First Napa Trip

My wife and I went on our first trip to Napa (and our first vacation alone since we had our first son in 2019) last weekend. What a fun time, great food, great wines. Got to have dinner with Roy Piper. Already planning a trip back.

Where’d you taste and eat? Any thoughts and reviews?

You were certainly on great hands with Roy.

Had dinner with Roy on Friday night at Mustards Grill. Very good, comfort food. Had a 2019 Piper was really good. Roy said he opened it about 6 hours prior. Also, had a 2017 Aubert Larry Hyde Chard. Before that we tasted at Heron House with a bunch of Mike Smith wines (not myriad). Really liked a Sangiovese he made for Steltzner, the other stand out was a 2019 Perchance.

Saturday, we started with Amici vineyards had a couple of chards (my wife loved their Larry Hyde) very little oak, clean and crisp. Then tasted a horizontal of their 2018 cabs Morisoli, Hindale, Missouri Hopper and To Kalon. All were very good bought some of each. Morisoli most ready to drink. Then over to Lokoya, what a beautiful place, had a really nice charcuterie plate. Tasted all their 2018 which were opened about 24 hours prior. All so good, huge wines, got a 3 pack of Veeder and joined their collectors club for a yearly allocation. Was also poured a 2011 Veeder and 2009 Howell. Veeder was ready to drink Howell seemed like to had a few more years till it peaked. Finally had dinner at La Toque which was quite good, very expensive but worth it, 1 star michilen but not far behind the 3 star places we have been to.

Only real downside was the hotel was not worth what we paid for it. No major complaints but I expect a certain level of service at a “5 star” resort at their price point and that certainly was lacking.

My wife and I went to Napa for OUR first trip this past weekend as well! I was going to do a write-up of our visits later this week.

But, given that you ate at La Toque (as did we, on Friday), and your comments about your hotel sound quite similar to our experience, I can’t help but wonder where you stayed, if you do not mind sharing?

Haven’t had the 2019 Perchance yet, but based on my tasting the 2018 back in FEB with Leah, I will be a buyer.

As for the hotel, I am going to guess it was Bardessono in Yountville. Stayed there a couple years back and while it was nice, the QPR was, ummm, lacking…

Was Alilia in St. Helena. Was through Amex Fine Hotels and resorts.

Interesting. Hospitality issues seem to be a common theme…

I was at the Westin in Napa (where La Toque is). Not quite at the same level as Alilia, I think, but not chump change. And, multiple service issues. Clearly, staffing is a problem at all of these hotels.

Glad the rest of your trip went well. Ours was great too.

The Westin was $900/night for the weekend we were there. You would think a town built on the service industry with so many options would be better.

BTW, how did you like La Toque.

19 Penchance is very good - I struggle with the pricing. Not sure it’s better than the Empryean, but it damn sure is pricier.

Yep. Exactly… Some of the stuff feels silly to complain about (super-first-world), but when they don’t make-up your room, the concierge does not call you back, and their entire breakfast wait staff walk out one day, it is pretty annoying for that amount of money…

La Toque, on the other hand: the service was ridiculously good, and the food was excellent!

Yep, first world but at the price point they are at issues are not acceptable.

La Toque was great. Bill runs up quick when you start adding the supplements.

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