Saturday, April 06, 2013

Wine Tasting in Napa Valley - Merryvale Vineyards

I first sampled wines from Merryvale Vineyards at last year's SF Chef event in the city. Mijo, Claudia and I thought their wines we sampled were all good.

Mijo and I finally made it to the Tasting cellars of Merryvale Vineyards in St. Helena in Napa Valley where we sampled their house favorites including their proprietary red blend Profile wine. This is one of my favorite wineries in Napa Valley!

After our sumptuous lunch at Bouchon that afternoon, we drove to the next town of St. Helena where our hotel is located. The vines this time of the year are still dormant so the landscape is made up of rows and rows of spindly vines as far as the eyes can see. Despite of this, the stunning scenery of Napa Valley is undiminished.  Northern California is so blessed with natural beauty that I can't help but be thankful to live in this beautiful region. 

Merryvale - Napa Valley

We wanted this weekend to be a relaxing retreat and we were not planning to wine taste at all. We passed by Merryvale Vineyards on our way to the spa for our mud bath appointment. It is funny because even though visiting a winery was not on our list, Merryvale was on my mind during our mud and mineral baths. I remembered Merryvale from last year's SF Chef food event and their delicious wines. It was a little after 5'oclock when we got out of the spa. Afterward, I asked Mijo if he remembers Merryvale at all from last year's SF Chefs.  He does and bought my idea to dropby Merryvale Vineyards.

Merryvale - Sign

Luckily, Merryvale's tasting cellar is open until 6:30pm. This is late considering most, if not all, wineries in the valley close at 5pm. I was thinking it must be meant to be for us to be here.

Merryvale - Fountain

The tasting cellar has a big fountain by the entrance. The tasting bar was crowded even that late in the day but we were greeted by our pourer right away. I mentioned to her that it was our first time in Merryvale but we've sampled their wines before from the SF Chefs event last year. She must be new to the area and this winery because she gave me a blank look and handed just us the tasting menu.

Merryvale - Crowd

The tasting menu consisted of two kinds of tasting - the Signature Tasting and the Prestige Tasting. I quickly referred to my pictures in Flickr to try to figure out the wines we tasted at the SF Chef event. It looked like what we sampled last year were wines included in the Signature Tasting. This made us decide to get the Prestige Tasting. This tasting consisted of 2010 Napa Valley Silhouette Chardonay (Napa Valley), 2010 Stanly Ranch Estate Pinot Noir, 2008 Napa Valley Merlot, 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, and their super delicious 2009 Napa Valley Profile which is their proprietary red blend. We were keen on sampling the 2011 Carneros Pinot Noir from othe Signature Tasting so we asked our pourer if we can switch the Chardonay to this Pinot and she willingly obliged.

Merryvale - Wine tasting

I was admiring the color and the velvety quality of the wines while being poured into our glass. I tried to make quick snap shots of the wine's long legs but they were all futile attempts.

In the end, we decided to get both Pinot Noirs plus the Cabernet Sauvignon. These wines are well balanced plus I can clearly taste the fruit without being sweet at all. I have forgotten the name of our pourer who is from Santa Barbara  but she was super helpful and very knowledgeable about the wines. Is it Laurel? (I hope she forgives me!)

Merryvale - Wine bag

I can't wait to pair these wines with my favorite meals!

Merryvale Vineyards is located just off highway 29 right before downtown St. Helena in Napa Valley.


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