This was intended as a quick stop on the way to Cakebread Cellars, where we had an appointment for a tasting and a tour. This was a ridiculously bad experience. The pourer literally told me to fill out my credit card on a form, and then he will fill in what to order. I laughed out loud. He was spacey, left us alone for too long, we couldn’t actually try any wines, and we ended up running late. He said he would call Cakebread and things would be fine. When we got to Cakebread, they said they never got a call. (We could have called easier than getting him to do anything). To make it worse, he was the manager of the tasting room. So how do you complain to a winery about a bad experience when the head of the tasting room is the source of it? I know, post your experience on the internet!
My advice is stay away. You can get better treatment at Opus One! It’s a shame, because I really like the wines and think they do a great job in making them. We cut the tasting short, because we really were running late and weren’t getting much service here.
2007 Spotswood Fumé Blanc. Slightly hot but not too much so. Very creamy vanilla oak, some sharpness going to a smooth to almost chewy finish.
2008 Grgich Hills Estate Grown Chardonnay, $45. (available in stores). Crisp acidity, not very buttery. Smooth, no heavy oak, and a medium finish. None of Grgich’s wines undergo secondary (malolactic) fermentation, so they keep all their original flavors and hold up better in the bottle.
2007 Carneros Estate Grown. This is fruity, with a broader, slightly cream nose. Anna liked this one a lot. She said it was creamy with deeper oak but not overdone. A great bottle to sit and savor. Lots of different tastes, from soft citrus to floral. This one is toastier and nutty. It’s liek apricot jelly with a flame passed over it.
2009 Essense Sauvignon Blanc, $42. This was a nice light sauvignon blanc that isn’t too acidic. It’s super light with citrus, seems like a great balance. It has a crisp citrus nose with some cedar covered ground thrown in.
2003 Cabernet Sauvignon. Purple to dark red with an orange rim. A velvety vanilla nose with smooth tannin and some leather. The color is slightly thin and balance was a little off, but comparing to the Opus One, it was still remarkably good. This wine comes from a bend of Yountvile, Calistoga, and Rutherford cabernets, fermented with naturally ocurring yeast, and blended after fermentation. It is really well done.
|Grgich Hills Estate
1829 St. Helena Hwy., Rutherford, CA 94573
|Features||Owned by famed winemaker Mike Grgich|
|Tours||11 to 2 daily, by appointment|
|Tasting Room||9:30 to 4:30 daily|
|Tasting Fee||$15 Wine Collection (5)|
|Overall Experience Wine Tasting Setup Wine Pourer(s) Sales Pressure|
|Specials: 2 for 1 wine tasting|