Girard Winery offers premium wines at very reasonable prices. It was founded in 1975 and has been under the ownership of Pat Roney since 2000. Girard Winery has a tasting room in Yountville on the main street (Washington St.) toward the north end. Girard is easy to find and parking was a breeze. The tasting room is open without an appointment and tastings begin at 11 AM. They offer two tasting choices, one for $10 and the other for $20. They also have a two for one tasting coupon on their web page. We opted for the Current Release Flight at $10 but plan to return to try the other tasting which includes mostly Cabs. Our wine host, Kevin, was very friendly and helpful. He informed us that about 86% of Girard’s fruit comes from Morgan Ranch near Mt. Vaca, with a fair amount also coming from Crocker Vineyard in Calistoga.
Our tasting began with the 2010 Sauvignon Blanc at $16. It had some grapefruit on the nose with some crisp, dry grapefruit and lemon on the palate. This was followed by the 2010 Russian River Chardonnay at $24 and the 2009 Dutton Ranch Reserve Chardonnay at $30. Both were well worth the price. I really liked the Girard 2009 Petite Sirah at $28. It had some PS spice on the nose with good but well integrated tannins. It has character while being smooth and drinkable. It is very traditional in style but does not have harsh or overwhelming tannins. We were informed that it comes from 110-year-old vines in Calistoga and that they add 2% Zinfandel. We also liked the 2010 Old Vine Zinfandel which was only $28 and thought the Girard 2009 Cabernet Franc at $40 was exceptionally good. Perhaps our favorite of all was the Girard 2009 Artistry, a Left Bank Bordeaux style red (Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Merlot and Malbec) that sells for $40. I especially liked the layered cherry and blackberry like mid palate on this wine, with its solid mouthfeel and smooth tannins. There is some very nice fruit in this wine, although it is not fruit forward or at all one-dimensional. Given how good this last wine was, I’m really looking forward to a return visit to try more of their Cabs. They also have a wine club and members may purchase the Artistry for only $32, which is quite a bargain for a high quality Napa Valley Cab blend.
We plan to return to Girard soon to try more of their wines, especially the Cabs. We highly recommend visiting them.
Yountville, CA 94599
Date of visit: 4/4/2012
Date of visit: 4/4/2012