Unexpected Wines from Napa with Karen MacNeil

Sip With Karen Napa Tasting


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├é┬á– $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.

About George Perry 896 Articles
A wine lover for as long as I can remember, I hope that my thoughts on wine can help others to make decisions on what they should drink as well.