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Three Napa Wines, three nice tastes

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At a recent tasting opportunity sponsored by Napa Valley Vintners, I had the opportunity to sample several remarkable wines. The tastings, held at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills, was designed to highlight some of the best of the best from Napa Valley.

The three I want to focus on today came from Freemark Abbey, Lail Vineyards and Mira. The wines were selected by Vineyard representatives who took us through their background and their attributes.

Freemont Abbey’s 2012 Viognier is touted as a “seductive summer wine”. It is crisp, light and easy to enjoy. The light, tart, lemon-lime nose sets the scene for a slightly acidic taste. It glides easily on the palate, with a lasting and pleasing finish.

Juice from vineyards selected by Winemaker Ted Edwards brings together a tightly woven wine which pleases on its own or with light to medium bodied cheeses. This Viognier is available through Freemont Abbey directly or from fine wine retailers. It retails for about $30.00.

Lail Vineyards presented their Blueprint Sauvignon Blanc. Winemaker Phillipe Melka has created a delightful Sauvignon Blanc for the 2012 edition. Lail Vineyards, which is a 6th generation family-owned business, is rightfully proud of this vintage.

Opening with a background of peaches, this wine advances to a finish which is slightly acidic. The light background flavor of oak is due to the fermentation process. Wine Spectator likes this vintage enough to award it 91 points. I like this wine since it does not have a traditionally overpowering grapefruit base, common to many other Sauvignon Blancs.

Mira’s Pinot Noir is from the Carneros AVA, with the grapes coming from the Stanly Ranch plots. This is a brilliant Pinot Noir. It is subtle, yet it continually beckons for more consumption. With blueberries on the nose, it finishes without significant tannins with a very gentle ending.

Mira’s strength is in its winemaker. Gustavo Gonzalez is considered to be one of the premier winemakers in the world. There is no question that the strength of his winemaking is in the production of Reds, with one of his wines garnering a perfect 100 points from Wine Spectator. It is typical for his wines to rate at 95 points or better by national wine magazines.

The 2011 Mira Pinot Noir is reflective of the quality Gonzalez puts into his work. This is a beautiful Pinot, and when you find it, you should purchase it.

Have a winederful day!

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