After a few days of rain showers during the week we had a forecast of clear blue sunny skies for the weekend. So, I returned to the Napa Valley to visit a few more wineries with mustard flowers in the vineyards. My first stop was at Baldacci Family Vineyards located along the Silverado Trail in the Stags Leap District of the Napa Valley.
In 1997 Thomas and Brenda Baldacci purchased the 17-acre parcel of vineyard land and in 2003 they bought an additional 20 acres in the Carneros District.
As descendents of Italian immigrants, the family is not knew to wine making as the family tradition goes back to 1916. Today they own 37 acres of estate vineyards, a state of the art winemaking facility and a unique wine cave built into the side of the hill in the volcanic soil.
After touring the wine caves I ventured into the small, quaint tasting room where I sampled the following wines:
The first pour was the 2010 Elizabeth Pinot Noir. For a Carneros Pinot this wine is dark and earthy with very dense and concentrated fruit. On the nose and palate it displays aromas of dried roses, dark cherries, strawberry preserves, cinnamon and a hint of spice. On the palate it is medium bodied with firm tannins that have a bit of grip on the gums, medium acidity. This wine sells for $40 a bottle.
The second sample was the 2009 IV Sons Fraternity, Napa Valley. A proprietary blend of 48% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Stags’ Leap District, 28% Syrah and 24% Merlot from Carneros this one was my favorite in the line-up. It is very dark and earthy with pronounced layers of chocolate, plums, black cherries, cassis and boysenberries. The evolution of this wine is very interesting, the earth and chocolate first hit my senses but as I continued to swirl the glass the fruit aromas developed and then the earth return and then with more vigorous swirling more pronounced the fruit comes back. It is full bodied with medium refined tannins and mouth-watering acidity. I brought a bottle home for $40.
The third wine was the 2009 Black Label Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District. This wine displays a classic and unmistakable Napa Valley profile with aromas of cassis, black currants, black cherries, black licorice and vanilla up front. With much swirling there are also underlying notes of herbs, and mocha. On the palate it is full bodied with BIG aggressive tannins that firmly grip your gums, medium (+) acidity and a medium (+) length finish. This young wine needs a few years of aging to be truly appreciated at its best. This wine sells for $65 a bottle.
The fourth pour was the 2009 Brenda’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District. On the nose I picked up cassis, blueberries, figs, and sweet pipe tobacco. This wine is more approachable in its youth than the previous Cab. It is full bodied with refined tannins, ample acidity and is very well balanced. A fantastic Cab but a major hit to the wallet at $105 a bottle.
To visit or for more information:
6236 Silverado Trail
Napa, CA 94558