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San Francisco Wine School: Week 2 Napa

This week’s installment of San Francisco Wine School adventures brings us to the Napa Valley. Though a major player in the wine industry to be sure, it is actually a small region producing just under 4% of the state’s wine and less than half a percent of the world’s. Though the production numbers suggest a small industry, it accounts for 40,000 jobs and represents $11 billion worth of revenue. Wine, and especially big, luscious Cabernet Sauvignons, are the lifeblood of the valley.

At the corner of CA121 and Los Carneros. Napa Calif.
At the corner of CA121 and Los Carneros. Napa Calif.Kenneth Fish

Week 2

The wine tasting challenge of the week involved getting one of the same varietals as the previous week and indulging in the Napa specialty, Cabernet Sauvignon. Since I am a big fan of both red and white wines (rosé, too), I decided to find a Napa Sauvignon Blanc to go along with the big red. I chose a 2013 from St. Supery. This wine is slightly pricier than its Mendocino counterpart, slightly less alcoholic, but so very tasty. It is bright with bold pink grapefruit and hints of grass with a soft, lingering vanilla finish. It is instantly recognizable as a Sauvignon Blanc, of course, but significantly different from its Mendo cousin.

The Cabernet Sauvignon was a 2011 from Sterling Vineyards. This is a big, dry, medium-acid wine with tons of berries and black cherries up front. It is deep purple in color, and from its depths come soft notes of dust and chocolate with a light oak finish and a hint of spice at the very tail end. This wine shows the difference a few dollars can make when it comes to flavor. This is a $20 bottle of wine that drinks like a $40 bottle.

If you want to get in on the fun or if you’d like more information about the San Francisco Wine School, click here. Stay tuned for the rest of the CWAS adventures of yours truly. Next week we head up to Lake County which should be an interesting challenge.