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53rd Annual Tasting

Diana Stockton
Diana Stockton
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“Toasting the Twelves”

Sunday, August 9, 2015
Silverado Resort & Spa, Napa

Sunday, August 9, brought a breezy, sunny afternoon—perfect Annual Tasting weather. It had been a worry as Napa Valley had several bouts of hot days this summer. And thanks to the oaks in the Grove filling in after their last pruning, there was plenty of shade–amplified by a large number of continuously strategically placed umbrellas.

This year‘s tasting was a celebration of the 2012 harvest that winemakers had found to be much easier to deal with after their preceding vintages of 2009, 2010 and 2011. Our board had decided on the emphasis before the 2013‘s had come on the scene. We do not know if we will emphasize a certain vintage again, but we are very appreciative of the participation by our wineries that embraced this year‘s theme.

Most of the 133 wines poured were from lots of 1,000 cases or less; half of these were from lots of 500 or less, and nine were from less than 100 cases. 86 wines were single red varieties, 15 were proprietary red blends. [The Edge Hills Estate “Mixed Blacks” was from its own field blend of Alicante Bouschet, Carignane, Grenache, and Mourvèdre planted 15 years ago, Paul Draper advising and Tablas Creek providing budwood.] Of the 86 single red varietals, 46 were Cabernet Sauvignon, 6 Merlot, 4 Cabernet Franc, and 1 Petit Verdot. There were also 8 Pinot Noir, 4 Zinfandel, and 2 Syrah. 27 of the wines were single white varieties and one was a proprietary white blend. There were two sparkling wines and two rosés. Of the single white varieties, 12 were Sauvignon Blanc and 10 Chardonnay. One Chenin Blanc, one Dolcetto, one Pinot Blanc, and two Viognier rounded out the whites.

To accompany the wines, V. Sattui Marketplace & Deli with Silverado kept two stations busy serving the membership variety of cheeses garnished with fresh fruit. The Model Bakery had donated dozens of its freshly baked sliced French baguettes to pair with the cheese.

Our membership seems to prefer a vintner‘s choice tasting (we welcome your comments about the Annual Tasting at any time: editor@napawinelibrary.com) to that of a single variety, because of the many more kinds of wines poured, and the natural progression in tasting from white through rosé to red. Our wineries appreciate the purposefulness with which the NVWLA membership tastes: its knowledge and attention. To everyone who took part in “Toasting the Twelves,” thank you, indeed. 

The wineries and their wines at the 53rd Annual Tasting were:

