Finally getting around to posting wines from my annual Napa trip from two weeks ago. Always goes by quick! Lots of fun new stops this year.
It was my first time trying Moone-Tsai wines aside from their widely distributed Napa Valley Cab, so some of these were totally brand new to me. Melka is the winemaker.
Much more rich and dark fruited compared to the Howell Mountain. This is a blend of vineyards from Pritchard Hill, Caldwell (Coombsville) and St Helena. Very Pritchard Hill like on the nose with herbal crunch, savory graphite and cassis, oozing blackberries and cherry liqueur. Once on the palate, it channels its Coombsville fruit displaying a touch of licorice, candied blue and black fruits, baking spices and espresso. Big, but slightly more approachable than the Howell. — 7 months ago
The is from Morlet Families inaugural vintage of 2006. I must say it’s beautiful with a fair amount more of life ahead. The nose reveals dark cassis and a good presence of cinnamon stick. Blackberries, liqueured dark cherries, plum, poached strawberries, pomegranate extract, black raspberries float through, blueberries, vanilla, light clove & cinnamon, dark fresh florals and violets. The nose is intoxicating! The body is round, ripe and rich. The tannins nicely resolved. The structure, balance, tension and length are in an excellent spot. Mmmmm! Blackberries, liqueured dark cherries, plum, poached strawberries, dry cranberries, pomegranate extract, black raspberries float through, blueberries, vanilla, a touch of bramble, light clove & cinnamon stick, dark rich soils, dry crushed rocks, a little leather, dark fresh florals & violets. The acidity is a waterfall on the palate. The finish is; spectacular elegance, richness, balance and lasts two minutes. One of the best CA Pinot’s we’ve had in a very long time. It deserves an amen & a hallelujah! I paid $65 for this amazing wine 9 years after it’s release (the 2015 released at $115); which brings me back around to a repetitive point of mine. Look for great wines on the secondary market and pay less than producers current release pricing. That is to say, it will aid in keeping you from drinking your new releases too young that are not nearly ready to enjoy! If you are not doing this, you are doing a disservice to your palate and your wine budget. Photos of; their old historical brick building they’ve converted into their winery, interior tasting area, Luc Morlet and their Estate vines. Producer notes and history...Winemaker Luc Morlet is a fifth-generation of a French winemaking family. Growing up in Avenay-Val d’Or, he spent all his spare time working on his family’s estate. His university studies of viticulture and winemaking were put into practice during years of work in vineyards and wineries in Burgundy, Bordeaux, and the south of France. Luc left France in 1996 to join his wife Jodie in her native California. Starting in 2006, Luc Morlet began handcrafting Morlet vineyard designated wines and cuvées of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc in the Napa Valley. As well as; Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, a white Bordeaux-style blend and a Late Harvest Sémillon from Sonoma County. Luc is also the brother of Nicolas Morlet the Winemaker of Peter Michael fame. Luc is another producer I respect for his meticulous farming and low intervention winemaking techniques. While his roots are based out of France, he has adapted his skills well to the Napa Valley soils and climate. Morlet styles his wines in a harmonious and refined fashion. Their logo is based upon 19th century French artist Mathurin Moreau’s sculpture entitled, ‘L’Harmonie.’ In August 2010, Luc and and his wife Jodie purchased an estate, just north of the town of St. Helena. Since then, they have converted the historic stone building, built in 1880, into their family winery. The building was originally the Castner Winery that closed during Prohibition. Morlet is located St. Helena Appellation. The estate is planted with Cabernet Sauvignon and is the exclusive fruit source for their ‘Morlet Estate’ label. The Morlet’s ‘Mon Chevalier’ vineyard is located on the hillsides of Knights Valley, overlooking the western slopes of Mount St. Helena. The vineyard benefits from their proximity to the mountain. Warm and windy climate is ideal for the long ripening of the red Bordeaux varietals Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot. They recently planted the 20 acre ‘Cœur de Vallée’ vineyard. These Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc vines are located on the Oakville Bench, If one such exists. I read a quote from a grower who has been growing in Oakville for many years. He said, “the only bench in Oakville is the one in front of the Oakville Grocery Store.” While it may or may not be true, it’s certainly a funny quote. In addition to these family acres, they buy from farmers under long-term contracts in Fort Ross-Seaview, Russian River Valley, Bennett Valley, Dry Creek and Napa Valley. All of the Morlet’s wines are handcrafted using classical Burgundy and Bordeaux winemaking techniques and are matured in 100% French oak barrels. — 3 years ago
The 2016 Beringer 'Private Reserve' Cabernet Sauvignon is absolutely fantastic and seems to be even more impressive than last years outstanding wine at this early stage. Composed of 97% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petite Verdot sourced from vineyards in Howell Mountain (60%), St. Helena (20%), Oakville (15%), and Mount Veeder (5%), which spent 20 months in new French Nevers oak (83%), and 16 months in bottle prior to release. It instantly opens to wonderful aromas of dark currants, spiced plum, graphite, baking spices, cedar, fresh sage and dusty nuances all taking shape beautifully in the glass. On the palate this medium-plus to full-bodied, displaying remarkable overall balance with gorgeous velvety tannins and a wonderful seamless texture. It goes on to impress with excellent poise and concentration, as flavors of red and dark currants combine with exotic spices and expand gracefully through the long, polished finish. This is a sensational showing from Beringer, which is already extremely appealing, however also possesses the characteristics to thrive in the cellar over the course of the next two decades. — a year ago
On the nose, deep, dark cherries, blackberries, black raspberries, black plum, dry cranberries, some blue fruits with baked strawberries on the edges. Black licorice, cinnamon, vanilla, clove, dark spices, smoke, softer leather, dry stems, dry rich soil and fresh & withering flowers.
