Friday, August 9, 2013

Freemark Abbey Winery, May 26, 2013

I had a wine club pickup waiting for me at Freemark Abbey, so this became our next stop.  I had been waiting for months to check out the members' tasting room and the conditions finally lined up to let this happen.  When we arrived at the winery, there was a falafel truck parked behind some cones in the parking lot, and a band was playing behind the winery.  When I asked about this inside, I was told that they had a food truck event with a number of vendors that was just wrapping up, which I then remembered reading about in my e-mail.  (I had forgotten about the event because I was planning to visit Napa Valley the week before, but changed my plans at the last minute to accommodate my guest.). I was also looking forward to tasting the wines in my wine club pickup to get an idea about cellaring needs.

Inside the Member's tasting room at Freemark Abbey
The Freemark Abbey members’ tasting room is quite the contrast from the historic main tasting room.  In stark contrast, the member’s tasting room is clearly contemporary construction, with nods to the historic building’s design and construction.  There is an open-beamed ceiling echoing that in the main tasting room.  A fireplace dominates the room and creates a cozy tasting area for enjoying indoors.  The tasting bar is made of a rich dark oak and features a black stone countertop.  A large wooden wine rack provides the backdrop for the tasting bar and is topped with a crown molding.  Plenty of natural light enters the tasting room from the large windows on three of the walls, each trimmed handsomely in woodwork.  Several seating areas allow you to take your pours and enjoy them sitting down if you prefer not to stand at the bar.  Just off the back is an open deck with a view overlooking the winery’s event lawn.  The lush landscaping filters the sunlight and lends a sort of coolness to the warm afternoon sun.

Thanks to the generous wine pours at the previous stop and the abundance of bubbly at our first stop, we decided to limit our pours to just three wines.  We started with the 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, which was perfect for sipping on the members’ deck just outside.  We followed this by the wine in my pickup, the 2009 Josephine Cabernet Sauvignon.  We ended with the 2010 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon because I wanted to compare this against my memory of the 2009 Cabernet.  My clear favorite was the Josephine for its clean fruit and richness.

A full review was written already about Freemark Abbey during my visit on December 28th, 2012.

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