Unexpected Wines from Napa Valley with @KMacWine & @NapaVintners #SipWithKaren

What is one to do when fate knocks at your door?  Answer it of course! Imagine my euphoria when I received an invitation to meet (if only virtually) and taste with someone I consider a wine god, in this case, a goddess Ms. Karen MacNeil. The preeminent wine educator, wine consultant and author of the most comprehensive and authoritative book on wine The Wine Bible. The very first book I picked on the path of wine immersion and one I still consult on a regular basis.

Ms. MacNeil lead a virtual tasting of six unexpected Napa Valley wines, including un-oaked Chardonnay, Albariño from Carneros, an affordable Cabernet Sauvignon, and more on Twitter. Using the hashtag #SipWithKaren I tasted along with Karen from the comfort of my home, sharing our wine discoveries with fellow blogger and wine industry leaders.

So here are snippets along with tasting notes from our #SipWithKaren live twitter session:

“While the wines span a full spectrum of styles and grape varieties, one thing you can expect from is world class quality

2014 Artesa Napa Valley Albariño
AVA: Carneros; Varieties: 100% Albariño: SRP: $28.00: Vivid aromas of pear, peach and lemon are underpinned with floral notes of honeysuckle and lily. Supple on the entry, delectable stone fruits expand on the palate framed by vibrant acidity. A touch of fresh, nuanced oak melts into a delicate, long finish.

is not as dramatically aromatic as or . The understated elegant aroma is fantastic.

2013 Cornerstone Cellars Napa Valley Chenin Blanc
AVA: Napa Valley; Varieties: 100% Chenin Blanc; SRP: $25.00: wonderful fragrant aromatics of white peach, pear and apple with a hint of honey that are lifted effortlessly from the glass with the aid of a refreshing tropical citrus acidity.

“I love the crisp finish on this

2013 Robert Mondavi Winery Napa Valley Fumé Blanc
AVA: Napa Valley; Varieties: 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 10% Sémillon; SRP: $17.00: A kaleidoscope of lively tangerine and lime zest, gooseberry, honeydew melon, jasmine, and orange blossom aromas swirl into a crisp sip of lemon-lime citrus, melon, and fresh meadow flavors with a touch of pea tendrils and newly-cut ginger root in a vibrantly refreshing wine, with long, lingering finish.

“Did you know is the fourth most widely harvested wine grape variety?


2013 Alpha Omega Unoaked Napa Valley Chardonnay
AVA: Napa Valley: Varieties: 100% Chardonnay: SRP: $33.00: Clean, crisp, creamy finish.

“Ripe banana, yellow apple, cantaloupe, and a savory touch of squash blossom jump from the glass in this from

2012 Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
AVA: Napa Valley: Varieties: 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, 4% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec: SRP: $29.00: A classic Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, aromas of blackberries, dried herbs and dried floral with textural sensation of dark chocolate on the deliciously long, lingering finish.

“This offers value. Each glass would only cost you the equivalent of a Starbucks latté

“There are some places where a grape just thrives. was destined to be made in the Valley

2010 St. Supéry Estate Vineyard & Winery Dollarhide Ranch Napa Valley Petit Verdot
AVA: Napa Valley: Varieties: 97% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon: SRP: $50.00: Big, bold, deep dark purple, aromas of young blackberry and plum, flavors of blackberry and briar combine with black pepper and espresso.

“This is very focused and precise. There’s no static – it sings its song exactly


Unexpected wines from Napa

Quoting “The Wine Bible” – California is a wine’s camelot – a place of sometimes awesome beauty and high ideals; a wine region where the realm of possibility knows no bounds.

The Quick Sip on California:

  • More than 90% of the wine made in USA is made from California.
  • The state’s incredibly diverse yet beneficent climate and geography allow California wines to be made in a profusion of styles from dozens of different grape varieties.
  • California’s winemakers are among the most innovative and open to experimentation in the world.

Have you visited Napa Valley yet? Here are my observations from my trip to Napa last year.





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