Vintner’s Collective, Napa

The Vintner’s Collective, on a rather unprepossessing street in the town of Napa, is an independent tasting room and wine shop, at which small producers can lease an eighteen inch square portion of the counter, licensed to them by the licensing authorities as their tasting rooms.   They have an interesting selection of wines from producers too small to have their own tasting rooms.

2004 Chardonnay, Napa Valley, Destino, 14.2%
Quite round and tropical on the nose with medium oak.  A fullish palate, with the oak building in the mouth.  This is a pleasant, full Napa Chardonnay.  Very Good/Very Good Indeed.   88/100

2005 Chardonnay, Ulises Valdez Vineyard, Russian River Valley, Mi Sueño
Bottled unfined and unfiltered.   This is more buttery and smokier on the nose than the Destino.   Clean and quite fresh on the attack, this is made in an immediately upfront, impressive style with lots of power and oak.   Rather hollow on the finish.   Very Good.   85/100

2005 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Ancien Wines,14.4%
Made by Ken Bernard, who also made the Destino Chardonnay tasted first, but this is his own label.   The nose is really nice, pure, and hugely attractive with soft red fruit and some cherry fruit.   Lovely, soft, elegant attack: this is a very focussed, elegant wine.   Very clean and focussed throughout, with good cherry and blackberry flavours in lots of layers.   Very attractive finish and after, and very long indeed.   This is really lovely stuff.   Excellent.   96/100

2003 Syrah, Perry Vineyards, Napa Valley, Richard Perry, 14.6%
300 cases produced.  Once again, the winemaker is Ken Bernard.   This has sweet black fruit on the nose, though it feels a touch simple.   Good palate: sweet fruit, but not overly so.   Nice balance, with a nice spice and some gentle tannic structure.   Very Good/Very Good Indeed.   88/100

2004 D Cubed Zinfandel, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, 14.5%
The fruit for this wine comes from the Black Sears Vineyard and the Slay Bar Vineyard in the Howell Mountains.   It has quite a gentle nose with some easy black fruit and some white pepper and chocolate blackberries.   Very attractive on the attack, this feels quite light and elegant.   It’s nicely balanced with a good structure, with fine grained tannins on the finish.   Very Good Indeed+.   94/100

2003 Mount Veeder, Napa Valley, Vinoce Vineyards, 14.4%
This is a Bordeaux blend of 60% cabernet franc, 25% cabernet sauvignon and 15% merlot, made by Brian Ness from fruit owned by the actor Robin Williams.   There’s very dark, chocolatey black fruit on the nose with an interesting fragrance.   Rather full on the palate, it is reasonably focussed, but without great interest to back it up.   It feels a bit hot towards the finish, but on the finish there are some lovely blackberry fruit flavours.   Very Good.   86/100

2000 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, Showket Vineyards, Oakville, 14.5%
The winemaker is Heidi Barrett, and the wine contains around 2% cabernet franc in the blend.   The nose has woody, cedary, sweet blackcurrant fruit.   Soft and gentle on the palate and not at all overdone.   This has very good balance and a nice character.   There are layers of black fruit, which build to a crescendo which is balanced by a decent acidity, some woody spice and some structure.   Very Good Indeed.   90/100


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Last updated: 8 January 2008