Saturday, May 07, 2016
The event started well as upon arrival I was handed a taste of Chimney Rock's 2013 Sauvignon Gris (Napa Valley AVA). Sauvignon Gris is an unusual grape variety for the Napa Valley. The wine was a fairly pleasant quaff, but had a tad too high alcohol-burn thing on the finish. Viticulturalist Doug Fletcher, apparently a long time employee of Chimney Rock, (I think he even mentioned that he had been the winemaker at some point), was our vineyard tour guide for the event. I say tour, but a quick stroll across 25 yards of tarmac to the first vine in sight, in my mind, does not constitute a tour. The talk started well as Doug seemed like he was going to address such viticultural specifics as soil composition, grape varieties and clones. But he strayed off topic when someone asked him about the use of Roundup in the vineyard (the whole glycophosphate debate). And that was it, in short shrift my group was hustled from the edge of the vineyard back onto the tarmac to make way for the next group. I had a quick look at the tasting room and then departed.
All in all, this year's Afternoon in the Vineyards, and perhaps it was just this particular venue, Chimney Rock, was a bit of a disappointment. Sigh.