There is something so alluring about a tasting room that offers several different wineries tasting in one convenient location. Folio Winemakers Studio is one such place, and I popped int here one afternoon to do some tasting, since I happened to be stopping by.
First, a little history on Folio. Folio Winemakers Studio pours many brands, and is home to I’M (Isabel Mondavi), Oberon, Hangtime, Medusa, Spellbound and Mayro-Murdick wines. It was founded by the Michael Mondavi family in 2004. If you’re not sure which branch of the family tree Michael is on, it is the Robert Mondavi tree that sprouts these roots. Michael is Robert’s oldest son, and it was together that they founded the Napa Valley dynasty known as Robert Mondavi Winery. Now, five years after the sale of that winery, Michael has this new venture. Folio houses the Michael Mondavi home brands, but they are
I have been to Folio on a couple of occasions, but none of them compare to this trip. My Twitter friend, Lessley VanHoutan (@foliowinemakers) kept asking me when I would get up there to visit, so I finally took advantage of her offer and was treated like royalty! I arrived with Russ the Winehiker and The Brix Chicks in tow, and proceed to spend the better part of an afternoon relaxing and chatting away as we tasting through most of the reds.
I started with a flight of pinots, being my passion, but then couldn’t stop and kept moving down the list. It just got better and better, so without further ado, here are my highlights:
2005 Mayro Murdick Santa Lucia Highlands – Rich, cloves & spice. Bright cherries and cola.
2004 Trinitas Mataro – blending with Petite Sirah, and a touch of Black Malbesie (I’m sure I spelled that wrong since I can’t find it on Able Grape!) This was one of my faves. Blueberries, blackberries, dark bark. Dark chocolate. I had to take one home.
2005 Hangtime Mounts Vineyard Syrah – Because it came from one of my favorite small vineyards in Sonoma, I just HAD to try this syrah. Of course, I was not disappointed. Inky rich, cocoa deliciousness. Also came home with me.
2005 Oberon Oso Vineyard Pope Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – aged in 100% new French Oak, this was not my favorite cab, but it was a good value and tasty.
2006 Embelem Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon – Rutherford cabs are my weakness! This is a new label, and was generously poured pre-release. WOW! Chocolate, deep rich sipping wine. Classic Napa Cab but not overpowering. Very appellation specific and clearly showed the Rutherford dust. I will be back to buy this baby.
2005 Medusa Old Vine Zinfandel – easy drinking, smokey, food friendly zin. This was not a fruit bomb but was simply lovely.
With over 30 wines to pour, I highly recommend you stop by and try a few for yourself! I am headed back up there this weekend, and plan to try some of the whites, which I just skipped over since I couldn’t taste them all.
Thanks again to Lessley for a great time and see you soon!
Folio Winemakers Studio is located in Carneros, at 1285 Dealy Lane. This is just past Domaine Carneros, and a short drive from both Sonoma Valley and Napa.