Showing posts with label napa valley. Show all posts
Showing posts with label napa valley. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Winery Spotlight: Krupp Brothers Estate


Krupp Brothers Winery

About ten years ago, Jeff blindly reached out to Krupp Brothers winery to introduce himself as a fledgling wine blogger.  The winery was kind enough to send Jeff a few bottles to review, and the rest, as they say, is history.  We have been very enthusiastic fans of Krupp Brothers wines and have enjoyed sharing these wines not only virtually with their readers, but in person with their friends.  And, just as it should happen, it did.  Those friend started buying Krupp Brothers wines and eventually some of them became wine club members.  

In late August, we had the opportunity to travel with close friends to Napa and Sonoma for an amazing wine adventure.  This was our second visit to the Krupp Brothers estate in as many years and we were excited to share this special place with a new couple joining us on our trip this year.

The Porsche tractor at Krupp Brothers
"Napa Scott" posing with the Porsche tractor outside of the tasting room.  We believe that this is an obligator picture for anyone visiting the estate.

Our visit started with estate director Tyler Hinsley and our wine educator/tour guide Sierra Fiddler greeting us at the end of the picturesque drive.  I'd like to think they were eager to see us (which we know they were) but it might also be because we were running about 10 minutes late since we had just landed and headed straight to the estate from the Sacramento airport.

Cabernet grapes at the Krupp Brothers estate
The grapes were looking amazing and about to burst! 

Because our trip was late August/early September, harvest was just around the corner.  Overall, the grapes this year looked, smelled and tasted extraordinary and the consensus in Napa Valley is that 2022 would be another vintage for the record books.  

Cabernet Sauvignon sign
Cabernet Sauvignon at Krupp Brothers estate

Sierra showed us around the estate and guided us to the veranda overlooking the manicured and beautiful vineyards.  She told us about the history of Krupp Brothers, Stagecoach Vineyard and the story about finding water in an area that was believed to be desolate.  Sierra was a breath of fresh air and incredibly enthusiastic and knowledgeable about "everything" Krupp Brothers.

Sierra Fiddler of Krupp Brothers
Sierra Fiddler, tour guide extraordinaire

Much to our surprise, Dr. Jan Krupp, showed up and greeted us out back.  To say that I was over-the-moon would be a gross understatement.  While we met Dr. Krupp previously, it really meant a lot for him to take time out of his busy scheduled to entertain our questions for nearly an hour.  Believe me, I'm sure he's heard them all before!  Maybe our next tasting can be at his house?  (Hint, hint Dr. K!)

Dr. Jan Krupp in tasting room
Dr. Jan Krupp fielding the group's questions and telling us stories

If you ever have the opportunity to sit down with a wine maker or a vintner, do NOT pass up the chance.  We learned so much from our time with Dr. Krupp and we had a lot of laughs on the way.  This is time that we will treasure forever!

Krupp Brothers tasting line up
Incredible setting and gorgeous wines at the Krupp Brothers estate tasting room

Our tasting included five (no, make that 6 because of a 'bonus' tasting) Krupp Brothers wines and charcuterie.  Each wine was unique, elegant and incredibly special.  It's so tough to pick a favorite.  We were determined this year to cellar some of our purchases away so we can enjoy them for many years.  All too often we drink the wines young and don't appreciate the aging capabilities of these gems.  We WILL be sharing our thoughts on these wines on the blog and social media at a later date.

Tyler Hinsley, estate director
Tyler Hinsley, estate director for Krupp Brothers

Another highlight of our visit was our new friend and estate director, Tyler Hinsley.  Tyler's genuine kindness, enthusiasm and excitement about the Krupp Brothers label was infectious.  He even helped us locate a couple of library wines that we can open at a much later date.  Tyler was incredible nice on the phone and via email, but became an immediate friend when we met him in person.  We also had the chance to hang out with Tyler later that evening when we visited the Krupp Brothers downtown tasting room for a fun time.

