- Rating: 93 out of 100
- Tasting Fee: None, but each person is required to purchase 2 bottles
- Accepts Reservations: Yes
- Reservation Required: true
Napa, CA 94558
Besides Bo and Heidi Barrett, there may not be another couple in the valley that has the background, experience and reputation of Annie and Andy Erickson. Both have worked for their share of cult wineries that produced highly acclaimed wines wines and the price tags that go along with them. But now, they work for themselves at their family winery in Coombsville. The new up-and-coming AVA of the Napa Valley, Coombsville is still not on many people’s radar and wasn’t on mine until this visit. Though, knowing Annie and Andy, I knew this was going to be an incredible experience. I later found out that Coombsville winemakers like the make the anology of Coombsville is to Napa as Brooklyn is to NYC.
Located near Napa proper, it almost feels like you are driving to someone’s house when you arrive - no hills, no isolation, just another house with vineyards surrounding it. The grapevines that you see are actually the property of another winery nearby. The vines Favia owns are on sloped hills behind the house and across the way. The tasting is very intimate, by appointment only and only available on weekdays. And though there is no tasting fee, there is a minimum bottle purchase requirement that they ask you to meet while scheduling your appointment. My group didn’t have a problem with this but I encourage you to find a bottle of their wines in a shop, try it out, then decide if the style and price range are to your liking before making your own appointment.
Andy and Annie were kind enough to take time from their busy workday to come speak with our group and opened themselves up to questions. I acted like a schoolboy talking to his high school crush and locked up a bit, but did manage to ask for a picture with Andy. Though I am kicking myself that I missed the opportunity to get one with Annie… As for the wines, they were very different in style than the ones we had so far that weekend:
- 2015 Suize Viognier Amador County ($75)
- The Viognier was one of the most complex I have ever had without being overly intense and gives the great estates of Condrieu a run for their money. Needless to say, it surpasses Napa and Virginia Viogniers with ease.
- 2014 La Magdelena ($175)
- A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. The Magdelena is still very young and needs time to integrate and develop its identity. Very fresh with high acidity, but already is showing some terroir character.
- 2014 Coombsville Cabernet Sauvignon ($175)
- Again, very young and needs time before it can truly be enjoyed. This wine does not try to pretend to be a valley wine - probably one of the most compelling examples of the Coombsville terroir that I have had (besides the Cerro Sur). The wine felt a little closed, so I’d like to reserve full judgment until it’s near its optimal point.
- 2014 Cerro Sur (Cabernet Franc) ($175)
- The bottle I am most excited for - it also happens to be Andy and Annie’s favorite varietal (Cabernet Franc) and according to them, it’s also the bottle that best represents the vineyard’s sense of place. 100% Varietal Cabernet Franc is gaining traction in Napa and I think this bottle will help with that.
Although the wine tasting list was short, each bottle was a hit, which works for me! If I had to qualify Favia with a theme, it would be doing what the terroir and grapes want with precise execution and not messing anything up from the human intervention perspective. It’s a little ironic too, given the level of talent both Annie and Andy have to shape the wine to what will score well and what Napa consumers want. But I really respect this approach and will continue to give this methodology careful consideration. The red wines are all very young though and won’t hit their sweet spot for a while. And it’s not because of the tannin like other Napa wine - it is more because the wines are in hiberation and are closed in their flavors. Once they do come out of their shells though, they are going to be quite something.
So if you are looking for a little zen behind your wine, consider making a reservation at Favia! I highly recommend a morning reservation when your palate is fresh and isn’t weighed down by a heavy lunch, especially since the intensity of the wines aren’t as high as others in the valley.
Rating: 93 out of 100