Updated: Oct 2, 2019
For those of you who have been following Grape Chic for a while now, you know that I post and write about a wide array of wines from all over the globe. Israel, Finger Lakes, Bierzo, Sicily…you name it. If I like it, I’m posting about it and telling you why you should buy it. What you don’t see a ton of on my page is wine from Napa Valley. It’s not that I don’t like wines from that region, in fact, my love for wine started in Napa Valley circa 2014. But I guess living in the middle of the country’s biggest import market, I’m saturated with wines fighting for my attention every day. I think I’ve just been waiting for that one Napa Valley wine to turn my head. One that I think stands out above the rest both in quality and value. I’ve found this in Clos Du Val.
Did I say one wine? After also tasting through their Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc, it was clear that Clos Du Val isn’t ONLY serving up world-class Cabernet Sauvignon. Their portfolio is as diverse as the flavor profiles of the wines. Call me crazy but there’s a sense of romance when sipping through their lineup, and I’m pretty sure that has to do with the rich history that comes with the name.
The estate was founded in 1972 by John and Henrietta Goelet. Being a descendant of Barton & Guestier, John had Bordeaux quite literally in his veins. Their journey lead them to a home in what is now the famed Stags Leap District. A few years after choosing the perfect parcel for their vines, they were off to the 1976 Judgement of Paris blind tasting where their wine was part of the group of that topped French wines in the 1972 Judgement of Paris blind tasting. 10 years later at the rematch, the Cabernet Sauvignon came back again to take first place.
These wines are perfect any time of the year, but in my eyes, especially in Fall. They are the kind of wines to bring over a friend’s house on football Sunday, or to serve with your newest crockpot recipe. They are wines that yearn to be shared with the people you care about most, or to be saved for a cozy night in in front of a fire.
So, without further ado, let’s talk about the wines you can purchase anytime on this side of the coast!
1. 2017 Estate Chardonnay from Carneros Napa Valley- For those of you terrified to buy any Chardonnay from Napa in the fear of getting hit in the face with a butter bomb, fear not. Although 50% of this wine does go through the process that gives a creamy mouthfeel (malolactic fermentation), I promise you it is well balanced with wonderful stone fruits, tropical fruits, and an uplifting acidity structure. 35% of this wine is aged 10 months in new French oak, and would be killer with a grilled chicken in cream sauce!
2. 2016 Estate Pinot Noir from Carneros Napa Valley- Those morning fogs and afternoon breezes rolling in off the San Pablo Bay make Pinot Noir possible in Los Carneros. Beautiful notes of strawberry, raspberry and chocolate are evident from the first sip. Due to the acid and tannin structure, this Pinot should flourish with a little age developing into stewed black cherries, wet Earth, dark cocoa and mushroom. Pair this wine with lamb skewers, or roast duck.
3. 2016 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley- What’s NOT to say about this wine? A perfect blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Petit Verdot, 9% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc, this wine will whisk you away to a cabin in the woods with a wood burning fireplace and a big cozy blanket! A luscious mouthfeel fills the palate with ripe blackberries, blueberry, vanilla, toasty oak, baking spices and chocolate. Again, the tannin, acid and alcohol structure means you could lay this one down for a while if you wanted. Best shared over a juicy peppercorn steak, or on the couch with a bag of dark chocolate.
*This was written in partnership with Clos Du Val. All opinions are my own*