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Napa Valley Masterclass in Houston

Matt Stamp, Master Sommelier
I, along with most wine professionals I know, feel fortunate to have the chance to take these special event classes here in our town. Once again, Matt Stamp, Master Sommelier, came to Houston as part of the Guild of Sommeliers ongoing Masterclass series. The focus of this event was the wines of Napa Valley. It was a great class and the wine community of Houston is looking forward to more.
Along with a good review of all things Napa, it was interesting to hear Matt Stamp's take on how some of the inner AVA's should be delineated (he feels the current system doesn't do justice to the terroir variation of Napa) and what to expect from the upcoming vintages.
We also tasted three flights of great wine. All were well balanced, really nice wines that are worth seeking out. I put stars by some of my favorites.



Flight 1:
2011 Matthiasson White - A Friulian style blend with some Semillion added. Fresh, crisp, light. *
2011 Chappellet Chenin Blanc - crisp, apricot and green apple. *
2011 Massican Chardonnay - Light, crisp, clean, high acidity, no ML, citrus with some pineapple.
2000 Mayacamas Chardonnay - Coconut Creme Brulee, full body, long finish, very slight oxidation.  *
2010 Kongsgaard Chardonnay - pronounced vanilla over light lemon citrus. Full body, long finish.

Flight 2:
2010 Frog's Leap Merlot - Drinkable, soft, plum, blueberry. *
2008 Corison "Kronos" Cabernet - Elegant, firm structure, red fruit, pencil shavings, bit of mint. *
2006 Bressler Cabernet - Slightly jammy, rich blackberry flavor, firm tannins.
2010 Araujo "Eisele" Cabernet - very French. nice acidity, black fruit, pencil shavings, bit of tobacco. *
2005 Heitz "Martha's Vineyard" Cabernet - Classic Napa, ripe black fruit, cigar box, bit of eucalyptus, rich flavor, long finish. *
1992 Robert Mondavi "Reserve" Cabernet - surprisingly young! Slightly grippy tannins, over ripe black fruit flavor, bit of black olive and a slight floral note. Long finish. Just going garnet at rim, small amount of sediment.

Flight 3:
2010 Lagier Meredith Syrah, Mount Veeder - Juicy and tannic. Red fruit with chocolate dipped bacon and a slight herbal note. High tannins with good acidity, very drinkable.
2009 Spring Mountain Vineyards "Elivette", Spring Mountain District - somewhat tight. Black fruit, bit of baking spice, grippy tannins.
2009 Ovid (Pritchard Hill) - Ripe black fruit, licorice, grippy tannins.
2010 Continuum (Pritchard Hill) -Big, rich, ripe mixed cherry/berries.
2009 Dalle Valle "Maya" (Pritchard Hill) - Medium+ everything, smooth tannins, fruity-red cherry and plum. *
2008 Diamond Creek "Gravelly Meadow" Cabernet, Diamond Mountain District - tannic, youthful, cherry/berry and vanilla.
2001 Cardinale - ripe cherry/berry with chocolate and a bit of cedar, velvety tannins, long juicy finish. *

related post:
Wines of Germany Masterclass

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