A Guide to Wine at Farmstead
Located in St. Helena Farmstead’s wine list is Napa Valley-centric, no question about that. It has many known names as well as some of Northern California’s finest artisan producers. However, it is sprinkled with enough international selections to attract not only visitors but also locals who want to broaden their horizons.
Starting in bubbles, you’ll find some of Napa’s better sparkling wines including Shramsberg Blanc de Noirs ($52) and Domaine Carneros Brut Rose ($52) but there are just as many Champagnes with growers such as Lallement, Pierre Peters and Savart having a presence.
Naturally, the list is laden with California Chardonnay stylistically ranging from Matthiasson’s crisp 2013 Luna Vista ($46) to Pahlmeyers’s 2012 “Jayson" ($90), which is much richer. You’ll also see a handful of local Sauvignon Blanc and a helping of old-world whites with Germany taking up most of the real estate here.
If you want to try California Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon, Farmstead has some famous folks such as Opus One ($350 for the 2005) but especially in the PN section, you’ll notice smaller producers such as Knez and Porter Bass that are hard to find outside of California. Beyond these popular categories there are some terrific European wines including the ’06 Olga Raffault Chinon, “Les Picasses” ($60), a Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley and the ‘09 Montevertine “Le Pergole Torte” ($198), revered wines from Tuscany.
The wines by the glass are also offered in 500 ml portions. Since Long Meadow Ranch Winery, which is on the same property, owns Farmstead it is only natural that several of these wines would be poured, seven in total. This leaves the door open for wines that appeal to aficionados such as the ’12 Pithon-Paillé “Mozaik” ($13gl/$38, 500 ml) a Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley, or the ’12 Lang & Reed Cabernet Franc, “Two Fourteen,” ($18gl, $58, 500 ml).
Farmstead also features close to 20 California beers and ciders that might be tempting, especially during a warm afternoon lunch. Heading into the evening, there is a full bar if you want to kick off your dinner with a cocktail.
Yet bringing it back to wine, it is refreshing to find a wine list in Napa that reaches beyond the valley’s wines and at the same time pays homage to this world class region. It’s a hard balance for a restaurant smack dab in the center of a premier wine region but Farmstead figured it out. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why it is appreciated by tourists and at the same time, loved by the local wine community.
Photo via Farmstead.