White Rock Vineyards is a special place, a unique and interesting vineyard with great wines! I've been touring Napa Valley wineries since 1973 and White Rock is now my favorite winery. It is not an upscale winery like Spring Mountain or Joseph Phelps (two other wonderful wineries) but is a small, friendly, down to earth, family run winery that is not well known. (Reservations are required of course.) If you want really exceptional and interesting Napa wines at a very reasonable price, this is the place to visit. The main dilemma will be decided which of the wines to buy and how many. (I would love to have left there with a case of each release.)
We tasted five different wines, that were among the best wines I have ever had at a winery, along with the best wine and cheese pairing I've ever tasted. The owner, Henri, provided us with an interesting and gracious personal tour of the vineyard and caves. One of his sons, Michael, supervises the vineyard and the other, Christopher, is the winemaker. After the tour, Christopher then presented and discussed the wines while his sister, Anne Marie, a cheese maker, selected the cheese (not her own, but delicious) and bread. (This was through a KQED donation offer, a great way to help PBS and have a unique and incredibly enjoyable experience.) We found them to be very intelligent, interesting, cultured people with wonderful values and incredible wines, each varietal being consistently excellent. The 2008 Chardonnay ($30), with its minerality, reminded me of a good French white Burgundy and has become my favorite Chardonnay. The 2006 Claret, ($36), with its excellent balance, has become one of my favorite Cabernet blend. This was also more in the French style but at half the price of a French wine of comparable quality. Both were great buys. Prices across the board were much less than one would expect for this quality! The 2005 Laureate Cabernet Sauvignon, at only $45, is full and complex, but they also have a great older 2003 Cave Hill Reserve Cab ($85) which was a real knock out wine and also a "must buy." Both cabs are drinkable now but should age very well. The 2006 Malbec ($25) was good, more in the French style than the Argentine. Soon all of their wines will meet the criteria for being organically grown. We couldn't imagine going to go to any other winery after visiting White Rock so simply had lunch and called it a day. Our visit to White Rock was truly a wonderful experience.
Please see follow up visit at: White Rock Vineyards Revisited
1115 Loma Vista Drive
Napa, CA 94558