Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wining in Napa, Sonoma and Lompoc...Part 3...

A perfect Napa day
After being treated with less respect than I am used to, JD and I decided we wanted to go somewhere we knew we'd be treated well. So we headed over to Mumm Napa, where, when I flashed my business card, the charming Karri asked if we were interested in tasting some VINTAGE bubbly on the exclusive Oak Terrace. Well, yeah!

We ordered a cheese and fruit plate, settled in on a couch under a spreading oak tree, and started with a 1999 DVX Brut. Yeasty, fruity, lovely finish. After about 15 minutes, the finish changed to 'pain grillet', or 'toasted bread' as we say in America. Oh. My. Goodness. And, yes, we did buy a bottle at the end of the tasting.

Next, a 2000 DVX Brut. Drier than the 1999, with a slightly dusty finish. The '99 was smoother, but the 2000 has great bones and could stay on its side even longer.

On to a 2004 DVX Rosé. Apples and cranberries, with a side of fresh bread. And that was just the nose!

The 2003 DVX Blanc de Blancs led with crisp citrus, green apple, but with something bitter on the finish. Couldn't quite figure it out.

The 2004 DVX Blanc de Blancs (100% Chardonnay) was very nice, but the 2005 Blanc de Blancs, which had 20% Pinot Gris was...well, it wasn't undrinkable, but the Pinot Gris definitely didn't help it. Karri said folks either loved it or hated it, and I found myself in the latter group.

We finished with a 2004 Syrah - not sparkling. This wine was originally supposed to be for something else (can't read my notes!), but was so good it was held back and bottled as itself.

All in all, it was a lovely couple of hours, being treated like the divinities we are (LOL). Karri and Sophia (another wine educator) spent time with us as if we were the only people there.

The day was still young-ish (kind of like us!), so we headed into Napa proper to find the Ceja Estate Vineyards tasting room. We had previously met the owner, Amelia Ceja at a LearnAboutWine event (at least one!), but this day we got to meet her charming son, Ariel, who led us thru a delicious tasting. Highlights included:

2007 Sauvignon Blanc - Sonoma Coast/Petaluma. Grapefruit and lime with tropical overtones, maybe guava? Spicy finish. $22

2007 Chardonnay - All stainless steel, no oak. Crisp, high acidity balanced with spicy fruit. Lovely $42

2007 Pinot Noir - Carneros, Vin del Sol vineyard. Cherry and spice made it food friendly and yummy. $40

2007 Vino de Casa - Red. 40% Pinot Noir/40% Syrah/20% Cabernet Sauvignon. A smoky Syrah nose, spicy, peppery finish, made this the perfect house wine. $20

Churros w/chocolate sauce
At this point, we were hungry, so we walked a block down the street to Bistro Sabor, a casual cafe owned by the Ceja's and managed by Ariel. After a day of wining, we had icy cold beers with our tasty Mexican food. As a special treat, we finished off the meal with fresh churros, accompanied with dark chocolate sauce. ¡Qué rico!

We walked a bit - to walk off dinner and the day, and happily headed back to the hotel to prepare for our next adventure in Sonoma.

Stay tuned! Cheers!

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