12 January 2012 ~ 1 Comment

Artistic & deviant avenues at Quixote

Quixote wineryA winery that deviates from many of it’s neighbors, Quixote Winery provides a tour and tasting experience that provides insight into the mind of the man that designed it, and a point of view of the folks that make the good juice they’re serving. Located just off the Silverado Trail in Napa Valley, Quixote provides lovely estate views just about everywhere you look, and are conveniently pulled away from the side of the road. I visited on a Saturday by scoring an “I’m a lucky dog” last minute appointment for a party of 3, and enjoyed some company from another party of 3 visiting from San Diego. Upon sitting and chatting with them all, I learned that this was not their first time visiting this winery – it was on their list of places to return to again and again, and I quickly learned why this was the case. Not only are the views and art around you just spectacular (who doesn’t enjoy high-standing hills and artistic waterfalls represented by beautiful mosaic work (can you see them in the photo here?), but our guide and wine educator, Bruce, was a pleasure to spend time with on a beautiful, sunny and warm afternoon.

So, put Quixote on the list and learn all about the magic that surrounds you from a genius Viennese artist Hundertwasser and his own style of identifying how this building would come to be. (The story includes a lake that doesn’t belong and naturalism – what a wild man!) And now, my favorites from the tasting that day:

Panza 2006 Grenache-Mouvedre

The short:

  1. The flavors and aromas are pretty common to these varietals, but still a lovely wine to consume;
  2. The label doesn’t immediately remind me of anything else out there, and they have this whole line in screw caps for happy, immediate consumption. This line, however, isn’t the one with the outstanding label (see Quixote wine below)
  3. The tasting room truly does stand out and provide a shine to this 2nd label for the company. There are some great stories here;
  4. For this region, Grenache and Mouvedre are not typical varietals found here. And, it’s a shame to learn that this will be their last vintage of this blend with only 40 cases left at the time this was written. They tore these vines out to make room for more of one of their other varietals. To me, that’s a shame, as this is a blend that continues along the path of setting them apart from others in the valley…but, whatever!

The judgement: 3+ out of 5. Part of me enjoying this wine is that it’s not what’s regularly on the Napa Valley menu, and the rest of me is enjoying it because it’s their expression of Rhone (region in France) blending. And “mama” likey the Rhones.

The nerdy notes:

  • Nose: deep cherry, nice oak, deep dark fruit
  • Taste: moderate depth of dark red fruits, nice finish, hint of anise on the back end

P.S. I’ll be providing a 24-hour follow-up to this, so stay tuned!


Quixote 2005 Petite Syrah

The short:

  1. You’ll see in my Nerdy Notes section a mention of nachos and peppers. This is kind of speaking to a slight green and pepper note, but it’s not obvious. It actually took some time, swirling and digging to stumble across it, and it was there ¬†and gone in a flash;
  2. Love the label, especially considering it was designed by the same man that designed the building during an airplane trip back from visiting the site where Quixote would be built. It definitely stands out! Also, this main line of wines is also ALL in screw cap – folks, that signals to me that these are to be consumed within 5 years or less;
  3. Again, the tasting room is just one element of many that makes this winery and it’s wines stand out. Well done;
  4. Petite Syrah is around the area, but not in the TOP-top of what people think of when they think Napa Valley wines. At least, I don’t think so. Would love feedback on this from folks out there.

The judgement: 4 out of 5. Yeah baby. I was really happy with this bottle, and am ready to head back to the winery to get a bottle of this!

The nerdy notes:

  • Nose: slightly poopy upfront, big jammy fruit, currant, meaty, and nachos w/ jalepeno peppers, slight black pepper note
  • Taste: jammy raspberry/blackberry combo, meaty, nice mouthfeel and body
  • Extra-nerdy: These folks boast organic farming and plentiful cover crops for their 28 acres of estate grapes!
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One Response to “Artistic & deviant avenues at Quixote”

  1. Ryan 13 January 2012 at 9:03 pm Permalink

    Screw Caps are actually better for aging wine as it supplies a perfect seal and a similar permeability to the best corks one can buy without the TCA possibility.

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