Thursday, May 6, 2010
Location: Stag's Leap District, Napa
Temp., 73 F, Sunny
On my way to Chimney Rock, I drove the quiet Silverado Trail and could not help but to wonder and gaze at the
beautiful scenery of the vines blooming and the green colored grape leaves filling the vineyards. I just thought,
how much I love my job!
I had a meeting scheduled with Mr. Tom Trzesniewski, Retail Manager/Wine Educator and a Napa Valley native.
We met in the Tasting Room of the Dutch Cape building where Tom cordially introduced himself with a
gentleman's charm. After a short conversation he asked if I would like to accompany him on a tour throughout the
vineyard and the cellar to taste the 2008 vintage of the June release of various Chimney Rock selections from the
barrels. He handed me a tasting sample of their 2007 Elevage Blanc. Which I was intrigued by the floral and
peach aromas. I thought it would make a great, fun summer wine. Tom asked me to bring my glass along for the
barrel tasting. I followed him into the vineyard at the bottom of the Stag's Leap Mantle overlooking the newly
budded vines. Tom pointed out the Chimney Rock that was used by the Wappo's as a landmark during their
travels on Silverado Trail.
|Tom Trzesniewski, reaching in an oak barrel to obtain
a tasting sample of the 2008 vintage pre-botteled
The tasting room
|2008 vintage of Chimney Rock's
different varietals aged in Oak barrels.
2008 Elevage Blanc-this is a fun sexy white summer wine with aromas of ripe white peaches, apricots with a
pleasant long finish.
2001 Cabernet Sauvignon- Ruby red, dark cherries and a hint of vanilla, lush cassis with a well balanced silky
2002 Cabernet Sauvignon- Deep rich color with hints of black olives, cassis and lavender. A fruit forward wine that
will pair well with food.
2006 Ganymede-dark purple color with cassis, coffee and dark fruit aromas, Long finish.
2006 Tomahawk- Deep dark red color with black current, spices of pepper and clove aromas. Nice firm tannins that
will age well if laid down for a few years, with an ever lasting finish. Great with steak.
Unfortunately, it was the end of my tasting/tour and all good things must come to an end.
What a delightful 2 1/2 hours it was that I spent at Chimney Rock. Tom made me feel very comfortable and welcome,
he was able to satisfy my insatiable appetite for history and technical information about the art of winemaking, Napa
and the wine country. I highly recommend a visit to Chimney Rock and sample the fine art of Elizabeth Vianna and
her refined skill of producing some of Napa's most consistently great wines. Taking a behind the scene tour and
seeing the operation of Chimney Rock, confirmed my love of the winery and it's fabulous Cabernet Sauvignon's
which is featured in our Current Shipment, a wonderful vintage of 2001 Magnum size format that will be a struggle to
keep hands off the bottle until the last drop has been claimed. 'Till next time,
In elaborate and detailed descriptions Tom explained the scientific methods implemented by Mr. Doug Fletcher for a successful cultivation of flavor with intense and deep
colored grapes. He explained to me how the height of the vines as well as the direction of growth and the length of the vines shoulders are carefully calculated and
constructed to suit the highly acclaimed district of Stag's Leap, which is the smallest AVA of Napa. Making great wines does not end by planting a certain varietal of grape
vines, harvesting, crushing, fermenting and bottling. The careful nurturing that is used by the staff of Chimney Rock is proof that eventually you will be rewarded for your
efforts as extensively as you invest yourself. We walked over to the cellar in which the front of the building housed the 2009 vintage of different varietals produced by
Chimney Rock. They are aged in French Oak Barrels for approximately 18 months and are anticipated to be bottled June, 2011. We walked on back to the Barrel Room
which was stacked with Oak barrels 6 high that contain the 2008 vintage of different products of Chimney Rock that were completing their aging journey and will be bottled
We completed our tour and headed back to a private tasting room exquisitely set with fine stemware and a small
plate of cheese, fig and almond samplings to enhance our tasting experience.
It was time to sample from the barrels. With a wine thief in hand, Tom removed the stopper from the barrel to extract
some of the wine where he repeated the process 4 different times with four different products: Cabernet Sauvignon,
Elevage, Tomahawk Sauvignon and Ganymede Cabernet. I was delighted with the depth of color, texture and
complexity of flavors. My favorite was the 2008 Tomahawk Cabernet Sauvignon, I could just imagine how well it will
mature in the coming years.
Chimney Rock Winery
and I, left
at the front
entrance of the
style cape Dutch
of Chimney Rock.
|For The Distinctive Epicurean and Wine Enthusiast
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