Familiarity Breeds Contentment


2004 V. Sattui Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Morisoli Vineyard $50

The following pictures are in black and white.  Why you might ask?  Well, this wine, and this winery hold a very nostalgic place in my heart.  They evoke recollections of times spent in one of the most beautiful places in the world.  Black and white photos seem appropriate where great, lasting memories and reminiscence are concerned. 

Wow, am I being too deep here?  I have to say, wine experiences, make me deep…sometimes.  This is one of those times.

I have been drinking V. Sattui wines and visiting their winery for many, many years now…at least fourteen; placing me there in my early twenties.  I have been enjoying this winery and their wine before I knew what the importance of vintage year wine even was.  Before I knew what it was about wine I even liked.  Before I realized what the scientific process of making wine entailed.  Definitely, before I knew I wanted to become a winemaker.  And never in a million years did I know I would go on to actually receive a degree in winemaking.  NEVER.  But all of it stemmed from these very early, fledgling experiences with wine.

But in those early years, I fell in love with the idea of creating a product requiring a deep understanding of the academic sciences. A product mandating an artistic, focused, intuitive influence…coming only with the experience of that same scientific process.  It mesmerized me.  I was instantly taken with the process of winemaking, left wondering how I could achieve my dream.

V. Sattui is located in the heart of Napa Valley, on once rural Highway 29; now dotted with some of the most famous wineries known around the world.  Its location is right in the middle of a beautiful, long basin, surrounded by mountains on either side. 

It is also a place welcoming to families with children, celebrating good food and wine.  A plus for me as time went on.

As time passed and I had my children, this was one location we could go as a family to spend a day in the wine country.  Most Napa Valley wineries are not conducive to having little ones around and believe me that’s fine.  However, sometimes families like to take pleasure in enjoying the beautiful vineyards.  There are only a handful of places like this throughout Napa.  I think I have found all of them.  However, this is one of the best ones.

My hooligans have spent lots of time in V. Sattui’s vineyards; marveling at the grapes on the vine close to harvest.  Of course, they have tried to eat them many times, not knowing that tiny, little wine grapes have lots of hard seeds.  They have learned that now. 

This picture is of my oldest hooligan at two years old.  He is trying to pick grape clusters to bring home.  And even though he is now almost eight, he still enjoys a good run down the vineyard rows, playing hide and seek with his brother.  I don’t blame him.

When I look at these two in front of the very large winery doors, I can’t believe how much they have grown up at this place.  They have enjoyed many picnics under the trees on V. Sattui’s grounds.  It is one of the very few if not the only winery in town sporting a gourmet cheese shop and deli.  The outdoor area available to enjoy the artisanal picnic food is hands down one of the best eating areas the valley offers.  The rosemary bread and artichoke-cream cheese spread are by far my favorite.

The winery itself is quaint with lots of Old World Charm.  This is a shot of the old stone winery building. It has been here since its establishment.  This picture does not do it justice.

My hooligans have always been able to be themselves here.  This is not a hush-hush kind of place.

I’m pretty sure my little guy is telling the forklift driver where to drop the wine or the barrels he’s moving around.  This munchkin was obsessed with all things truck-like and a winery of this size has lots of action when it comes to moving heavy objects around. 

He was and still is always in heaven at this place.

As far as tasting options here…well…it is for EVERYONE.  I mean let me name a few things found here; Zins, Cabs, Syrah, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Semillon, Chardonnay, dry and off-dry Johannisberg Rieslings, Gamay Rouge, Sparkling, dessert wine, unique Italian offerings.  It is a versatile tasting menu.  Sheesh! 

Most importantly is the consistency of the wine coming out of this place.  Every vintage is continuously well done. 

It is one of the few wine clubs I continue my membership with, knowing from month to month and year to year I will be getting top quality wines for very decent prices.  I have joined and canceled many other wine clubs over the years due to the inconsistency of their winemaking practices. 

Making a wine, from year to year, reminiscent of the quality and character from the year before is the artful form of winemaking.  It is what every winemaker wants and longs to achieve.  It’s hard to do.  Somehow, this place is able to pull it off.

The wine at the beginning of this post is by far my favorite offering made by V. Sattui.  It is my go to Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.  Now, $50 might seem an outrageous price to pay for wine but if Napa Valley Cabernet is what interests you, it is considered quite affordable.  All truths be told, many Napa Cab for $50 can be quite horrible. 

This particular bottle is a single vineyard selection from the Morisoli Vineyard, located in the heart of the Rutherford Appellation; home to many of the world’s most sought after Cabernets. 

The Cabernets of this region are said to contain an elusive component known only as, “Rutherford dust” their defining quality.  I’m not sure if I have ever been able to pick out this indescribable characteristic in the wines but I do know these wines include some of my most memorable tasting experiences.

A Cabernet like this, for $50, is quite unheard of.  This particular wine has aromas of ripe red fruit, leaping at you from the glass.  Dark exotic spices become apparent, seducing your palate into a long, lingering finish.  This wine has ageability, evolving nicely as years pass. 

I buy this wine by the case.  And when I run out, I buy more.  It never fails me.  And when the urge strikes for a Napa Valley Cabernet, I know I have some up my sleeve. 

I hope one day you can experience this very special place and this very special wine with your family.  It will be worth the trip.

V. Sattui only sells its wine at the winery.   I hope you can get some.

So tell me, what did you have to drink last night?  It was Saturday you know.

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9 Comments

  1. Those pictures are priceless! Another bad night here in Cocktail Corner…much Chardonnay.

    Reply
  2. After the very bad Chard (I’m still recovering)I had earlier in the week… I had 2 pints of cider Friday night and reverted to diet rootbeer last night.

    I love your vineyard pics. Love ’em!

    I posted too quickly on Cassie, the rest of the post is up now!

    Reply
  3. Maggie 3

    Wine always makes me deep, too. Always.

    Reply
  4. Those pictures and that post…nothing short of beautiful! I think the Napa Valley is one of the most gorgeous places on Earth, really. I can’t wait to go back with hubby and the kids some day.

    Reply
  5. pam 5

    Love the pictures! Your boy is such a cutie! This wine sounds great, and I’ve written down the name to look for it here. Last night, no wine, it was margaritas. After the week I had at work, I needed them. Badly.

    Reply
  6. Pare 6

    Just gorgeous – GORGEOUS.

    (Lots of Miller High Life – and Maggie too, she just doesn’t want to admit it.)

    Reply
  7. Candi 7

    I don’t know crap about wine, but I enjoyed the photos a lot! :)

    Reply
  8. I’m afraid I went to a martini bar and danced the night away… I gave into the hard liquor and had 2 martini’s (a bikini and a cosmo) and a shot (a buttery nipple) – I am embarrassed to order that shot – makes me feel naughty…. I has been two years since my last, so Saturday night I finally worked up the nerve to order a shot… and I didn’t knock it back. It is so yummy, I just sipped it away and slowly felt my lips go numb.

    And I danced. :)

    Reply
  9. Lara 9

    Well, it’s safe to say that my answer to the question “what did you drink last night?” is “TOO MUCH”. Whoops.

    I loved this post – I have been to V. Sattui! Rob and I went there on our first trip to Napa; we bought food and lolled about under a big shady tree to sober up after a lot of tastings! Now, I wish we’d tried the wine there.

    Reply

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