All posts filed under: Napa Valley

Ballad of East and West: A Carneros Wine Alliance Barrel Tasting Reveals Both Sides of this Cool-Climate AVA

  When producers from both sides of the Napa/Sonoma county line that bisects the Los Carneros AVA gathered at Cuvaison for the 30th annual barrel tasting of the Carneros Wine Alliance, Rudyard Kipling’s “Ballad of East and West” came to mind. The AVA stretches east to west and encompasses portions of both Sonoma and Napa counties. Alliance winemakers offered first looks at the 2014 vintage and poured library wines as well. “It’s an exception when we’re representing Carneros,” said Anne Moller-Racke, President and Winegrower at Donum Estate in Sonoma. “We’re usually pouring under a Napa or Sonoma banner.” Read the article here: Ballad of East and West Advertisements

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An Oakville Retrospective: A Look at 19 Vintages of Groth Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve

  For the maker, wine requires patience; it seems to mark time at a different pace than much of the world around it. Imagine a chef who had 30 tries in as many years to master a recipe or a musician who plays one performance a year for three decades to master a symphony. For the casual consumer, however, wine is, more often than not, immediate gratification. Read the article here: An Oakville Retrospective

Sprucing Up The Goose: A New Chapter For Goosecross Cellars

“We’re in pop-up mode,” said vintner Christi Coors Ficeli who purchased Goosecross Cellars in 2013 and broke ground on a winery expansion in November 2014. Closing the tasting room during construction wasn’t an option for Coors Ficeli, whose fiercely loyal club members are content to taste her current releases in a single-wide trailer with a view of the construction. “We’re engaging our club members in the next chapter of our winery’s story,” says Coors Ficeli.“When completed, the new winery will have a large patio area devoted to outdoor seating so we can take full advantage of our west-facing view of the Mayacamas.” Read the entire article here: Sprucing Up The Goose

Tools of the Trade

Consumer acceptance of wine packaging other than glass is growing, but fine glassware remains the undisputed tool of choice for presenting, evaluating and fully appreciating wine. While both crystal and glass stemware share space on winery tasting bars, the move by wineries to upscale glassware frequently coincides with the addition of luxury tasting experiences designed to showcase top-tier wines. “We’ re seeing wineries choosing the best,” said Sylvie Laly, director of U.S. winery sales for Riedel, Spiegelau and Nachtmann. “When a winery using our non-varietal specific Riedel glass trades up to the varietal-specific series, tasting room managers can see that their consumers’ experience is being significantly enhanced, and that translates directly to increased sales for the winery.” For Riedel customers, that choice means a baseline increase in cost by about 30%. From the entrylevel Degustazione series, nonvarietal- specific glasses designed for basic wine styles, a 19.75 ounce red wine glass runs $2.99 per stem whereas a varietal-specific 21.5 ounce cabernet/merlot glass from Riedel’s Restaurant series runs $5.95 per stem. Read the full article Tools of …

Rutherford Dust 2010

We’re kicking up the dust once again with the 2010 vintage presented by the Rutherford Dust Society at a blind tasting held at Beaulieu Vineyards’ Rutherford House in July. According to President Davie Piña, the Society is in the last stages of their watershed restoration project which has lessened erosion and reduced disease pressure along the 4.5 miles of riverbank that bisect the AVA. “Rutherford growers have given up eight acres of vineyard to restore the river,” said Piña who was met with a round of much-deserved applause for his pivotal role in managing the project. Across the 18 red wines shown that morning, vintage events in 2010 including cool, grey La Niña conditions punctuated by a severe heat spike and untimely rain during harvest produced a narrower range of styles. The tasting was organized moving clockwise around the AVA from west to east and conditions at Rutherford House were ideal with the wines being given time to aerate prior to the tasting. Read the full article at Rutherford Dust 2010.

Blind Wine Review: Premiere Napa Valley’s 2013 Multi-Vintage Perspective Tasting

While it’s possible to barrel taste recent vintages at many of the preview parties that take place around Premiere, the Napa Valley Vintners’ annual tasting and live barrel auction, a three-vintage, blind perspective tasting of ’08, ’09 and ’10 Cabernet Sauvignons and ’09, ’10 and ’11Chardonnays from 24 Napa Valley wineries was made to order for this column. Designed to demonstrate how Napa Valley vintages unfold over the short term, the multi-vintage tasting of 72 wines was held at the CIA’s Rudd Center on Friday, February 22. The wines presented were whittled down from more than 90 submissions in each category by a jury of local winemakers, buyers and educators including the CIA’s own Traci Dutton and Bob Bath, MS. Release dates are still in the works for many of the ’11 Chardonnays and the majority of ’09 and ’10 Cabernets. It’s worth noting that all of the wines were decanted into hourglass-shaped carafes which tended to work against the Chardonnays when they were poured through the necks of decanters being gripped by warm hands. …