  • Amizetta Winery; William Clark, winemaker
    • 2012 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – 750 cases
    • 2012 Napa Valley “Complexity” – 750 cases
  • Andrew Lane Wines; Andrew Dickson, winemaker
    • 2012 Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon – 389 cases
  • Anomaly Vineyards; Mark Porembski, winemaker
    • 2012 Saint Helena Cabernet Sauvignon – 1,193 cases
  • Arns Winery; Sandi Belcher, winemaker
    • 2012 Melanson Vineyard, Pritchard Hill, Napa Valley Syrah – 100 cases
    • 2012 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – 300 cases
  • Baldacci Family Vineyards; Rolando Herrera, winemaker
    • 2012 Honey B Vineyard, Los Carneros Chardonnay 1,000 cases
    • 2012 Honey B Vineyard, Los Carneros Pinot Noir  1,000 cases
  • Ballentine Vineyards; Bruce Devlin, winemaker
    • 2012 Fig Tree Vineyard, Napa Valley Reserve Chardonnay – 105 cases
    • 2012 Pocai Vineyard, Napa Valley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – 105 cases
  • Beau Vigne Estate Winery; Kirk Venge, winemaker
    • 2012 Romeo Stags Ridge, Atlas Peak Cabernet Sauvignon – 344 cases
    • 2012 Cult Stags Ridge, Atlas Peak Cabernet Sauvignon – 632 cases
  • Blackbird Vineyard; Aaron Pott, winemaker
    • 2012 Napa Valley Arriviste Rosé – 2,100 cases
    • 2014 Napa Valley “Arise” – 215 barrels
  • Cain Vineyard and Winery; Chris Howell, winemaker
    • Napa Valley “NV11 Cain Cuvée” – 10,692 cases
  • Cakebread Cellars; Julianne Laks, winemaker
    • 2012 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – 5,000 cases
  • Casa Nuestra; Eugene Kirkham and Darren Chertkoff, winemakers
    • 2012 Saint Helena Estate Cabernet Franc – 50 cases
    • Darren Chertkoff, winemaker
    • 1997 Saint Helena Estate Cabernet Franc 212 cases
    • Eugene Kirkham, winemaker
  • Ceja Vineyards; Armando Ceja, winemaker
    • 2013 Los Carneros Chardonnay – 500 cases
    • 2011 Los Carneros Pinot Noir – 1,000 cases
  • Chase Cellars; Joel Aiken and Russell Bevan, winemakers
    • Bourn 2012 Hayne Vineyard, Saint Helena Zinfandel – 188 cases
    • Chase 2012 Hayne Vineyard, Saint Helena Zinfandel 485 cases
  • Clos du Val; Kristy Melton, winemaker
    • 2012 Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon 2,500 cases
    • 2012 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 32,000 cases
  • Crocker & Starr; Pam Starr, winemaker
    • 2012 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Blanc 625 cases
  • Edge Hill Estate; Anthony Weytjens, winemaker
    • 2012 Saint Helena Estate Mixed Blacks – 211 cases
  • Faust; Charles Thomas, winemaker
    • 2012 Coombsville Cabernet Sauvignon 30,000 cases
  • Fontanella Family Winery; Jeff Fontanella, winemaker
    • 2013 Mount Veeder Chardonnay – 700 cases
    • 2012 Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon 900 cases
  • The Good Life Wine Collective; Rob Lloyd, winemaker
    • Handwritten 2010 Napa Valley “Three Words” 250 cases
    • Humanitas 2014 Gordon Valley Vineyard, Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc – 400 cases
    • Jessup Cellars 2012 Truchard Vineyard, Los Carneros Pinot Noir – 600 cases
  • Green & Red Vineyard; Jay Heminway, winemaker
    • 2012 Catacula Vineyard, Chiles Valley District Sauvignon Blanc – 450 cases
    • 2012 Chiles Canyon, Chiles Valley District Zinfandel – 2,600 cases
    • 2012 Tip Top Vineyard, Chiles Valley District Zinfandel – 700 cases
  • Grgich Hills Estate; Mike Grgich, winemaker
    • 2012 Napa Valley Estate Chardonnay 30,832 cases
    • 2012 Napa Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 16,264 cases
  • Groth Vineyards & Winery; Michael Weis, winemaker
    • 2014 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc – 39,000 cases
    • 2012 Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon – 30,000 cases
  • Hagafen Cellars; Ernie Weir, winemaker
    • 2012 Napa Valley Sparkling Brut Rosé – 400 cases
    • 2010 Hanna Vineyard, Oak Knoll Merlot 200 cases
  • Hendry Winery; George Hendry, winemaker
    • 2012 Hendry Vineyard, Napa Valley Barrel Fermented Chardonnay – 928 cases
    • 2012 Hendry Vineyard, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – 950 cases
  • Herb Lamb Vineyards; Michael Trujillo, winemaker
    • HL Vineyards 2012 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – 300 cases
