Help me discover new Napa wineries!

Jul 20th, 2006, 08:21 PM
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Posts: 108
Help me discover new Napa wineries!

My husband and I are planning our annual trip to Napa and would love some winery recommendations.

We have been to many of the large commercial wineries and are looking to discover some new wines this trip. We prefer to be where other people aren't, but I know that is hard to ask for in the summer (darn summer anniversary and birthdays!)

We both love big full bodied red wines. My favorite is Cabernet Sauvignon and my husband's is Petite Syrah. Our top three wineries from prior visits are Joseph Phelps, Clos du Val, and Van Der Hayden.

christieCA is offline  
Jul 21st, 2006, 08:25 AM
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christieCA is offline  
Jul 21st, 2006, 09:02 AM
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I just wrote a trip report. You might like Twomey in the Calistoga area. Big giant merlots that taste to me like Cab. Small and intimate, nobody was there when we were, and only $5 to try. A real gem.

My trip report is here:
noryglory is offline  
Jul 21st, 2006, 09:23 AM
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Regucsi comes to mind, particularly for their Cabs.
SAnParis is offline  
Jul 21st, 2006, 09:26 AM
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chateau montelana, wonderful cabs!
otto is offline  
Jul 21st, 2006, 09:28 AM
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Try Vincent, I believe it's off the silverado trail near Calistoga. Very small but some great reds.
MNGirl2 is offline  
Jul 21st, 2006, 10:06 AM
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Make an appointment with Steve Ross at Girard. They are up on Pritchard Hill with vineyards near some of the big boys, and have a beautiful view.They do a very nice private tasting and small tour. We were so impressed that we joined their "reds only" wine club. They make a great Cab and their Petite Syrah is one of the best values in the Valley. It's become our house wine.

magicone is offline  
Jul 21st, 2006, 10:08 AM
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Christie, try another region. While not totally devoid of people, Sonoma County, and specifically the Dry Creek, Alexander Valley, Russian River area has tons of small wineries where on week days you may not run into other people. Some you even need to make an appointment to visit, which pretty much assures you of individual attention. Healdsburg is a nice place to stay with loads of accommodation choices, from small B&Bs to luxurious spas.
Catbert is offline  
Jul 21st, 2006, 10:27 AM
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Try Carneros Creek.
Underhill is offline  
Jul 21st, 2006, 10:36 AM
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Wow, thank you so much for your recommendations. I'm glad to have a list started now!
My parents have a house in Healdsburg, so we go there 5-6 times a year. Our Napa trip is our private wine country getaway.
christieCA is offline  
Jul 21st, 2006, 10:38 AM
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Paloma on Spring Mountain Road in St. Helena. Their Merlot was Wine Spectator's #1 wine in 2003. Their wine has a lot to it - doesn't drink like your typical Merlot. The owners (Jim and Barbara Richards) are also very nice people and you will visit their home to taste their wine.
MarieF is offline  
Jul 21st, 2006, 12:46 PM
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Cakebread winery. Great wines. Check out their website for further info:
enjoylife is offline  
Jul 21st, 2006, 05:18 PM
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Hmm, I agree, there are plenty other wine regions that are nicer than Napa in terms of scenery, attitude, prices, traffic and tourists. But if that's what you want, okay. Here are some notes from our Napa trip in April:
22. Rombauer- 2002 Merlot Select $70 EXC, 2003 Zin Napa $28 EXC, 2002 Zin Napa $40 EXC PLUS almost gone
23. Frank Family 2004 Zin Napa $35 EXC, 2001 Cab Napa $40 EXC (91 in Wine Spectator), 2004 Pinot Reserve $55 EXC
24. Dutch Henry- Chardonnay 2003 Los Carneros $26 VG, 2005 Pinot VG, 2001 Cab Napa Estate $44 EXC, 2000 Cab Napa Reserve $58 EXC PLUS
25. Cuvaison- 2003 Chardonnay $35 EXC, 2004 Pinot Noir Estate $48 EXC, 2003 Syrah Carneros $28 VG, 2001 Zin Larkmead Ln $28 EXC PLUS, 2002 Cab Mt. Veeder $ 45 EXC
26. Clos Pegase- great art, too crowded to taste - avoid "Disney" wineries
27. Twomey- 2002 Merlot Napa $65 EXC, 2000 Merlot Napa $75 EXC..nice place, only do Merlot but too high!
28. Bennett Lane- 2003 Maximus $28 EXC, 2002 Maximus $32 EXC PLUS (Wine Spectator rated #1 top value Cab in Napa 05), 2002 Cab $55 EXC
29. Vincent Arroyo- 2004 Petite Syrah $32 EXC, 2003 Petite Reserve $45 EXC, 2004 Petite Rattlesnake $50 EXC PLUS (sold out)
30. Calistoga Cellars 2002 Zin $30 EXC, 2003 Zin $22 EXC, 2003 Merlot $26, EXC, 2002 Cab $30 EXC. Met a wine store owner here who was blown away by the wines.
31. Summers 2002 Zin Russian River $20 VG, 2003 Merlot Russian River $24 VG, 2002 Cab Napa $46 on sale for half VG
32. Zahlita- 2003 Zin Dry Creek $20 VG, 2002 Cab Conn Valley $33 EXC, 2002 Cab Beckstoffer $48 EXC PLUS
33. Cliff Lede- 2003 Chardonnay $28 VG, 2003 Claret Stag's Leap $35 EXC, 2003 Syrah Napa $28 VG, 2003 Petite Syrah $28 EXC, 2003 Cab Dr Crane $48 EXC PLUS
34. Wm. Harrison2002 Cab Franc $40 EXC, 2002Cab Estate $45 EXC, 2002 Cab Reserve 475 EXC PLUS.
35 Baldacci- 2004 Pinot Noir Carneros $27 EXC, 2001 Cab Stag's Leap $44 EXC, 2002 Cab Stag's Leap EXC PLUS
36.Steltzner- 2003 Claret $18 EXC, 2002 Merlot Stag's Leap $26 Good, 2003 Cab Stag's Leap $36 EXC
37. Regusci- 2004 Chardonnay Yountville $28 Good, 2002 Merlot Stag's Leap $40, 2003 Cab Stag's Leap $48 EXC PLUS, 2002 Cab Stag's Leap $22 VG
Roombauer is the busiest of those, but one of our favorite Zins is made there, so it was fun to visit. We also love full-bodied reds and some of those wineries I mentioned had no visitors at all. We talked to a few owners we knew and trusted to get this list of small wineries with great wines.
LLindaC is offline  
Jul 21st, 2006, 07:15 PM
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The Rombauer Napa Zin is quite good, but their Fiddletown Zinfandel rocks!
MileKing is offline  
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