The California Wine Group at Krupp Brothers
The "Cali Wine Trip" crew with Dr. Jan Krupp

There are literally hundreds of wineries you can visit in Napa and Sonoma.  In fact, the toughest part of planning any trip is narrowing down the list and then narrowing it down again.  While wish we could visit them all, visiting the special places like Krupp Brothers completes our adventure and creates memories of a lifetime.  Krupp Brothers is definitely a "must re-visit" destination for us and we think you will love it too!

For more information about Krupp Brothers, their story, their history and those incredible wines, please check out

Dr. Jan Krupp and Jeff Lawson
You didn't really think I wasn't going to get this picture, did you!?

Posted by Jeff

Monday, July 18, 2022

2017 Patland Estate Vineyards Chardonnay

2017 Patland Estate Vineyards Chardonnay

We all know that Napa Valley is home to some of the most amazing full-bodied red wines in the world.  But it would be a shame for wine lovers to overlook the throngs of high quality white wines that are also available from this region.  When we first visited Napa in 2009, we found one of our favorite wines (a Chardonnay from a now defunct winery) and we have again found one of our favorite Chardonnay in this bottle.  The 2017 Patland Estate Vineyards Chardonnay is a prime example of delicious and age-worthy Chardonnay that we feel is a "must have" wine for your portfolio.  Much of the fruit in this offering is from the Stagecoach Vineyard (one of our favorite) and the wine is absolutely singing right now!

Vanilla, baking spices and pear on the nose with hints of lychee fruit.  As always, we tasted this wine at room temperature and were introduced to flavors of homemade apple pie, toasted marshmallow and almost no oak.  While we tend to lean towards more oak-framed wines, the fruit in this bottle is the star of the show and each sip is a dive into pure bliss.  It's absolutely stunning. 

Most people are used to paying $12 - $15 for grocery store Chardonnay.  Do yourself a favor and try something outside of your comfort zone and budget.  Try this exquisite Chardonnay from Patland Estate Vineyards and you can thank us later.  We think you'll love this with grilled chicken and asparagus with a lemon cream reduction sauce or with sashimi.  Enjoy!

2017 Patland Estate Vineyards Chardonnay label

Did we mention that after the initial tasting....

We enjoyed this with some salted dark chocolate carmel popcorn from Northern Neck Popcorn Bag?  It was a WINNER!

Chardonnay and Popcorn?  Yes, please!

ABV:  14.4%

Napa Valley, CA

Suggested retail price:  $60.00

Drink The Bottles score:  94/100

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

2019 The Shepherd Sauvignon Blanc


2019 The Shepherd Sauvignon Blanc

Hot days are made for cooler wines and Sauvignon Blanc almost always fits the bill.  But when you have a Sauvignon Blanc like this one that is so pure, straightforward and extremely easy to enjoy, you know you have hit the jackpot.  Don't mistake this as simple, because it isn't.  It is just very well made and exactly how we enjoy SB.  Shepherd Wines, aka Truchard Vineyards, presents a fine California example of this wildly popular grape.  Aromas of cooked pear, grapefruit and crisp linen resonate throughout the glass and intensify as the wine begins to warm.  Delicious and crisp citrus flavors lead to a zippy and memorable medium acidic finish.  Absolutely and easily a daily drinker!

ABV:  13.9%

Napa Valley, CA (Carneros Region)

Suggested retail price:  $18.00

Drink The Bottles score:  90/100

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Winery Spotlight: Trefethen Family Vineyards


Trefethen Family Vineyards

In the heart of the Oak Knoll District in Napa Valley, California, sits a winery that is beautiful, welcoming and is also the home of incredible wines.  Trefethen Family Vineyards is a third generation, family owned and sustainably farmed winery that has deep roots in Napa Valley.  The best way to describe the founders, Katie and Gene Trefethen, would be as true pioneers of the area.  Their touches are still evident daily at the winery by the Napa Valley Agricultural Preserve and the amazing gardens that are intertwined throughout the grounds of the estate.

Second generation family members and co-founders Janet and John Trefethen created their own footprints in the wine world.  John was the founding president of the Napa Valley Grapegrowers and later led the charge for the Napa Valley Vintners during the early critical years.  For 25 years, Janet hosted the Napa Valley Cooking Class and became an ambassador not only for the winery, but also Napa Valley as she became a leader in establishing the now famous Oak Knoll District.

