Summary: Experience the charm of an in house tasting at one of the top vineyard sites in Napa. What makes the vineyard at Roy Estate special? It is uniquely situated so that moderating breezes slowly ripen the grapes to optimal sugar and flavor levels. Roy Estate produces consistently ultra premium wines each year.
The breeze swirls around the summit of the Roy Estate vineyards gently moving the grapevine leaves. In late November the vines reward the senses with beautiful colors of yellows, oranges and reds. This is a magical vineyard and one of the best that Napa can offer. At one time, this land included a campsite of the Pomo Indians and their campground has been left undisturbed. The 17 acre vineyard is planted with mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with smaller plantings of Merlot and Petit Verdot.
Grapevines do extremely well in this exact location at the base of the Vaca Mountains below Atlas Peak. Breezes from San Pablo Bay move through the vineyards providing a more gradual ripening of the fruit. This unique micro-climate helps keep the vineyard a little warmer in the spring and autumn. During the summer the breezes keep the vineyard warm in the morning, cool in the afternoon and then warm again during the evening. Without the heat spikes that other regional vineyards witness, this vineyard produces wines with lower alcohols as brix levels and flavors develop to optimum values.
Charles and Shirley Roy loved the Napa region and purchased Johnny Miller’s (pro golfer) estate in 1999. The Roys established the vineyard in 2001. Originally the Roys were thinking of selling the grapes to wineries, however changed their plan when they hired Helen Turley to design the vineyard and consult with the winemaking. The first vintage was in 2004. Philippe Melka became the winemaker in 2005 and creates two wines that best reflect what the unique vineyard can consistently offer. Philippe creates wines that allows the vineyard to express itself year after year. Shirley Roy remembers each year and the unique nuances the vineyard faced that year.
Philippe creates two wines that reflect the vineyards. One is a Cabernet Sauvignon and the other is a blend, Proprietary Red Wine. After fermentation the wines age in Taransaud French oak barrels for 18 to 20 months. After bottling, the wines are aged in bottles for an additional 12 to 18 months.
The 2007 Proprietary Red Wine was a dark ruby colored wine blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. The blackberry, cherry and raspberries on the aroma and taste had hints of vanilla and minerals. The fruity finish offered bold rounded tannins. The 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon was made with 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from the estate vineyard. The dark ruby to purple colored wine had a ruby colored rim. The aroma and taste offered dark fruit together with licorice and cocoa. Bold tannins were on the fruity finish that lingered. Although both wines can pair with many foods, they are also excellent without food.
Visiting Roy Estate
Wine enthusiasts need to set up an appointment to visit Roy Estate. After entering, one drives past the gate and along an olive tree lined road to the top of the vineyards. Shirley Roy likes to meet and greet guests at this point where one can view sweeping landscapes of the vineyards. Shirley talks about the vineyards, the land and its historical significance pointing out spots in the landscape. Shirley mentioned that at one time, the previous owners witnessed a fire. Much of the landscape was burned except a lone oak tree. Shirley sees the oak tree as an image of strength and insisted that it remain next to the vineyards when they were planted in the early 2000s.
Guests are then invited into Shirley’s home where they will taste wines in the dining room or kitchen. The wines become conversation points. The experience was of friendly camaraderie that brings people together with great wine.
1220 Soda Canyon Road
Napa, California 94558
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