The last thing I expected to hear at a posh luncheon showcasing the record-breaking Auction Napa Valley Cabernet, the 2016 Fourmeaux, presented by the distinguished Jean-Noel Formeaux of a centuries-old Bordeaux family, was that the VGS of VGS Chateau Potelle, stands for “Very Good S**t”. Seriously.
During Premier Napa Valley, the trade have an opportunity to blind taste through three different vintages of 15 Napa Valley producers’ Cabernet Sauvignon wines. My original interest in attending this tasting in the past was to see if there was discernible vintage character, but now I also seek out brand styles, consistency and quality as they leap out of the glass vintage after vintage, and back-to-back.
The Unions des Grands Crus de Bordeaux tasting in San Francisco last month illustrated the 2014 red vintage beautifully. It was a vintage where one of the best Indian summers in a century truly ‘saved’ the vintage and produced red Bordeaux of power and freshness.
Rombauer Vineyards still makes those rich, full-bodied and buttery Chardonnays that many people love but at a tasting yesterday, I found that they do so much more. If you haven’t visited them lately, it’s time to revisit and discover their wines all over again.
My reference wines for benchmark Cabernet Sauvignon are Napa Valley and Bordeaux, so when I had the chance recently to taste through a vertical of Don Melchor wines from Chile’s Concha y Toro with winemaker Enrique Tirado in San Francisco, they were going to have a pretty high bar to meet.
After taking a back seat for decades to the more famous sub-appellations in the Napa Valley, Calistoga is quietly becoming the destination …