red.

Reply by rar8888, Sep 2, 2009.

Hello HondaJohn,
My wife and I will probably be buying at least a couple of cases of wine and our price range will be up to $70 dollars a bottle but we will probably try to stay closer to $35-40 per bottle for most bottles. We like several jammy zinfandels from the Lodi region, most well made full body cab savs, and we like full body blends. We are not opposed to any varietal but have traditionally preferred cab, zin and syrah over merlot. Thank you all for the great suggestions and I will make sure to share my plans when they are completely finalized.

Reply by John Andrews, Sep 2, 2009.

Thanks for the input ... Napa is definitely Cab heavy so you're headed to the right place.

Places I would recommend:

- Silver Oak as others have said ... they are bit heavy on the oak for me but are pretty full body reds

- Viader - more focus on Cab Franc which is nice and have wines at both your price points. Their DARE label is a little more accessible.

- Pine Ridge - Across from Stags Leap Cellars is a nice option to the traditional name in the Stags Leap District

- Larkmead - as I mentioned in a previous post, I want to support fellow Snoother Dan Petroski but I love the wines so I think it is a great idea to visit.

- Vincent Arroyo - a lot of focus on Petite Syrah which is about as big and bold as you can get. But they have some other nice blends

- Honig - not quite as bold but solid wines in my opinion. There everyday cab is great but there limited bottlings are awesome and they fit right into your price range.

- Louis M. Martini - even though they are part of the Gallo Group, I really like their wines. Get there early before it gets too crazy. I love the Los Ninos but there are a few other great cabs there.

- Spottswoode is a great place to go but can be tough to get in and they are a bit pricy

- Joseph Phelps is one of my fall backs and I love the view from their patio.

So, now you have a ton of recommendations. I'm sure you will have a great time and taste a lot of great wines with whatever places you decide to go to.

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