Carl Tiedemann Visits the White Oak Vineyards and Winery in Healdsburg, California

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By: Carl Tiedemann

Carl Tiedemann

On Tuesday afternoon, the third day of my Napa trip, I was returning to Napa after my impressive time at Ramey Wines and stopped at White Oak Vineyards. As I have mentioned in earlier posts, Tiedemann Wines is a distributor of White Oak Wines and my good friend Tom Pletcher has some involvement with White Oak Wines. I didn’t have an appointment but I was hoping to meet with our White Oak representative Will Hunter, Director of Sales. Unfortunately, Will had left the day before on a weeklong sales trip. I did, however, get to meet with Francesca Huson, White Oak’s Tasting Room and Events Manager and Hospitality Director and Harry Conley, Sales and Hospitality.

They asked if I would like to taste the current releases, to which I quickly replied, “Of course.” This is the second time I have been to White Oak and I have posted a previous article on the Winery and its wines. It is a lovely place and they have a very nice facility and tasting room. The visit was nice, the wines were good and the experience was worth sharing with all of you again.

What follows is a list of the wines we tasted and the winemaker’s notes and pricing:

2013 RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY SAUVIGNON BLANC: $17.00
Lead by aromatic notes of nectarine and citrus zest with a hint of cotton candy, the flavors develop into Asian pear and Mandarin orange with an integrated bit of linty minerality on the palette. The wine finishes with bright fruit and firm acidity.

2013 RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY CHARDONNAY: $24.00
Orange blossom honey, tropical fruit and savory French oak aromas form the entry into this Chardonnay and lead to flavors of baked apple and sweet, ripe stone fruit with hints of citrus and vanilla. This wine finishes long and creamy with a touch of toasty oak.

2012 RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY PINOT NOIR: $35.00
This elegant Pinot Noir shows delicate notes of cranberry and raspberry dusted with spice and earthy tones. The balanced acidity and soft tannins combine to form a lengthy finish.

2012 NAPA VALLEY SYRAH: $26.00
Warm grilled fig, with a hint of sage and cola, fold into the nose of this wine. This is followed by flavors of red currant, cocoa and raspberry. Balanced acidity and firm tannins promote a lasting finish.

2012 NAPA VALLEY MERLOT: $26.00
This Merlot has aromas of mocha, plum and cherry followed by notes of cedar, vanilla and dark chocolate in the mid-palette. This elegant wine finishes with velvety tannins and soft fruit

2012 MIGHTY OAK PROPRIETARY RED BLEND: $26.00
Aromatic notes of bright Rainer cherry and raspberry carry into the palate and are enhanced by a hint of espresso, cedar and mocha. These flavors are supported by gentle but firm tannins that lead to a long finish of black fruit and rich, toasty oak.

2012 NAPA VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON: $35.00
Bright fruit aromas of blackberry, fig and plum are supported via underlying oak notes accompanied by hints of vanilla. This balanced Cabernet Sauvignon brings dimensions of pomegranate and black currant that add depth and complexity. These flavors carry into a lengthy finish backed by firm tannin structure.

2007 ALEXANDER RESERVE: $50.00
Bright cherry, cassis and ripe plum marry together in the aromas of this wine. Firm and structured in the mouth, the flavors of cassis and black cherry combine with fine, dusty tannins. Supported by ample acidity, these flavors lead to a finish of black fruit and integrated oak.

2007 NAPA RESERVE: $50.00
This wine starts with aromas of bittersweet chocolate, dark fruit and integrated oak and follows with flavors of pomegranate, cedar and mocha. The silky mid-palate segues into a lengthy finish of black fruit judiciously accented by French oak.

2012 ALEXANDER VALLEY OLD VINE ZINFANDEL: $40.00
This Zinfandel exhibits brambly, jammy fruit from the first hint on the nose to the last sip. Jam packed with huckleberry, pomegranate and black berry, this medium body wine shows richness of fruit along with a balanced tannin structure. With a swirl to introduce some air, this wine continues to develop in the glass, providing a treat for the senses.

2007 NAPA VALLEY DESSERT WINE: $35.00
Aromas of cassis and honeysuckle lead to flavors of fig and boysenberry followed by a bright, semi-sweet finish.

It was a good tasting and I really like the Old Vine Zinfandel and the 2007 Napa Valley Dessert Wine. So much so I purchased a couple vintages of the Zinfandel and a bottle of the Port for that evening’s dinner.

The White Oak Tasting Room is open daily from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. There is a slight fee for a tasting which is refunded with a purchase of wine. If you would like to take a tour of the winery, you need to make an appointment. To do so, contact Francesca at 707-433-8429 or email her at francesca@whiteoakwinery.com.

White Oak is located north of Napa on CA-128 in Alexander Valley. It is an easy drive from Napa. Take Highway 29 north from Napa to Calistoga and keep to the left on Highway 128. It isn’t too far north of Calistoga. I would plan on a 45- to 60-minute drive from Napa. You will appreciate the scenic drive as it is a pretty county and quite beautiful.

White Oak Vineyards & Winery
7505 Highway 128
Healdsburg, CA 95448

They have an excellent Mailing List program, which you might want to consider joining so you can enjoy White Oak’s wine. On your next trip to Napa Valley I would recommend visiting White Oak Vineyards & Winery. You’ll enjoy the drive and will certainly appreciate the wines and all the friendly folks at White Oak.

Until next week,
Cheers

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