Of the wine production that comes to us from Napa wineries, much of it is produced from local vineyards, as you would expect. But some Napa wineries source various varietals from out of the area when there is a benefit to doing so. Cost is definitely a factor, but some varietals may perform better in other locales, or there may be a specific vineyard the Napa winery is targeting to produce a certain bottling or blend. Add to this, there is much négociant activity that takes place in Napa Valley where “wheeling and dealing” is the motivator and we can often be the beneficiary.
2016 Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc/Viognier Blend
List price 15.00; our price 13.99
The Chenin Blanc grapes were harvested in the Clarksburg appellation at low sugar levels to emphasize bright fruit characteristics in the finished wine. In contrast, the Viognier from Lodi was picked at higher sugar levels to capture the floral and spicy nature as well as viscosity. Each variety was inoculated with its own special yeast strain selected to maintain the fruity characters and then underwent a cool fermentation. To retain and highlight fruit freshness, the wine was fermented and aged in 100 percent stainless steel. This versatile wine pairs well with a number of dishes, from light salads to seafood, and most notably with foods with a hint of spiciness—its subtle sweetness provides balance alongside a touch of heat.
2015 Bread & Butter Wines Chardonnay,
List price 16.00; our price 13.99
This Chardonnay is the result of négociants fashioning wine blends from various producers who may have more grapes or even finished wine that they cannot use. Some really good deals can be found here. The wine opens with rich notes of vanilla bean and almond husk, reminiscent of a crème brûlée. The creamy notes are balanced by a soft minerality and a hint of tropical fruit. Those creamy notes continue to your palate where they are joined with bright acidity and well-integrated oak that leads into a long, creamy finish. The wine was aged in American and French oak.
2015 Bread & Butter Wines Pinot Noir
List price 16.00; our price 13.99
This is another négociant effort that gives us excellent value for our money. It boasts juicy red fruit; cherries and raspberries with a touch of cassis. Delicate hints of cedar and bay leaf balance the sweetness of the fruit, creating a lovely bouquet. That luscious fruit bouquet continues onto the palate, where it’s joined by soft flavors of oak and savory notes. The rich mouthfeel is complemented by a long and beautifully smooth finish.
Bronze medal winner at the SF Chronicle Wine Competition.
2014 Trinitas Mysteriama Red Blend
List price 25.00; our price 21.99
Trinitas is a winery that frequently seeks out great vineyards in other counties such as Mendocino and Contra Costa to produce a fruit forward blend that is approachable and can be enjoyed with or without food. The aromas and palate showcase ripe raspberry, maraschino cherry, blackberry jam and vanilla tinged notes of oak (from exclusively American oak barrels). To end the Mystery, the blend is 46% Old Vine Zinfandel, 27% Carignane, 3% Old Vine Mataro, 17% Old Vine Petite Sirah, 4% Cabernet and 3% Merlot.
2014 William Hill Bench Blend
List price 35.00; our price29.99
This rich, chocolaty blend from Napa’s Silverado Bench combines Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux varieties with 24% Petite Sirah. Deep red cherry and cassis flavors form its juicy core, a full-bodied expression accented by leather and espresso, and offset by a showy backbone of acidity. 90 points from Wine Enthusiast.
2015 Robert Mondavi Moscato d’Oro 375 ml
List price 16.00; our price 9.99
This is rather a rare wine in that there is precious little Muscat Canelli grown in Napa Valley. This wine's intense aromas are perfumed with notes of jasmine flower, lychee, guava and ripe peach. The lush, sweet flavors are perfectly balanced with a crisp, citrusy finish. Serve chilled at the end of a meal.
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