Our tasting began with the 2010 Viogner that retails for $30. It had a lovely lemon nose, quite distinct, with lemon and vanilla on the palate and a hint of butter, nicely balanced. My friend bought a bottle. This was followed by the 2007 Fortuna Merlot at $55 with a nice nose and some cassis, cherry and oak on the palate. The 2007 Cabernet Franc at $55 followed. I got some vanilla on the nose, with soft tannins and some blackberry on the palate. My favorite wine of those sampled was the 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon at $40 which is 80% Cab, 5% Cab Franc, 5% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and, just to distinguish it from any Bordeaux blend, 5% Syrah. Nice nose, well balanced, with cherry on the palate. Fairly big, but very drinkable now. The last of the five tastings was the 2008 Petite Sirah which retails for $40. This is a decent PS, with nice spice, good fruit and a decent finish.
The Estate Tasting Menu is $10 a person for five samples. The $10 tasting fee is applied toward a purchase of $50 or more. There is also a reserve tasting, and I suspect the reserve wines are very good. Turnbull is in the Napa Neighbor Program.
Turnbull Wine Cellars
8210 Saint Helena Highway
Date of return visit: January 4, 2012