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Wine Blogging Wednesday:  Comfort Wines

The home of the unwashed Napa Valley tourist masses, a beacon of weekend chaos on Hwy. 29—a winery with all of the intimacy of a TGI Friday’s on, well, Friday night, is one of my comfort wines.

This winery also happens to be just about the only winery in all of California that took the time to understand the Indiana consumer permitting rules in place for direct shipping, which wins them big bonus points.  However, direct shipping shrewdness should not be any surprise for fans that know this winery.  You’re running a pretty tight business when your wines are luxury priced, but accessible to most visitors, your large array of varieties are not allocated and you only sell to consumers—at the winery, online and via various clubs.

Aside from the rancor at the winery, aside from an expansive list of wines, this winery satisfies a very important and critical criterion:  they are good.  No, they are not critically lauded.  Doubtlessly, they do not send samples to Wine Spectator, The Wine Advocate or other major critical wine reviewers, but they do hit the wine competition circuit and they win medals, many medals.

This winery has been named winner of the California State Fair Winery of the Year Award three out of the last four years, a notation that indicates that their wines won the most gold medals at the competition.

My comfort wine of choice:  V. Sattui

After I visited V. Sattui in August of this past year, some friends that are in the Napa Valley know kind of turned up their nose.  Enjoying V. Sattui wines seems to be out of favor with many people.  It is kind of like shopping at Wal-Mart when your friends do not deign to go any further below the consumer-shopping matrix than Target. 

But, to me, there is power in the popular, especially if the wines deliver.  And, in a place like Napa Valley, where gossip travels like a flu bug, there is a lot to be said for an iconoclastic guy like Daryl Sattui who not only runs the wildly popular V. Sattui, but who also has the coconuts to sink an unimaginable amount of money into a personal dream and build his castle cum winery, Castello di Amorosa.

V. Sattui wines are good.  Do not let anybody tell you differently.  They are technically correct, quintessentially Californian, include enough winemaking wherewithal to have acid for balance and are favorably priced as a slice, er, bottle of Napa Valley memory.  V. Sattui is one of my comfort wines—one I reach for when I want a reliable wine that pleases, a balm to the soul, and a safe harbor in the storm of potentially bad bottle chooses. 

Here is my review for the 2005 V. Sattui “Crow Ridge Vineyard” Zinfandel



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Comments

On 03/11, swirlingnotions wrote:

You know what . . . good for you for sticking up for your favorite!


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