Downtown Napa is becoming quite the place to hang a shingle. New restaurants are popping up and re-vitalization is happening to the credit of the city. On Main Street, where some of the best restaurants in the valley can be found, a new tasting room has opened, Rocca Family Vineyards.
Mary Rocca, proprietress, has a beautiful smile. She should too… she used to be a dentist! She sold her practice to run a gourmet grocery store in Pt. Reyes (and still owns it), but has zeroed her attention to her wine. Having Celia Welch Masyczek has her winemaker certainly doesn’t hurt either. While Mary’s Rocca name is on the bottle and the building, her husband, Eric Grigsby, is definitely an influence. For starters, they had established a second label, H. Gray, which was in honor of Eric’s father and grandfather. Also, take a close look at the Bad Boy Red label; a studly black and white image of a cowboy graces the bottle. And who do you think that studly cowboy is? Eric, of course.
Unlike most other tasting rooms in the valley, Mary’s is geared more towards providing a relaxing and inviting atmosphere. Yes, there is a tasting bar, but the cozy leather chairs and living room-like feel is warm and comfortable atmosphere. Chatting with Mary, they are already considering buying some vineyard property in the Lodi area for the cultivation of some white grapes. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for a Viognier or Roussanne, and look forward to the additional fabulous wines coming from this relatively new producer!
2002 H. Gray, Amador County Zinfandel – Fruit forward on the nose, this medium-bodied entry has a spicy entry with a sweet core of fresh herbs and clean fruit. This is the one wine that Mary produces from purchased grapes; all else she harvests from her own vineyards. Fabulous bargain for a great drinking wine! $20.00
2003 Bad Boy Red, Yountville – 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Syrah, 13% Petite Sirah. Intense, dark spicy wine with a core of peppery, blackberry and boysenberry. Rich entry that is clean and dark. Amazing liqueur flavors with chocolate, tobacco, cocoa, and coffee. Easy and smooth, but with a delightful piquant kick at the end. $29.00
2001 Rocca Cabernet Sauvignon, Yountville – Big, massive Cab showing cherry, tobacco, and integrated herbs. The mouth feel has some classic dusty cocoa of the Yountville appellation, but is well balanced with vanilla and a touch of anise and dark cherry. Lovely, lingering finish. $34.00
2001 Rocca Syrah – Big blackberry wine with sweet licorice and elegant, exotic perfumey notes. Massive entry that has layers of spicy and sweet tones of black plum and blackberry, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and licorice. $38.00
Rocca Family Vineyards ~ 1130 Main Street ~ Napa ~ CA ~ 94559 ~ 707-257-8467
3 current offerings: $7.00
3 current offerings with 1 library wine: $10.00
All open bottles also sold by the glass