It was a cold rainy morning when I sat down with Dr. Jan Krupp and Jonathan Bain to taste the mountain wines of Krupp brothers. They had set up a flight that they served with a platter of food pairings, some of which were surprising. Krupp creates many of the pairings, characteristically perhaps not worried about taking a few risks.
— 2014 Krupp Brothers Chardonnay and Comte cheese. The descriptors read “100 percent chardonnay, spontaneous malolactic fermentation partially completed” evoking “baked apples and creme brulee.” This, however, is brought into balance by a crisp acidity that made it entirely pleasant with the cheese. I found this note interesting: “Drink now through 2025.”
—2009 Krupp Brothers Veraison Red: 35 percent syrah, 29 percent cabernet sauvignon, 14 percent merlot, 12 percent malbec, 6 percent cabernet franc, 4 percent petit verdot. I find these complex blends intriguing and this was even more interesting because Bain served it with a tiny spoon full of fig jam. Sweet fig jam with all those red grapes? Sometimes I think we absorb all the tenets of food and wine pairings only to have them pleasantly upended. Foods should not be sweeter than the wine? Was it the fine balance of the wine that made it work? I don’t know but I liked it.
—2013 Krupp Brothers The Doctor with dark chocolate. What? This wine is another fascinating blend: 44 percent tempranillo, 14 percent syrah, 12 percent cab franc, 12 percent sangiovese, 8 percent cabernet sauvignon, 5 percent petit verdot and 5 percent malbec. “Try it,” Krupp urged. I did and consequently began to wonder if fabulous blends of red grapes just sing with anything you like.
—2010 Krupp Brothers Veraison Cabernet Sauvignon (97 percent cab, 2 percent cab franc, 1 percent petit verdot). Another beauty and to test my new chocolate theory I tried this wine with a bite of the previous chocolate. Nope. This lovely wine was far better served by Krupp and Bain’s choice, pairing this wine with a reserve cheddar cheese.
The final wine was the showstopper:
— 2013 M5 Cabernet Sauvignon (99 percent cabernet sauvignon, 1 percent malbec). A spectacular wine, mountain fruit at its finest, luscious, but balanced and gorgeous. I just drank it, didn’t spit and didn’t pair it anything at all.
The cost is $35 for the signature tasting of four wines, which is waived with $100 purchase. Currently the flight includes 2015 Black Bart’s Bride, 2009 Veraison Red, 2013 The Doctor and 2010 Veraison Cabernet.
Add-ons range from $7-$15 a taste and include the 2014 Chardonnay, 2014 Merlot, 2013 Synchrony and the 2013 M5 Cabernet
Available by the glass is the Krupp Brothers chardonnay ($15) and the Veraison Red ($13).
The Krupp Brothers Tasting Room, at 714 First St., Napa, is open Thursday through Monday, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, call 266-1233.