Review: Napa Valley Brandy Co. Solera Gold

Review: Napa Valley Brandy Co. Solera Gold

Solera Gold is a new brandy from Napa Valley Brandy Co., which in itself is a new entrant into the burgeoning world of California brandy. What, with all the grapes being grown here, they needn’t all end up in table wine, right?

The brandy is unusually made from cabernet sauvignon and merlot grapes, harvested from Napa’s Coombsville AVA. Neither of those varietals is common in brandymaking. After double distillation, the finished product is aged for a minimum of 4 years in a solera system, which merits a VSOP designation.

California brandies can be exceptional. Let’s give this newcomer a try.

Initially extremely floral on the nose, the brandy shows heavy elements of honeysuckle and a more austere, earthy potpourri note. There’s a grainy quality to the aromatics that begins to dominate after the more flowery qualities dissipate, followed by a somewhat grassy note. The palate offers more complexity, though the youth of the brandy is evident throughout. Notes of golden raisins, light vanilla, mandarin orange, and a melange from the spice cabinet all make appearances here, though the backdrop is rather rustic. The brandy feels like it still needs time to coalesce, taming some of its heavier, raw alcohol notes. That somewhat chewy grainy quality endures well into the finish along with a reprise of heady florals and toasted, somewhat dusty oak.

Best as a mixer; try it in a sidecar.

80 proof.


Napa Valley Brandy Co. Solera Gold




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.

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