    • Two Old Dogs 2012 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – 400 cases
  • Hesperian Wines; Philippe Langner, winemaker
    • 2012 Kitoko Vineyard, Atlas Peak Cabernet Sauvignon – 250 cases
  • Hopper Creek Winery; Barry Grushkowitz, winemaker
    • 2012 Massa Ranch, Yountville Sauvignon Blanc 224 cases
    • 2012 Hopper Creek Vineyard, Yountville Estate Merlot – 214 cases
  • Hyde Vineyards; Peter Hyde, winemaker
    • 2012 Hyde Vineyard, Los Carneros Chardonnay
    • 2012 Hyde Vineyard, Los Carneros Pinot Noir
  • Jericho Canyon; Nicholas Bleecher, Aaron Pott and Michel Rolland, winemakers
    • 2013 Calistoga Sauvignon Blanc – 320 cases
    • 2012 Calistoga “Chimera” – 760 cases
  • Joseph Carr; Aaron Pott, winemaker
    • 2012 Rutherford Merlot – 100 cases
    • 2012 Coombsville Cabernet Sauvignon – 500 cases
  • Keenan Winery; Michael Keenan, winemaker
    • 2012 Spring Mountain District Cabernet Franc 480 cases
    • 2012 Napa Valley Zinfandel – 612 cases
  • Krupp Brothers Wines; Jay Buoncristioni, winemaker
    • M5 2012 Stagecoach Vineyard, Atlas Peak Cabernet Sauvignon – 200 cases
    • Veraison 2009 Stagecoach Vineyard, Atlas Peak Cabernet Sauvignon – 1,600 cases
  • Lang + Reed Wine Company; John Skupny, winemaker
    • 2014 Napa Valley Chenin Blanc – 100 cases
    • 2012 Napa Valley “Two Fourteen” Cabernet Franc 755 cases
  • Lobo Wines; Kenn Vigoda and Victoria Coleman, winemakers
    • 2012 Wulff Vineyards, Oak Knoll Pinot Noir 350 cases; Kenn Vigoda, winemaker
    • 2012 Wulff Vineyards, Atlas Peak Cabernet Sauvignon 450 cases; Victoria Coleman, winemaker
  • Louis M. Martini Winery; Michael Martini, winemaker
    • 2014 Napa Valley Rosé – 200 cases
    • 2012 Thomann Station, Napa Valley Petite Sirah 200 cases
  • Madonna Estate; Andrea Bartolucci, winemaker
    • 2012 Los Carneros Estate Pinot Noir – 2,500 cases
    • 2012 Los Carneros Estate Dolcetto – 600 cases
  • Mahoney Vineyards; Ken Foster, winemaker
    • 2012 Los Carneros Estate Pinot Noir – 1,200 cases
    • 2012 Mahoney Ranch Vineyard, Los Carneros Pinot Noir – 220 cases
  • MATERRA l Cunat Family Vineyards; Michael Trujillo and Bruce Regalia, winemakers
    • 2013 Oak Knoll District Viognier – 90 cases
    • 2009 Oak Knoll District Merlot – 1,250 cases
  • Monticello Vineyards; Chris Corley, winemaker
    • 2013 Oak Knoll Chardonnay – 224 cases
    • 2012 Napa Valley Proprietary Red Wine 356 cases
  • Napa Wine Company; Rob Lawson and Lynn Watanabe, winemakers
    • Ghost Block 2012 Yountville Cabernet Sauvignon 700 cases; Rob Lawson, winemaker
    • Oakville Winery 2012 Pelissa Vineyard, Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon – 1,900 cases; Lynn Watanabe, winemaker
  • Orin Swift Cellars; Dave Phinney, winemaker
    • 2012 Tofanelli Vineyard, Calistoga Sauvignon Blanc 900 cases
  • PEJU; Sara Fowler, winemaker
    • 2014 Napa Valley Rosé of Syrah – 460 cases
    • 2012 Napa Valley Petit Verdot – 1,000 cases
    • 2012 Napa Valley “Fifty-Fifty” – 900 cases
  • The PlumpJack Group; Aaron Miller and Danielle Cyrot, winemakers
    • CADE 2012 Howell Mountain Estate Cabernet Sauvignon; Danielle Cyrot, winemaker
    • PlumpJack Winery 2012 Oakville Estate Cabernet Sauvignon; Aaron Miller, winemaker
  • Pride Mountain Vineyards; Sally Johnson-Blum, winemaker
    • 2014 Sonoma Viognier – 1,108 cases
    • 2012 Napa/Sonoma Merlot – 5,350 cases
  • Rocca Family Vineyards; Paul Colantuoni, winemaker
    • 2012 Yountville Vineyard, Yountville Merlot 150 cases
    • 2012 Grigsby Vineyard, Yountville Cabernet Sauvignon – 400 cases
  • St. Supéry Estate Vineyards and Winery; Michael Scholz, winemaker
    • 2013 Napa Valley Estate Virtú – 2,561 cases
    • 2012 Napa Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 18,393 cases
  • Saddleback Cellars; Nils Venge, winemaker
    • 2012 Oakville Estate Pinot Blanc – 350 cases
    • 2012 Napa Valley Cabernet Franc – 125 cases
  • Schramsberg Vineyards/J. Davies Vineyards
    • Schramsberg 2011 Napa Valley “Querencia” 250 cases; Sean Thompson and Hugh Davies, winemakers
    • Davies 2012 Davies‘ Vineyard, Diamond Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon – 2,500 cases; Sean Thompson and Hugh Davies, winemakers
    • Davies 2005 Davies‘ Vineyard, Diamond Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon – 1,800 cases; Hugh Davies, winemaker
