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#179717 - 10/19/07 07:33 PM Re: Our Napa wine tasting trip report ***** [Re: michael_d]
HomeDad Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/29/05
Posts: 3301
Loc: Central,California
Mike, Thanks for the review and welcome back, I'm looking forward to some pictures, sounds like the wine train had a full load for your trip, for us the train was about 25% full and the ages ran from 21 to about 50 which probably made our trip more enjoyable, I hope you at least got into the wine car and did some sampling, that was my favorite part.
We are going up again in Dec. so if there are any must go to wineries or restraunts let me know.
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#179720 - 10/19/07 08:01 PM Re: Our Napa wine tasting trip report [Re: HomeDad]
oldskoolboarder Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/25/03
Posts: 2181
Loc: Menlo Park, CA
Wow, that's a lot of wine. Sounds like you had a great trip.

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#179813 - 10/20/07 02:30 PM Re: Our Napa wine tasting trip report [Re: HomeDad]
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3904
Loc: Up yonder
I’ll upload some pics after I get some time this week.

Ya, the train was full. Too full to even wander back to the tasting car. The average age was over 50…..

In the Napa area I think it’s harder to find a bad restaurant that a good one. Everywhere we went the food was incredible. If you can get into Cyrus, you really need to try it. Expect costs to be over $200 each for a wine pairing meal. I’d also visit the Brix, Rutherford Grill, Silverado, Fish On, Mustards, Don Giovanni and the drive in for a good burger at the Refresher. There are many others, but those were the ones that come to mind. If you get to San Francisco, Gary Danko’s is every bit as good as Cyrus (maybe better) and also more expensive. Both Cyrus and Gary Danko are better than the French Laundry and just as hard to get into. One of the guys managing one of wineries we went to is a chef and worked at the French Laundry. He told us that chefs go to Cyrus, if that means anything to you.

As far as which wineries to visit…

Wineries I visited and recommend:

1 – Flora Springs is a MUST
2 – The Castle is a MUST
3 – Rudd winery (appointment)
4 – Stetzner (walk in)
5 – Cakebread (appointment)
6 – Feildstone (walk in)

Here’s a list of wineries I missed this trip, or heard about while in Napa. They are on my list to go to next trip:

Jordan – I love this wine but could not get an appointment. They give a tour and tasting. http://www.jordanwinery.com/
Madrigal – I found this wine during our trip and couldn’t make an appointment. http://www.madrigalvineyards.com/wine.html
Turley – I had a bottle of their Pettite Sarah last night and it’s wonderful. They are very small and hard to get any of their wines. http://www.turleywinecellars.com/
Lamborn – Very small producer and they do not have a tasting room to speak of. You basically set up an appointment to meat the owners personally. They are great people. http://www.lamborn.com/cs/lamborn/view/docs/41
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#179863 - 10/20/07 08:15 PM Re: Our Napa wine tasting trip report [Re: michael_d]
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4829
Loc: western canada
Oh geez mdrew, i missed all this.
I never got an email on the thread. Must be the new format, lost all the old settings.

This looks like i'll need some time to digest.
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#179869 - 10/20/07 09:07 PM Re: Our Napa wine tasting trip report [Re: michael_d]
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4829
Loc: western canada
mdrew, i know some others are not as great oenophiles as they are, uh, beer-o-philes, but i personally have to say THAT WAS AN AWESOME REVIEW!!

Your trip just sounded simply fantastic.
Your list of taste tests is beyond impressive. I'm overjoyed that you skipped the major brand names and checked out some local talent and put together an excellent review of your favs, locales and why.
Very thorough.
However, i'm also seriously depressed that there is no hope in hell i will be able to get any of these wines around here!

I think perhaps sometime in the relatively near future we should get together and swap some wine cases. A visit to the great Alaska may bring back memories of my Yukon time. (I would send you a PM but i'm still working the clog out of my msg box).

I may not spend as much on the wine trips that you do, but i did bring back a cooler full (about 14 bottles) of wine from our recent visit to the Niagara region again in Southern Ontario and i discovered a lovely little vineyard.
You can check out there site here:
http://www.laileyvineyard.com/index.htm
They do ship across Canada and apparently do ship to the US. They've started using Canadian oak in some of their chards and cab sauvs.

Now i'm going to read back through your review and check out some of these wineries.


Edited by chesseroo (10/20/07 09:08 PM)
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"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#179872 - 10/20/07 10:06 PM Re: Our Napa wine tasting trip report [Re: michael_d]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17781
Loc: NoVA
Glad you had a good time, Mike!

I'm curious--did you try the White Oak Zinfandel? Peter and I had it in a restaurant a few years back, and I thought it was quite good. I've never been able to track it down in a store, though.
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#179874 - 10/20/07 10:14 PM Re: Our Napa wine tasting trip report [Re: chesseroo]
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3904
Loc: Up yonder
This would be a good time for a visit Chess. I have numerous wino type friends and they all want to get together in the near future to try some of the wines all of us brought back. It’s sort of a ritual of ours. We all go searching for a great bottle, then wait till we can all get together and try them. It’s a great way to spend time with friends, and also share some good wine with folks who appreciate wine. Several are down right excellent chefs too…. So if you get the itch, just shoot me a note and I’ll set up a tasting night, or two, or three. We have the spare bedroom all outfitted with a new bedroom set and towels in the bathroom. I’ll put you to work designing my little cellar (that was going to be a small kitchenette)

I don’t know what the shipping rules are to / from Canada and US, but you might want to call the St Helena Wine Center. They are VERY helpful and know there stuff when it comes to California wines. They do not charge a ‘handling’ fee and only what it costs them to ship. They have an outstanding selection and are always out trying wines. I’ve already got my cases from them ($80 per case, second day UPS air). http://www.shwc.com/
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#179876 - 10/20/07 10:31 PM Re: Our Napa wine tasting trip report [Re: Ken.C]
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3904
Loc: Up yonder
Yep, I had their "estate" Zin and found it to be pretty darn good, but it's $40 and I thought the Prisoner Zin to be much better, and it's only $35 a bottle (if you can find it). Another excellent Zin we had was from Vinyard 29 (the Aida Zin). We also had their "Cru" Cab, but it sure had me fooled. I thought it was a Zin. Vineyard 29 is another small Napa winery that has very limited lines. All are excellent that I tried. A little pricy though.... http://www.vineyard29.com/

All of us liked ALL the White Oak wines. Heck, you're so close you should just order a mixed case from White Oak. Shipping wouldn't cost you didly.


Edited by mdrew (10/20/07 10:32 PM)
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#179878 - 10/20/07 10:58 PM Re: Our Napa wine tasting trip report [Re: michael_d]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16275
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
Wow. I'll repeat that. Wow. Truly impressive trip. Even though your write-up is overflowing with detail and is a marvel to behold, I'm sure it doesn't even begin to do the trip justice. I don't believe I've ever been more envious in my life. \:\)
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#179887 - 10/21/07 12:02 AM Re: Our Napa wine tasting trip report [Re: pmbuko]
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4829
Loc: western canada
So Peter, does that tempt you to head back to California then?
Poor Ken needs more playmates anyway no?
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