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Tasting Guide

Tasting Guide

Welcome to Tasting Guide!  A new blog series highlighting some of my favorite wineries.  I can travel to most wineries within 75 minutes or less; so why not point a spotlight on these beauties of wine country.

I first discovered Odette Estate while surfing Instagram.  After seeing the photos, I knew it was a must visit.  I particularly enjoy visiting wineries that have the “by appointment” option and you can have an intimate wine experience.  Typically, you have a knowledgeable curator who guides you through the history, story and flavor profiles of the winery along with fabulous food pairings.   

Odette Estate produces award winning cabernet sauvignons from the famed Stags Leap District by winemaker Jeff Owens.  Odette was a pivotal character from Shakespeare and Proust.  In the wine world, Odette was one of the French judges at the infamous Paris Wine Tasting of 1976 when a red wine from Stags Leap District took top honors over their French competitor.  

I made a reservation for hubby and I for “The Estate Tasting” on a Friday late morning. Quick note, this posting is long overdue since we visited there last July – better late than never.   It was a perfect mid-summer morning in the valley – not too hot.  We first enjoyed a walking tour of the estate along with visiting the production facility.  

I love the architecture of the doors that led us to the production facility – simple yet so artistic.

We arrived back at the vineyard view estate lounge for the tasting experience.  There was a total of seven people for our tasting along with our expert guide.  The room was simple, elegant and embodied a distinct Napa Valley vibe. (Hubby on the couch)

We enjoyed four different Cabernets from Odette, Plumpjack and Cade; all part of the Plumpjack group of wineries.  The Odette Estate Cabernet was especially notable.  It is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot – a class Bordeaux blend.  The wine was medium body with intense notes of ripe dark fruits, floral notes of violets and lavender and noticeable hints of vanilla.  On the palate, the dart fruits were front and center along with creamy vanilla and chocolatey notes that lingered.

The Cade wine was simply AMAZING!  Since the wine originates from the high elevation Howell Mountain, the winemaker Danielle Cyrot crafts wine that is both intense and powerful, while maintaining a balance of fruit, acid and oak that these complex wines reflect approachability and age worthiness.  My mouth was watering when tasting the 2015 Cade Estate Cabernet Sauvignon from Howell Mountain.  The aromas were simply exuding notes of raspberry, black cherry, cedar, boysenberry, mint graham cracker and hints of floral notes.  I swirled in the glass then took a hefty sip of this divine wine to experience tastes of cherry, coffee, dark chocolate, plum and cocoa nib.  Okay – I had to buy a couple bottles of this liquid gold to take home.

Being relative locals, we had interesting table mates to converse with.  The couple who sat across from us were from Miami and quite the wine aficionados.  Arriving a bit late, two girls and a guy arrived to the tasting table – super friendly and chatty.  They flew up from Southern California to attend a wedding in Calistoga. We ended up sharing the story of how we met each other and our love for watching the Real Housewives series.  Yes, hubby loves the Real Housewives and BravoTV in general – I am one lucky girl. 

Towards the end, they were attempting selfies and thought I would help them out by taking a photo of them on their phone.  As we rapped up the tasting, each of them genuinely expressed how nice it was to meet us and the guy shook our hands.  I thought how thoughtful and polite.  We thought to ourselves, what great people but at the same time, there was a familiarity with the girl with the Australian accent.

Unbeknownst to us until the next day, the guy was Glen Powell who starred in the movie Hidden Figures playing John Glenn….. great movie by the way. He is set to be in the new Top Gun movie in 2020. He was joined by his girlfriend, Renee Bargh who is a co-host on Extra and his talented singer/songwriter sister Leslie Powell.  

Each time I have the pleasure of attending a private tasting experience, I am transported to my ultra happy place.  I am always amazed at the wonderful people I end up meeting and the vast array of excellent wines we get to taste.  I am truly blessed and appreciate each day.  Next time you are in Napa, put Odette on your list of wineries to visit – you won’t be disappointed. I promise. Cheers!

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