I'm hosting a table this year at the City of Hope Wine Dinner and Auction.
Saluting California Greatest Hits in Wine
1) Cakebread Cellars – Sauvignon Blanc 2006 Napa Valley
The blend of 89% Sauvignon Blanc, 7% Semillon and 4% Sauvignon Musque creates a mouthwatering aperitif. A rich vivacious white wine with enticing grapefruit, gooseberry, kiwi, green apple and hay aromas. Full bodied on the palate with green apple and citrus flavors. 91 pts - Connoisseurs' Guide
2) Rochioli – Chardonnay 2006 Russian River Valley Estate
The Russian River Valley in Sonoma County produces some of the best Chardonnays with hot summer days and cool nights. The wine boasts a multilayered texture with aromas of pineapples, peach smoke and butter. Produced with 50% new French Oak. Robert Parker consistently rates this wine from 93-94pts and it has scored 97 pts in WS.
3) Williams Selyem – Pinot Noir 2005 Russian River Valley
25th Anniversary. Aromas include blackberries, plums, cloves, black truffle, cola and crème brûlée. Rich tannins accentuate blackberry-plum which complement the creamy, silky, yet fat finish and spicy berry flavors. Robert Parker describes this Pinot Noir at its most seductive and opulent. 94-97 pts -WS.
4) Shafer – Merlot 2005 Napa Valley
The Shafer family is widely regarded as one of Napa’s best Merlot producers. A blend of 86% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Cabernet Franc from their Stag’s Leap and Yountville vineyards. 100% French Oak. Robert Parker says; “has an elegant bouquet of berry fruit, menthol, sweet cherries and spice” One of the biggest Merlots that you’ll ever taste. Consistently scores 92+ pts in WS.
VERTICAL TASTING – Different Vintages of the same wine
5) Whitehall Lane – Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 Napa Valley
100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Commemorative Silver Anniversary Reserve bottle with a glass stopper. This classic, opulent Napa Valley Cabernet has aromas of black cherry and scents of creamy vanilla framed by toasty French Oak. Flavors of blackberry, mulberry and mocha with a long, silky smooth finish. Aged in French and American oak barrels for 25 months. 93 pts in WS.
6) Whitehall Lane – Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2001 Napa Valley
A blend of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petite Verdot, this wine has a deep, intense color and a distinct fruit center that begins with black cherry, violet and currant aromas. Well balanced, elegant and sleek on the palate, delivering very long berry and cherry flavors through to the finish. James Laube says; “sharply focused and finishes with a long rich aftertaste.” Aged in French and American oak barrels for 22 months. 93 pts in WS.
7) Whitehall Lane – Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1999 Napa Valley
Wine Spectator ranked Whitehall Lane’s Cabernet #3 on Top 100 list and the Reserve scored even higher, but wasn’t eligible for the list due to limited production. This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wine has richly floral aromas of crushed flowers, violet and ripe cherry. The texture of this wine is generously fruity and delightfully silky with flavors of blackberry, blueberry and toasty oak. Aged in French and American oak barrels for 22 months. 95 pts in WS.
few bonus bottles: 1996 Bollinger Grand Cru Champagne and 2000 Flora Springs 25th Anniversary Cabernet - both magnum bottle.