Entrance to Trefethen Family Vineyards

The entrance to Trefethn is impressive, awe-inspiring and welcoming.  The long drive also has an interesting history behind it.  We won't spoil the secret but there is a great story about this long drive, a pilot and a cowgirl that you have to hear from your winery tour guide!

Trefethn Family Vineyards fountain

Everywhere you look, you see manicured grounds, clean lines and beautiful gardens.  You could spend the better part of a day walking around here and taking in all of the beauty.

Large tree at Trefethen Family Vineyards

Huge trees create a canopy in many areas of the Trefethen property, providing shade, a gorgeous setting and a natural nature preserve for Napa's smallest residents.

Tour guide at Trefethen Family Vineyards

Each winery ambassador is extremely knowledgeable about "all things Trefethen" and their passion is evident in the stories that they tell.  You learn about the history, the family, the wines and the future of Trefethen.

Taste the Estate Menu

Trefethen offers many tasting experiences.  We were blessed to enjoy the "Taste the Estate" tasting on the porch of the old house.  We tasted five unique and wonderful wines accompanied by delicious food.

Cucumber Poké paired with 2020 Dry Riesling

The foods that were served with our tasting featured estate-grown ingredients, which was as equally impressive as the wine.  We stepped outside of our comfort level and despite any preconceived notions we may have had (we are not cucumber fans), we thoroughly enjoyed all of the food pairings.

Trefethen Family Vineyards white wines

It's no secret that Napa Valley and red wines are synonymous.  But don't discount the fact that you can enjoy breathtaking white wines as well!  Pictured here are the 2020 Dry Riesling and the 2019 Katie's Acre Chardonnay.  These wines were both over the top delicious!

Chilled Summer Melon Soup

The Chilled Summer Melon Soup with tarragon goat cheese, sunflower and compressed melon introduced all of us to flavors that were unique and extremely pleasing.

Hen of the Wood Mushrooms

Winery Chef Chris Kennedy and his team construct dishes that were absolutely mind blowing at times.  The Hen of the Woods Mushrooms with roasted white corn cake and créme fraiche was one of the best dishes we have ever tasted in our lives!  Chris is a culinary genius!

Trefethen Family Vineyards Red Wines

Pictured here are the three red wines from our "Taste the Estate" tasting.  They were all fabulous and we bought them all to bring home!
  • 2017 Cowgirl and the Pilot
  • 2018 Dragon's Tooth
  • 2017 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Winos Group at Trefethen Family Vineyards

Wine tasting is fun. Wine tasting with friends is more fun!  Wine tasting in an intimate setting creates memories that will last a lifetime.

The beautiful gardens at Trefethen

You could get lost in the gardens (on purpose, of course) across these sprawling grounds.  These beauty of this place reminds visitor of Katie Trefethen's influence on what would become a magnificent winery and a favorite place to visit.

Despite being one of the larger, family owned wineries in Napa Valley with about 500 acres currently planted, Trefethen makes you feel welcome and like an extension of their own family.  The attention to detail, the kindness and the remarkable wines display the embodiment of the vision that was started decades ago.  So what does the future look like for Trefethen?   There is no doubt that the visionaries of Trefethen have helped them succeed for three generations.  They are eco-friendly, sustainably farmed, and keenly aware of how nature helps them thrive.  

Cover crops aid in decreasing carbon dioxide in the vineyards.  Nesting boxes for predatory birds help control varmint population.  Only the actual juice from the grapes leaves Trefethen's property.  All other parts of the grape (stems, seeds, skins) are used to form a compost that is re-entered into the vineyard soil annually.  Trefethen takes sustainability very seriously and they have been a role model for other wineries in both Napa Valley and around the world to learn from.

Earth Day Joy Box

Recently, Trefethen released their very limited JOY BOX in honor of Earth Day.  This box included their OKD Four wine blend, a cotton tea towel with water based ink, white flake salt and an olive pinch bowl.  The Joy Box is a wonderful and special gift idea that any wine lover will enjoy.  We strongly encourage you to sign up on Trefethen's web site to be notified when these boxes become available, as they sell out very quickly!

