Tuesday, February 26, 2013
No, I haven't been to Chris's Club again, although one might be forgiven for thinking that if taking a quick glance at the lingerie enrobed mannequin in the above photograph. Yes, a mannequin wearing lingerie on a trapeze, no less. Y'know, the type of lingerie-clad mannequin on a trapeze that one would expect to find in the tank room of a Napa Valley winery. And she is not the only one.
Once a year, the owners of TWWIAGE treat the staff to a day of wine tasting (with lunch in between, Bardessono, very nice). An event we refer to as our Recon Day, it is an opportunity to do a little team-building, visit with neighbouring wineries and, perhaps, possibly pick up a few fresh ideas along the way.
First stop was Raymond Vineyards. And this, dear readers, is where I will let the above photograph do the talking for me...except I want to give an honorable mention to The Red Room which is what I imagine a French brothel looks like. Actually, one more thing; I don't believe that proprietor Jean-Charles Boisset just wanted to expand the family's wine empire to the United States: I truly believe he was asked to vacate Burgundy - tout de suite!
In stark contrast, the wine tasting experience at Gargiulo Vineyards was reverent, elegant, polished and...all about wine. Our little group tasted beautiful reds with wonderful fruit expression (focused berry-loveliness); superbly structured tannins (composed and silky); artfully balanced acidity (fill up my glass, please) and a subtle minerality (a delicate whiff of hot pebbles). We were also treated to a sneak preview of Gargiulo's 2012 Pinot grigio which is fabulous, so I bought 4 bottles. Gargiulo is a little gem of a property on the Oakville Crossroad, but they also have acreage, just a stone's throw from there, on Money Road. I don't need a thousand words to describe the visit to Gargiulo, one will do - classy!