Wednesday, February 8, 2012

St Clement Vineyards

St. Clement Vineyards is located in a charming old Victorian house located on the side of a hill overlooking Napa Valley.  The winery is seen easily from Highway 29 as you leave St. Helena heading toward Calistoga. St. Clement is owned by the same company that owns Berringer Winery.  There is a short uphill walk from where you park your car.  You will certainly want to take some photos of the house and the view.

Winery building

We participated in the Discovery Tasting which is $20 and began with the St. Clement 2010 Bale Lane Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc at $21.  This was a pleasant wine with a very good nose, nice grapefruit on the palate with good acid and a crisp finish.  We also had the St. Clement 2010 Abbott's Vineyard Chardonnay from Carneros priced at $27, the St. Clement 2008 Napa Valley Merlot at $28 and the St. Clement  2008 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon at $36.  These were all quite decent for the money. Our favorites, though, were the St. Clement 2007 and 2008 St. Clement Oroppas, a Cabernet Sauvignon with some Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc.  Both were $55.  I preferred the 2007 with its cherry nose, good structure and grip, integrated tannins, lovely fruit and nice finish.  I liked this very much.  The 2008 had softer tannins and a more pronounced cherry taste.  It was easy to drink without any pairing and my friend bought a bottle.  I think the 2007, though, would pair better with food, will age better and is one of the better Cabs in Napa Valley.

View from winery

Given how good the Oroppas was, I later regretted that we did not taste some of the St. Clement premium cabs that run around $80.  I have the feeling that St. Clement might have some extraordinarily good Napa Valley Cabs. If these are available in a premium tasting, I would strongly advise opting for this tasting if you are very serious about wine.  Our wine educator was very pleasant and instructive.

St Clement Vineyards
2867 St. Helena Highway North
St. Helena, CA 94574
(866) 877-5939
Date of visit: February 8, 2012

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