One of my favorite places to go in Yountville is the JCB Tasting Salon, located at the corner of Washington Street and Mulberry in the JCB Village. There is nothing better than sitting on the lush leopard print couches and sipping bubbles after a long week at work. The staff and guests have a lively energy that helps to kick off the weekend. Last week a few of my coworkers and I had the privilege to check out the latest and greatest experience that the JCB Collection is now offering: the JCB Salon Privé, a space created to allow guests a private customized tasting experience. Hence the name, Privé, meaning “private” in French.
Located directly behind the JCB Tasting Salon, JCB Salon Privé transports you to a dreamlike space decorated in shades of white with pops of red. Hanging from the ceiling are hundreds of beautiful and real red roses that will never lose their color. Impossible to ignore is the sleek red baby grand piano situated next to an impressively large and one-of-a-kind Baccarat crystal mirror which was an engineering feat getting into the space.
For the first part of our tasting we sat at a beautiful marble table with one of the largest crystals I have ever seen. Above us a replica of the Sistine Chapel transported me back to Italy. Everything in this opulent space is the essence of the witty, mad genius of Jean-Charles Boisset, owner of all things JCB.
JCB Salon Privé is seeking to not only be an experience to delight the senses, but also to be a true educator in the complexity and brilliance of Burgundy wines. With the capability to import their own Grand Cru Burgundies from the Boisset Collection in France, you will be able to try firsthand the differences between Burgundies and Napa Valley wines. It is a rare treat to try a French wine in a Napa Valley tasting room and JCB Salon Privé offers that opportunity to its visitors.
Our first pour was JCB’s first true Champagne, Gala. I have had this before and it is one of my favorite bubbles right now. It’s dry and crisp and so different from California sparkling. In true JCB fashion, the bottle is as lavish as the wine. It comes in sleek black, metallic gold and soon there will also be a platinum bottle with gold writing. Next was a delightful white Burgundy, Savigny-Lès-Beaune Blanc, from Domaine de la Vougeraie that had grapefruit, white flower and crushed rock aromas. This lovely chardonnay had good volume and plenty of mid-palate weight for the delicious and energetic, medium-bodied flavors.
For the second half of our tasting we moved into the Surrealist Room. Familiar faces, such as Walt Disney and Frenchie, Jean-Charles’ French bulldog, adorn the “ghost chairs” around the table. The table is made of plexiglass and allows the viewer to marvel at the gold and copper leaf inside and hunt for the beautiful alligator brooches within. Surrounded by mirrors that allow you to experience everyone’s reaction to the room and the wine you taste inside of it, you can’t help but look up at the fabulous crystal and red Baccarat chandelier.
The only thing more impressive than the room were the wines that were poured for us. First, we were treated to No.1 Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2012 is a future release wine and is exclusive to JCB Salon Privé with only 115 cases produced. With strong aromas of black cherry and allspice this wine transports you between the worlds of Napa Valley and France.
Last and definitely not least, we enjoyed the wine after which the room was named, the Surrealist. At $350 a bottle this wine is a true collectable. Every 200 bottles are adorned with a different crystal design and it is as opulent to drink as it is to look at it. A Petit Verdot-Cabernet Sauvignon blend, the Surrealist is a deep purple color and coats your palate with tastes of dark fruit, blackberries, and just a hint of white pepper.
JCB Salon Privé is unlike any other tasting experience. Designed to engage all the senses, JCB Salon Privé takes visitors into the brilliant and exciting mind of Jean-Charles Bossiet to create a truly unique and unforgettable experience.
Address: the JCB Village: 6505 Washington Street, Yountville CA
Hours: 11 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
Price: $65-$75-customizable experiences