Lunch with Shirley Roy of Roy Estate

shirley roy

It’s always fun when the Napa Vintners association comes to New York — the owners and winemakers take a break from pouring at consumer and press functions, and are able to relax a bit and talk about their wines.

I first met Shirley Roy a few years ago at a trade event … and had been very entranced by her Bordeaux style wine. So I eagerly accepted the opportunity to taste the 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon and also the 2006 ROY Estate Proprietary Red Wine.

The winery is located on Soda Canyon Road in the Napa Valley. just south of Stags Leap. Renowned winemaker Helen Turley designed the vineyard, with 17 acres planted to Cabernet, Merlot, and Petite Verdot with what Shirley calls the “Turley signature” – a tightly spaced vineyard with competing rootstock to insure concentration of fruit.

These days, the winemaker is Philippe Melka, one of the current “it winemakers” in the Napa Valley. The Proprietary Red 06 is a very lush yet balanced style of Cabernet Sauvignon, with bright acidity and excellent long finish. Very good wine, yet I prefered the 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, with its aromas of dried herbs, blueberry, violet, and chocloate and a very silky mouthfeel and long finish that is “drink now” yet can mature for many years.

Shirley created the winery with her husband over ten years ago, and today is at the helm. She has incredible enthusiasm and energy and the story of how she started her vineyards from scratch is fascinating. More updates soon!



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