The First Taste of Yountville was held during the Premier Napa Valley week a few days ago to capitalize on a number of trade who are in town. This annual event is held by the Napa Valley Vintners’ and is their Annual Mid-Winter Barrel Auction for the Trade – www.napavintners.com/trade/tm_1_premiere.aspx
This premiere tasting featured some of Yountville’s finest vineyards and wines. It was held in the old barrel room of what used to be Groezinger’s Winery which is now V Marketplace, a collection of fine boutique shops and restaurants including Michael Chiarello’s much in demand Bottega Restaurant.
At tastings like these unlike many, I try to seek out wines I have not yet tried, or Napa labels I am not familiar with (for obvious reasons, there are not many of these!).
A couple of newcomers whose wines I knew of but tried for the first time were Joseph George (focusing only on one varietal, a Sauvignon Blanc), Dillon, again focusing only on one varietal, a Chardonnay (two wines, one beautiful rich, spicy Chardonnay barrel fermented and one fermented in stainless), Groppalo – an Italian producer with an Italian winemaker (Massimo Monticello) producing a Bordeaux blend and a well structured Merlot, and Clos Valmi with an extremely limited production of Pinot Noir and a Cabernet Sauvignon. Formal reviews will be coming of these wines after I contact the owners directly to setup tastings.
Then there are those producers who I don’t even have to try to know they have top wines. Several of those at this tasting included Tor Kenward, Lail & Kapcsandy. Oh and Dominus is in this list. However it was a while since I had visited their winery and tried the wines so I tasted all vintages they were pouring. Their 2006 for me was clearly the highlight out of all the wines at this tasting that I tried. The nose is elegant and inviting. The wine is balanced, with great flavor and structure.
The richest wine of the wines I tasted was the 2006 Gemstone Cabernet Sauvignon, 10th anniversary vintage. This wine is powerful from the nose to the mouth filling flavors that last for some time through the big full bodied tannins.
Carmen Policy and his wife were pouring Casa Piena. There was a bit of a crowd around their table so did not have a chance to try their wines. However I reviewed the wine last year – and really enjoyed their inaugural 2006 vintage.
At times I thought I was at the Taste of Oakville but then I came across producers with white wines and Pinot Noir and Merlot and I was quickly reminded of the diversity of the Yountville Appellation.
For more information about wines produced from the Yountville Appellation please visit: www.yountvillewines.com