We started our tasting at Turnbull Wine Cellars in the Reserve tasting room. In addition to rows of wine barrels, there is a photo exhibit which features more than 70 photos, mostly black and white, taken between 1903 and 2000. To see a small sampling go to their website and look in the News and Events section.
We started off by tasting four wines before lunch and then they poured a red and another white wine during lunch.
2009 Napa Valley Viogner – There was a nice light yellow color and I found a nice floral nose with a little fruit behind it. I got a lot of fruit in the flavor while Nancy tasted roses. There was a lot of acid but I also found the wine a little sweet which lent some roundness to it. The finish was moderately long and Nancy found it slight bitter. We drank this wine while we toured the winery.
2006 Napa Valley Merlot – A dark ruby color with a pleasant dark fruit nose. Ripe and tart dark fruit flavor with a moderate amount of tannins and acid. The tannins were smooth and well integrated and the wine had a long finish.
2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – This had a dark ruby, tending towards garnet color. The nose was slightly herbal with some dark fruit. Rich ripe fruit flavor with a little tartness and vanilla. The tannins were well integrated and the finish was long.
As we got ready to sit down for lunch we were poured their 2008 Napa Valley Old Bull and the 2009 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc. George and Gail provided boxed lunches consisting of sandwiches, pasta, grapes and a cookie. The winery provided chocolates for all!
2008 Napa Valley Old Bull – This wine was voted Best Picnic Wine of 2010 in Napa Valley. It is a red wine consisting of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Syrah, 18% Cabernet Franc, 4% Zinfandel, 4% Barbera and finally 1% Sangiovese. It was a dark ruby color with a nose of medium dark fruit. There was nice fruit and light tannins. This would definitely enhance a picnic and would be a good every day wine.
2009 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc – Light yellow with a closed nose with a hint of hay. The flavor was fairly light and grassy with moderate acid. The finish was fairly short and overall I was not impressed with this wine. Just a little too light for a Sauvignon Blanc.
After Turnbull Wine Cellars we took a short trip over to Paraduxx Napa Valley on the Silverado trail. The tasting room is a large light-filled, very modern building. A long table was set for us with individual place settings. Four stemless glasses with the bottle label for each wine under the glass and a placemat/map of Napa Valley Estate Vineyards. Wine crackers and cheeses were waiting for us as well. The first cheese was a Mimolette and the second a Bandaged Wrapped Cheddar. The second cheese is made by the Fiscalini Cheese Company in Modesto. We tasted Fiscalini cheeses at the wine tasting we recently attended, and wrote about, at a local country club. In addition to the cheeses we tasted wines from Decoy, Goldeneye, Paraduxx and Duckhorn.
2009 Decoy Sonoma County Chardonnay – The color was light yellow and the nose was oakey with some grapefruit. The flavor was nice typical oak and butterscotch but not over the top. There was a lot of acid and a little heat on the moderate length finish. We are not real fans of heavily oaked Chardonnays and Nancy did not care for this wine at all.
2007 Goldeneye Anderson Valley Pinot Noir – A transparent ruby color with the typical Pinot nose, brambly, cherry and smoke. The flavor followed the nose with good acid and moderate tannins. Very typical Pinot Noir but unremarkable.
2007 Paraduxx Napa Valley Red Wine – Medium dark ruby color with a light amount of ripe dark fruit and cherries on the nose. Light to moderate tannins with a light body with fruit and black pepper. You could also find some oak in the moderate length finish but it was not overdone. This wine is primarily Zinfandel with some Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot.
2007 Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot – Medium dark ruby color and a fairly closed nose. Medium dark fruit flavor with a little smoke and moderate well integrated tannins. The finish was a very nice dark fruit flavor of moderate length.
2007 Parajaxx Napa Valley Rose – This wine is a blend of Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. The color brilliant light red and the nose consisted of strawberries and earth. There were minimal tannins and adequate acid. The finish was moderately long.
We made our final purchases and piled onto the bus for the trip home. George and Gail provided cookies and water for us to snack on. As we boarded the bus there was a lot of chatter, laughter and talk of wines. As we traveled down the highway, the bus got very quiet as many of us dozed off! The ability to snooze on the way home is one of the great things about traveling on the bus. We had a great day, the weather was sunny and crisp and the wines were great. All of the wineries were very welcoming and there were no crowds. This is a great time of year to wine taste in Napa!