Napa - All my COVID finds

Napa

Tasted April 29, 2021 - May 5, 2021 by Jbarryleonard with 339 views

Flight 1 - William and Mary (4 notes)

Started off the trip with one of our favorite producers / people in Napa, Will of William and Mary. We were able to sample some of the '19s out of barrel and they were all unique and special. We went straight to Mending wall after landing and an early wake up so don't have great tasting notes. We tasted some Mending Wall wines as well but i didn't write down which they were.

Red
2018 Rivers-Marie Cabernet Sauvignon Herb Lamb Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley
95 points
Really enjoyed this. Dark fruit and complex.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2019 William & Mary Cabernet Sauvignon Shifflett Ranch USA, California, Napa Valley, Oak Knoll District
95 points
Barrel sample. No real tasting let’s but the wine was balanced, complex, and unique. Very similar and on par with 2018.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2019 William & Mary Proprietary Red Shifflett Ranch USA, California, Napa Valley, Oak Knoll District
97 points
Barrel sample. I LOVED the 2018 version of this. Probably my favorite 2018 so far. Out of the barrel, the 2019 is its equal. Cannot wait for this release and will make sure not to under buy again.
2 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
2019 William & Mary Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley USA, California, Napa Valley
94 points
Barrel sample. No real notes but I really enjoyed this. Thought it was better than the 2018. No idea how this will be in bottle but am excited to see.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 2 - Roy Piper (1 note)

Started the day off meeting with Roy Piper and had an incredible experience. He was able to offer so much insight on the wine industry and winemaking process and his goals for his own label.

Red
2018 Roy Piper Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, Napa Valley
98 points
Pnp’d the 2018 and boy was it a surprise. I knew it was going to be good, but not from the first sip with no air. The balance is incredible, maintaining a great but not overwhelming fruit profile with minerality in the mid palate and a long finish. One of the best wines of the trip.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 3 - Mike Smith Wine Tasting (3 notes)

Wanted to try the 2019 Myriad cabs but the were not available so we did a broader Mike Smith tasting with Leah. It was fun to try other MS labels (Bench, Steltzner) but Myriad, specifically the Dr. Crane stole the show.

Red
2018 Perchance Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Georges III Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley, Rutherford
96 points
Has the classic Mike Smith density but can tell it’s from Rutherford. I have not had the myriad GIII so will need to try one to justify the price difference.
Red
2018 Myriad Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley, St. Helena
97 points
Best of the MS tasting. Classic MS Dr. Crane and I loved it.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2019 Myriad Cellars Syrah Esther Block Las Madres Vineyard USA, California, Napa / Sonoma, Carneros
93 points
Very good and unique California syrah. One sip and all you can think about is olives.

Flight 4 - Vine Hill Ranch (1 note)

Had an incredible experience where we walked the vineyards and learned the history of his family and the special place. It feels different here than anywhere else in Napa we have been. Almost remote.

Red
2018 Vine Hill Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon VHR USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
95 points
Off the charts aromatics with plenty of acidity and tension to age. Depending on how many you have, I wouldn’t touch this one for a while. Score represents the wine today but this has plenty of upside.
2 people found this helpful Comments (3)

Flight 5 - Wayfarer (6 notes)

I will preface this next comment by saying I haven been intentional about my wine drinking for 3 years now and have mainly focused on California (broadly) wine so very new and still learning. People are sleeping on Wayfarer! This set of 2018 pinots are exceptional. Balance was the theme here and each wine was unique and beautiful.

Red
2018 Wayfarer Pinot Noir Wayfarer Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Fort Ross - Seaview
96 points
All these Wayfarer wines were incredible. Maybe a touch heavier than most pinots with dark cherry up front leading into some dark earth tones through the mid palate. Very smooth - not tart at all. I loved this
Red
2018 Wayfarer Pinot Noir Golden Mean Wayfarer Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Fort Ross - Seaview
96 points
A touch brighter than the Estate pinot but still has all the same complexity. Was happily surprised as the Golden Mean hasn't always been my favorite of the Wayfarer lineup.
Red
2018 Wayfarer Pinot Noir The Traveler Wayfarer Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Fort Ross - Seaview
97 points
A special bottle of wine. A very slight step up on the other 2 2018s we tried with more subtle fruit moving seamlessly into complex secondary notes. There is some tannin structure on this wine and can certainly improve with a few years of age.
White
2018 Wayfarer Chardonnay Wayfarer Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Fort Ross - Seaview
95 points
A great chard. I am slowly learning that I might not be the biggest fan of chardonnay, but I really enjoyed this. Very bright up front but has a slightly creamy, almost creme brulee finish that I loved.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Wayfarer Pinot Noir Paige's Ridge Wayfarer Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Fort Ross - Seaview
96 points
Was really interesting to see what a few years of age does to the wine. Everything was slightly toned down but perfectly integrated. Depending on my mood I could go either way between the current vintage (2018) and this.
Rosé
2020 Wayfarer WF2 Rosé of Pinot Noir Wayfarer Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Fort Ross - Seaview
92 points
Something good came out of 2020! I am not a rose fan at all but I enjoyed this one, and at $25, its a no brainer if you are going to purchase rose. It has some sweetness but certainly not a sweet rose, but has more depth than I am used to in my normal poolside pounder.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 6 - Greer (1 note)

Great experience with Rob tasting the 2018 Greer. We tasted on the second floor of the barn in the middle of the property and the scene is epic. You sit this beautiful oak table with views of all of Rutherford out both sides of the barn.