The body is much fuller than the 14. The fruits are also darker. The tannins are big, firm but nice rounded. dark cherries, blackberries, black raspberries, black plum, dry cranberries, creamy raspberries come on as it opens open and coats the palate, some blue fruits with baked strawberries on the palate edges. Black licorice, cinnamon, vanilla, clove, caramel, dark & milk chocolate dark spices, mint, expresso roast, tobacco, cedar, smoke, softer leather, dry stems, dry rich soil, tarry notes, crushed rocks and fresh & withering flowers. The structure, tension are more like 13 vintage. The length & balance is beautiful but, will take time to flush out. The finish is big, rich, elegant, glorious and lasts minutes.
Their Winemaker is Aaron Potts. Small production wine, under 500 cases.
Photos of; the several ton Artwork stones that they use as their logo & brand. The seven stone pieces are held together by gravity. Human relaxing art piece on the grounds, painting in the winery and the view from the Estate. — 2 years ago
This post is updated multiple times daily and date changes are noted throughout. It’s been a very difficult week plus in Napa/Sonoma. We lost some great wineries, at least 42 people lost their lives, 185 injured, around a 100 people are still unaccounted, nearly 7,000 homes and businesses destroyed (a majority of them in Santa Rosa) and 300 plus square miles consumed by flames. Entire neighborhoods in Santa Rosa have been completely burned to ashes. Hopes, prays & blessings to all affected. 🙏 Napa/Sonoma strong! 💪 Updating the overnight news, Signorello winery was sadly completely burned to the ground. Earlier reports said, they had lost the 2016 & 2017 vintage. I am happy to report that is not the case. I just watched a news report (10/11 @ 5p PST) with their Winemaker Pierre Birebent tasting from barrels. After tasting, he stated the wines are fine as are their vines. So happy for them they didn’t lose their wine or vines. William Hill winery reported early by the news outlets showing a video of their front entrance sign burning was accurate but the winery is thankfully intact. The winery is confirming they lost landscaping, but the winery is intact. Early reports on Stags’ Leap Winery stated the winery was lost. As of 10/12, I am happier to write, the main winery and tasting room in the Stag’s Leap District are intact, but some outer buildings on the property were lost. Paradise Ridge Winery in Santa Rosa, home to spectacular views and world class outdoor sculptured gardens, sadly has burned to the ground. Kunde Family Winery’s Jeff Kunde says, none of the Kenwood winery buildings have caught fire. Updating Chateau St. Jean on 10/12, the winery early on was believed to be destroyed. The good news is a drive by reported, the winery only has damage to some outbuildings and to the archway entries from the parking lot. The main structure appeared unharmed. The fire also appears to be very close to Benziger winery. Chimney Rock Winery news is unclear. Earlier reports said it was lost but updated reporting says the Winery may have survived but lost landscaping. The Poetry Inn on the Silverado Trail in Napa’s Stag’s Leap District, owned by vintner Cliff Lede, who also owns the nearby Cliff Lede Vineyards, has been surrounded by flames. Napa’s Aum Cellars, reported Monday night that his winery survived the fire. Also dodging a close call was Napa’s Fontanella Family Winery. Early reporting stated Darioush had burned during the Atlas fire, but according to the winery’s Alessandra Murillo said in email, the winery is safe; we experienced some landscape and vineyard damage but the winery structure is sound.” None of it is good news but happy to see some of the early reporting was inaccurate on some of the winery loses. Winds were down overnight and are so far today which; is helping. However, many of the fires burning are not contained or only slightly contained. It is speculated that high winds knocked down powers lines and started the fires due to very dry conditions. I’ll continue to up this post as news becomes available. [Updating the news this morning 10/11.] The news is not good as there are new fires in Calistoga & Solano that have popped up. The winds have shifted and they’ve experienced some unexpected wind gusts last night that caused fires to jump...one a distance of 3/4 of a mile. There are new evacuations on Atlas Peak and Geyserville. The bad news is that later this evening winds are going to pick up around 5p PST. Gusts are expected to be from 20-40 mph. One St. Helena winery owner emailed me this morning the following about the new fire in Calistoga. “We are scrabbling to move some stuff out. Also, the air is so thick of smoke. There is white ash everywhere and it is hard to take a breath.” There are also health concerns about the air quality in Oakland/SF and greater Bay Area. The winds have brought the smoke all the way down to the southern most part of the Bay Area as well. Wish there was better news for Wine Country. Keep them in your thoughts & prays. Sadly, this tragedy is far from over. The news agencies are saying If you are