Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cellarmistress Does The Inaugural Napa Valley Film Festival: Part One--Tasting Calistoga

I am not actually in Napa Valley at the moment, though I would love to claim that I am! No matter! I was recently invited to participate in some live tasting sessions in conjunction with Taste Live, CellarPass and Mutineer Magazine, as part of the Inaugural Napa Valley Film Festival!

In a rare departure from my usual wordy and lengthy blog posts, I am going to report on my events and tastings here at "Cellarmistress' Cellar Talk". The first of these tastings is happening NOW because unfortunately, in real life, I have a non wine-tasting occupation that pays my bills and allows me to visit the beautiful Napa Valley as often as I like. I am unable to partake in this particular tasting in real time, so I am leaving my thoughts and comments here! And boy did I enjoy doing this!!

The three wines I am discussing were sent to me as samples from each participating winery. The first of the three is the Mumm Napa Napa Valley Brut Reserve Rosé, a winery exclusive. (Yes, this means you have to make a pilgrimage to Napa Valley and visit the winery and no you won't be finding this at your local wine shop.) Everyone who knows me knows this about me...I love my bubbles. Especially when they are rosé. I was jumping for joy when I received this bottle. It's a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, a delicate coral tint. Their team carefully assembled grapes from 20 vineyards and 30 different blending components and I commend them. It is so tasty!! WOOT!! Cherries, raspberries, cranberries--robust with a lovely long finish! I am so into this!! $36. If you visit them, you need one of these! Go get several!! It's always a party when there's bubbles!!

Now I tried to find information on this next one. Didn't find much, but as I've learned on my latest travels to Napa Valley, some folks just like to be a good secret. They're hidden amongst the valley floor and it takes some doing to find them. When you do, you won't ever let them go again! Tedeschi Family Winery is one of those rare little gems you find hidden away...

They're located in Calistoga, the northern end of Napa Valley. They are an appointment-only winery and Emil Tedeschi handcrafts his wines using everything he knows of his Italian heritage. Awesome. The 2005 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is just that. A little bit rustic, homey, old world style. A little more earthy and less fruit forward like most Napa Cabs. It actually surprised me, pleasantly that is. I couldn't tell you if there's anything else in it other than Cabernet Sauvignon, but the winemaker's heart went into it that's for sure. This is the kind of wine I want to drink in my front yard some day--that is, when my front yard is overlooking a vineyard. That's what it reminds me of. Wine that memories are made of. I'm Italian too. I know what that is all about! $58.

Phew! The next one is the complete opposite... Elegant but racy, and dark dark dark. 2007 Merryvale Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. WOW! I really should've popped this one open and decanted it a long time before now because it is a young stallion!! It needs taming. Even open for several hours, it has a ways to go. 99% Cabernet Sauvignon from several vineyards (including Stagecoach) unfined and unfiltered. And 1% Cabernet Franc. This wine commands filet mignon now!! I need another bottle so I can open it five years from now and see how it evolved. This is the stuff Napa Cabs are famous for. I'm sitting here with a grin as huge as Texas on my face! I hope you enjoy this one as much I have! $65.

So there you have it... Have fun and be safe this weekend as you enjoy the films and the wines of the Napa Valley Film Festival! If you're in the Napa Valley anytime soon, please visit these wineries...Cheers!

"You Saw It Here First"...This post was created solely for "Cellarmistress' Cellar Talk" by Grace Hoffman. Grace is an Italian-born, American-bred wine blogger/educator with an all-consuming passion for wine and all it encompasses.


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