Sooo… almost 75% of the time I find myself in Napa or starting to plan my trip, Round Pond Estate almost always seems to pop up on my radar. It makes sense when you consider it is in the heart of the Valley and whether you find yourself somewhere north near Calistoga or sipping on bubbles south in Carneros, you could easily add this stop to your itinerary in a day.
It made for a perfect afternoon for my friend Eduardo and me. We started with some coffee on nitro at Ritual, grabbed a couple empanadas at El Porteño (to have something quick and tasty in our bellies before imbibing) and didn’t leave without a couple provisions and Napa keepsakes since Oxbow Market really had it all. And Oxbow is typically how I’ll start or finish my day when I have 1 or 2 wineries on the docket. Next, we make our way to Round Pond Estate to get what we ultimately drove 1.5 hours for.
I chose Round Pond this time around because I was on the hunt for a good representation of Cab. I also wanted a good selection of other varietals since I was shopping for friends out-of-state and wanted them to have something iconic and that wouldn’t disappoint – especially considering the Holidays are here and the bottles might very well show up on the dinner table, and I wanted them to impress their friends, of course.
At Round Pond you will find the perfect setting on the rooftop patio that was completed in 2007. In the foreground of the Valley views you’ll have an elongated fireplace to really set the scene. The indoor/outdoor ambience was just right considering the weather this time of year (November) is just past harvest and not too hot or too cold. I guess you can say we got a goldilocks of days. Rest assured as we move into winter the heat lamps will provide for a cozy outdoor experience all the same. They also do a very good job at keeping guests at a minimum so for anyone concerned with COVID safety or just doesn’t like a tasting that feels too crowded (many I can name here), this is an ideal spot.
The big, bold reds will also, no doubt, keep you warm and if you’re into lighter, crisp whites they have just the variety – pun intended. Their Proprietary White (currently sold out) made of predominately Semillon and Viognier was a wonderful way to wet the palate. Made to drink young and welcome you to the lineup, this was the perfect pour while we settled in.
To see the Two Minute Winery Tour click here
Considering I came for big reds the wines that followed did not disappoint. Their Bovet Series Cabs turned out to be the exact wines I was looking for. Two different Cabernets from the same vintage with the same production methods only differing from each other by block. One Rutherford and one Oakville. Rutherford had the classic “Rutherford dust” which lends the wine an earthy structure while maintaining the perfect balance of black fruits, mocha and spice. With the Oakville similar in structure sans “dust”. Along with these was an impressive list of not just Bordeaux varietals but an array of international grapes creating a long list of small lot wines. Let’s just say your wine tasting won’t be boring and makes the wine club that much more enticing. Especially when you consider these wines aren’t easy to find outside of the winery itself. Even Wine.com and my favorite local wine retailer rarely, if ever, have even one of these bottles in stock. Winery direct is the way to go here, and if you come by for a visit I suggest stocking up. These reds are built to last!
See you on the soil!
- Reservations click here
- Best for: Rutherford Cabernet, Esoteric varietals, Estate-grown extra virgin olive oil.
- Price range: $$-$$$
- Favorite feature: Outdoor fireplace
- Favorite Wine: Bovet Cab, Rutherford
- Expert tip: Don’t leave without a bottle of Olive Oil