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Posted September 2006

Ledgewood Creek Vineyards and Winery

By Thom Elkjer

Ledgewood Creek is closer to the town of Napa than much of the Napa Valley appellation. Yet the winery and vineyards lie in Solano County’s Suisun Valley -- terra incognita for most people. Next time you’re in Napa, however, you should make the short trip and put Ledgewood Creek on your personal wine map. The wines are good, the people are welcoming, the prices are outstanding, and you can picnic almost all year ‘round if the weather cooperates (daily 11-5, 707-426-4424, www.ledgewoodcreek.com). When you visit, you may well hear about how the vineyards get a favorable balance of warm inland temperatures and cool maritime effects from nearby San Francisco Bay. You’re also likely to hear about the slew of medals Ledgewood Creek has been winning at major competitions. Here are four wines that will give you a good introduction to the winery’s style and quality:

Ledgewood Creek Sauvignon Blanc Suisun Valley Estate Grown 2005 ($12): we Sauvignon Blanc lovers have no fear of aromas of cat pee, cilantro, and celery juice – as long as there is sweet melony fruit to wrap them up in. This wine has them all, plus good body, general juiciness, and a nice fruity kick in the finish. Compare to Napa SBs costing twice as much.

Ledgewood Creek Chardonnay Suisun Valley 2004 ($14): the rich mélange of aromas features the Chardonnay classics -- apples, pears and honey; in your mouth the wine is smooth, with hints of butterscotch and grapefruit from adroit oak aging. Everything integrates into the long aftertaste. Again, compare to Napa Valley Chards costing two or even three times as much.

Ledgewood Creek Merlot Suisun Valley Estate Grown 2003 ($15): the 2003 vintage had some hot spells and this Merlot brings that strong sun into varietally accurate flavors of plums, cherries, dry earth and some savory herbs. I would decant this wine an hour before drinking it, so that the warmth can subside a bit into the ripe fruits and soft wood flavors.

Ledgewood Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2004 ($16): if most Cabernet (never mind the Napa variety) has gotten a bit too serious for you, try this and remember how much fun wine can be. It’s all sweet luscious blackberry in the aromas and flavors, which are nicely grounded in earth and oak qualities. The whole package is lively, well-fruited, and long (as in aftertaste). The price just makes it all the sweeter.

 

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