2011CasaNuestraTinto2011 Casa Nuestra, Tinto St. Helena, Estate, Napa Valley.
For me, a quick trip to Napa Valley is not complete without wandering off the usual path, finding something down to earth or out of the way, so I often find my way to Casa Nuestra in St. Helena, on the Silverado Trail, this is a tranquil place and some very fun and unique wines. I admit, I most often grab a few bottles of their dry Chenin Blanc, this is one of the wine geek’s holy grail wines from Napa Valley, their are a few stumps around the estate of 100 year old Chenin vines and they make for a real treat, plus they make a very cool Riesling as well, but on this day in July 2014, I found their 2011 Tinto St. Helena, a wonderful and whack red blend, it was way too weird to pass up and it is delicious as well. I had known about Casa Nuestra’s superb Cabernet Franc since the late nineties, but the Tinto might now be my favorite of their red wines, it is a cuvee of Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Carignan, Rofosco, Alicante Bouche, Napa Gamay (Valdigue), Negrette and in fact Gray Riesling (which is not in fact Riesling as we know it) blended together artfully making for a rich and earthy wine that is deeply colored and full of character, it doesn’t taste like anything else you might have tried, especially in Napa Valley, but that is part of the charm. This Red, or Tinto, the Spanish term for red wine, is full and decedent in the mouth, but not too fruity with about 14.4% alcohol, it is well balanced, the palate shows red cherry, plum, fig paste, brown sugar dipped strawberry, truffle, earthy/dusty spices, peppercorns, soy and cedar notes. The 2011 has firm tannin, a bit of fresh acidity and a bit of bitter chocolate essence given you reason to think there is a good deal of time to enjoy this wine, though I might be hard pressed not to drink it up young, best now through 2018.
($38 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

By admin