The aroma of fresh coffee woke me sometime around 8:30 on Sunday morning. It had been placed outside our door on a tray, fully serviced with the proper accoutrements. The temptation to sleep in was strong, but I'd read so much about the fantastic breakfasts prepared by Phillip that we forced ourselves awake, and joined the other guests in the dining room. Cranberry corn muffins and eggs benedict with an orange hollandaise sauce were on the menu that morning.
There were eight of us at the table. A mother and daughter from the South, and two couples. I was eager to ask everyone for wine tasting recommendations, but no one wanted to get a conversation going. A B&B risk I'd forgotten about - awkward silence at the communal table.
Peter, who'd served breakfast that morning, had suggested several places; and so we began in Sonoma at Ledson. It is family -run winery housed in a 16,000 square foot faux-French Normandy "castle" with a gorgeous view, although compared to rustic Charbay, it felt like a wedding hall. Nonetheless, it was lovely and the wines were outstanding. Of note, the 2004 Reserve Redwood Valley Old Vine Zinfandel and an exquisite Reserve Pinot Noir that I couldn't buy, because it was a Future release. I seriously thought about joining their wine club so I could purchase it, and am still thinking about it. Ledson wines are only available for purchase at the winery, a very select group of wine shops and restaurants, or via the online store.
From there we stopped in at Kunde, which was forgettable; then Mayo Family Winery in Glen Ellen. We had to try the "Adventure Tasting", of course, which featured 12 wines. I have since decided that 12 wines in one tasting is too many to process. Thankfully I had my notebook, and jotted down things like " '05 Page/Nord Syrah, lucious plum, delectable, tastes like dessert", and "the Sangiovese... walking through the vineyard on a late summer afternoon"... my notes became more colorful with each glass.
The 2002 Syrah we tasted at Merryvale was glass number 25. I love Merryvale reds, particularly the Cabs, so it's always a stop for me when I am in Napa. It was the end of the day, and our server had lost track of which tasting we had ordered (we'd kind of lost track as well), so we ended up tasting 6 wines in total, including the pricey "Profile" flight and a fantastic Cabernet 2004 Reserve.
The only wine we purchased that day, oddly enough, was the Libertine from Mayo. My notes about LIbertine read: "Libertine, an easy evening wine". Not so much, it turns out. The wine is indeed true to it's name - and probably the reason we ended up outside in the hot tub, in the middle of the vineyards, at midnight.