Saturday, March 24, 2012

My top 10 wines, plus a few more

Last night, I popped the cork on a bottle of 2008 Titus Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Franc. I love the Titus wines for a few reasons: by Napa standards, they are fairly priced, and they are designed to be enjoyed without prolonged aging after purchase. The winery is owned by Titus brothers Philip (the winemaker) and Eric (the grape grower). The vineyards are located just north of Deer Park Road at the northern end of St. Helena.

(Philip is also the winemaker for Chappellet Vineyards.)

I think the Titus Cab Franc is very drinkable. Aromas of dark berries and dried herbs fill the glass. The palate exhibits solid flavors of cherry cola and black currant give way to a smooth finish with notes of dark chocolate and black tea. Medium plus body, but drinkable on it’s own. Ripe, juicy, bold texture. Very smooth tannins.

“This wine is definitely in my top ten,” my boyfriend said after his second sip.

As much as I liked the wine, it made me think about my top ten list. After much internal debate, here it is:

  1. Domaine Carneros Brut (because I could drink a glass of this sparkling everyday and never get tired of it)
  2. Hope & Grace Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
  3. Tamber Bey Deux Cheveux Cabernet Sauvignon
  4. Chappellet Mountain Cuvee
  5. Ladera Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
  6. Hartwell Estate Vineyards Misté Hills Cabernet Sauvignon
  7. Dutton-Goldfield Pinot Noir
  8. Hyde de Villaine de La Guerra Chardonnay
  9. Biale Black Chicken Zinfandel
  10. T-Vine Grenache

Picking only ten wines for this list wasn’t easy. Here’s four more of my favorites:

  1. Crocker & Starr Cab Franc
  2. Terra Valentine Cabernet Sauvignon
  3. Patz and Hall Pinot Noir
  4. Swanson Merlot

I purposefully did not list a vintage for these wines because I have found them to be consistently good from year to year. Check 'em out!

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