A five minute drive from Napa’s luxury Bed and Breakfast Inn, The Inn On First, is Laird Family Estate. With its oxidized copper roof that you can see from Highway 29, it sits on a small hillock with both indoor and outdoor seating. Outdoors is where you want to be as you overlook the hills of Napa Valley as well as Laird’s vineyards.
We started with the Big Ranch Sauvignon Blanc, with a nose of green apples and pear blossoms, with crisp, floral tones and light acidity with a hint of grapefruit. Next was the Cold Creek Pinot Grigio with a hint of peach and honeydew melon, and very lemony on the tongue with a slight mineral flavor. The Cold Creek Chardonnay was next with light buttery notes, a little oak- it tasted like buttered toast when I swallowed. The second Chardonnay was the Red Hen Chardonnay, heavy on the oak and with a light minerality with citrusy tones. Interestingly, it also was more full bodied over the first one.
We moved onto the reds next, beginning with the Suscol Ranch Merlot. Big black cherry aromas, with blackberies and cinnamon, and yet a light and soft wine on the tongue, with hints of blueberries. The Suscol Ranch Syrah followed with aromas of dark fruits (plums, black cherries), light tannin on the palate with a clove-spice finish. Jillian’s Blend, a Cabernet, Syrah, Merlot blend, was filled with herbaciousness (think bell pepper) and had a soft finish. The Diamond Mountain Cabernet, 8 years old, was as soft as Cabernet could be, with great fruit flavor. It is drinkable right now, and carries flavors of raspberries and light cherries. A lovely wine. We finished with the Mast Ranch Cabernet, with dark cocoa and dark fruit on the nose, with leather undertones and some tannins on the palate. I could have used a NY steak at that moment.
Wines list from $20 to $90, with club member discounts available. If you see Ben while you’re there, or Val, tell them Jim and Jamie say hello!