thinking of donating, they recommend donating $ to an established charity because they can buy better in bulk and they are working on the ground with victims everyday and know exactly what’s needed. Some people have brought prepared food to shelters; which they are not able to accept. Well intended people can also cause a secondary issue of having to take away unneeded items when all the focus should be on helping victims. Here are some links you can use to send help: https://www.gofundme.com/napa-sonoma-fires https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/WebLink.aspx?name=redempire&id=64 https://uwwc.upicsolutions.org/ecommunity/comm/SinglePageRegPledge.jsp http://www.napavalleycf.org/fire-donation-page/ We donated and hope everyone on Delectable donates as much as their incomes or budget will allow. Even a lot of small donations make the biggest difference to a lot of people who have lost everything. Cheers! 🍷 [10/12 update.] The winds were lighter than expected during the night. However, there is concern that the six fires that are burning in Napa/Sonoma could merge and become one big fire. This would make things much worse. Containment on the six fires is only between 2-3%. Evacuations in Geyserville have expanded. Air quality is so bad in the East Bay many schools have closed. Air quality is a serve problem in Napa/Sonoma and considered a health concern throughout the greater Bay Area. It is not expected to improve for at least a week. 8,000 Firefighters are now battling fires in CA. More crews are being brought in from AZ, WA, Oregon & Nevada. A huge debt of gratitude to the sacrifices and hard work the people on the frontlines and the volunteers giving people aid at shelters etc. are making round the clock. 44,000 acres have now burned on Atlas Peak, nearly double since reporting first started. Winds this morning on Atlas Peak are at 20 mph. Winds are 8 mph in Santa Rosa. There are also new mandatory evacuations in eastern Sonoma county. Some good news, 300 people who were reported missing have been located. Calistoga & Boyes Hot Springs are now under complete mandatory evacuation. Authorities in the strongest terms are saying, “Stay out of these areas!” “They will remain closed for several days.” I read a quote from Thomas Smith (30 year Yosemite Ranger) who said, “My Ranger instincts tell only rain will get a handle on these fires.” However, there is none in forecast for at least a week. Pray, do a rain dance or anything you believe will help bring some rain to CA. Updating winery damage and loss. Helena View Johnston Vineyards sadly has burned to the ground. 😥 Robert Sinskey Vineyards thought to have had serve damage was spared with only vegetation damage. 😔 Another sad loss, VinRoc on Atlas Peak Road, Proprietor and Winemaker Michael Parmenter had to evacuate late Sunday night and confirmed Tuesday that his Atlas Peak district winery and home were destroyed. “Total loss, everything gone except our wine cave,” he said. 😥 More bad news...White Rock Vineyards, on Loma Vista Dr. in Napa, owned by the Vandendriessche family since 1870, the winery confirmed it was destroyed by the fire that ravaged nearby Soda Canyon Road. 😥 Gundlach Bundschu Winery in Sonoma, had earlier reports of significant fire damage, the winery buildings are structurally sound, said Katie Bundschu. However, the property was on the fire line so Bundschu said the family is still assessing crop damage. 😔 Nicholson Ranch, on Napa Road in Sonoma has posted on the Facebook winery page clarified that damage was not significant. “The winery was in the path of the fire but escaped being engulfed by the flames. We have some damage to fix.” 😔 More sad Winery news reports, Frey Vineyards, In Redwood Valley, the country’s first organic and biodynamic winery was lost in the Redwood Fire and all wine orders have been suspended temporarily until the family can fully assess the loss. 😥 Another winery loss in Redwood Valley, Oster Wine Cellars, Ken and Teresa Fetzer’s winery, which specializes in limited-production Cabernet Sauvignon, was destroyed in the Redwood Fire.😢 This one is painful to post. Backbone Vineyard & Winery in Redwood Valley has been destroyed. "Our winery burned to the ground along with all our wine made over the past five years," said owner Sattie Clark in a statement. 😥 Patland Vineyards was also consumed by the fires on Atlas. Winemaker Jay Buoncristiani confirmed the news. "The Patlands’ estate, perched at 1,500 feet above Soda Canyon Road, was wiped on Sunday night," 😥 Stagecoach Vineyard news is uncertain as no one can get close enough to assess the damage but one would imagine it is not good. We’ll see once they can get back into the area. 😐 We’ll hope for the best! James Cole reported today (10/12) that while all their people are ok, their property is badly damaged. They have power and working on their 17 vintage. Feel bad for James & Colleen. 😥 Continuum is safe now, but report tonight (10/12), “We are still in the fire's path. We are taking all necessary precautions and remain optimistic that the tireless efforts of Cal Fire will result in their having the upper hand soon enough. Let’s hope they do. 