Monday, July 16, 2018

Whitehall Lane Cellars Winery Visit and Tasting

Whitehall Lane Cellars Rutherford Winery Visit and Tasting

We hold Whitehall Lane Napa Valley wines dating back to the turn of the century - Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, Estate and Reserve. We've passed by the Estate and Winery on St Helena Highway in Rutherford dozens of times during our trips to Napa Valley so this trip we decided to visit there during our Napa Valley Wine Experience 2018.
We try to support the family owned and operated producers and Whitehall Lane has been such since Tom Leonardini acquired Whitehall Lane Winery in March of 1993 and has been a hands on active proprietor every since with his wife and their five children. Tom was joined by son Tom Leonardini II in 1994. Tom had the Estate vineyard replanted and bought four additional vineyards including the Leonardini Vineyard. Tom II is responsible for distribution and has been instrumental in increasing sales from 15,000 cases to almost 50,000 cases today. Sister, Katie Leonardini oversees direct sales and hospitality at the winery after college and a career in the financial services industry. They are joined by eldest sibling Kristin who opened the Napa Valley Winery Exchange, a premiere retail wine shop in San Francisco. She assists Katie in public relation and hospitality events at the winery.

Whitehall Lane wines have been recognized in Wine Spectator Magazine's year-end ranking of wines, having been honored an unprecedented three times in five years for producing wines rated among the top five in the world. The winery has also been voted Winery of the Year from the Quarterly Review of Wines and Wine and Spirits Magazine.

The estate and winery in Napa Valley's historic Rutherford appellation consists of approximately 140 acres in seven prime vineyards that include the Whitehall Lane Estate Vineyard, Millenium MM Vineyard and Bommarito Vineyard in the Rutherford Appellation, the Leonardini Vineyard and Fawn Park Vineyard in St. Helena, Oak Glen Vineyard in the Oak Knoll District and Rassi Vineyard in Sonoma.

The flagship and main Estate Vineyard at adjacent to the winery is 25 acres of "Rutherford Dust" and is planted in Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc grapes. The Millenium MM Vineyard is Cabernet Sauvignon fruit while the Bommarito Vineyard is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. The Leonardini Vineyard is 14 acres of gravely soil yielding powerful Cabernet Sauvignon fruit and elegant yet intense Merlot grapes that go into the "Leonardini Vineyard" vineyard-designated wine. The Fawn Park Vineyard is on a gentle slope of Eastern hillside and produces intense Cabernet Sauvignon. The 25-acre Oak Glen Vineyard produces flavorful Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

We wanted to focus on Estate and Vineyard Designated Select wines so we had a private estate tasting. This also allowed us to taste some of their limited release vineyard designated select wines as well as some of their flagship signature wines.

The Tasting Flight:

Whitehall Lane Napa Valley Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Whitehall Lane Napa Valley Chardonnay 2016
Private tasting, shown left:
Whitehall Lane Las Brisas Carneros Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016
Whitehall Lane Napa Valley Merlot 2014
Whitehall Lane Mancino Lanciatore Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Whitehall Lane Napa Valley Syrah 2014
Whitehall Lane Napa Valley Petit Verdot 2014

Wineflight labels:

Scenes from Whitehall Lane Estate Winery and Vineyards, Rutherford

Whitehall Lane tasting room
Whitehall Lane Barrel Room

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