Living near the Napa Valley certainly has its advantages including world class wineries, scenic vistas and great parties. We are invited to a number of wine related events and parties in the valley and it gets to the point where one has to be fairly selective on which ones to attend. When we heard Hunnicutt Winery was holding a party to celebrate the completion of their wine cave and show off their beautiful property – it was not a hard choice to decide to attend this event.
Hunnicutt Wines along with D.R. Stephens Estate wine recently opened their winery in the north part of the valley about half way between Calistoga and St. Helena. This is certainly not your typical “wine strip” experience. The traffic is less here and when you pull up the hill to this appointment only winery – well off the Silverado Trail and step out of your vehicle you are immediately struck by how quiet it is.
Owner Justin Stephens was a man on a mission for the past few years – he acquired this property in 2008 and went to work managing the development of their cave for the winery operations. Today the cave is fully operational.
We were treated to excellent food by Napa based caterer Nick Heinrich of Crooked Porch Bar B Que. This guy can really cook – from his summertime cucumber salad recipe, to a mouth watering whole roasted pig, a stone ground grits and southern style Okra and corn.
Hunnicutt’s current releases complemented the food and a rare 2001 vintage large bottle format, Salmanazar, was opened featuring their first ever vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon. Hunnicutt’s red wines age very well – the wine from this vintage held its fruit and structure beautifully – there is a reason you age wine and this vintage is a good example of how it takes time for the wine to integrate and develop additional complexities.