LUNA VINEYARDS

2921 Silverado Trail, Napa, California

by Sergio Sismondo

This vineyard is located on the west side of the Silverado Trail in its beginning, just north of the City of Napa. Ms. Karen Rivers manages the tasting room. Her friendly staff can explain the wines, introduce you to the Luna Vineyards Wine Club, and help you select wines and accessories you may wish to purchase from the elegant array displayed in the winery's classic and spacious tasting room. "Full of charm" is our best way to describe the wines made here, the inviting tasting room, and all of its contents. From aesthetics alone, it is one of our favorites in the Napa Valley.

OUR CHOICES.

We sampled a variety of wines including Merlot, Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese, and several specialties of the house: "Amici", "Canto" and "Mille Baci". The last one is a  superb dessert wine made entirely from Pinot Grigio which delights the palate year after year.

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All the red wines are tremendous and some offer extraordinary value for the price.

Bordeaux Blend 2002 88
Cabernet Franc, Howell Mountain, 2005 91 (2)
Cabernet-Sauvignon Napa Valley, 2004 94 (1)
Cabernet-Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese 2002 90
Cabernet-Sauvignon Arnold Palmer 2002 88
Cabernet-Sauvignon Arnold Palmer 2002 88
Chardonnay Arnold Palmer 2003 88
Chardonnay EMM, Sonoma County 2004 88
Chardonnay EMM, Sonoma County 2005 89
Merlot Napa Valley 2000 90
Merlot Napa Valley 2001 89
Merlot Napa Valley 2002 89
Merlot Napa Valley 2003 90
Merlot Napa Valley Reserve 1996 90
Merlot Napa Valley Reserve 2001 91
Merlot 2003 90
Merlot Howell Mountain 2004 91
Petite Sirah/ Zinfandel "Amici" 2001 89
Pinot Grigio Estate 2003 89
Pinot Grigio Estate 2004 90
Pinot Grigio Estate 2005 90
Pinot Grigio Estate 2006 89
Pinot Grigio, Late Harvest "Mille Baci" 2001 93
Sangiovese/ Merlot "Canto" 2000 89
Sangiovese/ Merlot "Canto" Reserve 2001 92
Sangiovese/ Merlot "Canto" Reserve 2002 92
Sangiovese/ Cabernet-Sauvignon "Mini Canto" 2002 90
Sangiovese Napa Valley 2001 89
Sangiovese Napa Valley 2002 90
Sangiovese Napa Valley 2003 90
Sangiovese Napa Valley 2004 91
Sangiovese Napa Valley 2005 90
Sangiovese Napa Valley Reserve 1996 90
Sangiovese Napa Valley Reserve 1999 91
Sangiovese Napa Valley Reserve 2002 92
Sangiovese Napa Valley Reserve 2003 91
Sangiovese Napa Valley Reserve 2004 91
Sangiovese, "Palio Vecchio" 2000 89
Sangiovese Rose, ¡°Minuet 2006 88
Teroldego - Cabernet-Sauvignon "Terrestrial" 2003 92
Teroldego, 2004 90
Tocai Friulano Monterey Co. 2003 88
Tocai - Chardonnay Monterey Co. Reserve 2003 89
White Wine "Bianco" 2003 88
White Wine "Bianco" Reserve 2002 89

(1) This great wine is made from a traditional "Meritage" blend of Cabernet-Sauvignon 75%, Merlot 15%, and Cabernet Franc 10%. We think it is one of the truly great Cabernets of Napa Valley.
(2) This Cabernet Franc is blended with 5% Cabernet-Sauvignon. Another very fine wine creation by Luna Vineyards.
  • Our preference for a white wine goes again with "Mille Baci", which is priced at $40, and we rated 93. A fabulous dessert wine with a fine structure and perfect balance.
  • Our first preference for a red wine is again the Sangiovese Reserve 2004, which is priced this year at $60.00, and which we rated 92. This wine can be enjoyed right away, or laid down for another five years.
  • Our "best value for money" choice goes to the Sangiovese of 2004 and 2005, each priced at $25, and has our ratings of 91 and 90 respectively.
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RETROSPECTIVE.

We tasted a wide range of wines, both white and red, Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese, Merlot, various Meritages, one named "Canto", and a late harvest dessert wine appropriately named "Mille Baci". All the wines were excellent, and we rated them mostly in the lower 90's.

  • Our preference for a white wine goes to "Mille Baci", 2001, a great Late Harvest Pinot Grigio. It is priced at $40 and we rated it 93.
  • Our first preference among the red wines tasted went to the Sangiovese Reserve, 2000, which we rated 94. It is priced at $60 per bottle.
  • Our second choice among the reds tasted in 2003 is "Canto", Reserve 2000, a wonderful blend of Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Cabernet-Sauvignon. It is priced at $50 and we rated it 91.
  • Our "Best value for money" choice goes to the Pinot Grigio, Estate, 2001, which is priced at $18 and which we rated 91. A great buy, in our opinion.

There is a 10% discount for a mixed or full case purchase.

We purchased a "vertical" collection of Sangiovese which we thought had been for several years a great candidate for "Best value for money": It worked out like this:

Sangiovese 1997 ($24), rated 88.
Sangiovese 1998 ($22), rated 90.
Sangiovese 1999 ($20), rated 88.
Sangiovese 2000 ($18), rated 89.
Sangiovese 2001 ($18), rated 89.
Sangiovese 2002 ($18), rated 90.
Sangiovese 2004 ($25), rated 91.
I am looking forward to the next releases.

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Kathy O'Brian, Liane Sismondo, and James DiPietro at Luna.
For more information, please visit: www.lunavineyards.com.

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