Monday, May 19, 2014

Napa's Cairdean Vineyards on #Winechat

 I have been fortunate enough to be included in several #winechat tasting sessions, where wineries or importers send samples to several bloggers. But the latest #winechat sample was coolest in that the host, Cairdean Vineyards, allowed the bloggers to select two wines from a list (2011 Napa Unoaked Chardonnay, 2010 Russian River Chardonnay, 2010 Cabernet, 2010 Merlot, 2010 Malbec, 2012 Hailey Margaret). Since I had just finished two successive Malbec tasting, I chose two whites: the 2010 Russian River Chardonnay and 2012 Hailey Margaret Napa Valley White.

Cairdean (Scottish Gaelic for friends) Vineyards was created by husband and wife Edwin and Stacia Williams St. Helena, Napa in 2010. Their first vineyard is named Acquaintance Vineyard, is located in the Coombsville AVA, and is planted with Bordeaux red varietals - Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot, Malbec, and Merlot. Their second vineyard is named Confidant and hosts Pinot Noir and Syrah in the Russian River Valley AVA.  I believe their Chardonnay Russian River Valley 2010 ($42) is sourced from throughout the valley and is certainly barrel fermented,  aged sur-lie over 18 month, and underwent complete malolactic fermentation. The wine was then aged in a combination of French and American oak. The result is a wine that portrays a strong vanilla aroma, a spicy chardonnay flavor, with a slightly buttery finish.I had moved away from this style of Chardonnay in favor of the unoak style - but this may pull me back.

The second wine I selected was the Haley Margaret 2012 Napa Valley White Wine ($38) which honors the life of Haley Margaret Dowdell and her fight with Cystic Fibrosis. For every bottle sold, $10 is donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Fountain. The wine, itself, is a blend of 43% Roussanne, 43% Pinot Gris, and 14% Viognier - with the later contributing the major stone fruits evident on the nose. The flavor is a combination of peaches and sweet grapefruit with the finish full of silky acidity. A very nice wine. Cheers

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