As the only remaining wedding "guest," I had the honor of having a lovely goodbye breakfast with my friends, Jayne and Scott, the newly married couple. It was really nice to get some quality time with them and catch up about things that weren't just flower, photographer or guest list related.
After saying our goodbyes, I headed off to Failla, which had been noted in a recent New York Times article and also recommended by Sharon, the proprietor at Amanti Vino in Montclair.
At this point, my notebook is pretty filled with notes, so I stuck to my favorites at each winery.
St. Helena Viognier 2007: The best viognier I've ever had. It had a delightful caramel corn nose and a light lemon color. Citrusy with some nice acid and a longer finish than most whites. Unfortunately now that I've tempted you, I should tell you that they're sold out of this but should you come across a Failla Viognier in the future, give it a try - even if you're one of those that "only drinks red."
St. Helena Phoenix Ranch Syrah 2007: Dark royal purple color with a lovely nose of white pepper and smoke. Smelled slightly like charcoal briquets (that's a good thing). The wine itself tasted quite peppery and as the wine evaporated, the pepper flavor lingered.
At lunch, I met up with a friend, Linda, from my last company. It had been a few years and it was great catching up with her and hearing all about her wonderful life living in Napa. She had the fortune of going to the annual wine auction this past weekend (one of Napa and Sonoma's biggest events) and gave me something else to aspire to!
4pm, Murphy-Goode (Yes, 4pm, 5.5 hours later)
Due to traffic, construction and an old map, it took me awhile to get to Murphy-Goode, but when I did, they took very good(e) - I had to - care of me and they even gave me a complimentary tasting and bottle of Fume Blanc for the crazy 2 hour trip it took me to get to them!!! Of course, their wine also helped make it up.
Claret "All In" 2004: I probably should have picked up a bottle of this because it was quite good. It had an intense pepper nose, but it was very sippable and quite mellow. Now I have yet another excuse to come back to the area! Plus, as a Texas Hold 'Em fan, I'm wondering how I can get in on the games David Ready, Jr. (the winemaker) is known to have with his staff.
Seghesio is a favorite of my friends, Kelly and Keith, and I had told them that if I got the chance, I'd make my way up there. Well, it turned out the Murphy-Goode tasting room was less than a mile from Seghesio so I knew I could just fit it in and I'm glad I did. I've had Seghesio's Sonoma Coast Zinfandel at home but the Zins they had in the tasting room are even better!
Saini Zinfandel 2005: My favorite of the tasting. Classic zinfandel with a yummy, berry taste and a nice dry finish. I don't have as many notes on this as because I drank it too fast! Plus, the women working at the tasting room had some fun evening plans and I didn't want to overstay the 5pm closing time. I ended up picking up a few bottles of the Saini and I look forward to a fun dinner with Kelly and Keith.
By the way, earlier today I received a lovely e-mail from Ben Edwards, Merry Edwards son. He had read my blog and thanked me for complimenting Merry's wine. I was so excited to hear from him and it really makes me feel good to know that my feelings made it back to those responsible for the wines - especially since I'm such a fan of their work.
I guess my mom isn't the only reader!
Well, I hope for those of you who aren't my mom, you've enjoyed keeping track of my Napa/Sonoma adventure.
Until I'm back in the Garden State, cheers,