😐 The news out of Napa/Sonoma is still surreal but sadly becoming more clear each day. Kathryn Hall of Hall wines is doing a dollar for dollar matching fund raising through Redwood Credit Union as they do not charge fees. You can donate at hallwines.com/donate or waltwines.com/donate She also said, “their wineries in Napa and Sonoma are both fine but cannot assess vineyard damage as they cannot access them.” She stated further that, “We have major concerns about our vineyards on Atlas Peak and Mount Veeder.” They believe their vineyards there are totally gone. [Updating 10/13]. With all the firefighters/equipment pouring into N. California & overnight favorable conditions, they’ve been able to more effectively fire the fires. The Tubbs Fire in Calistoga is now 25% contained but has consumed 35,000 acres. It is spreading north & east of Calistoga. The Nuns Fire has consumed 44,000 acres & is 5% contained. The fires have burned 300 square miles or an area six times the size of San Francisco. The creator of the Peanuts characters Charles Schulz home was lost. His widow survived but lots of Peanuts memorable were lost. However, most of the key memorabilia is at the Charles Schulz museum; which is still safe at this point. The Atlas Fire is now 27% contained as of this morning. Despite some improving news fires continue to spread. There are new voluntary evacuations in Napa County for people that live west of Hwy 29. People who live between the Oakville Grade and Rutherford Road are being readied for evacuation at a monuments notice in case the Nuns fire spreads closer. Currently it has burned 17,000 acres and is 3% contained. There are several more wineries located east of Hwy 29 that raise concerns. They are; Cakebread, Opus One, Silver Oak. Silver Oak announced today , “We have sustained minimal damage to our Soda Canyon Ranch Vineyard in the Napa Valley, but no vines were lost.” They also noted they harvested all their fruit prior to the fires. Another winery they are watching closely is Robert Mondavi. 😳 Winds are expected to pick up tonight into tomorrow night. Another fire near Hwy 29 in Yountville continues to grow. The areas of concern are Mount Veeder & Dry Creek. People in this area also are being readied to evacuate at a moments notice as well. Many evacuation centers say they are overwhelmed with donations and have run out of space to storage items. If you are thinking of donating, financial support to known charities is best. I’ve listed four links up above in this post. Power is returning but 34,000 homes are still without power. 24,500 of those are in Santa Rosa where the worst destruction has taken place. There is a focus on the Atlas fire south so it doesn’t spread into Solano County near Green Valley & Fairfield. Also, the Silverado Canyon area. However, focus can change by need. How the winds shift or increase is the biggest factor. Up in Mendocino north of Hwy 20, the Redwood Complex Fire has burned 34,000 acres and is 10% contained. 8,000 people have been evacuated. Changing wind patterns are a big concern here and are expected to be stronger tonight and over the next 24 hours. In Lake County the Sulfur Fire has burned 2,500 acres in the area of Clear Lake Oaks and is 55% contained. 3,000 evacuees has been allowed to return. 🙂 🚒 Huge thanks to the nearly 10,000 exhausted Firefighters and first responders working nearly round the clock shifts. The Int’l Association of Firefighters has set up a fund for Firefighters who have lost their homes. If you would like to donate to these brave people, here is the link to donate, http://www.gofundahero.com/campaign/detail/4913 🚒 Cal Fire as of 6a this morning have merged the Nuns Fire, Adobe Fire & Norbom into one large fire. Bay Area air quality is still bad. The Bay Area Air Quality Management; which sets a normal air quality number at 35 says that number is now above 250 and has been nearly that high for five days in a row. Some college football and NFL games in the area this weekend are closely monitoring air quality. They are considering alternatives of where to play games or when. If the air quality is this bad in the Bay Area, imagine what the unhealthy number must be in Wine Country. More wineries are being reported today as destroyed or severely damaged. They are; Paras Vineyard on Mt. Veeder Road in Napa is believed lost after an Agence France-Press photo showed the main building on the family farm engulfed in flames and fire burning in the vineyard. 😥 Roy Estate and Patland Estate Vineyards were caught in one of the worst fire zones, on Soda Canyon Road in Napa. 😥 The Estate Vineyard for Mark Pulido and Donna Walker was destroyed, along with their residence on Mt. Veeder, according to Christi Wilson, executive director of The Rancho Santa Fe Foundation. The Napa vineyard was one of three operated by Pulido-Walker. 😥 Photos show Sill Family Vineyards leveled by the fire, and owner Igor Sill told the Napa Valley Register by email, “We will rebuild as soon as we’re allowed to return.” 