Conn Creek Winery on Silverado Trail is often driven by but seldom stopped to visit. Their “Barrel Blending Experience” is an unique opportunity to blend your own wine from various AVA’s. The educational aspect of this experience alone is worth your time. Additionally their three series of wines are very good: Anthology (Cabernet); AVA Series (Chardonnay & Cabernet) and the Napa Valley Collection (Cabernet, Cab Franc & Sauv Blanc). Tracey Hoff the Tasting Room Manager is one of the best in Napa Valley!
If you have “cenosillicaphobia” (the fear of empty glasses) then Steven Kent Winery in Livermore is perfect. While at first a lot of empty glasses exist, they will soon be filled is with some exquisite wines! This is in the Reserve Room.
Cabernet Franc on the right is available from Trespass Vineyard in St Helena. Don and Dana Gallagher produce boutique wines. They also do a must have Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine on the left is from Don’s library, a 2005 Cab Franc.
One of the unique finds this year was Pam Starr’s blend of Malbec and Cab Franc. Smooth (Malbec) with hints of spice (Cab Franc). Excellent pairing with Mexican dishes.
A nice surprise from the Castlewood Wine Club. A very dark and young wine, an almost black Cabernet & Cab Franc Blend with a hint of chocolate and sweet tannins. Not one to cellar but a good “to drink wine”. Will give an indication of 2013 vintage from Napa.
This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc produced by Alan Potts is a “home run” and made my Top Wines of 2015. Worthy of buying and is more of “drink now” but could be held a few years.
Rhonda Wood has been producing wonderful wines as bright as her smile for 10+ years. One of the best winemakers in Livermore Valley. Her Chardonnay, “Especial” Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Syrah are all outstanding.
Kinsella Estates in Healdsburg offers several good Cabernet Sauvignon’s and a zesty Zinfandel. A Thomas Rivers Brown project.
Winemaker and owner Vincent Kalny and wife Deanna of Incendium with Jessica Arnold at The Wine Foundry. His 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon was very tasty. Vince is Cal-Fire employee and donates a portion of profits to help firefighters who are injured or killed in service. He currently project is helping the 23 firefighters who lost their homes fighting up in Middletown. — with Vincent Kalny and Deanna Kalny.