Madonna Estate

This boutique winery only sells at the winery and online via their website. I enjoyed the feel of this winery due to the humble and warm staff and great reds.

For a rather smaller winery they have quite a variety. I enjoyed during the tastings walking around the tasting room and looking at the merchandise from local artists and craftsmen but mostly I enjoyed speaking with the staff and hearing their stories. One was a wine lover and enjoyed coming on Saturday’s to meet new people and talk wine and the other was a nice High School math teacher that had a passion for wine as well.

Madonna Estate emanates that country rustic feel that just warms your heart.

Tasting:

2013 Estate Pinot Noir: ($32) Aged in French Oak for 9 months and is extremely fruit forward, and is an excellent “food” pairing wine that accompanies many dishes such as; grilled salmon, stuffed mushrooms, polenta, and tenderloin of beef.

2012 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon: ($34) It is aged in oak for 18 – 24 months. On the nose I got Jalapeno! On the palate our Cabernet has a structured mouth feel with soft tannins and herbal undertones. Our Cabernet Sauvignon compliments filet mignon, pork tenderloin, and hearty tomato based pasta dishes.

 

My purchases:

 

I ended up getting the Pinot Noir – My husband enjoyed the fruit forward flavor.

Visiting & Tasting:

$15 – includes 4 wines :

  1. 2013 Estate Chardonnay
  2. 2013 Estate Pinot Noir
  3. 2014 Barbera
  4. 2012 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

 

Sum it up:

  1. Great reds!
  2. Extra friendly staff
  3.  Prices are a bit high but boutique small batch wines.

 

 

St. Supery

 

After heading to V. Sattui we drove a whopping 8 minutes to get to St. Supery. St. Supery is more of a modern winery with beautiful vineyards surrounding the estate. There is a definite modern sleek feel to the tasting area. We arrived and the tasting bar was quiet and staff was welcoming and friendly. We were welcome by the hostess with a tasting of their Rosé.

It was nice to be greeted with a drink and then we were introduced to the server who we tasted with. He was knowledgeable of the wines and told us a bit about the history of the brand and wine.

Tasting:

2015 Napa Valley Estate Rosé: Brilliant shades of red and pink combine to present a light and elegant Rosé that is bursting with vibrant young berry flavors. Strawberry, raspberry and watermelon dominate the aromatics, with a background hint of subtle rose petal. Raspberry, strawberry and cranberry laced with an underlying note of blueberry and pomegranate add to the flavorful makeup of this youthful Rosé that finishes bright and full of life.

We did the Estate Tasting ($25) very loosely because of time constraints due to our tour.

2015 Napa Valley Estate Virtu ($30): A blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc grapes, the 2015 Virtú displays elegant shades of pale yellow and aromas of lemon essence. Lime, quince and lemon rind round out the bouquet with a subtle layer of toasted vanillin oak. Lemon and quince flavors continue throughout the palate with fig, pear and crème brûlée. This is an ornate wine with bright fruit characteristics and an excellent lemon and lime finish.

2014 Napa Valley, Dollarhide Estate Vineyard Chardonnay ($35): Attractive pale yellow hues present in this Chardonnay, while aromas of subtle nectarine and pear entangle with toasted smoky French oak. Flavors of pear, mango, cantaloupe, butterscotch and caramel are met with a creamy texture on the finish from the barrel fermentation and sur lie maturation. This is a round and elegant Chardonnay.

2012 Napa Valley, Rutherford Estate Vineyard Merlot ($50): Deep shades of reds and purples present in this single vineyard Merlot. Aromas of rich ripe blackberry with subtle notes of currant, anise and charred oak combine with just a hint of graphite. Flavors of black plum and dark mocha, couple with subtle raspberry, espresso and toasted vanillin barrel. This is a wine of fine texture, terrific length and structure.

2013 Napa Valley, Dollarhide Estate Vineyard Malbec ($50): This Malbec showcases deep, vibrant, dark purple and red hues. Aromas of juicy boysenberry and dark plum combine with a hint of vanilla oak and black licorice. Flavors of youthful, focused blueberry, black plum and espresso complete the profile. It is a bright wine with fine-grained tannins, nice structure and a gentle and elegant finish.

 

Visiting & Tasting:

Their tasting bar does not require reservations unless you have more than 10. Otherwise call to make a tasting reservation.

They have a huge variety of tastings and tours!! For example: Veggies + Vino,  Aromatherapy with a Corkscrew, Vineyard to Glass tour etc. They can all be booked online .

 

Sum it up:

1). Great Sauvignon Blanc! Which I rarely love.

