The week of February 21 was Napa Valley's week to show off to the wine trade. Distributors, brokers, restaurateurs, retailers, press, bloggers, etc., all come to Napa Valley to taste not only current releases but one-of-a-kind blends (see below).
There are dozens and dozens of events held up and down the Valley by wine organizations of all types. In addition, many wineries or small groups of wineries hold special tastings.
Appellation St. Helena Trade Tasting
The first event we participated in was the Appellation St. Helena Trade Tasting (photo above left). This was held on Friday, February 25th at Charles Krug Winery in St. Helena, in their historic Carriage House. It's a great place to hold an event, although a challenging place to take photos.
Louise and I were co-chairs of this event, so we were very happy that everything went well. There were 37 Appellation St. Helena wineries pouring 81 wines. There were about 220 attendees, which is great considering how much competition for trade attention there is that day.
In honor of the venue, one of the attendees brought a bottle of 1960 (!!) Charles Krug Zinfandel. The nose was very port-like, and in fact it tasted a bit like a thin port.
Peter Mondavi Sr., patriarch of one branch of the Mondavi family, made a surprise visit to taste it. A very nice gentleman. And very spry for someone 96 years old!
Premiere Napa Valley Barrel Tasting and Auction
We also participated for the first time in the Napa Valley Vintners' Premiere Napa Valley event (I wrote about this previously here).
This is a tasting and auction of 200 special blends created just for this event. These are blends of wine still in the barrel, so the winning bidders won't get their wine for some time.
For the Charnu entry, Mark developed a special blend of selected barrels of our 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon. Very tasty, even though it is still very young. Our 5-case lot brought $7,000 at the auction, which we thought was good given that we are a small winery and not yet well-known.
Charnu Winery will be pouring at several events around California in March and April, and then at the Appellation St. Helena Public Tasting on May 21st. Stay tuned for details.
Event: Angela Frucci
Peter Mondavi Sr.: Angela Frucci
Premiere auction: Jason Tinacci/Napa Valley Vintners