Round Pond Estate Review
Address: 875 Rutherford Rd. Rutherford,California 94558.
Phone Number: 888-302-2575
Tasting Hours: By appt. Thurs-Mon 11:00-4:00
Region: Napa Valley AVA, Rutherford AVA, California
Reviewer: Laura Cropper
Review Date: 10/26/2015
Reviewer: Laura Cropper
Round Pond Estate, owned and operated by the second generation of the MacDonnell Family, is located in Napa’s Rutherford AVA. The estate is located off Highway 128 and is just down road from the locals favorite Rutherford Grill.
Greeted by beautiful, blue agave succulents and a long driveway lined with palm trees on both sides, we had a feeling that we were about to experience something special and unique. Upon checking in for our reservation-only appointment, we were seated at a cozy table with cushioned patio chairs and couches. The path to the table led us through the rustic second-floor tasting room. The tasting room features a tasting bar, comfortable indoor seating, a small retail area, and in the center – surrounded by railing – windows providing a view into the cellar.
The staff has an evident education in wine and hospitality, and with a welcoming and warm demeanor, they regale visitors with the history of the property. The second floor terrace, with views of vineyards, mountains, palm trees and the organic estate garden, is lovely. A large fireplace, with heaters overhead if necessary, and plenty of umbrellas in signature Round Pond Orange complete the package.
The organic garden has a wide variety of fruits and vegetables which are used in the food pairings. At the furthest edge of the garden are chickens and roosters providing fresh eggs for the chefs use.
Visitors are provided a server who waits on the group restaurant-style and ensures that the experience is fabulous. Gratuity is not expected but always appreciated. On the day we visited, the service was above and beyond, and I felt gratuity was well earned. Cameron was our server, and he delivered a wonderful experience providing tasting notes, wine education and friendly conversation.
Our Estate Tasting ($50) included a Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and a Proprietary Red Blend. The Sauvignon Blanc was a bright with light citrus notes. A touch of honey on the mid palate followed by a crisp finish. The Cabernet Sauvignon, a 93 point wine scored by Robert Parker, was complex with layers of berries and plum and a finish of roasted almonds and smooth tannins. The Proprietary Red (94 points from Parker) displayed notes of black cherry and plum and finished with a touch of hazelnut and smoke. Delicious!
Accompanying the wines was a delightful plate of small food pairings designed by the chef to pair perfectly with the wines. With the sauvignon blanc there was a cucumber and honey gazpacho with some crispy prosciutto and Meyer lemon olive oil. The cabernet sauvignon paired wonderfully with an olive arrancini or fried olive risotto and roasted garlic aioli. The Proprietary Red was paired with a chili braised short rib sope that included goat cheese, micro cilantro and infused chili olive oil.
To become a part of the Round Pond family, there is a club for every type of wine and/or food lover. There are five different clubs to choose from sure to fit your needs. The most appealing to me was the Wine & Food Lovers Club which provides the member with Estate wines, Olive Oil and Vinegar – all made on the estate carrying the Round Pond label.
After tasting Round Pond’s delicious wines and mouthwatering food, taking in the beautiful scenery and strolling through the garden, I felt like I just went on a mini-vacation. What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon!