Napa vs. The Rest of California
with Nick Stengel
Wednesday, March 15th, 2017 / 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Napa is legend. But will that legend survive the Wardman Test? There will be three sets of two bottles, one from Napa and one from elsewhere in California at the exact same price. Paso Robles, Sonoma, Santa Cruz – will Napa beat all challengers?
2014 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Chardonnay Hands of Time (California / Napa Valley) $23.99 – If you haven't tried Napa Chardonnay lately, you're in for a surprise. They use far less oak nowadays, allowing that beautiful ripe fruit to shine. Offers aromas of ripe Asian pear, honeysuckle, papaya and a hint of melon. The wine has a soft entry and palate full of apple, melon and citrus flavors with a kiss of oak.
2014 Qupé Chardonnay Y Block Bien Nacido Vineyard (California / Central Coast / Santa Maria Valley) $22.99 – Light gold. Fresh citrus and orchard fruit aromas show very good clarity and hints of sweet butter and toasted grain. Fleshy and broad on the palate, offering ripe peach and poached pear flavors and a touch of anise. A mineral flourish adds lift and cut to the finish, leaving a subtle smoky note. Only 20% new oak, very well integrated.
2012 Anthony & Dominic Pinot Noir (California / Napa Valley) $19.99 – Customers have been asking for Meiomi for a long time now, and we have been looking for something similar that wasn't mass produced and slightly less expensive. For all you big, rich, juicy pinot fans here's a new find. Gobbs of juicy mixed berry fruit, velvety texture, integrated acid and tannins. A for sure hit at all your festivities.
2014 Cherry Tart Pinot Noir (California) $20.99 – Fantastic aromatics jump from the glass with raspberry, nutmeg, sandalwood and light smokiness, lifted by a floral note. Silky and delicate up front, with ripe acidity framing the rich, sweet flavors of red berries, red cherry and earth. Offers good fat without excess weight, finishing with a fine dusting of tannins and very good length.
2015 Rubus Cabernet Sauvignon (California / Napa Valley) $21.99 – Only the second vintage of Rubus Napa, this is a steal at the price. Ripe blackberry, currants, and nuances of tobacco and vanilla on the palate. The finish is long and impressive with notes of chocolate and black cherries. Finishes with just a touch of fine silky tannins. It is a touch on the young side, and could use a year to settle down and integrate.
2014 The Fableist Cabernet Sauvignon #373 (California / Paso Robles) $21.99 – The wine greets you with a dark garnet color with purple accents, along with scents of lush blueberry, boysenberry, currants, and memories of your grandfather’s briar-wood pipe. As the flavors evolve, it imparts hints of sweet plums, red and black cherries, vanilla, herbs, earth, warm cedar planks, and freshly ground spices.