A Tasting Room That Blew Us Away #WBC09

The Wine Bloggers Conference in Napa and Sonoma California was a great time for Hello Vino. Yesterday I talked about our experience at Peju

Next stop: Spring Mountain Vineyard for a totally different experience.

We arrived on the Spring Mountain grounds and were immediately greeted with some crisp Sauvignon Blanc while we listened to a little history about the vineyard and strolled through it’s manicured garden trails. The trails led us to a beautiful, victorian styled tasting room that displayed old crown molding, rich wood, and presented an inviting/relaxing atmosphere.

Picture a private wedding reception with round, white cloth tables spread across the room. Now picture a sweetheart table in the front to showcase the couple. In place of the married couple were 4 winemakers, and in front of each person at their respective round table were 8 glasses of red wine. We were in Tuburcio Parrott’s living room, and ready to go.

The Napa Vintner panel included:

Jac Cole of Spring Mountain
Ted Edwards of Freemark Abbey
Jeffery Stambor of Beaulieu Vineyards
Paula Kornell of Oakville Ranch Vineyards.

Each winemaker had 2 glasses to talk about, address questions, and guide us through what we were tasting. We had glasses from the early to mid-90’s, right up to current releases. We even tried a Beaulieu Cabernet Sauvignon that goes for over $500.00!  We were again impressed with the special treatment and level of access we had with the wine community through the WBC Conference and truly enjoyed our visit to Spring Mountain Winery.

I jotted some notes down in my cell phone while tasting the 8 wines for immediate reactions/reviews. On the place mat in front of us (see pic), here are 4 notable wines…Spring Mountain 93 Bordeaux Blend
The nose is old oak barrel - great red fruit. Delicious!
My favorite in the bunch.

Freemark Abbey 04 Cabernet
Has a subtle chocolate nose - soft / chewy taste that is fruit forwardBeaulieu 08 Cabernet
Muted fernented oak with a musty nose - nice spiced fruit and a bit hot, hot, hot, on the finish for those who like the bigger reds.  Definitely tasting barrel (40 percent fermented)

Oakville Ranch 96 Cabernet

Vibrant nose with spice (makes your nose tingle) - prunes and plums dominate the fruit flavor with some trailing herbs and tannin.  Good stuff.

Some classic food and wine pairings for each:

Spring Mountain 93 Bordeaux Blend with Filet Mignon / Tenderloin

Freemark Abbey 04 Cabernet with some Bittersweet Chocolate

Beaulieu 08 Cabernet with some Veal ChopsOakville Ranch 96 Cabernet with some Camembert Cheese

Ok…back on the bus. Stay tuned for more.


Jim from Hello Vino