Friday, October 3, 2014

Napa wine tasting....Turnbull Cellars!!

Of all the wineries we booked tastings with, this was probably the only one most of you have not heard of. Don't feel bad, I had never heard of them either. So why did we book a tasting here? This is why:

100 point wines don't grow on trees. OK, I guess they grow on vines like every other wine. But Robert Parker is a world-renowned wine critic and if he's giving a 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon 100 points, my interest is piqued. 

I wasn't necessarily expecting to be able to taste that particular wine, and it turned out I was right, but if they have one 100 point wine, it's tough to believe that the rest of their portfolio wouldn't be good too.

We were warmly greeted by our lovely host, who made us feel like family and took us into a beautiful living room-like area for our private tasting. Mary-Beth, you were awesome!

Oh, and Mary-Beth was, if memory serves, 21 years old; meaning she couldn't have legally been in the wine business for more than a few months. But she knew her shit, let me tell you!!!

We started off with a Sauvignon Blanc, but I can't read my notes on it and I can't find much info on it anywhere, so either I imagined it or it's not well known. I gave it a score of 85 which I would suggest means it was quite good but nothing to get too excited about.

Next up:

2010 Syrah ($50.00)

Pomegranate and floral notes dominate the nose. A rich mid-palate with lots of red fruit and some spice and tobacco. Finishes well. Would improve with some more bottle time. 85.

2010 Leopoldina Vineyard Cabernet Franc ($70.00)

Jalapeno on the nose. Yes, jalapeno. A spicy mid-palate belies the fruitiness and the red and dark fruits shine through. My wife describe this as the "best Cabernet Franc" she has ever had. She may be right. 90.

2011 Leopoldina Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ($100.00)

Floral notes and blackberries on the nose give way to a hint of black pepper, vanilla and black cherry. Drinking lovely now but needs some more aging to really reach it's full potential. 89.

2009 Leopoldina Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ($120.00)

Ah,what a difference a couple years can make. Creme de cassis, blackberries and a hint of minerality on the nose. Your palate might enjoy some chocolate, blueberry and a touch of spice on the long, beautiful finish. Sublime. 93.

We left here quite happy, with a bottle of the Cabernet Franc and the untasted 100-point Cabernet Sauvignon in tow. I will report on my experience with the 100-pointer once we drink it. I would imagine it will be good :-)

I highly recommend this winery to anyone touring through Napa. They are only about 5 minutes from Opus One (and if you are in Napa and aren't going to Opus One, why are you in Napa at all???), so call them and book a tasting, you will not be disappointed!

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