😥 Such tragic losses. I hope this ends sooner that later. Hopefully, the higher winds predicted over the weekend are less than predicted. If not, this sadly will not be the end of the losses. All our hopes & prays!!! [Updating 10/14]. TheTubbs Fire has consumed 35,270 acres and is now 44% contained. It started in Napa County near Calistoga but continued to burn in Sonoma County doing most of the damage in Santa Rosa. The Atlas Fire has now consumed 50,383 acres and 45% contained. It started in Napa and Solano counties off Atlas Peak Road, forcing new evacuations in Green Valley. The Nuns, Adobe, Norbbom fires have consumed 46,00 acres and 5% contained. It started in Sonoma County. Partrick Fire has consumed 12,400 acres and 18% contained. It started in Napa County west of Napa. The Pocket Fire has consumed 11,000 acres and is 5% contained. Started in Sonoma County off Pocket Ranch Road near Geyserville. The Partrick Fire has consumed 12,400 acres and is 18% contained. It Started in Napa County west of Napa. The Pressley Fire has consumed nearly 500 acres and is 10% contained. It started in Sonoma County, east of Rohnert Park. Redwood/Potter Fires has consumed 34,000 acres and is 20% contained. It started in Mendocino County west of Mendocino National Forest. Extends into Lake County. The Sulphur Fire has consumed 2,500 acres and is 60% contained. It started in Lake County near Clearlake Oaks. The winds picked up to 20 mph with gusts up to 40 mph early Today. They pushed the fires closer to several communities, forcing new evacuations for about 400 homes in Sonoma County. The Sonoma County Sheriff Department called for new mandatory evacuations in Sonoma County and the city of Santa Rosa this morning. The follow areas must leave immediately: 7th St East from E Napa St to Denmark St. North side of Denmark St from 7th St E to Napa Rd. 8th St E north of Denmark St. E MacArthur St east of 7th St. Quail Run Way, Hamblin Rd. in Santa Rosa; Hwy 12 between Adobe Canyon Rd in Kenwood and Calistoga Rd in Santa Rosa. This includes both sides of Hwy 12 and any/all side roads in between. Everybody needs to evacuate westbound on Hwy 12 to Santa Rosa immediately. 😔 The quality continues to worsen. People are asked to stay indoors with windows shut. If you go outside, you should wear a mask...model N95 or better. This advice extends to many parts of the North Bay Area. Two people overnight spent six hours in their pool to protect themselves as they were surrounded by flames. Such a horrible mental picture! [Updating 10/15] Here is an update on winery damage: Hagafen Cellars (4160 Silverado Trail, Napa): Wine Country’s only kosher winery has lost its crush pad, guest house and agricultural equipment, though the winery said its main building and tasting room appear to be fine. 😥 Helena View Johnston (Calistoga): Reports say the winery has burned.😥 Mayacamas Vineyards (established 1889) atop Mount Veeder in Napa survived the fire, but a private tasting and events building known as “the residence” was destroyed. 😐 Palmaz Vineyards (4029 Hagen Rd, Napa): The winery's main building only suffered superficial damage. 😐 Paras Vineyard at 2340 Mt. Veeder Rd., Napa. The family farm burned and there is some vineyard damage. 😥 Patland Estate Vineyards on Soda Canyon Rd., Napa reports of extensive damage to estate and vineyards. 😥 Pulido Walker (Mt. Veeder, Napa) According to the company’s Facebook, “Pulido Walker suffered a devastating loss of our home, but thus far the Estate vineyards seem to have withstood the destruction from the flames.” 😥 Roy Estate at 220 Soda Canyon Rd, Napa. There is confirmed damage at Roy Estate on Soda Canyon Road. 😥 Segassia Vineyard on 3390 Mount Veeder Rd, Napa. The Mt. Veeder winery, owned by Andrew Cates and family, has burned, according to a company spokesperson. 😥 Sill Family Vineyards 2929 Atlas Peak Rd, Napa Reports say the winery is destroyed. 😥 Sky Vineyards on 4352 Cavedale Rd, Glen Ellen Skyla Olds, whose family owns Sky Vineyard on Mt Veeder, has learned that the family's home had burned, but the winery was still intact, at least for now, though damaged. 😥 Storybook Mountain Vineyards on 3835 CA-128, Calistoga. The winery said it lost the building that housed the library wines, but the winery and two houses still stand. 😐 Ancient Oak Cellars on 4120 Old Redwood Hwy., Santa Rosa Reports owners lost house, two barns, and tasting counter. The winery's vineyard at Siert Ranch also damaged. 😥 Korbin Kameron on 13647 Arnold Dr, Glen Ellen. According to the winery's Facebook, it lost buildings and part of the vineyard.😥 Mayo Family Wineries on 13101 Arnold Dr., Glen Ellen. According to Jeff Mayo, a house on the property has burned, but as of Monday afternoon, the winery has been spared so far. 😥 Nicholson Ranch on 4200 Napa Rd., Sonoma. Despite early reports of big damage, the winery has made a statement via Facebook that despite some wreckage, it’s still intact.” 😐 Here is the updated progress on the fired that are burning. Conditions overnight were better than expected. The Tubbs Fire, Sonoma and Napa Counties Between Calistoga and Santa Rosa 35,470 acres consumed, 60% contained. Significant number of structures destroyed. Pocket Fire, Sonoma County North of Geyserville. 