A tasting room that attracts almost as many tourists as locals, Ty Caton / Muscardini. A multi-shaded puddle of wine. Varietals: Italian, Bordeaux, Rhône, more. Tasting room manager George, his colleague Jennifer, provide more than what should be expected from a wine tasting experience. In Kenwood, Napa, anywhere. During my visit, I sipped much less, MUCH MUCH LESS, than what’s available for an angled glass. The group of three ladies next to me, all a-snicker, disbelief with the bottled sagacity on their palates. One of them said to me, finishing final tears from one of the Cabs, “This is the kind wine I like…and I love this tasting room!”
So while I walked around the Room with my inaugural pour of Ty Caton’s 2010 Mendocino County Riesling, the guests exchanged wine experiences with Mr. Mike Muscardini himself, who stopped in for a fortuitous visit. I walked around, with one of the guests, a woman from just down the road (San Francisco’s Marina Disctrict), checking out the merchandise, bottles on the shelves, which of the varietals was most impressive (impossible, as not one of them was even a nano-breath under galactic). Muscardini’s label, try everything, most poignantly the ’08 Tesoro, ’08 Sangioveses (yes, there’s two), and ’09 Barbera from the Pauli Ranch in the Ukiah Valley. From Ty’s, go after the ’09 Ty Caton Cabernet, ’09 Petit Verdot and OF COURSE Ty’s Tytanium, a viciously vibrant and entrapping blend. Whatever vintage is open, taste. All wines, from both alchemical grape sages, theatrically seducing. “Wow,” said the woman from San Francisco.
Mike and Ty host a sequence of well-reputed events, that many in the valley talk about weeks before they ignite, so definitely keep in a wine country’s know. Just the type of tasting room you’d expect from Sonoma’s Valley: Human, relaxed, diversely delicious. Wanted to stay longer, sip away the Saturday with my new friends on both sides of the counter, but didn’t want to disrupt anything, or steal the space at the counter from incoming guests. I want people to experience all in this room, I thought to myself, obviously the other guests had comparable motions. Walking out, we all took pictures of the room, the bottles, the exterior in Kenwood’s Village Center. I was one of them, a visitor, tourist, enamored local wine lover. Memorable, each scenic and gustatory ingredient. Wine, conversation, what we all look for in a wined time. Sip, sip …