Finding a good wine in Napa is no longer news. Finding a wine you love for all the right reasons is truly special.
Each year we travel to wine regions to explore food trends and wine finds. This year we spent an extended amount of time in northern CA where both are in plentiful supply.
Our most memorable winery visit was to a new spot–Young Inglewood in St. Helena. I was especially interested to try their wines. The recommendation to visit this vineyard indirectly came from Eric Asimov, the New York Times wine critic who I had recently interviewed.
Also, I was intrigued by the location of Young Inglewood’s vineyards—just west of downtown St. Helena. On two other tasting outings, the wines from this ‘neighborhood’ in St. Helena have been exceptionally good.
This valley, that’s home to many vineyards, runs along the base of the Mayacamas mountain range (think Spring Mountain, Howell Mountain, Mount Veeder). It runs vertically, kind of dividing Napa and Sonoma. Within this long narrow valley, I’m told there is a meandering vein of incredible dirt—deep, gravelly loam soils from alluvial deposits. Not all vineyards in this area are fortunate enough to lie in its path, but I’ve experienced several that are. Young Inglewood is an excellent example.
This small, family owned, organic and sustainable winery produces only a small number of cases each year. Chances are you’ll only find the wines at the winery or at very select restaurants.
Their 2012 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is delicious – velvety soft with luscious layers of black cherries, cassis and the herbaceous notes that Napa soil is known for. I detect a hint of cocoa on the finish. The wine is very well balanced – a big red you can enjoy all by itself or with the juiciest of steaks.
Young Inglewood is also producing a fantastic Malbec, perhaps not attention-getting in a Cabernet loving region like Napa, but certainly worthy of attention. It would compete with many of the Malbecs I tried in Argentina!
Put this spot on your to-do list (appointment only), or you most likely can sign up for direct wine shipments. What a wonderful holiday wine it would be!
Young Inglewood also does a Petite Verdot and a Cab blend. I’ve had the latter, and it’s fantastic if you’re a fan of Bordeaux style wines.