Wines (and Wineries) We’re Recommending in the Napa Valley Right Now

Napa Valley VineyardsDo you need some Napa wine?  Over the last few weeks we’ve had the pleasure of attending the Napa Valley Wine Library Association Wine Tasting, the Mexican-American Vintners Association Harvest Festival, and the Family Winemakers of California Tasting, and we found many wines reinforcing Napa Valley’s world-class reputation for winemaking that are tasting particularly well right now.  In the wake of the 6.0 magnitude earthquake centered near the city of Napa on Sunday morning, we thought we’d recommend our favorite Napa Valley wines from these recent events and encourage you to buy the wines and/or visit the wineries yourself (to help the local community return to normalcy and re-start the revenue engine).

Since we’re talking about Napa Valley wines, you won’t be surprised to hear that we found outstanding Sparkling Wines, Chardonnays, Sauvignon Blancs and Cabernet Sauvignons. But, we also found delicious Viognier, Albariño, Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Roussanne, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Zinfandel, and a few Rosés to recommend.

Napa Earthquake Impact Matthiasson Wines

Earthquake Impact as tweeted out by Matthiasson Wines

Please seek out these Napa wines at restaurants, stores, or through the wineries themselves. Or, to make a stronger contribution to the local economy, please feel free to drive on over for wine tasting and then you can enjoy the fabulous restaurants in the area as well.  If it helps, please note that while most of the 20+ wineries we recommend below will arrange for a winery tasting by appointment, nine of them don’t require an advance reservation at all and you can just drop into their tasting room (as long as your party is less than six people): Ceja Vineyards (Napa)Clos Du Val (Napa)Grgich Hills Estate (Rutherford)Heitz Wine Cellars (St. Helena)Monticello Vineyards (Napa)Mumm Napa (Rutherford)Robert Sinskey Vineyards (Napa)The Hess Collection (Napa) and ZD Wines (Napa).

Favorite Sparkling and Rosé Wines from Napa Valley

  • Lagier Meredith – 2013 Rosé (Syrah, Zinfandel, Mondeuse)  


    Querencia from Schrambsgerg Vineyards

  • Mumm Napa – nv Brut Reserve Rosé, 2009 Devaux Ranch Sparkling Wine
  • Schramsberg Vineyards – 2010 Querencia (Sparkling Brut Rosé)
  • Tres Sabores – 2013 Rosé (Zinfandel, Petite Sirah)


Favorite White Wines from Napa Valley

  • Ceja Vineyards – 2012 Chardonnay
  • Chateau Montelena – 2012 Chardonnay, 2013 Riesling

    El Molino Winery

    El Molino Winery

  • Clos Du Val – 2012 Lone Cypress Ranch Chardonnay
  • Crocker & Starr – 2013 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc
  • El Molino Winery – 2012 Chardonnay
  • Encanto Vineyards – 2013 Sauvignon Blanc
  • Foley Johnson Wines – 2012 Estate Sauvignon Blanc
  • Grgich Hills Estate – 2012 Fume Blanc
  • Hendry– 2013 Albariño, 2013 Pinot Gris
  • Herb Lamb Vineyards – 2013 Two Old Dogs Sauvignon Blanc
  • Honrama Cellars – 2013 Sauvignon Blanc
  • Lagier Meredith – 2011 Chester’s Anvil (Roussanne) 
  • Larry Hyde & Sons – 2012 Carneros Chardonnay
  • Mario Bazán Cellars – 2013 Sauvignon Blanc
  • Matthiasson Wines – 2013 Linda Vista Vineyard Chardonnay

    Pride Mountain Vineyards

    Pride Mountain Vineyards

  • Pride Mountain Vineyards – 2013 Viognier, 2012 Chardonnay
  • Robert Sinskey Vineyards – 2012 Estate Pinot Blanc
  • Round Two Wines – 2012 Vineyard C Los Carneros Chardonnay
  • Saddleback Cellars – 2012 Oakville Estate Pinot Blanc
  • Smith-Madrone – 2012 Spring Mountain District Chardonnay
  • The Hess Collection – 2012 Napa Valley Chardonnay
  • White Rock Vineyards – 2011 Chardonnay
  • ZD Wines – 2013 45th Anniversary Chardonnay


Favorite Red Wines from Napa Valley

  • Amizetta Estate Winery – 2011 Complexity (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc)  

    Chateau Montelena

    Chateau Montelena

  • Arns Winery – 2010 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Chateau Montelena – 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Clos Du Val – 2010 Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon
  • El Molino Winery – 2011 Pinot Noir
  • Foley Johnson Wines – 2010 Rutherford Estate Meritage (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc)
  • Heitz Wine Cellars – 2007 Trailside Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005 Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Lagier Meredith – 2011 Syrah
  • Monticello Vineyards – 2010 Corley State Lane Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010 Corley Yewell Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

    Volcan Cellars

    Volcán Cellars

  • Pride Mountain Vineyards – 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Robert Sinskey Vineyards – 2012 Los Carneros Pinot Noir
  • Scalon Cellars – 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Smith-Madrone – 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Tres Sabores – 2012 Rutherford Zinfandel
  • Valance – 2005 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, 2001 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Volcán Cellars – 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon
  • White Rock Vineyards – 2011 Claret (Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot)


We hope these recommendations help you enjoy some Napa wines that are tasting beautifully right now.   If you do come to the Napa Valley (either now or later), please check out our complete list of recommended wineries and restaurants (separated by region) through the “Favorites By Wine Region” link on the navigation bar above, and following the drop-down menus to the region you want to visit.  If you want to know more about the organizations sponsoring the Tastings we attended this month (and that usually take place in August each year) keep reading.

Napa Valley Wine Library Association Wine Tasting

Napa Valley Wine Library Association Wine Tasting

The Napa Valley Wine Library Association has curated an extensive collection of books, technical journals and other materials about wines and wine growing (which are available at the St. Helena Public Library) and this year marked their 52nd annual Tasting. Membership in the NVWLA helps support their mission to collect and preserve these treasures and members receive free admission to their annual Wine Tasting.


Mexican-American Vintners Association Harvest Festival

Mexican-American Vintners Association Harvest Festival

The Napa Sonoma Mexican-American Vintners Association is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote Napa and Sonoma wines produced by Mexican-American vintners, advocate quality standards for its members, highlight the contributions of Mexican-Americans to the wine industry, and to support education in Napa and Sonoma Counties. This year marked their 4th Harvest Festival.  

Family Winemakers of California is the political and policy voice for small family-owned wineries.  The association advocates the rights and interests of its members to freely produce, market, and sell their products and is dedicated to preserving the broad diversity of California wine.  After 23 years of Bay Area tastings held in San Francisco, they had their first Public Tasting in San Mateo earlier this month.





Wines (and Wineries) We’re Recommending in the Napa Valley Right Now — 3 Comments

  1. thanks so much for the very nice comments, gentlemen! I really love making Zin– “both” ways!! Truly, never thought I’d make a white wine from Zinfandel but the vintage (2011) presented itself and we’ve never looked back. Just one minor note of correction–our Rutherford estate Zinfandel (proudly spicy, ebullient and very balanced) is actually a 2012 (official release 11/1/14) not a 2013.
    Good cheer!

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