Ah, Rowdy Tourists

Beautiful Stained Glass in Pejus Tasting Room.

Beautiful Stained Glass in Peju's Tasting Room.

Maybe I’ve been to Sonoma on the wrong days or I go to places that rowdy tourists don’t frequent, but on my 3rd day ever spent in Napa, what struck me the most were the throngs of tourists. And the fact that they had clearly been tasting (drinking?) all day. Which made some of them pretty entertaining. Especially the bachelorette party.

Anyway. The most entertaining tourists we encountered were at Peju. We swung by to visit with Kimberly April, who was working that afternoon and kindly gave us a quick tour.  We also ran into a bachelorette party that provided many laughs with their questions…we particularly enjoyed when they asked to taste something again….but we hadn’t even tried it for a first time!  We had a nice walk around the grounds with Kimberly, checked out some koi, and then toured the barrel rooms.  Peju makes about 35K cases of wine per year, and we tasted through a TON of their offerings.

Thea and Kimberly

Thea and Kimberly

2008 Chardonnay: $28. Tropical, peach, slight malo, apple butter, baked apple pie, spice, orange.

2007 Carnival French Colombard: $16. Spritzy, prickly pear, floral, tropical, lychee, spice, peach, tropical notes, apricot.

2007 Rose of Syrah: $25. Watermelon, plum, cherry, dry, lime, chalk.

At this point, Kimberly handed us off to Alan, who was hosting the group with the entertaining bachelorette party.  Alan was quite the personality…he put on a show in addition to pouring the wines.  And I mean that literally. He yodeled. And told jokes.

Matt contemplates the vines.

Matt contemplates the vines.

2006 Cabernet Franc: $45. Strawberry, mint, spice, cedar, red currant, red cherry, coffee, plum, tannic, young, earth, herbs.

2008 Sauvignon Blanc: $22. Peach, apricot, tropical, nice aroma, citrus, honey.

NV Provence: $22. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, Chardonnay, Colombard blend. Berries, floral, perfumey….odd.

2005 Estate Merlot: $35. Plum, blackberry, pepper, spice, dark, hot, smoke.

2005 Estate Syrah: $32. Plum, chocolate, red fruit, berries, smoky, campfire, red berries, red currants, licorice, tannins. Really liked this one.

Kimberly talks about fermentation.

Kimberly talks about fermentation.

2006 50/50: $85. Very bright fruit aroma, plum, black cherry, raspberries, huge, brown sugar, tannic.

2005 Estate Bottled Cabernet Cauvignon Reserve: $105. Big spice, pepper, earth, mint, eucalyptus, forest floor, plum, blackberry, chocolate.

2006 Estate Zinfandel: $28. Blackberry syrup, floral, vanilla spice, chocolate, red fruit, smooth, delicious.  We took home two or three of these, I can’t recall.

2005 Estate Cabernet Franc Reserve: $95. Cherry, vanilla, mint, brown sugar, strawberry, black fruit, red berries.

Excellent trip.  And I’m impressed that anyone pouring can maintain a straight face when girls wearing faux veils and tiaras ask if there are 4 or 6 bottles in a case of wine.

Matt, Thea, and Kimberly hang in the tasting room.

Matt, Thea, and Kimberly hang in the tasting room.