Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Alpha Omega Winery

Please see our updated 2013 report: Alpha Omega Winery Revisited

Alpha Omega Winery is a winery we kept hearing about from staff at other wineries.  It is one of the newer wineries in Napa Valley, but already has some excellent wines. Prior to 2006 this winery was called Quail Ridge.  It has now become a very serious, premium winery, one that definitely deserves a visit.  The tasting fee is $20 for four very nice wines.  Wine Club members taste for free and obtain a 20% discount, with a 30% discount on the first purchase. They also have many wine club events scheduled, including oysters with SB, Kobe beef with cab, lobster dinner, etc.  There was no pressure at all for us to join the club. We were told that Alpha Omega uses only all natural yeast, that they manually crush their grapes and that none of their wines are filtered except for the Sauvignon Blanc.

Our tasting began with the 2010 Sauvignon Blanc at $36 which had the usual grapefruit nose but seemed more melon on the palate.  The 2008 Chardonnay is not too buttery.  A nice nose of apricot is followed by a well balance palate of vanilla and citrus.  It retails at $56. I really liked the 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon at $84 with its complex nose and well balanced mostly cherry fruit with a long finish.  Our favorite, however, was the 2007 Proprietary Red Wine at $86.  It is approximately 50% Merlot, 39% Cab, 7% Petite Verdot and 7% Cab Franc. This had a blackberry nose with plenty of tannins and acidity and, although it is drinkable now, it should improve with age.

Staff at Alpha Omega were very pleasant and informative.  During the red wine pouring our server used the Vinturi aerator.  As a demonstration, he poured one glass of wine with the aerator and one without so we could smell and taste the difference.  The difference was dramatic and they tasted like two different wines, the aerated having a better aroma and also tasting more balanced and integrated.  Of course you may do the same thing by decanting or aerating a wine.  It is a slower process but you have better control over how much you aerate the wine.  But if you want a quick way to aerate a wine, you might want to try the Vinturi aerator or another brand.

We enjoyed our visit to Alpha Omega Winery.  The wines were very good and the service was helpful and friendly.  It is certainly worth a visit.

Alpha Omega Winery
1155 Mee Lane
Rutherford, CA 94573
(707) 963-9999
Date of visit: March 16, 2011

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