Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Wine tasting in Napa Valley - Domaine Carneros

Domaine Carneros - VineyardThis view can be seen from the Domaine Carneros chateau's outdoor terrace. We got here by chance on our way to Sonoma for the big bottle sale at Chateau St. Jean for the bottles of wine I'll be bringing with me when I visit my mom and my siblings for Christmas.

Domaine Carneros This imposing landmark perched on a hill dominating the Carneros landscape tickled our curiosity that we had to make a stop to check it out. Take note - only to check it out. But when we stepped inside the chateau of Domaine Carneros and saw the breath taking vineyard views, we decided to stay. Besides, we've had sparkling wines from this winery before and I remember that they're good.

So it was time to wine taste. Here, I noticed, you wine taste sitting down, not standing up. Inside the Chateau, there is a French royalty inspired salon and outside is their cozy outdoor terrace with the sweeping views of the Carneros wine district. We chose the outdoor.

[to read my other Wine Tasting blogs, click here ]

Domaine Carneros - Sparkling Wine SamplerFirst, we tried their sparkling wines. Some call them champagne. Both the champagne and the California sparkling wines are made using méthode champenoise so they only differ in name, really. Three kinds of sparkling wines are included here. 2006 Vintage Brut Cuvée, 2007 Brut Rosé and 2006 Demi-Sec. I really liked the rosé for its mild taste, mild aroma and refreshing taste. However, my siblings will probably appreciate more the sweeter demi-sec which is perfect when paired with Filipino holiday dishes. So for this set, we decided to get the Demi-sec and this is what I am bringing for my loved ones.

Domaine Carneros - Red Wine SamplerIncluded in the red wine sampler are their 2008 Avant-Garde Pinot Noir, 2007 Estate Pinot Noir and 2006 Avant-Garde Merlot. At first I couldn't decide which one stands out. Both Pinot Noirs are light and tasty. The merlot has a lot of body and stronger flavors. I couldn't taste which one is better tasting so I had to drink water to wash down the sweet taste from the sparkling wines we sampled earlier. After a few more tastes, Mijo helped me break the tie between the two Pinot Noirs. We decided to get the Avante-Garde one. I am not sure yet if this is the one I am bringing with me for my siblings. We'll see.

Domaine Carneros - Wine TastingWe paired both tastings with a plate of blue and semi hard cheeses and another plate of artisan sausages and pâtés served with baguettes.

Domaine Carneros is on Carneros Highway in Napa Valley, California.


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