Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Regusci Winery

Regusci Winery is a very good winery, even by Napa Valley standards. Located in the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley, the 289 acre estate was purchased by Gaetano Regusci in 1932.  Included in this purchase was the Grigbsy-Occidental Winery that was established in 1878.  "Ghost Winery" is a term used to refer to Napa Valley wineries that existed between 1860 and 1900.  Very few of these wineries survived because of the phylloxera invasion that wiped out much of the vineyards in the 1890s.  Most of those that did survive ended up falling victims of either Prohibition or the Great Depression.  The 1878 winery building of Ghost Winery of Grigbsy-Occidental Winery continues to be preserved at Regusci Winery.  With two feet thick walls hand cut of lava stone, this stone building is now one of the most photogenic historical buildings in Napa Valley.  In 1996 Angela and Jim Regusci, father and son, along with Angela's wife, Diana, reestablished the winery, producing their first release in 1996 and opening to the public in 1998.

Service was very friendly at Regusci and we liked the entire line up of wines that we tasted. They have mostly red wines.  The tasting fee for six wines at the time of our visit was $25, but they waive one tasting fee for every $100 of purchase.  The Regusci 2009 Chardonnay at $36 was not overly oaked or ruined by excessive  malolactic conversion. We both liked it. The Regusci 2009 Zinfandel was one of the better Napa Valley Zinfandels I've had recently. The Regusci 2009 Merlot at $48 has 8% Cabernet Sauvignon added and is another good example of a Merlot that is interesting and not one-dimensional. Even better was the Regusci 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon at $58.  But our favorites were the Regusci 2008 Patriarch Proprietary Blend with 56% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Cabernet Franc that sells for $80 and the Regusci 2008 Angelo's Hillside Cabernet Sauvignon with 100% Cabernet Sauvignon at $125.  The Patriarch is a right bank style Bordeaux blend with rich, ripe black currant, black cherry and spices.  It saw 24 months in American oak and 496 cases were produced.  Angelo's was more of an extracted, lush, black cherry with some chocolate and cedar and a very long finish. It, too, was aged for 24 months in American oak.  373 cases were produced. Both were outstanding and should cellar very well.  The later two are only available at the winery so you will have to visit the winery to taste them.  We suggest you do so.  If you can't visit the winery and opt to make a purchase, I would recommend the Patriarch because I think it is just as good, if not even better than the excellent Angelo's and is $45 less.  But both are quite different from each other and highly recommended as is a visit to the winery.

Regusci Winery
5584 Silverado Trail
Napa, CA 94558
(707) 254-0403
Date of visit: September 12, 2011

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