11,246 acres consumed and 25% contained. Nuns Fire, Sonoma County. East of Hwy 12 from east Santa Rosa to east of Sonoma. 47,106 acres, consumed and 25% contained. Oakmont Fire, Sonoma County near Oakmont. 550 acres consumed and 15% contained. Fires updates for Mendocino/Lake Complex. Redwood Valley, Mendocino County north of Hwy 20 in Potter Valley and Redwood Valley. 35,000 acres consumed and 35% contained, 8 civilian fatalities, significant structures destroyed. Sulphur Fire, Lake County, Clearlake Oaks. 2,207 acres consumed and 70% contained. They made significant progress overnight and feel they have turn the corner on the fires. Some people evacuated in Santa Rosa have hope they will be allowed to start returning to select areas to assess their situations. Evacuations for Calistoga have been lifted. 🙂 Residents are urged to be cautious as they return because fires are still burning on Mt. St. Helena. However, the fires are not an immediate threat to the city, according to the sheriff's office. Evacuation advisory for city of Napa lifted. The Atlas fire is looking better. The fire is 56 percent contained, according to Cal Fire. It has burned 51,057 acres. They will continue to mop up to make sure the fire stays in the box. They're confident it will remain there. 🙂The Mendocino County Sheriff Department released a plan to allow some residents evacuated due to fires, to return home on Sunday. Evacuation orders for the following areas are lifted, but remain under an evacuation warning. Residents should be prepared to evacuate again should conditions change. Th.e following areas will be repopulated starting at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday. Redwood Valley in the following areas: South of Tomki Road. This includes all feeder roads in Redwood Valley area south from of the intersection of Tomki Rd at East/West Rd. Willits in the following areas: Pine Mountain Subdivision. All areas between Eastside Rd and Tomki Rd..Potter Valley in the following areas: West of the intersection of Gibson Ln and Hawn Creek Rd. West of the intersection of Busch Ln and N. Busch Rd. Shale Lane north of Potter Valley Rd.. Sad situation but things are starting to improve. Let’s hope conditions stay calm and significant rain happens on Thursday. [Updating 10/16] The news this morning is Cal Fire has sent two staging crews to Oakville as the Nuns fire is creeping closer to Mondavi and Del Dotto wineries. 😳 Also, one of the fire tender trucks coming down the grade has run off the road and flipped over the guard railing at the Oakville Grade. The contract driver was killed. Fatigue may have part may have contributed to the accident. Many of the Firefighters have been working three shifts a day. 😥 The Tubbs Fire, Sonoma and Napa Counties Between Calistoga and Santa Rosa 36,390 acres consumed and 70% contained. There are a significant number of structures destroyed. The Pocket Fire, Sonoma County North of Geyserville. 11,889 acres consumed & 30% contained. The Nuns Fire in Sonoma County is still one of the bigger issues. East of Hwy 12 from east Santa Rosa to east of Sonoma. 48,627 acres consumed and 40% contained. Oakmont Fire, Sonoma County near Oakmont. 550 acres consumed and 15% contained. The Southern LNU Complex (2 fires) Atlas Fire, Napa & Solano Counties south of Lake Berryessa and northeast of Napa. 51,064 acres consumed and 68% contained, 6 civilian fatalities, significant structures destroyed. Mendocino-Lake Complex (2 fires). Redwood Valley, Mendocino County north of Hwy 20 in Potter Valley and Redwood Valley. 35,000 acres consumed and 35% contained. 8 civilian fatalities, significant structures are destroyed. Sulphur Fire, Lake County, Clearlake Oaks. 2,207 acres consumed and now 70% contained. PG&E says it believes that by the end of the day, power will be restored to nearly all who lost power and gas. [Updating 10/17] The Tubbs Fire, Sonoma and Napa Counties Between Calistoga and Santa Rosa has burned 36,390 acres and now 82% contained. Significant number of structures destroyed. The Pocket Fire, Sonoma County North of Geyserville. 11,889 acres consumed and is 58% contained. The Nuns Fire, Sonoma County. East of Hwy 12 from east Santa Rosa to east of Sonoma. Nearly 53,000 acres burned and 68% contained. They are now less concerned that the Nuns Fire will damage the wineries mentioned in the last two updates. 😀 However, should winds pick up that could change quickly. The area where the Nuns Fire is burning now is too steep and dangerous to send Firefighters into and they have been executing an all out aerial assault. The Oakmont Fire, Sonoma County near Oakmont. 550 acres burned and 15% contained. The Atlas Fire, Napa & Solano Counties south of Lake Berryessa and northeast of Napa. 51,064 acres and now 77% contained. Up 7% from last night. 6 civilian fatalities, significant structures destroyed. In Mendocino, Redwood Valley, Mendocino County north of Hwy 20 in Potter Valley and Redwood Valley. 35,000 acres burned and 55% contained, 8 civilian fatalities, significant structures destroyed.