2) charming, quite and modern estate

3) Tons of tasting classes and tour options.

V. Sattui Winery

This winery has it all! It’s like Disneyland for wino’s! It’s crowded so be ready but the crowds are there for a reason.

Their are 3 tasting rooms, we decided to taste in the market and had a server named, Edwin, who was beyond knowledgable and made the tasting very fun with his humor. It was very crowded but I didn’t feel as though I was neglected at the tasting bar. I tried many wines ranging from their popular fruity Gamy rose to their brandy fortfied Madeira which is a sweet port.

Tasting:

2014 Los Carneros Pinot Noir ($39): sweetly scented with notes of cherry fruit and cinnamon.

2012 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($45): currant fruit and colors it with dusty spice and hints of black olive.

2014 Los Carneros Chardonnay ($52) : ripe pear, fig and honeydew notes to finish of white peach.

2014 Dancing Egg Riesling ($25): very crisp and refreshing. Fruity and every so slightly sweet not your typical Riesling.

2015 Gamay Rouge ($24): juicy flavors of ripe strawberry, crisp tart cherry and cranberry. 

Madiera ($59): The wine is sweet and luscious with flavors of almonds, caramel, toffee and orange zest.

My purchases:

I ended up buying the Madiera which is $59 a bottle but after opening can be kept anywhere from 1-3 years. I saw this as an investment.

I also bought the 2014 Dry Rosato because I thought it would pair nicely with light apps and was the perfect balance between dry and fruity.

Visiting & Tasting:

$15 – Let one of our friendly and knowledgeable wine-tenders customize your tasting experience by guiding you through our portfolio of wines.

  • Includes up to 5 tastes of our vintage and estate wines
  • No advance reservation required for parties of 10 or less

Free tastings for Military!

Make sure to try some of the food from the deli or if you are visiting on the weekend they have a brick oven pizza and a barbeque pit. I had the pizza and loved it!!!

Sum it up:

  1. Tons of wines to taste and buy that can only be purchased at the winery
  2. Encompasses so much in one place no need to leave to go to another
  3. Wide variety in wine quality and price. Prices for the cheapest and most expensive tastes.

 

Back to Mumm 

This past weekend I made my way back to Mumm Napa where I impressed again with the service and of course the vino!!

I wanted to write quickly about there latest release in lieu of the holiday’s! 

Their Sparkling Pinot Noir

The gorgeous, ruby red color of this wine is your welcome into aromas of black currant, plum, blackberry, and red delicious apples. On the palate, the wine is incredibly juicy, with notes of Bing cherries and plums. This wine is made in a brut style, resulting in a crisp and dry mouthfeel, with bright acid. The tannins are soft, lending structure to the wine, and the long, fruity finish invites you back for more.

Nothing would compliment your Thanksgiving spread more than this festive wine! 

Price is $25 for Club members and $36 for non-Club.    

Jamieson Ranch Vineyards

I began my day at Jamieson Ranch Vineyards and was woo’ed by the large estate with trees lining the entrance and vines as far as you could see. Most of the grapes have been harvested but it did not take away from the beauty. The winery is not in Napa but considered “the gateway to Napa” located in American Canyon.

Upon arriving the staff brought us quickly to our outside reserved tasting area with couches and heaters. It was a nice ambiance. We were given both a tasting menu that was included in our tour and a menu if we would like to purchase additional glasses/tastings.

Wine we tasted are person blends of the jazz musician Brian Culbertson in conjunction with Reata wines.

We tasted the following:

2015 Reata’s Brian Culbertson Rose of Pinot Noir

2014 Reata’s Brian Cubertson Los Carneros Chardonnay

2013 Reata’s Brian Cubertson Pinot Noir

My Favorites:

2014 REATA “BRIAN CULBERTSON” LOS CARNEROS CHARDONNAY: Deep straw yellow hue, the nose is marked by green apple, walnut, pear, honey and apricot. Flavors are honeysuckle  and apple with crisp nuances of dried pineapple.

I typically don’t love Chardonnay but really enjoyed this one. It was light and crisp and scarily easy to put back.

 

Visiting & Tasting:

Seems all their tastings require a reservation and typically range from $40-50 according to their website. After researching online seemed as though their pairings are either $35 or $45 and white only tasting started at $25 and go up to $5o for their Cab. tasting.

Free tastings for Military! (limited menu/tasting)

30% off glasses and bottles for military as well!

Sum it up:

  1. Avoid the craziness of Napa by heading to American Canyon
  2. Great outdoor seating
  3. Appreciate art & music! They have a awesome mural from apexer