Taste of Oxbow for a Tasting of Waterstone Cabs, Syrah, Merlots & More


I went for a wine tasting at TASTE of Oxbow on Napa’s First Street recently, which featured wines of Waterstone and Mahoney Vineyards, along with gourmet food and boutique retail items.  Unlike traditional tasting rooms at a vineyard, it was a little more urban in its design and crisply decorated if you like. Modern. Stark. That kind of Scandinavia clean-lined design if you like.

On our list was the 2008 Chardonnay Carneros, which unlike traditional Napa chards, was not incredibly oakey despite the fact that it was apparently bottled in both oak and steel barrels according to Marc behind the counter. There was a lot more citrus, pear and green apple going on and maybe even a little nectarine. Bottles were $18, a little high for what it was but within range. Cheap by the glass: $6. Tastings were $10 for any four unless you had a Groupon deal like we did where we had 10 between us and then some. Thx Groupon.

Although we walked in with a box of pizza (starving from the long drive), we still went for the cheese, nut and cranberry platter as well as the free bottle which came with the deal.

I skipped over their 2008 Pinos Gris and their Rose (never been much of a Rose fan despite wine lover attempts to convert me), and jumped straight into the 2007 Pinot Nois (Las Brisas Vineyard) and the 2007 Merlot (Waterstone).

The Merlot didn’t knock my socks off to be honest despite its flavors of sweet cherry, plum and hints of vanilla and anise. It started to get much more interesting when I dove into the 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon priced at $24 which is the bottle we left with. Think currants, black cherries, plums, chocolate and yup, even a tint of tobacco – just my kind of Cab. For the price, it was worth taking home and another splash which we both had.

While not as much of a Syrah fan as I am Cabs and Zins, their 2006 Syrah from Waterstone is a good deal for $22. Here, we got ripe berries, white pepper, mocha and more of that tobacco again. Definitely a jammy wine, I couldn’t help but sneak a little more of that Machego which I’ve vowed to stay clear of for obvious reasons. Yum! 

Marc’s dry sense of humor cracked us up but there were also times where we were “Hey dude, we’re right here, you can spent more than ten seconds in front of us staying connected to what’s right in front of you. Be present for a moment, will ya?” which was kind of ironic considering he said he hates computers and stays clear of them as I had my iPhone in front of me snapping shots and sending out tweets.

An odd sight we must have been for his luddite eyes.

Then there was artsy Jerae who had a fabulous stylin’ gypsy-like dress on with a jean jacket and retro but hip brown boots on. She turned us on to Betty’s Girl on Main Street, a shop loaded with bright pinks, purples and other very girly colors. From dresses, jackets, coats and sweaters to retro boots, the price of anything includes free alterations.

Now for the last 2 worth mentioning: their 2005 Waterstone Reserve Cab which was an 80% cabernet. Jammy. Chocolate. Tobacco.

All of the best of what you love about deep rich, full bodied cabs in one bottle. $60 a bottle so not a steal but a yummy find. More reasonable and almost as delicious was their 2007 Waterstone Study in Blue (great name), which was priced at $45. This wine was a blend: 65% Cabernet, 25% Syrah and 10% Merlot.

When you’re up in Napa, go for a meander along First and Main Street, sit down at a cafe or the fabulous pizza place across from the Oxbow Grocery (get the meatball sandwich and ask for extra tomato sauce since it’s delicious) and plan your trip.

Renee Blodgett
Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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