Few places on earth have the view, the food, the service and the amazing wine list that you will find at Auberge du Soleil. It is Nirvana in Napa. I got engaged there, and return often to enjoy the memories and make new ones.
Speaking of new, and one--the Auberge Bistro and Bar has introduced Friday Flights--a white and red flight that changes each Friday. The flights are the brainchild of Auberge's gifted and long-time Wine Director and friend, Kris Margerum. Several years ago, Kris was one of the pro palates I turned to for help in refining my The ONE red stem. So the launch of Friday Flights seemed like the perfect opportunity for us to collaborate. You get 2 oz pours of each of 3 completely different wines, served in either The ONE for white or The ONE for red-the choice of flight is up to you, of course!
You will more than likely want to try both, because Kris is creating with these flights the rare opportunity to cherry-pick the extraordinary Auberge list and try wines rarely available by the glass. For example, the launch week featured Staglin Chardonnay 2009, and bottled-aged Bordeaux from the Fronsac district. If you are coming to wine country for Labor Day Weekend, here is what's in store:
2009 Rudd Sauvignon Blanc-Mount Veeder--happens to be one of my favorite Napa Sauv Blancs
2010 Horse & Plow "Filigreen Farm" Pinot Gris-Anderson Valley--Anderson Valley in Mendocino County is becoming quite well-known for grape varietals from the French Alsace region
2006 Domaine Huet "Le Mont" Chenin Blanc Demi Sec-Vouvray--A geek favorite that Master Somm's adore
2006 Alain Graillot Syrah-Croze Hermitage--Any more, only great somm's with great wine lists can get this wine. When you taste its abundance of black pepper on raspberries flavors, you'll see why.
2007 Vision Cellars Pinot Noir-Marin County--Its "in the blood" of visionary vintner Mac McDonald. From his bio: "I was born the son of a Texas Moonshine maker. My Father, Sue, was considered by many to be the finest Moonshine maker in all of Texas, because of the fine grains he used to make his corn whiskey. My Mother Elbessie, along with her brothers and sister, made wine from the various fruit we grew." I love his Pinots.
2008 Paradigm Merlot-Oakville--Produced by wine goddess Heidi Peterson-Barrett from the estate fruit of Marilyn and Ren Harris, in the heart of Oakville. It's aptly named.
Locals' tip: Auberge Bistro & Bar doesn't take reservations which is kind of cool, but of course it will be packed this weekend. Go between lunch and dinner, or late, to be sure of grabbing a spot. Leave room for the burger (best in Napa Valley!) or the thin-crust funghi pizza. Here is a video from the terrace to give you a sneak peek. Enjoy!