If we could say how we feel about Trefethen Family Vineyards and the people behind the label, it would simply be expressed as "Visionaries with a love for wine, the environment and Napa Valley who create beauty through grapes, food and beautiful gardens".   

We strongly hope that you will consider connecting with Trefethen Family Vineyards during your next trip to Napa Valley.  You will create memories and enjoy experiences that you will talk about for years!

Monday, April 11, 2022

2019 Patland Estate Vineyards Napa Valley Syrah


2019 Patland Estate Vineyards Napa Valley Syrah
Just released from Patland Estate Vineyards

Just released!   We are always excited to share wines from Patland Estate Vineyards, as we have become really big fans over the past couple of years.  Their Syrah has consistently provided consistent quality with anticipated deliciousness and the 2019 vintage is hanging right there with previous ones.  Gorgeous, deep garnet color with dominating aromas of dark ripe plum, crushed blueberries and Portobello mushroom.  With some additional time in the glass, cracked pepper, Asian spices and sweet smoke appear and combine together with damp earth for a memorable finish.  This wine is a real treat and with only 110 cases produced, it is priced right.  While it is very young now, it is starting to come into its own.  We recommend holding back a bottle or 2 and enjoy this for the next 15-20 years without any second thought.

2019 Patland Estate Vineyards Napa Valley Syrah label
Drink now or hold for even more enjoyment

ABV:  14.8%

Napa Valley, CA

110 cases produced

Suggested retail price:  $85.00

Drink The Bottles score:  91/100

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

2017 Patel Napa Valley Red Wine

2017 Patel Napa Valley Red Wine

Here's a another winner from a winery that we were introduced to about 13 months ago.  The 2017 Patel Napa Valley Red Wine is a luscious and aromatic offering that offers a dark purple and mouth watering welcome to the palate.  Ripe dark cherry, pencil lead, cocoa bits and cherry tobacco on the nose.  In the mouth is a powerful blend of red fruits, barn wood, black tea and cherry licorice.  This wine is framed with a solid acidic backbone and pulled together nicely for an amazing finish.  Tips the scale at nearly 15% alcohol but the balance is in check.  There were only 150 cases produced, but this one should be in your cellar while you can grab it.  Enjoy it optimally for the next 12-15 years.  Well done!

2017 Patel Napa Valley Red Wine label

ABV:  14.9%

Napa Valley, CA

Suggested retail price:  $75.00

Drink The Bottles score:  93/100

Monday, December 13, 2021

2017 LOBO Wines Custom Red Blend


2017 LOBO Wines Custom Red Blend

The 2017 LOBO Wines Custom Red Blend is a wonderful example that delicious wines don't have to break the bank.  This Napa Valley stunner blends Syrah (69%), Cabernet Sauvignon (26%) and Merlot (5%) , creating dark and bold aromas of blackberry, cigar smoke and grilling spices.  You get amazing mouth coating flavors of blackberry cobbler, tobacco leaf, vanilla and black cherry. The tannin is powerful yet polished and the finish is one that makes you turn your head and smile.  We filtered and decanted this wine as there was a moderate amount of sediment.  It is absolutely delicious and while it will likely age well for a decade or more, we like this one now or within in the next 3 years for best enjoyment.

2017 LOBO Wines Custom Red Blend Label

ABV:  14.8%

Napa Valley, CA

Suggested retail price:  $70.00

Drink The Bottles score:  92/100

Friday, November 12, 2021

2018 Corison Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

2018 Corison Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

If there is one thing that we know and appreciate about Cathy Corison's wines, it is that they are consistently beautiful and unique in style and flavor.  While most winemakers can create a memorable and powerful Cabernet Sauvignon, it is the Cathy's graceful and focused skillset that helps produce this wine in a very classic style.  The 2018 Corison Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is deep purple, nearly opaque in the glass. There is patchwork of aromas that begin with currants, cherry, young fresh berries and flower petals.  This wine, with some time in the glass, also introduces bright minerality and fertile earth notes.  Tangy cherry, blueberry and dried herbs on the palate, connecting with dark chocolate bits and silky tannin that place a tender hold on the mouth to a very charming and long finish.  This wine will continue to blossom in the bottle but it drinking exquisitely now and will continue to for 2 or more decades.  

