The unfortunate thing, is that I seem to have lost some of my notes. I suppose that happens with wine consumption. Anyway, we began the day with a drive through St. Helena up the mountain to Pride Mountain Vineyards, as my friend had arranged another tasting for us. We were greeted with a small pour of the chardonnay and once our group was complete (about 4 others), we were guided outside overlooking the hillside vineyards, then into the caves. They explained that half their property sits in Napa County and the other half Sonoma County, making the winemaking process interesting up until barreling.
We walked through the vast network of wine caves, tasted the 2008 cab franc from the barrel, the merlot (I forget if the 08 or 07) and saw the very cool banquet room at the end of the cave which opens onto a vast porch overlooking more vineyards and hillsides. Awesome! We returned to the tasting room and received a taste of the cab. Now I know why the franc goes so quickly upon it's release! Wow. Great tour and tasting experience. If this is available, I'd recommend it absolutely when you visit Pride.
We then had a tasting arranged at Alpha Omega, so after our purchases, we flew down the mountain to St. Helena. We met with our host and tasted through the liat at Alpha Omega. A real treat having just tasted most of them a couple weeks prior where I met and chatted with Jean, the GM and winemaker. We tasted the:
Barrel tasted the Era 2008
And finished up with the Napa Valley Petite Sirah 2008
All outstanding wines indeed! If you get a chance, taste here. The staff is very funny and friendly and makes it an enjoyable experience which is nice since an ultra premium winery like this one could easily be pretentious and snobby.
We then needed lunch and were offered to bring something and dine on the patio at Alpha Omega looking out onto the valley, but we opted to get our food at the deli and then picnic there at V. Sattui. They have a great cheese selection and deli where you can shop and create your own spread or get any premade salad or panini/sandwich. We had a nice lunch on the grounds then tasted. We had a coupon for a free tasting there, but that allowed us only the basic/classic tasting. If you taste here, I'd go for the more reserve wines as I was not impressed with any of their regular labels. It is a really nice property and you can walk through the caves and cask room where they have a museum of sorts with old winemaking tools, equipment, etc. At V. Sattui, we tasted:
We then ventured forth to BV. I had missed it last time and had tasting passes. We walked first into the reserve tasting room, though our pass was only for a regular room tasting. There we enjoyed the library of old reserve wines, took our photo with a 1978 since it's our age, and the clone-specific bottles they make. I was able to sneak a taste of two or three of the Clone wines and the Georges deLatour, but have misplaced those notes. They were all stellar! Once in the regular tasting room, we noticed some great case specials and we tasted from the Maestro reds and the Napa Valley cabs. We tried the:
obviously not part of the reds tasting, but I was shopping for my folks, riesling fans.
We then went to Rubicon. This place is spectacular! Coppola integrated elements of the Niebaum estate, the Inglenook Winery his history as a filmmaker and buff into thie estate in addition to making some truly stellar wines! We didn't even taste, as we just wanted to leisurely peruse the facility with the option to come back the following day. We walked through the areas, taking tons of pictures, then finished past the Century Cellars which house some very old library wines, at the café, where I purchased a glass of wine and my friend had an espresso, then we both shared a french press. They have bistro tables out on the front, where you can look out on to the valley withthe magnificent building behind you. The tasting salons and merchandise areas are very well appointed and there's even a reserve humidor under the grand staircase. This is a must-stop when in Napa! I regret we didn't taste there.
We then finished up at Cosentino. I had been here before in September, but only tasted The Poet, as we were tasting with Blockheadia Ringnosii winemaker Michael Oullette. Here, we tasted their
I was elated to find that they still had bottles of the 2007 Dark Horse Vineyard and Monte Rosso Vineyard Blockheadia zins, so I was able to get more. Apparently, they have dropped the Blockheadia lineup, so these are the last ever and they were stellar! Michael said they were the best he'd made. If you like zinfandel, I'd HIGHLY recommend you order some of these before they're gone forever. They really remarkable, deep, rich luscious zins. Well worth a try!
On to day 3...
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