Perhaps to celebrate, or most probably because the wife & I were housesitting in Napa, on Saturday, September 24, we traveled across the Napa Valley to attend the13th annual Mt. Veeder Appellation Wine Tasting on the grounds of the impressive Hess Collection winery. This large east-side of the mountain appellation benefits from the significant cooling influence of nearby San Francisco Bay. With most of its vineyard acreage in elevations above the fog line, the Mt. Veeder Appellation is dominated by shallow sedimentary sandstone & shale soils. It is planted mostly to Cabernet Sauvignon and for all the intensively labored, handworked vineyards within its expanse, it is saddled with the lowest yields in the Napa Valley. The passionate vineyard workers of these mountain sides literally produce 'Napa Valley wines at their Peak"
Unlike most of the dispersed tasting 'events' on our Sonoma side, such as the well attended RRWR's Winter Wineland, or the WDCV's Passport to Dry Creek Valley, here twenty-six(26) brands were all in one glorious place. Under deep canopies that encircled the wineries patio gardens, the neighbors of Mt. Veeder poured side-by-side, only interrupted by the wonderful selection of antipasti cheeses, salumi, and pork sliders that were displayed non-stop by attentive staff from Chef Chad Hendrickson's kitchen. As an appellation based tasting event, this was a wonderful day of easy tasting of some of the regions most sought-after wines.
Best wines of my tasting:
- Rudd 2009 Susan's Blanc, a delicious Semillion/Sauvignon Blanc citrusy blend
- Y. Rousseau Wines 2009 Milady mouth-rich and brightly balanced Chardonnay
- Lampyridae Vineyards 2009 proprietary Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah cuvee, Communication Block Red Wine Blend
- Yates Family Vineyard 2008 Cheval, displayed notes of dark fruit & caramelized figs with a red raspberry exit, making it one delicious Cabernet Franc