My wife and I were in Napa for a few days last week. Here’s the link to Part I.
On Tuesday, we only visited two wineries, as the whirlwind of the trip to San Francisco, the wedding and associated festivities, and all the wine drinking were wearing us out.
First, we had the best tour of the trip at Hall in Rutherford. Another private tasting and tour, showcasing the unique vision of the owners of the winery, as well as some fantastic wine. We tasted the 09 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc ($22, 3/5), the 07 Cabernet Sauvignon ($44, 4/5), the 07 “Katherine Hall” Cabernet Sauvignon ($80, 5/5), the T Bar T Cabernet Sauvignon ($45, 3/5), and as a special treat, the 06 Darwin Red Blend (Cab, Syrah) ($40, 4/5). (The Darwin wine comes with a great story).
The Hall Rutherford winery is stunning. There are incredible views in their reception area, and the construction of their caves from Austrian bricks is amazing. The entire winery is home to unique modern (and in some cases, priceless) art, kept in the working areas to remind the folks making wine that they too are artists.
Our final winery visit was to Corison. Another private tasting and quick tour of the small facility, some more outstanding wines. We had the 07 Corazon Gewürztraminer ($30, 4/5), the 07 Cabernet Rose ($24, 3/5), the 07 Cabernet Sauvignon ($70, 3/5), and the 06 Kronos Cabernet ($98, 4/5). Because these wines are not widely distributed, I asked to buy the Kronos, and our tasting guide suggested the 05 as it should be a better vintage and drinking better now. I’m looking forward to it.
Now that we’re back, we are already planning our next trip out. We loved the hotel, so we will probably stay there again. We’d like to rent a mini van or SUV and convince some friends to come along for a 5 day trip, 3 days of as many private tastings/tours as we can schedule, a day in Calistoga, and a free day. We need to get to the French Laundry, too.
I’m also trying to figure out how we can move there.
One disclosure: As Lexus owners, our tastings at Hall and Corison were comped as part of an affinity program. I at no time identified myself as a wine blogger or that any review would be published, the wonderful treatment we got at each winery was evidence only of the wineries’ committment to customer service (and selling wine, of course).