Tasting wines at a winery is somewhat similar to listening to audio speakers in stores. It is brief and very limited. I can tell which ones I like, but not until I take the speakers home, hear them in my own listening room, spend extended periods of time with them and "pair" them with different types of recordings, do I really develop a thorough understanding and appreciation of them.
Sometimes a bottle of wine I take home from a winery does not taste quite as good as I remember it at the winery. More frequently, however, it is even better than I had initially thought. At home I am able to find that right combination of temperature, air, pairing, etc. in a setting where I can really pay close attention. It is a much different experience than tasting wines blind or tasting numerous wines at one setting. Different types of tastings provide different kinds of information. Visiting a winery, meeting the winemaker, sampling the wines and then slowly and attentively drinking the wine later at home is, for me, the best way to understand and truly appreciate a wine.
Not surprisingly, we were especially impressed with the very high quality of Cabernet Sauvignons in
Tasting notes and comments may be found on this blog by looking up the winery name in the Search This Blog box in the upper right hand corner. We welcome questions and emails from potential visitors to Napa Valley. Please send these directly to us at our email address and do not post them as comments under a winery unless the question relates specifically to that winery.
Chappellet 2009 Cabernet Franc $65
Cabernet Sauvignon and Cab Blends
Alpha Omega Winery 2007 Proprietary Red,
Alpha Omega Winery 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon $85
B Cellars 2008 Synergy Cabernet Sauvignon $55
Beringer 2007 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon $89
Cosentino 2006 Winemaster, Cabernet Sauvignon, $60
Elizabeth Spencer 2007 The Guardian $60
Erna Schein (Behrens) 2006 Fat Boy $75,
Girard Winery 2009 Artistry,
Hendry 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon $55
Hill Family Estate 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon $55. Great value
Hill Family Estate 2007 Double Barrel Cabernet Sauvignon $150
Hill Family Estate 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon $48
Inglenook 2006 Captain’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon $48
Inglenook Estate 2007 CASK Cabernet Sauvignon $65
Inglenook Estate 2008 CASK Cabernet Sauvignon $65
Joseph Phelps Vineyard 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon $54
Kelly Fleming 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon $120. Best paired with food
Kelly Fleming 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon $120. Drink alone, great stuff
Kelly Fleming 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon $90
Louis Martini 2007 Monte Rosso Cabernet Sauvignon $85
Marston Family Vineyard 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon $120. Loved it
Marston Family Vineyard 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon $100
Regusci Winery 2008 Patriarch Proprietary Blend,
Sawyer Cellars 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon $49
Schweiger Vineyards 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon $58
Schweiger Vineyards 2007 Dedication $85
Smith-Madrone 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon $45. Air it or pair it with food
Spring Mountain Vineyard 2005 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon $75. Loved it.
St. Supery Estate 2006 Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon $80
Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars 2007 SLV Cabernet Sauvignon $125
Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars 2008 FAY Cabernet Sauvignon $95
Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars CASK 23 Cabernet Sauvignon $195. Wonderful.
Summers Estate, 2007
Terra Valentine 2007 Marriage,
White Rock Vineyards 2005 Laureate Cave Hill Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon $100 Sensational!!!
White Rock Vineyards 2004 Laureate Cabernet Sauvignon $45. Wonderful Cab and a great value
White Rock Vineyards 2005 Laureate Cabernet Sauvignon $45. Great value
Summers Estate Wines 2008 Charbono $28
Cuvaison 2010 Carneros Chardonnay $23
Smith-Madrone 2009 Chardonnay $30. My favorite.
Stony Hill 2010 Chardonnay $42
White Rock Vineyards 2008 Chardonnay $30
ZD 2009 California Chardonay $34
Stony Hill 2010 Gewürztraminer $24. My favorite.
Darioush Winery 2007 Merlot $46
Duckhorn Vineyard 2007 Merlot $52
Pride Mountain 2008 Merlot $58
(The 2008 Esoterica is not nearly as good. The 2009 is not quite as good.)
Gustavo Thrace 2006 Petite Sirah $40.
B Cellars 2008 Blend 24 Cabernet Sauvignon/Sangioves/Petite Siray/Syrah, Super Tuscan $55
Benessere Vineyard 2006 Phenomenon $50, Super Tuscan
Smith-Madrone 2010 Riesling $36. Incredible! My favorite!
Stony Hill 2010 “White Riesling” $27
Truchard 2010 Roussanne $22
Benessere Vineyard 2008 Sangiovese $28
Hill Family Estate 2010 Tiara Sauvignon Blanc $35
Joseph Phelps 2009 ‘
Kelly Fleming Wines 2010 Sauvignon Blanc $30. Great! My favorite.
Marston Family Vineyard 2010
Robert Mondavi 2009 Fume Blanc $20 (sale $13 Safeway) Great value
Cakebread 2009 Napa Valley Syrah $55
Cuvaison Estate Wines 2009 Diablo Syrah $35
Darioush Winery 2008 “
Robert Keenan 2008 Napa Valley Syrah $38
Highlands Winery 2006 Howell Mountain Zinfandel $29
Robert Biale 2009 Monte Rosso Zinfandel $50. My favorite.