Tuesday, September 2, 2008

My two wineries

Fifteen wines later, I'd say this trip is off to a good start.  Today my dad and I visited two wineries on our way to the hotel.  The first was Laird Family Estate, which is moderately available in Houston at our beloved Spec's--the upshot of which is that I felt little pressure to actually purchase what I enjoyed. I tried seven wines there: the 2007 Pinot Grigio, the 2006 Carneros Chardonnay, the 2005 Cold Creek Ranch Chardonnay, the 2003 Diamond Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2005 Jillian's Blend Red Wine (named after the owner's three year old granddaughter), the 2004 Dyer Ranch Syrah, and the 2005 Mast Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon.  As is my want, I enjoyed the reds most thoroughly.  In particular, the Red Blend and the Diamond Mountain were two wines I could very easily see drinking regularly.  My dad and I were guided through the process by an affable older Napa native who lived walking distance from the vines, and from what I could tell his whole job was leading tastings.  (I think I've found my retirement career).  

Next we drove a little up the way to Silenus Vintners.  Rather, it was a place where individual growers could produce their own wines--Silenus only provides the metal vats.  Because it was mi padre's birthday they gave us a few extras, for a grand total of eight wines.  We tried a Sauvignon Blanc; a  white blend consisting, a Rose, a Grenache and a few Cab blends.  My favorite was the Illsey "Seis Primas," which is a red blend consisting of 55% Malbec and 45% Cab.  The grapes used in that wine are also used in the famous Shafer Cab; our guide informed us that 90% of the grapes from this grower go to Shafer and they retain the remainder and make their own wines.  Brilliant stuff!

Next up... Lunch at Bistro Jeanty.

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