Tim Atkin | Master of Wine


Napa Mountain Wines Report

19th Apr 2013

Napa Mountain Wines Report

Many of Napa Valley’s best-known bottlings come from fruit grown on the valley floor, and it is certainly those ripe and succulent wines that epitomize the Napa wine style. However, above the fog and the inversion layer hovering over the valley, mountain vineyards produce markedly different wines. They favor minerality over fruit flamboyance, and their structure is taut and focused rather than rounded and relaxed. These differences in wines styles are so evident that I’m surprised – as are many of the winemakers – that more attention hasn’t been devoted to them. In fact, to my knowledge, no other special feature on Napa mountain wines has been written.

This 26-page report is a crash-course in understanding Napa’s mountains, their wines and their makers. I gathered the content from my extensive conversations during producer visits over five days in Napa this February as well as a number of trade tastings in New York City in February and March. Download it for:

  • Detailed tasting notes on over three dozen of my top red, white and value wines
  • Scores on 114 wines with their average wine-searcher.com retail prices
  • Ten things you need to know about Napa mountain wines
  • My 5-, 4- and 3-star producers
  • Star ratings of the last decade of Napa mountain wine vintages widely available on the market
  • My favorite restaurants and wine bars in Napa Valley
  • My suggestions for further reading on the wines, culture and history of Napa

I hope you enjoy discovering a new perspective on Napa Valley wines. I am very fond of these wines and see that they have something truly unique to offer wine lovers.

Christy Canterbury MW

(pdf, 1.34mb)



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