Red
2018 Greer Cabernet Sauvignon Greer Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley, Rutherford
96 points
The 2018 was a beautiful representation of Rutherford with impeccable balance and minerality in the mid palate. Like a lot of 2018's, it certainly needs some time to add depth.
3 people found this helpful Comments (6)

Flight 7 - Maxem / Memento Mori (6 notes)

Tasted through the full 2019 Maxem lineup and the 2018 Memento Mori blend and VHR. Two main takeaways for us was the clear Sam Kaplan style (which we loved) as well as how each wine was unique.

Red
2019 Maxem Pinot Noir Silver Eagle USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
94 points
This wine was decanted for an hour prior to serving. Nice fruit on the front with some structure on the back. This wont fully hit its stride for a few years.
Red
2019 Maxem Pinot Noir UV Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
96 points
This was the bomb. Not my favorite of the lineup at first, but as time went on it kept getting better and better. Certainly fruit forward but it was layered, balanced and interesting.
White
2019 Maxem Chardonnay UV Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
93 points
White
2019 Maxem Chardonnay Lucky Well USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
93 points
The nose reminded me of a lemon bar and the palate had a fresh citrus profile. Was richer than the UV
Red
2018 Memento Mori Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, Napa Valley
96 points
This was great. Consistent with other notes. I love the style and know this will be epic in 4 or 5 years.
Red
2018 Memento Mori Cabernet Sauvignon Vine Hill Ranch USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
96 points

Flight 8 - Kinsman (2 notes)

The hype is real.

Red
2018 Kinsman Eades Cabernet Sauvignon Rhadamanthus USA, California, Napa Valley, Diamond Mountain
98 points
This blew me away. I fully expect this to be triple digits in no time. Unbelievably complex and layered. Mouth coating soft tannin followed by dark chocolate (the slightly bitter kind, not sweet) covered dark fruit and almost spicy on the finish (I'm not sure if that is a thing but it was with this). Maybe some leather notes after that? I'm not sure. There was so much going on here. I could not get enough.
3 people found this helpful Comments (3)
Red
2018 Bella Oaks Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, Napa Valley, Rutherford
95 points
Not much to add that hasn't been said in other notes. I definitely second the dark cherry/plum notes mixed with scorched earth on the mid palate. I found this wine really fun to drink.

Flight 9 - Arkenstone (4 notes)

Didn't know much about Arkenstone walking in as it was a last minute add but it was an awesome property. The underground winery was like a fortress that you'd never guess was there.

Red
2017 Arkenstone Cabernet Sauvignon NVD USA, California, Napa Valley
91 points
Really enjoyed this on the initial sip but over time it started to feel a bit primary. I would say it is good for the price but when you have Ontogeny for the same thing its hard to justify.
Red
2017 Arkenstone Estate USA, California, Napa Valley, Howell Mountain
94 points
Much more balance and layered than the NVD. Silky smooth. I enjoyed this wine a lot.
White
2018 Arkenstone Sauvignon Blanc USA, California, Napa Valley, Howell Mountain
90 points
Not a huge fan of Sav Blanc in general so this may be a little unfair. I could tell it was clearly a well made wine but just wasn't for me.
Red
2018 Arkenstone Cabernet Sauvignon Heimark Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley
94 points

Flight 10 - Pott Wines (4 notes)

It was so cool meeting Aaron Pott and drink wine with him. I felt like i was talking to one of the Godfathers of modern Napa. So much knowledge and a beautiful property on Mt. Veeder. A great way to end the trip.

Red
2018 Pott Wine SPACE AND TIME USA, California, Napa Valley, Mt. Veeder
96 points
Probably my favorite of the Pott lineup but definitely partial to right bank blends. I would put this right up there with the William and Mary prop red and the Arrow and Branch RBB but with more minerality and a little less oak.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2017 Pott Wine Cabernet Sauvignon Incubo USA, California, Napa Valley, Mt. Veeder
93 points
Great showing for 2017 but a but more thin and primary when compared to the 2016.
Red
2016 Pott Wine Cabernet Sauvignon Incubo USA, California, Napa Valley, Mt. Veeder
95 points
Great representation of Mt. Veeder. I think what i notice most about Pott Wines is how distinctly different the wines are depending on vintage and place. I know a lot of people say that but really shows in these wines.
Red
2013 Pott Wine Cabernet Sauvignon Turf War Bisagno Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley, St. Helena
96 points
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