A Don’t Miss BBQ!

Judd shows off the magnum

Judd shows off the magnum

If you are ever invited to a BBQ at Judd’s Hill, I’m telling  you now, go! You won’t be sorry you did, but you should certainly cry into your wine if you miss the chance (but that might dilute your wine, so metaphorically cry into it please)! As I wrote about a couple weeks ago, we first went by Judd’s Hill with Jo, et al, on our Winos in a Limo day, where we got to try all kinds of fabulous wines and were treated to just about the best hospitality ever.  On our way out, Judd strongly encouraged us to swing by the next day as they were having a BBQ with live music and the release of the 2007 Blazing BBQ Zinfandel.  Sounded like a plan to us and we “dragged” Thea along with us!

Thea enjoys the wine. And BBQ.

Thea enjoys the wine. And BBQ.

So, not only did we get to try the fantastic Blazing BBQ Zin (we bought a three pack to take home with us, plus picked up a bottle of the 2005 Syrah) but we also got to try the 1993 Judd’s Hill Cabernet Sauvignon from a Magnum bottle.

The spread.

The spread.

1993 Judd’s Hill Cabernet Sauvignon: Mint, strawberry, red currants, chocolate, pepper, black cherry, peppers, nice use of oak, black currants, black fruit, spicy, peppery, quite smooth finish.

The band.

The band.

The live music entertained us, and the bbq filled us up to carry us through the rest of the day.  I loved that they used old wine barrels all chooped up into pieces as the wood chips to smoke all the bbq. I thought that was a great way to recycle the used barrels whose use to age wine had ended.  They actually gave us a bag to take home iwht hte purchase of the 3 pack of Zin, but we couldn’t fit it in our suitcases, sadly. We do have the recipe for the BBQ though, and hopefully it will taste great without the wne barrel chips.  The pork ribs were literally the best bbq pork ribs I’d ever had!

Barrel samples. Literally.

Barrel samples. Literally.

Many thanks to Judd and Holly for inviting us! We had a great time, loved the wine and the music, and adored the BBQ! So if you are in the area and Judd’s Hill is having a BBQ, I highly recommend that you check it out!

Up A Hill

Last week I wrote about part one of our visit to Judd’s Hill.  I still owe you a post on the most kick-ass bbq fun ever but that will have to wait for a day when it’s not so nice out and I’m more motivated to sit on my couch and type up a report.  It’s BEAUTIFUL here today, mid-70s, sunny, couldn’t ask for nicer weather.  These days are few and far between in our neck of the woods, so I’m taking advantage while I can.  We’re actually hosting a BBQ and Rosé tasting ourselves tonight!  But today I want to tell you a little bit more about one of the wines that came home with us from Judd’s Hill.  Now, as I mentioned before, the Sauvignon Blanc was bottled the day we were at Judd’s Hill.  I tried to buy some, but Judd said the bottling day special was “buy none, get two free” and wouldn’t take my money for them. (Don’t worry, I bought lots of other wines…I think we ended up with almost a full case of wine from Judd’s Hill!)  So we decided to pop the (plastic) cork on the 2008 Judd’s Hill Sauvignon Blanc, clocking in at 13.5% alcohol by volume and normally retailing for $22.

Grapefruit, grapefruit, grapefruit! The grapefruity citrus just jumps out of the glass, in fact, I wrote in my notes “grapefruity to the max!”  I also got lemon, peach, grass, orange blossoms, flowers, and some other miscellaneous citrus.  In the mouth I found ruby grapefruit, pineapple, lime, white peach, tropical notes, and an overall citrus sense.

I served this wine with parmesan baked tilapia, fresh sweet corn, and rice.  It made a great match with the tilapia (my favorite way to cook tilapia) and we also really enjoyed it after dinner.  While the wine had crisp elements, it was also well-rounded and easy to drink.  A definite bet for this summer!

Whose Hill? Judd’s Hill!

Jo and I pose!

Jo and I pose!

On our first day in Napa, for our third stop of the day with Jo and family, we headed to Judd’s Hill for tasting and lunch (thankfully, cause we were hungry!).  We enjoyed a tour of the facility and then settled in for lunch and wine with owners Judd and his wife Holly.  I’d heard of Judd before visiting because of Judd’s Enormous Wine Show, but I didn’t make the connection (I’m a bit slow at times) between that Judd and Judd’s Hill until we arrived and I put it all together.  If you haven’t check out the Enormous Wine Show, you should…it’s entirely entertaining and hilarious.

Judd’s Hill is a small, entirely family owned operation.  Judd’s father Art originally built and operated White Hall Lane in Napa, but eventually sold as the brand grew bigger than he had anticipated.  The family then purchased Judd’s Hill, aiming to keep it a small family winery, and produced the first vintage in 1989.  At this time, Judd’s Hill makes about 3000 cases of wine a year, plus provides services for a number of custom crush clients.  We enjoyed Judd’s Hill so much that we accepted Judd’s offer to return the next day for a BBQ they were hosting…more on that in another post!

Barrels!

Barrels!

2008 Judd’s Hill Sauvignon Blanc: $22. This was bottled just the morning we were there, but it was showing really well.  Lemon, crisp, melon, dry, tropical notes, grassy, meyer lemon.  Very nice.  We tried to buy two bottles, but Judd (who is hysterical by the way) said the days’ bottling sale was buy zero get two free.  So two bottles came with us anyway….!

2007 Estate Pinot Noir: $34. 100% Pinot Noir. Neutral oak.  Floral, roses, earth, cherries, raspberries, fairly dark, very young, nice structure and acidity. We bought one.

2005 Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel: $30. Sweet blackberries, pepper, ome cream, spice, black cherry, pomegrant, black fruit, raisins.

2005 Napa Cabernet: $45. Dark, earth, leather, herbal, black currants, pepper, black fruit, spice, tannic.  Judd handed Matt one of these on our way out the.  Seriously, too kind!

2005 Lodi Petite Sirah: $30. Blue fruit, red berries, dark berries, vanilla cream, nice tart fruit, cranberry, red fruit, black cherry, blueberry, chocolate, slight hint of mint.  We bought one bottle.

Judd plays us a tune or two!

Judd plays us a tune or two!

We picked up a few more bottles on our return visit the following day, I’ll tell you about those in a future post.  Judd and Holly are some of the nicest, most welcoming people I’ve met in a while.  Their hospitality can’t be beat and their enthusiasm for their wines and what they do was infecctious.  Plus, they are making some damn good wines!  I highly suggest you stop by Judd’s Hill on your next Napa trip….if you are really lucky, (as we were) Judd will bust out his eukalyle and serenade you with a tune or two!

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