TasteLive: Calistoga Dreaming

Hello Friends,

Besides being Friday, I am pretty psyched about participating [virtually] in the first annual Napa Valley Film Festival. The event started yesterday and runs through Saturday, November 12th. The three day event celebrates cinema with special screenings of films at numerous venues. Cellar Pass and TasteLive, along with host Alan Kropf, editor-in-chief of Mutinner magazine, have put together five one hour shows with live streaming broadcast. Each show will include regional winemakers, culinary arts, foodies, special guests, and of course -- a passionate panel of wine bloggers from around the US to taste, tweet, share thoughts, and interact with the winegrowers and the winemakers behind the wines being poured.

Mumm Napa Brut Reserve Rosé NV

Yesterday kicked off with a wonderful tasting that included the Robert Mondavi Winery’s 2009 Fume Blanc Reserve and 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve. Today’s wine tasting, happening in Virginia for me – and in Calistoga, CA for my wine friends out west, features wines from Merryvale Vineyards, Tedeschi Family Winery, and Mumm Napa. Let's uncork these bottles and pour some wine.

Merryvale Winery 2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

First up is the Mumm Napa Brut Reserve Rosé NV ($36), a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Many of you may are probably familiar with Mumm Napa. They specialize in sparkling wines – a style of wine that should be invited to each and every Thanksgiving Day table in my humble opinion. Mumm Napa sparkling wines are widely available and easy to find, so remember the catchy name while you’re out wine shopping this holiday season. The Mumm Napa Brut Reserve Rosé NV is salmon in color with tiny, consistent bubbles dancing about the glass. Made in the traditional method, the wine offers tangy and bright raspberry flavors with rose petals notes, dried cherries, and delightful, yet gentle dough nuances in the finish. Remember: Don’t save the bubby just for special occasions – the special occasion begins when you remove the cork from the bottle!

Napa Fest Winemaker Interview: Ludovic Dervic of Mumm Napa

Second up is the Merryvale Vineyards 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon (99% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Cabernet Franc). You already know – my first question this afternoon will be what does the 1% Cabernet Franc impart into the finished wine. Merryvale is located in St. Helena and was the first winery built in Napa Valley following the repeal of prohibition (very cool #factoid). This summer I enjoyed Merryvale’s Rosé and Sauvignon Blanc so was eager to uncork the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon. Like most growers, east and west coast, 2007 was a good to great growing season that offered producers the opportunity to craft high-quality, exceptional wines. Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon wines are regularly in my weekly sipping rotation. And while often times big, many examples I have had here recently have not been overdone and to their credit, well-balanced – even graceful at times. The 2007 Merryvale Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon ($65), dark red-brick colored, offers a complex nose of blackberry, dark cherry, herb, and currant laced with pretty violet scents and sweet tobacco. The palate is round and full with youthful, mouth-coating fine-grained tannins that beg for grilled red meat. This wine is getting better and better as it breathes. This is a wine you want to uncork and properly decant/breathe to allow it to reach its peak. She is also a very good candidate for aging in my humble opinion.

Napa Fest Winemaker Interview: Merryvale Director of Marketing

Less than two hours to the Calistoga tasting event – follow hash-tag #napafilmfest on Twitter to follow the fun! Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com, and as always, Happy Sipping! Stay tuned ...more to come.

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