The Sulphur Fire, Lake County, Clearlake Oaks. 2,207 acres burned and 70% contained. They have let people back into two areas of Santa Rosa. 😀 Officials are reminding people to get their claims filed early. If you have issues with your insurance company, call the Department of Insurance at 1-800-927-4357. They are also asking people to report any price gouging on supplies and or repair work to the local police. Watch out for scammers looking for you to sign papers early on. Also, third party assistance services that will want a big cut of your insurance settlement. On a similar but separate issue, there is a new wild fire (Bear Fire) burning as of 10:30pm last night that started in the Santa Cruz Mountains near Boulder Creek. It has already burned 125 acres. Today is also the 28 Anniversary if the 89 Loma Prieta Earthquake that rocked the greater Bay Area. Adding to the reports of Winery damage. Ancient Oak Cellars In Russian River Valley suffered heavy damages, with the tasting counter, two onsite redwood barns and the owner’s house being destroyed, the company said on its Facebook page. There was some good news the next day, though, as it wrote “although we have not been allowed on the property yet, Ken and Arnulfo and I were able to look from afar and we *believe* that our vines may have been spared. It’s too early to know for sure, but we see green, and not all scorched black as we feared.” 😥 Ahh Winery: The winery building at Glen Ellen was completely destroyed, along wth its water system, reports owner Bruce Rector. “We are OK,” he says. “The good news is we have two years of inventory.” The boutique winery offers a large selection of pinot noir, and the Rectors are known as much for their organic food as for their wines. 😥 Domaine Carneros: The a sparkling wine house in Napa’s Carneros district escaped damage to its winery, the vineyard manager confirmed, but a one-acre estate vineyard burned. The vineyard was in Sonoma, on the Stornetta Dairy property, which also burned down. 😥 Jarivs Estate the Napa winery from the Atlas Peak district sustained significant damage. Several structures, including the estate’s historic barn, known as Jarvis’ “pilot winery,” were destroyed, according to brand manager Elizabeth Rhoda. The winery is safe, however, thanks to being housed in a 45,000 square foot cave dug into the Vaca Mountains. 😥 [Update 10/18] The Tubbs Fire, Sonoma and Napa Counties between Calistoga and Santa Rosa have burned 36,432 acres and is now 91 contained. Significant number of structures destroyed. The Pocket Fire in Sonoma County North of Geyserville report 12,430 acres burned and is now 63% contained. The Nuns Fire in Sonoma County. East of Hwy 12 from east Santa Rosa to east of Sonoma reports 54,423 acres burned and is 80% contained. Oakmont Fire in Sonoma County near Oakmont report 550 acres burned and are 15% contained. The Atlas Fire in Napa & Solano Counties south of Lake Berryessa and northeast of Napa report 51,064 acres burned and now 83% contained. In Mendocino, the Redwood Valley, Mendocino County north of Hwy 20 in Potter Valley and Redwood Valley report 35,800 acres burned and is now 75% contained. The Sulphur Fire, Lake County, Clearlake Oaks report 2,207 acres are burned and now 92% contained. It’s good news on containment and on these fires doing far less serious damage for much longer. The new fire in the Santa Cruz Mtns. The Bear fire near Bear Canyon Road and Deer Creek Road in Boulder Creek have burned 271 acres are 10% contained. Evacuation orders have been issued for the communities of; Las Cumbres, Deer Creek, and all residents of Bear Creek Road.Santa Cruz County: Evacuation orders have been issued for the communities of Las Cumbres, Deer Creek, and all residents of Bear Creek Road from Hawk Ridge Road to Skyline Blvd (Hwy 35). So far, no news on any Santa Cruz Mountain Wineries damaged either by fire or smoke taint on fruit not harvested. One update on Napa Winery damage. Hertelendy Vineyards in Napa reported today that they lost 75% of their 17 fruit. 😥 The good news is that the fire only burned the exterior edges of their vineyards and they will have fruit next year. Robert Michael Mondavi Jr., of Michael Mondavi Family Estate, reported that the vineyard they use for the Animo cuvée was scorched by flames and the fruit was lost. “Our organic Atlas Peak vineyard had 95 percent burn-through,” 😥 [10/19] The Tubbs Fire, Sonoma and Napa Counties between Calistoga and Santa Rosa have burned 36,432 acres and is now 92% contained. Significant number of structures destroyed. The Pocket Fire in Sonoma County North of Geyserville report 16,552 acres burned and is now 73% contained. The Nuns Fire in Sonoma County. East of Hwy 12 from east Santa Rosa to east of Sonoma reports 54,423 acres burned and is 82% contained. Oakmont Fire in Sonoma County near Oakmont report 550 acres burned and are 15% contained. The Atlas Fire in Napa & Solano Counties south of Lake Berryessa and northeast of Napa report 51,624 acres burned and now 85% contained. In Mendocino, the Redwood Valley, Mendocino County north of Hwy 20 in Potter Valley and Redwood Valley report 36,523 acres burned and is now 85% contained. The Sulphur Fire, Lake County, Clearlake Oaks report 2,207 acres are burned and now 96% contained. The Bear Fire in the Santa Cruz Mtns. at Bear Canyon Road and Deer Creek Road in Boulder Creek. 320 acres, 30% contained. Santa Cruz County: Evacuation orders remain for Bear Creek Canyon Road, Deer Creek Road, Rons Road, Dons Road, and their tributary streets in the fire area. Las Cumbres Evacuation orders have been lifted for the Las Cumbres and Skyline Blvd. communities. Areas South of Bear Creek Rd. Evacuation orders have been lifted for areas south of Bear Creek Road such as Hidden Springs Lane, Moon Rise Road, Mustang Mesa, and Bear Creek Way. Areas still under Evacuation and Closed Bear Creek Canyon Road, Deer Creek Road, Rons Road, Dons Road, and their tributary streets in the effected fire area will remain closed. Conditions remained fairly calm and their is some light rain expected tonight; which should help. Many of the wineries are now open. The best way to help is donate financially but also keep your plans in place to visit and support the wineries, restaurants etc.. An additional update on winery damage. Muscardini Cellars says the road closures are causing some issues for growers in Kenwood. Muscardini reports that his tasting room was unharmed and he is trying to harvest his remaining Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. He added that one of the challenges is getting pickers and trucks into the region. Today, the California Insurance Commissioner estimated the wild fire damage at 1 billion dollars. He also added that number is expected to rise. — 3 years ago
Of the Napa wines I tasted over 4 days on this trip, the 16 Sinegal Reserve & the 13 Seavey Cabernet were my favorites. Both great wines but, stylistically very different. The Seavy big and bold and the Sinegal pure beauty & elegance.
