In Napa a lot lately for research, I was happy to take a peaceful break stopping by Elizabeth Spencer's as-always haven of charm and grace. It's located in the old Oakville Post Office, a small brick structure, and has a spacious garden outside with tables and couches, even. Add to that lovely views of the valley hills from the valley floor, and you've got yourself an oasis, an escape from tasting room madness.
It's a far cry from your average bland tasting room, combining the charm of the old brick building with the natural soothing qualities of garden setting.
I was there to sample two new wines this year - the old Sauvignon Blanc from Norma's vineyard in Mendocino no longer on offer (I'm happy I have a case left in my cellar).
Two merry reds are among the current releases, and both are grown and vinified biodynamically in Ukiah (Mendocino) with the certifications listed on the label - Hurrah. Aside from Grgich Hills, these may be the only bottles in Napa to carry the BD certification on the bottle. It would be great if this trend expanded.
• Petite Sirah 2009, $45
• Cabernet Sauvignon, $40