Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Jarvis Wines - Napa Valley California

A few weeks ago a friend of mine came up from Southern California for weekend a visit. So I decided to show him the beauty of the Napa Valley with a long country drive up the Silverado Trail and an exploration of the wine caves at Jarvis Winery. 

Jarvis is at the southern end of the winery so we first stopped there for a tour and tasting. The tour is quite impressive as the entire winery is inside the 45,0000 square foot cave within the Vacas Mountains four miles east of the town of Napa. 

There are many wineries in the Napa Valley that use wine caves for storing barrels and aging wine. But this was the first I had visited (and I’ve been to 95 Napa wineries so far) that the entire winery was in a cave. The tour was quite impressive and within the wine caves is a naturally flowing stream which helps maintain the needed humidity for barrel aging the wines. My friend commented, “This is like Disneyland.”

The fee was $40 and the line up of the wines was quite expensive. We tasted the 2007 Finch Hollow Chardonnay ($95), the 2005 Cabernet Franc ($44), the 2006 Merlot ($90), the 2004 Lake William Bordeaux Style Blend ($105). The 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon ($95), and the 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve ($160). While their wines have many award claims, frankly I wasn’t impressed by any of them. I know of many better wines or of equal quality for under $30.

While my friend and I had a great time, enjoyed the wines and the beautiful grounds and the wine cave I would have to say, “pass” on purchasing any of their wines.