Some wine highlights so far from Napa


Over the last few days we’ve tasted quite a few wines. It seems a bit unfair to pick favourites, but here are is a personal selection of some highlights.

Antica Townsend Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Atlas Peak, Napa
This is from the Foss Valley, which is a valley in the Atlas Peak AVA above Napa Valley, at 1500-1800 feet. ‘We are not in the style of making monumental wines,’ says Glenn Salva, and from rocky hillside soils this is a really expressive wine. It is fresh, vital and floral with sweet blackcurrant fruit and lovely freshness and acidity. There’s a floral, black cherry character here, as well as good structure. Stylish and vivid with just a hint of roast coffee oak that should integrate in time. 95/100


Diamond Creek Gravelly Meadow 2008 Napa
This wine has a lovely core of black cherry and blackcurrant fruit, and a structured, savoury side that I’d describe as gravelly and a bit tarry. It’s supple and quite elegant by Napa standards, with lots of potential for future development. Not showy – more brooding and restrained, yet certainly fully ripe. 93/100


Schramsberg Late Disgorged Brut 1999 Carneros, Napa
This deliciously rich sparkling wine is mostly Chardonnay, and was disgorged in 2012 . It’s toasty and rich with nice depth, and lovely citrus, pear and spice notes. Complex, rich and bold, it’s quite delicious in this bigger style. 93/100

Trefethen Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 1999 Napa
This is from hillside vines. It has a spicy blackcurrant nose with hints of earth and leather. Fresh with nice structure and lovely blackcurrant and spice flavours. Well balanced, this is drinking really well now. 93/100


Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1975 Napa
There’s a blood and iodine edge to the nose, which is showing some maturity, with spice and hints of earth. But it’s when you get this into your mouth that you realise what a superb wine it is. It’s really fresh and elegant with nice spiciness underpinning the lovely blackcurrant and black cherry fruit. It’s still got an amazing core of fruit, and now at almost 40 years old it is incredibly elegant and at ease with itself. Just 13% alcohol. 96/100


Niebaum Coppola Rubicon 1989 Napa
I liked this a bit more than some of my fellow tasters. It’s fresh, supple and balanced with lovely sweet blackberry and black cherry fruit, as well as a nice savoury spiciness. This midweight wine has aged beautifully and now has lovely focus and balance. 95/100


Corison Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Napa
It was nice to finally get to meet Cathy Corison (above). She was pouring here 2012, and it’s brilliant. Refined, pure and very fresh with lovely blackcurrant fruit, and hints of chalk and gravel. This doesn’t lack concentration, but it is so fresh and light on its feet. Smooth and elegant with pure, fresh black cherry and black fruits to the fore. 94/100

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1 comment to Some wine highlights so far from Napa

  • keith prothero

    Look forward to catching up next Wednesday Jamie. Did you by any chance try any of the excellent Lagier Meredith syrah from Mount Veeder ? Really impressed by this winery.

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