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Wine Spectator School

Class 2: Napa Valley

Napa Valley: Valley Floor vs. Mountain AVAs


Tasting Goals
Compare and contrast Napa wines from valley floor and mountain AVAs. Pay special attention to fruit ripeness, tannin levels, leanness or elegance and texture.

The Four Wines
Purchase one Cabernet from each of four of Napa Valley's sub-AVAs.

  • One pair of wines should be from two different valley floor AVAs, which include Yountville, Oakville, Rutherford and St. Helena. (If you choose to get a wine from Stags Leap District, you might find it to be somewhere between a valley floor and a mountain wine in style, maybe leaner than most valley floor wines and more velvety/plush than most mountain wines.)
  • One pair of wines...

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