Boutique Napa Wine At Its Best

Lush green vineyards that roll over the hillside, majestic mountains in the back drop, Italian Villa tasting room, interactive cooking classes, and big bold Cabernet Sauvignon. These are the things that make tasting wine in Napa Valley, California a world class destination. Signorello Estate Vineyards embodies this ideal. While I’ve never been to their estate vineyard, the wine in this review provides the perfect backdrop for me. I hope the enjoyment of the wine comes through the video and the review.

Visiting Signorello offers you a wonderful experience of a 50 acre boutique winery that offers personalized tastings, Kobe beef and Cabernet Saturdays, Italian Pizza Sundays, private dinners and interactive cooking classes. Owner Ray Signorello and winemaker Pierre Birebent take great care seeing your visit is special and memorable. Signorello produces about 7000 cases of premium wine annually.

The NectarView

2008 Sinorello Estate Seta

  • The Stuff: 60% Semillon and 40% Sauvignon Blanc; aged for 10 months in 25% new French oak; 630 cases; 14.1%ABV
  • The Swirl: Light pale yellow in color, very clean and clear, great light refraction
  • The Sniff: The wine presents an immediate strong odor of white peach. Once you get beyond that there is a definite presentation of toasted cedar and nuts. A very interesting note of caramel presents itself as well.
  • The Sip: A full bodied white wine reminiscent of melons, lemon zest, and a medium toast component. A very refreshing wine that has a lot of layers and a crisp acidity. The finish is delightful and lingering.
  • The Score: At $32, this is out of the price range for a daily sipping porch wine. The great layers and complexity earn a 4/5. Find this wine on sale at $20 and you have a heck of a bargain!

92 Points Wine Enthusiast

2006 Signorello Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

  • The Stuff: 75% Cabernet, 17% Merlot, 8% Cab Franc; aged 20 months in 43% new Troncais, Nevers, and Alliers oak. Extended maceration of 25 days; 2750 cases produced; 14.3%ABV
  • The Swirl: Cloudy deep plum and crimson colors that are about 90% opaque. Lovely colors of ruby and garnet at the edges.
  • The Sniff: Very pungent aromas of dark current, dark cherries, roasted coffee beans and spiced tobacco. A very dynamic and powerful nose full of character and intrigue.
  • The Sip: Medium to full bodied wine with modest integrated tannin on the back end. Very enjoyable presentation of dark red fruit with a more smooth vanilla offering on the mid-palate. A good wine that lacks the layers that were hinted with on the nose.
  • The Score: At $50, this is certainly a full, lush and powerful wine that could be drunk now. I recommend another 2-5 years prior to opening to allow the fruit to soften and the wine to become more dynamic. 3+/5

89 points Robert Parker Issue #186, December 2009

2006 Signorello Estate Padrone

  • The Stuff: 83% Cabernet, 12% Merlot, 5% Cab Franc; aged 20 months in 70% new Troncais, Nevers, and Alliers oak; 25 days extended maceration; 625 cases produced; 14.3%ABV
  • The Swirl: Incredibly dark and inky nearing some deep black undertones. A dark stormy night of a wine that is 100% opaque.
  • The Sniff: A more subtle coy nose with elegant aroma of cranberry, cocoa, pepper and leather.
  • The Sip: The muscular mouth feel on this wine is as impressive as the hefty bottle it come in. Pure deep red fruit on the front palate that move quickly into a full bodies mid palate of raspberry and tobacco. The tannin is big and thick and demands a hearty meal to accompany it. This is a special wine that could and should lay down for another 10-20 years. Buy and hold.
  • The Score: Very impressive and full of flavor and intensity. At $110 is certainly out of the price range for most but make note of the label and pick up a bottle for the special occasion or to hold in your cellar. 4/5

92 points Robert Parker Issue #186, December 2009

Blind Cabernet Tasting Results

The Signorello reds participated in a blind Cabernet tasting that included a 2007 Walla Walla L’Ecole 41, The Edge and Fuse (reviews coming the week of 7/26). The wines were bagged and tagged and 12 participants were asked to rate them with 1 being their favorite and 5 being their least favorite. The interesting results (from lowest to highest) are below:

  • 2006 Signorello Estate Cab ($50) – Avg Score 3.8 – Received 4’s with a 2 and a 5
  • 2007 Edge Cab ($20) – Avg Score 3.6 – Received several 2’s and several 5’s
  • 2007 Fuse Cab ($25) – Avg Score 3.5 – Received all 3’s and 4’s
  • 2007 L’Ecole 41 Cab ($32) – Avg Score 2.2 – Received mostly 2’s with a 1 and a 5
  • 2006 Signorello Padrone ($110) – Avg Score 1.3 – Received all 1’s and a 2 (almost unanimous)


Owner of Nectar Tasting Room in Spokane, WA. (@nectarwine) Publisher of Spokane Wine Magazine (@spowinemag), author, speaker, consultant and internet marketer with Nectar Media (@nectarmedia)

6 comments on “Boutique Napa Wine At Its Best

  1. Steve Howe

    Let us know if you find this wine on sale for $20! (lol)

    1. drinknectar

      I sure will, Steve! Somehow, I don’t think that’s going to happen

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  3. Beth

    I posted on your Facebook page about visiting Napa (and Sonoma) last year and my experiences there. I did visit Signorello and while I thought the wines were OK, it was the only winery from which I didn’t buy wine. I did try a couple of $80-90ish Cabs, one from William Harrison and the Clone 6 Cab from Bell Wine Cellars and did buy those. My other purchases were from ZD Wines, their Chardonnay, and CADE Winery, their Sauvignon Blanc, both in the $22ish range per bottle. On my previous trip I visited Anderson’s Conn Valley and Bell Wine Cellars. Anderson’s makes an incredible Cab around $60-$70 (if you can get the 2005 vintage anywhere, snag it!) They also make great Bordeaux blends.

  4. Evan Dawson

    Per usual, nice thorough stuff, Josh.

    What is distressing to me is the common trend that reveals itself here: Two wines, similar blends, same year, one with 43% new oak, one with 70% new oak, and a price tag that predictably matches the oak treatment. Your review indicates that the wine stands up to the oak, which is obviously key, but I find that less new oak tends to equal much better value.

    The same is true in Tuscany, and particularly in Montalcino, where I almost always prefer the normales over the riservas of Brunello.

    Perhaps it shouldn’t trouble me; perhaps I should be thrilled that the wines I dig most are the ones priced lower. But it’s a trend that perpetuates the general winebuying preference for oak, because customers who think of nice wines tend to think of heavily oaked wines.

    1. drinknectar

      Thanks, Evan – it is a common trend regarding the Oak and in this case represents more than twice the price of the wine. What I found interesting was the results of the blind tasting. None of the 12 participants knew the wines under brown bag, but they did know that one of them was substantially higher in price. Almost unanimouslly the Padrone ($110) won out. Maybe it was the big heavy bottle that worked subjectively on their minds to convey quality.

      The wine was more layered in flavor and would most certainly lend itself to extended cellaring, but I still would be hard pressed to spend over $100 on a bottle of wine right now.

      Thanks for your comment



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