Sunday, November 27, 2011

Napa Trip Day One, Part One: Whitehall Lane

If it seems like I have a love thing with Napa Valley, you're right. You've seen several posts by now about my visits there and know my specific fondness for downtown Napa. Actually, that's why I moved to Sacramento instead of any other city in California. Because of the close proximity to Napa Valley and several other wine regions within driving distance.

Last weekend, I returned to Napa, and this time got to share my trip with someone very special. :)

Our first stop was Whitehall Lane. Whitehall Lane is a small, family owned winery in the heart of Napa Valley. The Leonardi Family of St. Helena owns the winery and six strategic vineyards that form the foundation for their award winning wines.

Picture of the Whitehall Lane tasting room's unique and beautiful facade.

Our kind host was a gentleman named Frederik Soegaard. He guided us through a tasting of several wines from their portfolio.

I have to give props to Whitehall Lane. The first reason is because they had my favorite band, Train, playing on their sound system in the tasting room. Before I had even a sip of wine, I felt like I was in heaven. They had great tunes playing and I had my biggest crush in the world standing next to me. :)

We began our tasting with the 2010 Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley (Blend of 91% Sauvignon Blanc and 9% Semillon). I am a huge lover of sauvignon blanc and this is my prosciutto and melon wine all the way.

Their 2009 Chardonnay is big and buttery. I would say the word butterscotch is a good descriptor--although it is not sweet. I actually like both styles of chardonnay that are being done right now. The butter and oak bombs, and the cleaner stainless variety. It really all just depends on what I am eating or what kind of mood I am in.

The next highlight of our tasting was the 2007 Merlot, Napa Valley, a blend of 81% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 9% Syrah. The 2007 grapes came from five separate Merlot vineyards, two Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards and one Syrah vineyard. The wine was aged in a combination of French and American oak barrels for approximately 17 months. Did you know that Merlot comes from the French word for "young blackbird"? Merlot has been given a pretty bad rap lately, but take a sip of this one, and you'll forget all about that.... movie...

Mr. Soegaard also allowed us to taste three or four different cabernets, but my favorites were the Sauvignon Blanc and the Merlot. 

We wrapped up our tasting soon after that, but before we left, we were honored to meet the Director of Events at Whitehall Lane, Katie Leonardini (daughter of the proprietor). Special thanks to Doug FitzGibbon for coordinating our visit.

Whitehall Lane's facebook page is located here and you can follow them on twitter here. Text napawine to 55411 for tasting discounts.

Next, we were off to Domaine Carneros in the Citroën... :)

No comments: