A swing by Napa Valley

Since I’m out on the West Coast visiting family, I thought it would be nice to take a short trip over to Napa to do a bit of compare and contrast with European wines. First stop was Darioush Winery. A rather OTT sight greets you as you turn off into the driveway. A forest of Persian columns topped by two headed horses leads the way to the entrance. The interior is all cool marble and glass dominated by a large square tasting area. Darioush is known for their shiraz but I was more impressed by their 2007 Signature Viognier. The grapes were all sourced from the Oak Knoll appellation which has a reputation for cooler temperatures and higher humidity then the rest of Napa Valley which preserves the aromatic components of the grapes. A perfect showcase for the aromatic viognier grape. A swirl of honeysuckle, jasmine, white peach and cantalope leap from the glass and greet your nose first off. I could have sniffed this wine all day long, it was so pleasingly divine. That nose leads off into a mouthful of succulent, juicy white peaches and cantalope with hints of green apple and a citrus finish, nicely balanced acidity leaves you wanting another sip. I bought a bottle of this one to take home with me. Another winery that I really enjoyed was the Artesa Winery in Carneros The winery is situated on a hilltop and has various pieces of sculpture scattered around the grounds. Artesa is a subdivision of Codorniu but since 1999 they have specialized in red wines. They did have a fume blanc but I’m not a big fan of oaked S. Blanc. Artesa is producing a limited release of that Loire classic, Cabernet Franc. The grapes are from the mountainsides of Alexander Valley which has rocky soils and gets plenty of sun. The grapes were hand-harvested and no detail was overlooked in the winemaking process. We sampled the 2005 Cabernet Franc Limited Release. A juicy nose of raspberry and...

read more
%d bloggers like this: