Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cellarmistress Does The Napa Valley Film Festival--Part Three: 11 Wines In 24 Hours!

What a whirlwind that was!! I literally didn't leave my house for twenty-four hours so I could partake in this little venture! Eleven more wines to savor and sample. Some were great, others good and all in all it was a great time! On Friday afternoon, we bloggers took part in the Taste Live tasting in conjunction with the Napa Valley Film Festival, CellarPass and Mutineer Magazine. This time, we were tasting along with the folks at the St. Helena Pavilion. The tasting featured three wines and a multitude of guests speaking on their behalf.

The first of these three was the 2008 Ramian Canard Vineyard Merlot. The bottle was sent to me as a sample from Savour St. Helena, a tasting room located on Main Street in St. Helena. Winemaker Brian Graham was on hand to give us feedback on the wine. This wine helped me coin my new signature phrase, "Hello Lover!" in the same fashion that Carrie Bradshaw uses the term when she sees a pair of shoes on "Sex And the City". The moment I took a sip it was like biting into a delicious chocolate covered cherry. Big cherry mid-palate! I was swooning! The winery is located in Calistoga, the most northern end of the Napa Valley and the wines are very small production. For $45, this Merlot would make a non-Merlot lover change their mind. Outside of purchasing the wine at the tasting room, the winery has an allocation list and wine club to choose from.

The next wine was the 2007 Clif Family Winery Kit's Killer Cab. I recently spent several hours in St. Helena at the Velo Vino tasting room where the Clif Family holds court. What a fun place and what fun, unpretentious wines! (Yes, this is the same Clif Family who does the famous Clif Bars and sells biking and sporting goods!) My friend, Efrain Barragan who does their media and marketing, was on hand as well as the winemaker Bruce Regalia. Efrain sent me the bottle for this event and at $38, this wine is definitely a Napa Valley bargain! Tough to find a nicer drinking Cabernet at this price out there! Blackberries and mocha. I encourage everyone to visit this fun little tasting room. It's on the left hand side of HWY 29 as you enter St. Helena. You can't miss it!

The third of the bunch was the 2008 Raymond Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. Most people who drink wine have heard of Raymond. They're pretty big out there and widely distributed. This particular wine is their flagship wine, the first of the samples I received from the winery. I've tasted many vintages of this wine and found it to be consistently pleasant to my palate. I also think this wine is a good bargain as well. Recently, the winery went through an overhaul of sorts, a remodel and I simply cannot wait to visit. I have heard wonderful things about the place. I'm looking forward to meeting Jean Charles Boisset, whose company, Boisset Family Estates, oversees the winery. The wine is medium-bodied with a very juicy mid-palate of plums and dark cherries, and a smooth finish. Another $35 value and ready to drink now. If you're in town, visit them in St. Helena. They are located on Zinfandel Lane.

Stay tuned as I head south to Yountville for the next installment...I need a breather first!!!

"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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