If you want to say you knew them, “Back when they were just a little downtown Danville winery,” now is the time to stop by the AuburnJames tasting room, where you’re likely to sip one of the best not-yet-famous wines you’ve ever had.
On Wednesday the winery, which turns two in May, will release a much-anticipated Cabernet that won the gold medal at the California Cab Shootout in January on Treasure Island. (.)
While winning the top prize at a contest that features more than 300 California cabs is a great honor, this Bella Vista Vineyard Block 1 & 4 then later also won the blind public tasting of the Shootout finalists AND captured the most votes among male AND female tasters, a palatable feat for sure.
The men enjoyed the “exciting and intense aromas” of the 2009 Napa Valley blend while the ladies noted a “prevalent earthiness on the brooding nose of dried fruit.”
Don’t worry if your sense of taste isn’t so developed. The down-to-earth winery founded by Matthew Ospeck with artisan winemaker Jim Frost (see video) caters to all levels of oenophiles and aims to make everyone feel comfortable.
In a pour for Patch earlier this week, Frost emphasized that he prefers not to describe his wines, because he knows it only puts preconceived notions into the taster's mind.
As one who lives on the novice end of the wine world, I'll just describe the Bella Vista as absolutely incredible, smooth, rich and velvety, and definitely worth its $90 price tag ($63.75 for club members).
So if you’ve never stepped into this tasting room on Hartz in the heart of downtown Danville, now would be a good time. It doubles as an art gallery and offers a menu of fresh made breads, an impressive cheese menu and other small plates described as good enough to double as dinner.