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Fun & Fantastic Napa Wines Under $40

Once or twice a month your personal wine consultants at Napa Private Tours head out on discovery trips to sample the best that Napa has to offer. From restaurants to new wineries, spas and tasting salons we strive to be exposed to the best and newest in order to design the most spectacular itineraries for our guests and friends.


Last week, thanks to Jona I had the fortune to be introduced to Acme Wines. A lovely wine tasting salon located in St. Helena. Erin, their GM hosted us with radical grace and utmost hospitality and we arrived to a lineup of the most exquisite hand-curated wines!!

The salon is absolutely gorgeous. Their wine selection lining their walls is the stuff dreams are made of. With wines ranging from $20 to $600 your budget is the limit. The selection is so sublime I felt like a little kid in a candy store!

It was awesome to see cult wines like, Levy & Mclellan,(a personal project from Bill Harlan), Pulido-Walker, Hundred Acre, Buccella, Araujo, Fantesca, Dancing Hares, Vice Versa, Keever, Entre Nous, V29, Realm, Seven Stones (this gem of viticulture is sold out-enjoy yours).

As Erin, Jona and I talked shop I decided to ask Erin about her favorite Napa wines under $40. She displayed tremendous product knowledge and Jona and I took note. We can’t wait to introduce our guests to some of these fantastic wineries.

Below my favorite finds:

Ryme Cellars, “Hers”, Vermentino, Carneros 2013 – $24
Own by Ryan and Megan Glaab are an adorable couple that met in Australia while working at Torbreck Winery.  After getting married, between the two of them they have worked at the likes of places such as Pax Wine Cellars, Peay Vineyards, Sine Qua Non, and Marcassin.  In 2007, they started Ryme Cellars, producing sustainable, food-friendly wines from mostly Italian varietals. At only 11.2% abv, this wine is all about refreshing herbaceousness, minerality, and zippy acidity.

Stony Hill, Gewurztraminer, Napa Valley 2012   –   $24
This 2012 Gewurztraminer is floral elegance in a bottle. Intensely aromatic, honeysuckle and citrus, with a lively mouthfeel and a lovely viscosity.

Farella, La Luce, Sauvignon Blanc, Coombsville 2013  — $20
From the stunning Farella Estate in Coombsville in the south east of Napa Valley, this Sauvignon Blanc is called “La Luce” both as a tribute to Tom Farella’s Italian heritage, and to the spectacular scenic beauty of this west-facing, 30 acre property.

Winemaker Tom Farella, along with Massimo Di Costanzo, worked together to make this fresh, buoyant and zesty SB, one which is vibrant and complex enough to pair with any summer dish imaginable, but also so dang pleasing that you can make it your poolside standard, too.

Frith, Grenache, Napa Valley 2012  – $34
If you ask a winemaker, sommelier, wine shop team member or winery personnel what their grape of choice is these days, they will likely tell you Grenache. Whether it comes neatly packaged in a Chateauneuf du Pape blend, or with the Spanish name Garnacha from Priorat, or simply as a proprietary name like “Upside Down” from Sine Qua Non, this varietal is appealing to many more people as of late. Why? It is typically lighter in style and can be closely related to Pinot Noir in the body department, but it can also be full-bodied and pack a punch; it all depends on the producer.

Chester’s Anvil, Malbec, Mount Veeder 2011    – $40
Just 49 cases produced! While normally wines from Mount Veeder tend to be age-worthy, (read: quite tannic) this wine is an absolute pleasure right out of the bottle – violets, plush blue and black fruit, chocolate, mint, and almonds mingle effortlessly together with a long, harmonious finish.  It’s so seamless it’s almost too easy to drink.

Experience, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2011  – $20
A local (anonymous) winemaker used his industry connections to save some premium Napa fruit and create the Refuge Wine Company, and their first wine, Experience. We love the juicy, pie-spiced fruit, the warm cedar notes and the chocolate finish. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.

I am thrilled to share our discoveries with you. These amazing wines are within reach and can be enjoyed at anytime. I take great pleasure in writing about the finest that Napa has to offer but I want to also give you options to enrich your wine cellar with everyday wines that don’t break the bank. Like always, it is my great pleasure to share with you the little secrets of this wonderful and fun industry.

Love & Hugs



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