Napa Valley joys, part 3

Robert Sinskey vineyards (RSV) near Yountville was first stop after lunch. They charge $20 to taste 4 of their organic wines. The 2006 Abraxas is an Alsatian blend of 34% pinot gris, 28% pinot blanc, 21% riesling and 17% gewurtztraminer. The tasting notes said it was “hard to find a style of cuisine that this wine does not compliment”. I found most of the 4 wines unmemorable. But the friendly woman behind the counter opened their late-picked 2005 pinot gris “because you’ve come such a long way”. It sells for $24 a 375-ml bottle. It is elegant, with a clean finish, and is surprisingly dry. It tasted of pears and would partner well with blue cheese and nuts. I also got to taste a RSV Stags Leap 1998 cabernet sauvignon ($60). The garnet colour was vibrant but the fruit had died and only the tannin survives. The cellar building is magnificent. The wonderful Fred Morris at Clos du Val, their wine education associate, showed me their ancient wooden vats and let me enjoy the aromas of the barrel room. Clos du Val is on the Silverado Trail near Yountville, and has a sister relationship with Taltani in Victoria. Fred let me to taste a range of regular wines and the reserve reds. The 2005 Carneros chardonnay ($22) was lovely, and the cabernet sauvignons superb. The 2001 Stags Leap district ($75) and the 2001 Napa Valley reserve ($95) were memorable. Powerful and brooding yet still so young. They need to be cellared for another 20 years. The tasting fee was $10, which I would have happily paid. Both vineyards kindly let me off paying the tasting fee because I was from Australia.

Categories: Not home, Uncategorized

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