  • Seavey Vineyard; Jim Duane, winemaker
    • 2012 Napa Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2,200 cases
  • Silverado Vineyards; Jon Emmerich, winemaker
    • 2012 Mount George Vineyard, Coombsville Cabernet Sauvignon – 1,432 6-bottle cases
  • Snowden Vineyards; Diana Snowden Seysses, winemaker
    • 2014 Sunninghill Vineyard, Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc – 173 cases
    • 2012 The Ranch, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1,893 cases
  • Spottswoode Estate Vineyard and Winery; Aron Weinkauf, winemaker
    • Spottswoode 2012 Saint Helena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon – 3,978 cases
    • Lyndenhurst 2012 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2,186 cases
  • Spring Mountain Vineyard; Susan Doyle, winemaker
    • 2012 Spring Mountain District Estate Sauvignon Blanc – 1,000 cases
    • 2012 Spring Mountain District Estate “Elevette” 3,000 cases
  • Stags‘ Leap Winery; Christophe Paubert, winemaker
    • 2013 Napa Valley Viognier – 4,093 cases
    • 2012 Coombsville Vineyard, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – 545 cases
  • Stony Hill Vineyard; Mike Chelini, winemaker
    • 2012 Stony Hill, Napa Valley Chardonnay 2,188 cases
    • 2011 Stony Hill, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 350 cases
  • Storybook Mountain Vineyards; Jerry Seps, winemaker
    • 2012 Napa Valley Estate Grown Zinfandel 550 cases
    • 2012 Napa Valley Estate Grown “Antaeus” 500 cases
  • Swanson Vineyards; Robin Akhurst, winemaker
    • 2012 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – 421 cases
  • Teaderman Vineyards; Nils Venge and Tom Rinaldi, winemakers
    • 2013 Oakville Sauvignon Blanc – 300 cases; Nils Venge, winemaker
    • 2012 Oakville Sauvignon Blanc – 300 cases; Nils Venge, winemaker
    • 2012 Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon – 600 cases; Tom Rinaldi, winemaker
    • 2010 Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon – 500 cases; Tom Rinaldi, winemaker
  • Trefethen Family Vineyards; Bryan Kays, winemaker
    • 2013 Oak Knoll Chardonnay – 20,000 cases
    • 2012 Oak Knoll Cabernet Sauvignon – 8,000 cases
  • Trinchero Napa Valley; Mario Monticelli, winemaker
    • 2011 Napa Valley Estate Meritage – 3,800 cases
    • 2011 Chicken Ranch Vineyard, Napa Valley Merlot 2,400 cases
    • 2011 Haystack Vineyard, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – 1,700 cases
  • Truchard Vineyards; Sal De Ianni, winemaker
    • 2012 Los Carneros Estate Syrah– 750 cases
    • 2012 Los Carneros Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 5,000 cases
  • Sattui Winery; Brooks Painter, winemaker
    • 2014 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc – 2,100 cases
    • 2011 Napa Valley “Paradiso” – 658 cases
  • Valance Wines; Michael Raymor, winemaker
    • 2012 Rancho de los Arboles, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon– 75 cases
  • Villa Ragazzi; Nate Weis, winemaker
    • 2012 Napa Valley Sangiovese – 84 cases
    • 2012 Napa Valley “Faraona” – 61 cases
  • VinRoc; Michael Parmenter, winemaker
    • 2012 Atlas Peak Cabernet Sauvignon – 275 cases
    • 2012 Napa Valley “RTW” – 288 cases
  • Vincent Arroyo Winery; Matthew Moye, winemaker
    • 2012 Calistoga Cabernet Sauvignon – 886 cases
    • 2012 Rattlesnake Acres, Calistoga Petite Sirah 440 cases
  • Vineyard {511}; Rob Lloyd, winemaker
    • 2012 Diamond Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon – 130 cases
    • 2011 Diamond Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon – 90 cases
  • Wallis Family Estate; Thomas Rivers Brown, winemaker
    • 2012 Diamond Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon – 500 cases
    • 2012 Diamond Mountain District Little Sister Cabernet Sauvignon – 150 cases
  • Whitehall Lane Winery; Dean Sylvester, winemaker
    • 2014 Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc – 10,000 cases
    • 2012 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 10,000 cases
  • William Hill Estate Winery; Ralph Holdenried, winemaker
    • 2012 unfiltered Napa Valley Estate Chardonnay 200 cases
    • 2010  Napa Valley Estate “Benchmark” – 200 cases
  • ZD Wines; Chris Pisani, winemaker
    • 2013 Los Carneros Pinot Noir – 4,500 cases
    • 2012 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 4,500 cases