Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Napa day trip

Over the long weekend we took a trip to Napa. We went to several vineyards that we wanted to try out. I had done a bit of research beforehand about some artisan vineyrads and some really well established and well known ones. Overall it was a great trip, although some of the artisan vineyards were disappointing. The Vineyards we tried were:

- Silver Oak Cellars: This was the first one on our map and undoubtedly the best. For $10 we got to try both their stellar releases: the 2002 Alexander Valley Cabernet ($60) and the 2001 Napa Cabernet ($100). For those that don't know Silver Oak only produces Cabernets and do a darn good job of it. The $10 gets you a decent wine glass and one pouring of each of the wines. This is possibly the best deal. Both the wines were very mature and amazingly well balanced. I thought the Alexander Valley was superb, until I had the Napa Valley, which was simply stunning - enough for us to shell out $100 for a bottle.
- Peju: Next was Peju, which has been touted as the best artisan vineyard of 2004/2005. There was a long line and we waited patiently for 20 minutes for our turn. Peju was interesting, but did not meet my expectations. All their wines were sweeter than I expect any of the varietals to be. Their Cab tasted more like a Merlot. I am sure they were impressing many people (the long lines were a testament to that) but did not get any votes from us.
- Provenance: Got in 5 minutes too late and were turned away. I am impressed by their wines and would love to try out their lineup. A little disappointed that they would turn us away even though they had not closed the doors yet and there were plenty of people inside.
- St. Clement: The view from their porch is quite remarkable. This is a quaint little vineyard that produces two amazing wines: The Orappas and the Cabernet. The Orappas is a blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, and 4% Cabernet Franc. It has been consistently rated in the 90s since 1991, and is definitely one of my all time favorites when it comes to blends. Visiting this vineyard was a treat. the service was awesome and the people were very hospitable. We had a great time trying all their wines, sipping wine and relaxing on their porch with a great view of St. Helena.