The nose reveals very dark currants. Dark & milk chocolate. Blackberries, creamy black raspberries, black plum & plum, mocha powder, core of anise, beautiful dark spice, soft volcanic soils, some dry brush and lavender, violets and fresh dark red florals.
The body is full. The tannins are really meaty but, exceptionally soft, fine and meaty. Lots of dark spice with plenty of heat. The mouthfeel is gorgeously sexy with feminine elegance. Dark & milk chocolate. Blackberries, creamy black raspberries, black plum & plum, mocha powder, core of anise, beautiful dark spice, big sweet tarry notes, soft volcanic soils, some dry brush, lavender, violets and fresh dark red florals. The acidity is perfect. The finish is well balanced sexy and gorgeous. The structure, tension say this needs to cellar eight to ten years.
Photos of; tasting cellar area, modern stainless tanks, outside terrace tasting and or dining area and their grounds and lake.
Producer history and notes...Sinegal Estate was founded in 2013 with wines made from their 30 acre Inglewood estate in St Helena (not to be confused with the Inglenook Estate in Rutherford). This is not a new property, it was part of an original land grant and its more modern day history dates back to 1879 when owner Alton Williams purchased the property and planted the first vines in 1881.
The property has changed owners a number of times over the decades. At one point the Jaegers’ owned the estate, Bill Jaeger and his wife Lila lived here. These Napa Valley pioneers were in part responsible for helping establish Freemark Abbey and Rutherford Hill. Lila was also a gardener and established beautiful gardens on the property.
Owners, David (father)and James (son) Sinegal purchased the property in 2013. James was the co-founder of Costco and once CEO. David worked at Costco for 21 years.
After the purchase, David divided each of their vineyards into smaller blocks, picking selectively (30 times in 2013) rather than all at once, and adding technology to the vineyards so they have up to the date reports on a number of data points including temperatures, soil moisture and various barometric pressures. If they want to selectively water, say vine #67 in row number three, they can do so with their irrigation system. Extremely efficient!
Nine acres of vines are planted to various red varietals including; Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. They have some of the older Cabernet Franc vines in the valley that are 30+ years old.
The soils here are diverse and can vary even within small geographic ranges on the property. Some of their vineyards are planted on the valley floor – while their upper vineyards are hillside, on the edges of the Mayacamas Mountains.
Their landscape above the property is interesting and part of the Mayacamas Mountains. Visually, it appears drier than other parts of this mountain range and the vegetation reflects that with grey pine and more open natural vegetation rather than the thicker wooded vegetation more commonly associated with parts of Spring and Diamond Mountains to the north.
After purchasing the property, David created planned and laid out his vision to create a world-class boutique wine making operation. Many wineries in the Napa Valley can take years before they come to fruition, not so here. After only about 10 months, the existing winery was remodeled. 6,500 feet of caves were expanded and drilled into the hillside behind the winery and a new hospitality center was built. The hospitality center ties in very well with the winery. From the small tasting room, large doors open revealing the tanks.
A vegetable garden slightly under an acre grows just south of the winery building. Vegetables from this garden are sold to nearby restaurants.
A skeleton key appears on the labels of their wine and is prominently displayed on the outside of their winery building. This has historical significance. The original key opens the front door to the historic home on site and is displayed in the tasting room. With respect to the history of this property, this one key has already become iconic to the brand.
You only need to look inside of the winery to see that their wine making team is focused on quality. Each of the small lot tanks have built in pumps which can be controlled and programmed to do pump-overs anytime of the day or night. In addition, these tanks have multiple points at which the temperature can be controlled. These tanks do not necessarily handle all their fermentation’s. They also ferment small lots in puncheons and barrels as needed. Control across the board is the key here and it is the control of the details in wine making that is is so integral from when the fruit first arrives through to when it is bottled.
2013 was their inaugural release. The focus is currently on two primary varietals, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2013 Sauvignon Blanc were sourced from the estate but, then it was determined it was growing in an area better suited for red varietals so it was torn up and new plantings were made in the back of the property. While not far from these original plantings, their new home for their Sauvignon Blanc features different soils and is growing in a cooler part of the property.
The wine making team has been experimenting with the style of this varietal since 2013 with subsequent vintages seeing more oak. Especially, using the slightly longer cigar shaped barrels , which have extra surface area for maximizing complexities including textural feel imparted from aging the wine on the lees in these particular barrels. Maceration on the red wines is often 8-10 days and sometimes up to 20 days.
Most of their sales are direct to visitors or through their mailing list. However, they do have some distribution outside California in Florida, New York and Washington. Primarily to restaurants. — 2 years ago
2012 vintage. Mainly Oakville (82,5%), with 14% Mount Veeder, 2% St. Helena and 1,5% Rutherford. 76% Cabernet sauvignon and 24% Cabernet franc. Impressive, very expressive nose with red and black fruits intertwined with flowers. Layers of bright fruit, great balance, terrific complexity and very long finish. Another fantastic wine from a great producer. 2012 vintage. Abv. 14,5%. 99 euro. — 3 years ago