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A tasting lunch with Napa Valley Vintners

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Napa Valley Vintners’ sponsored Wine Luncheon at The Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills featured 21 Napa wineries. Each winery brought their favorite wine to contribute to the luncheon and the variety of selections made the day!

We’ll look at three of the wineries today and comment on the selections from each winery.

Ackerman Family Vineyards chose their 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a magnificent Cab; it’s hard to say anything less about it.

The 2005 growing season in Napa was one of the better in recent years. A late harvest allowed maturity of the grapes on the vines and the fruit came out with real flavor when harvested. This Cab was French Oak matured and the wine rested 24 months prior to bottling.

Blackberry, Cherry, and Chocolate were dominant from the beginning. While this is definitely a full flavor Cabernet Sauvignon, it is not an overpowering one. There is a subtleness that allows the wine to encourage you to enjoy and savor each taste.

The Ackerman Family 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon is a definite winner and it you want to experience a very good sample of Napa’s best, this in one to go to. Expect to pay in the $80 - $100 for this wine.

Second on the recommended list today is the 2009 Baldacci IV Sons Fraternity Red Blend. This really is a nice red blend, but not an inexpensive red blend. Quality throughout, this wine is full of flavor and shows its individual flavors well.

The blend is from two of the family vineyards, Stags Leap and Carneros. When sampled, the wine approaches a tasting experience worth noting. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Syrah combine to make a significant statement.

On the nose of delightful fruit, you will encounter Raspberry, Cherry and possibly Plum. The palate will find Plum, Berry and a hint of chocolate (probably a result of the new oak barreling used during settling).

Again, this is a full-flavored blend and highlights what can be done with good grape sources and careful blending. It’s about $40.00 at the winery.

Third on this tasting tour was the Edict 2011 Sauvignon Blanc. This is a Silver Medal Winner from the 2014 American Fine Wine Competition. Enjoyable from the very first, it grows on you as you taste.

The 2011 Edict is from the Oakville area and exemplifies what can be done with careful winemaking. Winemaker Jay Bouncristiani has crafted a 100% Sauvignon Blanc which comes from hand harvested grapes at the height of the season. This was an early morning harvest of the selected grapes. After harvest, the grapes fermented in both stainless and French oak barrels. After six months of sur lie aging, the wine was blended and bottled.

This is not a full grapefruit Sauvignon Blanc. Yes, grapefruit is there, but it also has the complexities if guava and some liminess. On the palate the dominance is lime and perhaps a hint of kiwi. The end is partially acidic, but not in a negative manner.

The Edict 2011 Sauvignon Blanc is a limited production of 300 cases. Hard to get, but worth the run to the winery to grab some for your enjoyment. Expect to pay about $26.00 for this white.

The Peninsula Hotel lunch, sponsored by Napa Valley Vintners highlighted a great selection of wineries. We will look at others in the future.

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