We’re Toasting: Napa Today on The Broadcast

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Last week on The Broadcast I talked about a few of my favorite places to stay, eat and see in Napa Valley, this week was all about the wines…and man, these are great wines, each with a special story that begins and ends with passion.  The reason I founded Dallas Uncorked and made writing and talking about wine my full time focus is because of the love, dedication and passion that goes into each and every bottle of wine made. It is not an inexpensive business, in fact the saying is “to make a little money in wine you need to start with a lot of it (money that is.)”  But the desire to make that one beautiful bottle that reminds you of an experience you had or place you visited, or something completely unique because of an amazement with a particular varietal or region drives individuals from all walks of life to follow the passion behind the grape to create their own special bottle of wine.

Follow the jump for a few notes on the wines we talked about today on the show, a link to the segment is available here.

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Sequoia Grove Chardonnay – the winery, nestled in the heart of Rutherford, Napa Valley, surrounded by towering Sequoia trees delivers a bit of tranquility to visitors, even though it is situated right on Highway 29 in the hustle and bustle of Napa Valley.  Led by highly respected winemaker and President of the winery, Michael Trujilo, along with winemaker Molly Hill, Sequoia Grove has become known for producing high quality, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon without the big dollar prices. They also make incredible Carneros and Oak Knoll fruit Napa Valley Chardonnay filled with layers of golden apple, sweet lemon cream and bright citrus with a nice mineral balance running throughout the wine to keep it bright while bringing in creme brulee and spice notes from a bit of oak aging on the lees (yeasts).  Available for $28 on their website, Total Wine has it now for $20.

IMG_1247Cade Sauvignon Blanc – High atop Howell Mountain looking out onto St Helena sits the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certified estate winery in Napa Valley, started in 2005 by California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom with philanthropist (and former oil heir) Gordon Getty, and winery GM John Conover. Newsom and Getty also started PlumpJack Winery in 1992 which is also run by Conover. The feeling you get at Sequoia Grove, stepping into a serene spot is elevated that much more at Cade. Set amongst the trees high atop the mountain, with floor to ceiling windows surrounding the modern tasting area to bring the outside in. Also well known for their highly rated Napa Valley and Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, the winery also produces a very steely, mineral and citrus driven Sauvignon Blanc from organically farmed estate fruit. Lemon-lime, lychee and herbal notes fill the wine with fresh white flowers and a light creaminess, enhanced by a touch of Semillion and Viognier added to the wine.  About $27 available at Pogo’s.

IMG_8888Trinchero Meritage – The Trinchero family arrived in Napa Valley in the 1940’s leaving New York to pursue the dream of making wine, which though it initially took a bit of time the family has become one of the most internationally well known wine groups with their ownership of wineries such as Sutter Home (their first,) Napa Cellars, Folie a Deux, Joel Gott, Dona Paula. Angrove and yes, they even recently partnered with the Duck Dynasty guys on Duck Commander Wine.  Their best, in my opinion, is their small production Trinchero wines, named in honor of their founders with the first release in 2009. Their Meritage, a Bordeaux style wine from estate vineyards scattered throughout Napa, blends hearty Cabernet Sauvignon with floral Cabernet Franc, juicy Merlot and bold Petit Verdot for a balanced and elegant wine. $47 at Total Wine and More/$50 on their website.

IMG_1314Frank Family Cabernet Sauvignon – I write and talk about the wines of Frank Family a lot.  Their approachable Chardonnay, balanced and spicy Zin and always, always delicious Cabernet Sauvignon.  The winery, celebrating their 20 anniversary this year, was begun by Rich Frank, an entertainment executive that was looking for his retirement home. Today he and wife, Leslie Frank, are spending more time out of LA and in Napa Valley, working with winemaker Todd Graff to ensure that Frank Family continues to create classic California wines with elegance and finesse. Their Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon spends 20 months in French Oak, 30% new, enhancing the robust black fruit flavors of the wine, adding spice, cedar and tobacco notes to the luscious juice. $50 available via their website.

IMG_1364Paul Hobbs Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – If you ask anyone in the wine world about Paul Hobbs they will immediately speak of the winemaker with the highest respect Hobbs can be thanked for pretty much changing the face of Argentine Malbec for the better, after graduating from UC Davis, working for Robert Mondavi and on the inaugural team at Opus One.  His heart does not only belong to Mendoza though, he is one of the most well respected wine consultants in Napa and Sonoma, as well as other parts of the world, most recently announcing a partnership to begin work in the Finger Lakes in New York State.  He began making his own wine under the Paul Hobbs label in the 1990’s both focusing on Napa Valley Cabernet and Sonoma Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, eventually building his state of the art winery in Sonoma. An incredible multi-tasker, you have to be with as many projects as Hobbs has going on all over the world, but traits he learned growing up on a farm in upstate new York in a family with 11 children. His Napa Valley Cabs are gorgeous.  Created from fruit sourced throughout the valley this wine is refined, balanced and consistent with the highest attention given to perfection and detail, creating the highest quality wine. Available by allocation through is winery website.

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