Wine, Wine Reviews

Napa Valley bi-annual wine tasting – Toronto 2017

Napa Valley bi-annual wine tasting
Napa Valley bi-annual wine tasting

Outstanding wines come from doing everything right at every stage of the process – from vineyard all the way to the bottle.

Wine is an immersive experience and captures the story of the land told through thought the expertise of growers and winemakers. Farming vine by vine organically and responsibly rewards with fruit that achieves perfect ripeness, and complex, balanced and singular site expression.

The purist winemaker intervenes as little as possible and allows the fruit to transform itself, through its indigenous yeasts, into the wine destined to become. State of the art tools ensure precision, i.e employing cutting-edge optical sorter that can be calibrated, heating and cooling systems, and many others too numerous to mention.

The expert winemaker lets the wine take the lead, making scientific and artistic decisions along the way, to coax out the purest, richest articulation of the fruit. Most Napa winemakers strive for perfection and demand compensation for such.

Napa Valley stretches from the San Francisco Bay to Calistoga (approximately 70 km.) and on spots less than 1.6 km. wide. Carneros adjacent to the San Francisco Bay is decidedly cool and suitable to grow pinot noir and chardonnay successfully.

Napa Valley has now 15 sub-appellations) Calistoga, Howell Mountain, Chiles Valley District, Diamond Mountain District, Spring Mountain District, St. Helena, Rutherford, Oakville, Atlas Peak, Stag’s Leap District, Wild Horse Valley, Coombsville, Mount Veeder, and Los Carneros).

The valley has 52 different soil types, and vineyards are planted with the most suitable grape varieties for desirable results.

Chardonnay and sauvignon blanc are the most popular white grapes, although a few growers have started planting viognier, gewürztraminer, pinot grigio, and few other experimental varieties.

For reds cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, malbec, petit verdot, zinfandel, and syrah are popular; now sangiovese is also starting to appear in vineyards.

The Napa Vintners Association has 530 members and promotes sustainable viticulture, and provides environmental leadership.

A selection of Napa Valley wineries visit Toronto bi-annually for the trade, wine writers, and the public to sample their latest editions.

32 wineries participated in the 2017 tasting pouring 91 wines, of which I tasted 60.

Prices are now high, but still affordable, considering the 20 per cent plus exchange differential and L C B O mark ups.

My recommendations are:

White wines

Chardonnay, M, Grgich
91/100

Hope’s Cuvee Chardonnay, 2015, Signorello
90/100

Chardonnay, 2014, Krupp Brothers
91/100

Sorello, 2015, Baldacci
89/100

Chardonnay Carneros, 2015, Frank Family Winery
89+/100

Chardonnay, 2015, Black Stallion
89/100

Chardonnay, 2015, Heitz Celalrs
88/100

Sauvignon Blanc, 2016, St. Supery
88/100

Dollarhide Sauvignon Blanc, 2016, St. Supery
89+/100

Sparkling wine

Blanc de Blancs, Schramsberg
92/100

Red wines

Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014, Clos du Val
91/100

Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014, Clos du Va
92/100

Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013, Y. Rouseau
90/100

Zinfandel, 2011, Buehler
92/100

Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013, Nathan Coobs Estates, Paul Hobbs
90/100

Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014, O’Shaughnessy
92+/100

Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain, 2014, O’Shaughnessy
93/100

Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014, M. Grgich
91/100

Fraternity, 2014, Baldacci
91/100

Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard Synchrony, 2014, Krupp Brothers
91/100

Dollarhide Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013, St. Supery
90/100

Cabernet Sauvignon, 2011, Buehler
88/100

Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014, Y. Rouseau
88+/100

Carneros Pinot Noir, 2015, Frank Family Winery
88/100

Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013, 7 +8 Vineyard
88/100

Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014, Cliff Lede
88+/100

Zinfandel, 2014, Clos du Val
89+/100

Concept, 2008, Cain
89+/100

Merlot, 2013, St Supery88/100

The Doctor, 2014, Krupp Brothers
88+/100

Veraison, 2013, Krupp Brothers
89/100

Zinfandel, 2013, Heitz Cellars
88/100

Zinfandel, 2014, Frank Family Winery
88/100

Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014, Somnium
89/100

The Hess Collection Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014
89/100

Panzano, 2012, Quicxot
90/100

Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013, Signorello
91/100

Fuse Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013, Signorello
90+/100

Cabernet| Sauvignon, 2013, Stornoway
89/100

Pinot Noir, 2014, Saintsbury
88+/100

Dearhound Cabernet Franc, 2013, Somerstone
91/100

Celestial, 2013, Somerstone
90+/100

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