Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Unique Wine Tasting Experience at CALDWELL Winery

“I only drink to make other people seem interesting.”  -George Jean Nathan-

A friend of mine recommended that we visit a winery in Napa called Caldwell.  She added that the proprietor, John Caldwell, was interesting and entertaining.  Visitation is by appointment only so we made a reservation for Sunday, February 12 at noon.

We were greeted by John Caldwell and in a very short time he proved to certainly be entertaining.  Great sense of humor and easy to talk with.  He showed us into the tasting room located in a wine cave that he had had constructed under a hill.  The temperature and humidity are constant.

John and the three of us sat at a table.  There were various tidbits of food to accompany the wines.  John explained that almost all of his wines are sold at the winery to club members, visitors (lie us) or on-line.  Only one of his wines, Rocket Science, is available outside the winery and those are sold to high end restaurants and hotels.

John's story of how he had to smuggle vines into the US of A.  He wanted vines from France.  He heard of a winemaker in Canada who had French vines and John was able to purchase some and then smuggle them across the border into New York and then get them to California.  The story is charming and convoluted and one worth hearing in person.

Those smuggled French vines are now producing some incredible wines and we were able to sample a few of them.  We started with a Syrah Rose'.  Then a Chardonnay and a Sauvignon Blanc, both exceptional.  Next, on to the reds!

First we tasted the Syrah, clone 470, a powerful, inky, Syrah, full of pepper and spice.  Then the Rocket Science, a blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Tannat, and Petit Verdot.  Loved that Rocket Science!  Last, we tasted the Caldwell "Silver," a proprietary red blend of all five Bordeaux grapes, Cabernet, Cab Franc, Merlot, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.  This blend was exceptional.

Unfortunately, John's wines are a little more expensive than we usually budget but we bought five bottles, nonetheless, and all are now resting comfortably in the wine cooler.  Two bottles of Syrah, one bottle of Caldwell Silver, and two bottles of Rocket Science.  Im gonna have to open a bottle of Rocket Science the next time we have a dinner that will pair nicely with that blend.

His wine club is called Society of Smugglers. Don't you just love it?

I heartily recommend a visit to Caldwell Winery where you will be thoroughly entertained by John and you will taste some remarkable wines.

Call for an appointment at:  707-255-1294 or email at:  They are located at:  169 Kreuzer Lane, Napa, CA  94559.   We definitely needed our GPS to find the cave.

You'll have a ton of fun and taste some mighty fine wines!  Get thee to Caldwell!

Tom da Wine Guy


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home