Maisonry, or MA(i)SONRY in their preferred orthography, is a facility in Napa Valley that contains art and design galleries as well as specialized wine tastings showcasing the products of their winemaking partners.
All three of these screwcap-enclosed wines are made by Blackbird Vineyards, with the first two under the Maisonry marque.
2009 Maisonry Sauvignon Blanc
$32, 14.1% abv
Grapefruit peel and pith, nice balance between crisp and round. Little bit of lime peel and nice minerality on the palate. There's a soft and easy finish to it. While there's a good bit of fruit here, it's not overpowering. Serve with a simple roast chicken with lemon and rosemary and nice crispy skin.
2008 Maisonry Marsanne
$38, 14.5% abv
Alluring, slightly musky nose with an exotic melon aspect. I also got some rose petals, and there's a toffee element to the flavor while remaining bone dry. You don't get to try a lot of Marsanne on its own, so this was a real pleasure. As it is very low in acidity, it might be fun to pair this with something tart like very ripe strawberries and a sharp blue cheese. Marsanne will never be as popular as Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio, but tasting it solo will help you understand the role that it plays in balancing out white Rhone blends. Highly recommended.
2009 Blackbird Vineyards Arriviste Rosé
$24, 13.5% abv
58% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc
Aroma of dried cherries with a very subtle tomato leaf undertone. As this is a classic Bordeaux blend, it's got some serious depth and balance, with flavors that incorporate cherry, fig, cream, toast, and many other elements. If you ever wanted to convert a red wine lover to rosé, this would be an excellent choice. Unlike some wines that might be charitably described as "Kitchen Sink Pink" (and I love some of those), this is made in a very old world style, and has a certain level of dignity and class to it. While I'm sure there is a perfect pairing from the French countryside, I found that a chicken salad sandwich on good wheat bread with red leaf lettuce was a delightful accompaniment.
Note: These wines were received as a sample from the winery.