Occasionally (more than occasionally) I find a Napa wine that I know nothing about. Never heard of it, never seen the label, never even seen it on a menu anywhere. Yet on occasion these come highly recommended by a friend, a sommelier at a restaurant, or they even just jump out at me from a store shelf or a menu somewhere.
Such was the case with this Newton. Saw it on a menu and thought, "what the heck." It turns out that I'm not the only one who hasn't heard of this vineyard. A quick poll of some of my winemaker friends turned up some shrugged shoulders, but a couple of them pointed me in the right direction. A couple of google searches later, I know that Newton is up on Spring Mountain in Napa, and as far as I can tell seems to both produce wines under the Newton label as well as sell grapes to a select few winemakers. Their most visible wine is their "Le Puzzle" Cabernet, but they seem to have a solid planting of Merlot as well as Chardonnay.
In the case of this wine, the "cuvee" part of it comes from a blend of half Sonoma grapes and half Napa grapes -- it's unclear which vineyards they've gotten them from.
The cuvee is a honey mead color in the glass, and wafts up scents of pinapple, gardenia, and freshly cracked walnuts. The body supports sweet nectarine, jasmine, and toasted oak flavors with a slight acidity. The finish is awkward and it hangs in the front of the palate and in your nose a bit, rather than tapering to a mellow warmth like it should. I think it has probably a touch more acid than it needs and is a little over oaked, but despite its flaws is a nice picnic or BBQ Chardonnay.
I think because of its acidity and the sweetness brought on by a little too much oak, I'd pair this with something spicy, like spicy lemon crab cakes.
Overall Score: 7.5
How much?: $15
This wine is for sale at various Internet merchants.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.
La Paulee de San Francisco: March 12-15, San Francisco Vinography Images: First Light Vinography Unboxed: Week of February 2, 2014 Tasting Organic Rosé Wines from the South of France Vinography Images: Wine Lake 10 Years of Blogging About Wine Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Organic Wines of the Languedoc: An Initial Taste 2014 World of Pinot Noir Tasting: Feb 28-Mar 1, Santa Barbara, CA Vinography Images: Grape Lantern
Masuizumi Junmai Daiginjo, Toyama Prefecture Wine.Com Gives Retailers (and Consumers) the Finger 1961 Hospices de Beaune Emile Chandesais, Burgundy Wine Over Time The Better Half of My Palate 1999 KirÃ¡lyudvar "Lapis" Tokaji Furmint, Hungary What's Allowed in Your Wine and Winemaking Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Appreciating Wine in Context The Soul vs. The Market 1989 Fiorano Botte 48 Semillion,Italy