Regailing me with a fun and informative history of the winery, I was led into into one the more impressive wine caves (where everything is done, including office work) I've visited, complete with beautifully designed rooms for entertaining,(which will include part of the famous Auction next month), passing circular barrel storage areas, and even a waterfall(!).
Following the grand tour, I was led into tasting room across a small moat, and poured what were some fabulous examples of Napa wine. Surprisingly, my favorite was the barrel-fermented 2009 Finch Hollow Chardonnay ($95), a scrumptious and complex array of green apples, lemon curd, brûlée, lime zest, balanced acidity and oak, and a solid finish. Would love to pair this wine with some of my most decadent vegan cooking, maybe some gnocchi with fava-lemon-almond pesto with a coconut-almond milk creaminess and garlic, leek and chanterelle polenta, and maybe a tart vegan lemon-lime based dessert..just some thoughts flowing...
The reds-The 95% Cab Franc/5% Merlot Science Peoject ($105), 2008 Merlot ($90), Lake William 2007 blend ($115), the 2005 Estate Cabernet Sauvingon ($95), and the 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve ($160), were all oaky (but not too much so), strong lush fruit driven Reds of structure and power. The lighter, velvety (not-yet-released) 2010 Tempranillo had a lower oak influence and tasted nicely of cherries, plums and satin..great with a vegetarian paella.
At $60 for a tour and tasting, you will definitely get your money's worth here through one of the most beautiful and unique tours of what Napa Valley is all about.