2018 Corison Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Label

ABV:  13.8%

Napa Valley, CA

Suggested retail price:  $100.00

Drink The Bottles score:  95+/100

Monday, November 1, 2021

2018 Truchard Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Carneros Napa Valley


2018 Truchard Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Carneros Napa Valley

We have tasted wines from Truchard Vineyards for several years now and it is always exciting to taste different vintages to see how the compare from year to year.  We last tasted this wine from the 2014 vintage.  The 2018 Truchard Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Carneros Napa Valley is a young wine, but feels more mature due to the older Carneros vines that develop the unique fruit for this example.  The 2018 vintage is comprised of Cabernet Sauvignon (88%), Cabernet Franc (10%), Petit Verdot (1%) and Malbec (1%).  This is a very similar blend to the 2014 vintage but a unique wine on its own.  Dark cherry, plum, violet and spice box aromas are at the forefront with beefsteak tomato appearing as the wine opens up.  The dark purple color is like an old friend, inviting you to sit and stay awhile and it is joined by raspberry, plum, vanilla and allspice to create a transformation that is rewarding and very tasty.  The wine has a softer finish than what we recall from the 2014 vintage but it does linger for moments and puts a smile on your face.  Get this wine from Truchard now and save a bottle or two back to enjoy in 10+ years.  We are confident that this will continue to evolve and pleasure the palate.

2018 Truchard Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Carneros Napa Valley close up

ABV:  14.2%

Napa Valley, CA

Suggested retail price:  $40.00

Drink The Bottles score:  91/100

Friday, October 29, 2021

2018 LOBO Wines Cabernet Sauvignon


2018 LOBO Wines Cabernet Sauvignon

It's another hit from LOBO Wines!  The 2018 LOBO Wines Cabernet Sauvignon is from their Wulff Vineyards of Napa Valley and for such a young wine this one is really singing.  Medium to dark red in the glass, fruit abounds and aromas of black and red raspberries combine with tobacco leaf, spring rain and vanilla.  We love the flavors of black and red currant, peppercorn, allspice and ripe berries.  This wine is mouth-coating and gifts you with a long and full finish.  You could easily age this wine for a decade or more and with only 280 cases produced, you should grab this one quickly.  Absolutely lovely and incredibly priced for a 100% Napa Valley Cabernet from the Oak Knoll District!

2018 LOBO Wines Cabernet Sauvignon wine label

ABV:  14.1%

Napa Valley, CA

Suggested retail price:  $75.00

Drink The Bottles score:  93/100

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

2018 Fifty Row Petite Sirah Silver Dollar Vineyard


2018 Fifty Row Petite Sirah Silver Dollar Vineyard

This is 100% Petite Sirah and deliciousness in a bottle.  The 2018 Fifty Row Petite Sirah Silver Dollar Vineyard wine has a very unique crushed velvet color in the glass.  The blackberry cobbler, cocoa powder, menthol and spring flower bouquet aromas jump from the glass.  You get powerful, consistent black and juicy fruits in the mouth with mint towards the finish.  This is one of those fist-clenching wines that we talk about  While this young wine is approachable now, some time in the decanter will help soften the obvious tannin if that is your thing.  If you want to warm the gullet with a memorable Petite Sirah you would be remiss to find on better.  We think you can lay this wine down in your cellar for a decade before you'll truly appreciate all that this wine has to show you.  This is just a beautiful effort and one that we will add to our "favorite" column.

