Last week I had the opportunity to participate in a Twitter tasting hosted by Karen MacNeil and featuring six unexpected wines from Napa – four whites and two reds. All in all I really enjoyed this tasting, in large part because the discussion on Twitter (under the tag #SipWithKaren) was great – lots of good questions, opinions, and interactions.
So, what about the wines?
2014 Artesa Albarino – $28 (SRP)
100% Albarino with aromas of pear, lemon, and honeysuckle. Briny in the mouth with a nice, balanced acidity. This would be a nice aperitif on a hot day, or something to pair with shellfish such as oysters.
2013 Cornerstone Cellars Chenin Blanc – $25 (SRP)
100% Chenin Blanc with aromas of white peach and apple. Good acid that wasn’t overwhelming, but enough to cut through a fattier dish. Notes of lemongrass. Green grass on the nose as the wine warmed up. Described as “racy”. Paired well with a dinner of Cod.
2013 Robert Mondavi Fume Blanc – $17 (SRP)
90% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Semillon. Aromas of lime zest and jasmine with flavors of orange blossom, melon, and lemon-lime. Ginger came through as the wine warmed. Aged for 5 months in French oak sur lie. Oak softened the wine without becoming overwhelming. Great value buy.
2013 Alpha Omega Chardonnay – $33 (SRP)
100% unoaked Chardonnay. Flavors of banana and tangerine with a slight hint of acid on the finish. Creaminess in the mouth, but without the butter flavor associated with oak. A good wine for those that want character in their Chardonnay, but aren’t fans of the grape being overly oaked.
2012 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon – $29 (SRP)
88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, 4% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec. Aromas of blackberries and dried herbs, with flavors of herb, black cherry, and dark chocolate. A bit of jammy-ness on the nose. I really liked this wine, and thought at less than $30 it was a great value. Very drinkable on its own, but would be nice and versatile with a range of foods.
2010 St Supery Dollarhide Estate Vineyard Petit Verdot – $50 (SRP)
97% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep, inky purple in the glass, with aromas of plum, vanilla, and oak. Flavors of blackberry, espresso, and spice. Practically the definition of a big, bold wine, and one that should absolutely be paired with red meat. That being said, very smooth in the mouth, and one you won’t regret opening for that special occasion.