Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Clos du Val Winery

Clos du Val describes their wines as being balanced, elegant and complex and I would agree. They make very interesting wines that will appeal to palates that prefer more complexity and subtlety. Clos du Val was founded in 1972 by John Goelet and winemaker Bernard Porter.  They now have 150 acres of vineyard inn Stags Leap District and 180 acres in Carneros.  John Clews has been the winemaker there since 1999. You won't find any fruit bombs or overly oaked chardonnays here.  To me the wines taste more French like in style, but that is an over simplification because Clos du Val wines have a unique style that cannot easily be classified.

The New Releases Tasting was $15 and began with the Clos du Val 2009 Ariadne at $25.  This is a blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc and was named after the wife of Dionysus, the Greek god of wine.  I got mostly melon nose.  On the palate I got mostly citrus.  It was dry, subtle, well balanced, with good acid and a crisp finish. The Clos du Val 2009 Carneros Chardonnay at $25 definitely avoids the over oaked, buttery extreme of some California Chardonnays. The nose was mostly pear and on the palate it was dry, full bodied, citrus with a long finish. This tasted to me more in the French white Burgundy style, which I love, but you would not confuse it for a French wine. The Clos du Val 2008 Carneros Pinot Noir at $30, with a raspberry nose and some spice was better than most Carneros Pinot Noirs but I preferred the Clos du Val 2007 Pinot Noir Reserve at $55 with its cherry nose and more substance on the palate.  We also tasted the Clos du Val 2008 Merlot at $30 which had mostly red plum with a touch of spice and more complexity than most Merlots and the very nice Clos du Val 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon at $35.  On the Cab I got mostly black cherry with toast, cedar and baking spices and a medium plus length finish.  It was very drinkable now but should cellar well.  Although we enjoyed all six pours, my favorite was the Clos du Val 2007 Pinot Noir Reserve.  (Clos du Val is especially noted for their reserve and library wines.)

Our host, Joe, was very professional and courteous.  The winery is on Silverado Trail and is easy to find.  The ivy covered tasting room is lovely and a picnic area is available. Clos du Val has a Cellar Club that offers, access to limited releases and library wines plus a 25% discounts on wine and other purchases.  Their wine prices seem very reasonable for the quality of the wine.  When we visited they were open 10 to 5 without appointment but be sure to call for current hours, tasting options, etc.  Clos du Val is definitely worth a visit, and we have been there many times over the past 40 years.

Clos du Val Winery
5330 Silverado Trail
Napa, CA 94558
(707) 261-5251
Visited: 3/23/2011

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.