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Trip Report Part 2 - Tuesday 10/18

Naples, Florida
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Trip Report Part 2 - Tuesday 10/18

Trip report continued…

Tuesday we visited Cakebread, Rutherford Hill, Duckhorn, and Chateau Montelena. Here’s what we thought:

Cakebread – We had an appointment for tasting, and he first gave us a little tour. We then tasted outside by the vineyards. All of the wines were fantastic. We bought 6 bottles of wine (2 of the 2002 Cabernet, 2 of the 2002 Merlot, and 2 of the 2002 Cabernet Benchland Select) and they shipped them for us.

Rutherford Hill – They have a lively atmosphere and we tasted wine. There was another couple from NJ there too and it was fun tasting and talking with them. We bought two bottles of wine (2001 Cabernet, and what a good value for the price point, each bottle was $32), and then had a picnic lunch on their property (we had picked up lunch from Dean and Deluca earlier). They have some really nice views from their picnic areas.

Duckhorn – Their tasting room is elegant and the duck décor is quite nice. They give you tasting cards on each of the wines you are sampling. We also enjoyed being outside on the Verandah looking at the vineyards. However, for the price points, we found much better wines at Frank Family, Raymond, and Cakebread.

Chateau Montelena – We had a tour/tasting appointment. The tour and tasting was $25 pp. You start off by sitting and watching a short film, maybe 10 minutes long that tells you about the winery and its origins. We then went on a tour of the grounds, which are beautiful and we went into the vineyards and tasted some grapes. We then went up to the main building and watched the pressing of grapes and the fermentation process. The owner, who is hands-on, was working and took a few minutes to talk to us about what they were doing. I thought this was great, to see the owner working the vineyards and making the wine. We then went into the tasting room, and tasted five different wines, starting with white and moving to red. I have to say that all of the wines were fantastic. There is quite a history at this vineyard and it was wonderful to learn all about it. We didn’t purchase any wines here, and now I do regret that. Next time…

We ate dinner at Bistro Don Giovanni. We were surprised at how limited the menu was, but we both had wonderful appetizers, dinners, and dessert. For appetizers we shared the Carpaccio (sp?) and Caprese salad. For dinner I had Fettuccine with sausage ragu, and my hubby has olive leaf pasta with a duck ragu.

Wednesday and Thursday to reports to come soon!

South Carolina
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1. Re: Trip Report Part 2 - Tuesday 10/18

Rutherford Hill - is it on the Silverado Trail, in a barn-like structure? Do you recall the source of their cabernet sauvignon grapes? Stags Leap?

Chateau Montelena - The Calistoga cuvee cab. Do you remember anything about it? I have several bottles of 1994. Wonder if it's time...

Can you get wine delivered to you from "wholesale" stores in California, like "The Wine Club" or K&L? If so, you can still buy Chateau Montelena cabs. Not paying state sales tax will offset the shipping charges.

So which wine goes with Fettuccine?

Napa, CA
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2. Re: Trip Report Part 2 - Tuesday 10/18

Great trip reports, Susan-- I await your next ones!

It sounds like you won the lottery at Chateau Montelena-- how incredible to walk through the vineyards, taste the grapes, and then see them making the same grapes into wine-- are you going to buy any '06? :)

Which wine with linguini? I'd say it all depends on the sauce!

-Russ & Sharon

Innkeepers

Napa Old World Inn

Napa, CA
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3. Re: Trip Report Part 2 - Tuesday 10/18

Oops. Fettucine. It's hard to remember the posts when you can't see them.

Same thing goes w/Fettucine. Check the sauce.

Egg Harbor Twp, NJ
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4. Re: Trip Report Part 2 - Tuesday 10/18

Susan,

Where in NJ are you? I know that some of the liquor stores in SJ (Canal's - Marlton and Mays Landing (?)) carry some Chateau Montelena wines. I have researched this for our trip to Napa next week. I wanted to know which wines to buy in Napa vs which ones I can get back here in NJ. Check wineaccess.com.

Did the Chateau Montelena tour include the reserve? I am trying to decide whether to do their regular tasting, reserve tasting, or their tour.

Thanks,

Jeff

Naples, Florida
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5. Re: Trip Report Part 2 - Tuesday 10/18

StateRef - Rutherford Hill was off of the Silverado Trail and I think the name of the road is Rutherford Hill Road. The structure is barn like in appearance.

The Cabernet we bought from Rutherford lists Napa Valley as the appellation, so the grapes are from different parts of the valley, not the Stags Leap District.

As far as the Cab from Montelena, I don't know about your bottles, but the tour person did mention 10 - 12 years from the vintage date for the Napa Valley and the Estate Cab to be at their peak, so I would think it's the same. I say open one up and have it with dinner!

"So which wine goes with Fettuccine?" Since the pasta had a red slightly spicy sauce I went with Zin, but my own personal view is drink whatever wine you like! That way you'll always enjoy it!

As far as shipment from wholesale stores, I'm not sure. The law seems pretty vague, some wineries will ship and allow you to join the wine clubs and others wouldn't. I think it's all in their interpretation of the law. We did go to Buffalo shippers and shipped back two cases to ourselves.

Naples, Florida
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6. Re: Trip Report Part 2 - Tuesday 10/18

carjeff - We live in Bergen County and I'm going to check our local wines stores to see if they carry the wines. Thanks for the website, I'm going to check it out.

At the tour/taste I kept the paperwork, so I can tell you exactly what we tasted. We started with a 2004 Potter Valley Rielsing which was yummy, and then moved onto a 2003 Napa Valley Chardonnay. I really liked this Chard, and it wasn't buttery.

From there we tasted 3 reds. The first was a 2002 Montelena Estate Zin (which was wonderful), then a 2002 Napa Valley Cabernet, and finally a 2001 Montelena Estate Cabernet which was fantastic.

We loved Napa, I can't wait to go back!

Naples, Florida
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7. Re: Trip Report Part 2 - Tuesday 10/18

Russ - It was a real surprise to meet the owner at Montelena, I think his first name was Bo. The place is so beautiful, and I think we may be back in 2006:-)

Thanks again for all you valuable information. I think it's wonderful that you take the time to post on this forum. The information I read hear really helped with our trip planning, and gave us insights that we normally wouldn't have known about.

dfc
Dallas, Texas
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8. Re: Trip Report Part 2 - Tuesday 10/18

SusanS,

How much did it cost you at Buffalo shippers to ship 2 cases of wines. I will be in the valley in 2 weeks and I am curious.

Thanks...

Naples, Florida
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9. Re: Trip Report Part 2 - Tuesday 10/18

dfc - We chose to ship ground with a 7-10 arrival period. The first case cost $57 ($47 for shipping and $10 insurance) and the second case was $55 ($47 shipping and $8 insurance).

There are a few other places that ship wine, we went with Buffalo because several wineries recommended them specifically.

Here's their information:

Buffalo Shipping Post

2471 Solano Ave, Napa, CA 94558

Tel - 707-226-7942

Have a wonderful time in Napa, and post a report when you get back! I would love to know how your trip went.