2018 Fifty Row Petite Sirah Silver Dollar Vineyard wine label

ABV:  14.9%

Napa Valley, CA

Suggested retail price:  $65.00

Drink The Bottles score:  92+/100

Thursday, October 14, 2021

2016 Krupp Brothers Black Bart Syrah Port


2016 Krupp Brothers Black Bart Syrah Port

When you find a port wine that you really enjoy, it's kind of like finding that diamond in the rough.  Port wines can be hit or miss if they aren't the primary wine produced by the winery.  The 2016 Krupp Brothers Black Bart Syrah Port is a fine example of Napa Valley port wine made with exceptional fruit, resulting in loveliness in the glass.  This wine consists of 86% Syrah and 14% Petit Verdot Stagecoach Vineyards fruit.  2016 was a great year for Napa Valley powerful reds and that success definitely bled over to this wine.  Inky purple in the glass with cherry cola, dried flowers and sweet candied pecans on the nose.  Flavors of chocolate covered cherry, blackberry pie filling and sweet wood unite for a dense and rich tasting experience that warms the heart.  We tasted this in a whiskey glass and for the smaller pour, it was spot on.  We may or may not (ok, we did) also have this later on with a Reese's peanut butter cup.  That was a great choice, as is this wine.  With only 169 cases produced, you should consider picking this one up.  It has a good 10 years left of an optimal drinking window.

2016 Krupp Brothers Black Bart Syrah Port label

ABV: 18.2%

Napa Valley, CA

Suggested retail price:  $65.00

Drink The Bottles score:  90/100

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Patland Estate Vineyards Mystery Box Wine Deal!


Patland Estate Vineyards Mystery Box of Wine

It's not very often that you see a blog post here about a wine promotion.  In fact, this may be the first time!  But that is how excited and passionate that we are about this incredible deal!  Patland Estate Vineyards is once again offering their "Mystery Box" of wine for a limited time.  Keep reading...

Patand Vineyards Mystery Box

To tempt you even more, we've been given the green light to share with you what was in last year's Mystery Box.  If you purchased this, you did VERY well (but you already know that!).

Last year's box included nearly $1500 worth of wine.  The six amazing bottles of wine were:

  • 2008 Syrah
  • 2010 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2011 Malbec
  • 2012 Pinot Noir
  • 2014 Port
  • 2016 Sauvignon Blanc
What's In The Box?

What will be in this year's box?  We don't have all of the details but we know WITHOUT A DOUBT that you will receive some incredible wines for a fraction of the price.  Did we mention that the Mystery Box not only includes 6 incredible wines but also free shipping!  What a deal!

Six Mystery Wines for $499 and Free Shipping

This isn't some gimmicky wine club where you spend $49 and get $11 worth of wine (and most of that value is in the glass for the bottles).  Michael Patland of Patland Estate Vineyards has told us repeatedly that this is without a doubt his favorite promotion of the year and it is always a mind-blowing value for the consumer.  We cannot stress this incredible deal from an amazing winery!  Get it now.

This deal ends October 31st.  Visit Patland Estate Vineyards today to get this deal!

Monday, October 11, 2021

2017 LOBO Wines Pinot Noir Napa Valley


2017 LOBO Wines Pinot Noir Napa Valley

What a wonderful delight!  This 2017 LOBO Wines Pinot Noir was our very first introduction to Krys and Randy's label and we were really taken back!  When you typically think of Pinot Noir, the words powerful, bold and mesmerizing aren't necessarily the first adjectives that come to mind.  We think that winemaker Victoria Coleman has create something very unique and special here.  Dark mauve to medium purple in the glass, this wine shows off dominant aromas of black cherry, cranberry jelly and roasting spices.  This wine spent some time in the aerator and opened up to amazing flavors of strawberry rhubarb, cherry cordial, nutmeg and pepper in the glass.  This wine really grabs you and we caught ourselves checking the label more than once to make sure it was a Pinot.  This wine is made from single vineyard 100% estate grown fruit (our favorite) and we can't recall a more delicious Pinot Noir in recent memory.  It really is outstanding and has plenty of years of drinking left.  This wine will tend to develop and likely peak in 2024.

2017 LOBO Wines Pinot Noir Napa Valley label

ABV:  14.0%

Napa Valley, CA

Suggested retail price:  $50.00

Drink The Bottles score:  93+/100

Frey Ranch Bottled In Bond Straight Rye Whiskey

On a 1,500 acre farm in Fallon, Nevada comes some of the best whiskey we have tasted to date.  The Frey family has been farming this ground ...