Il Barone Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

Cabernet Sauvignon is King

Bradley Aden

May 5th, 2022

Cabernet Sauvignon The King of Napa Valley

Your Guide to Napa Valley Cabernet

In Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon will forever remain king. Here at Castello di Amorosa we take pride in our Cabernet Sauvignon collection. With over 16 Cabernet choices at the Castle, winemakers Brooks Painter and Peter Velleno produce a bevy of single vineyard and blended Cabernet options. Both of these styles can reflect the desires and personality of the winemaker while still presenting familiar flavors that express the typical characteristics of the Napa Valley growing regions. The main stylistic difference in Napa Valley Cabernet is illustrated in the differences between the hillside/mountain vineyards and those on flatter valley floors. Further differences are illustrated within the 16 nested American Viticultural Area (AVA’s) within Napa Valley. With a comprehensive history in Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon grapes were first planted by George Calvert Yount in 1839. In 1976, The Judgement of Paris took place, in which Napa Valley Cabernet went head up against heavily favored French wines. The event would be a blind tasting judged by France’s foremost wine experts. In the end the French judges awarded a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon as best in class, beating out a Burgundy and Bordeaux respectively. This victory marked a major turn in the perception of Napa Valley wine quality.

The valley floor itself is 30 miles long and 5 miles wide, this means there is extremely limited vineyard space. Cabernet Sauvignon is by far the dominant varietal planted by vintners, representing well over 60% of the grapes planted in Napa Valley. Wine production in the Napa Valley only represents 0.4% of the US wine production on a year by year basis.

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the resounding favorites when it comes to wine enthusiasts across the globe. The varietal has origins in France that date back to the 1600s. A red Cabernet grape plant was accidentally bred with a Sauvignon Blanc grape plant, Cabernet Sauvignon was born from this accident, and the rest is history. Today it is the most sought after variety by Wine Collectors in all regions.

Cabernet Sauvignon Blends

Wine blends often deliver increased complexity and can be more interesting than single varietal wines. In fact, some of the world’s greatest wines are made from a blend of grapes rather than a single varietal. Blending gives the advantage and potential of adding complexity to the resulting wine and provides a tapestry of multiple flavors and aromatics. It also offers an opportunity to achieve balance– the happy ‘marriage’ of fruit, acid, tannin, alcohol, and oak that makes great wines sing in perfect harmonic splendor. They also give our winemakers the freedom to make the very best wine possible, choosing vineyard sites that best balance one another. We use a blend of fruit from some of the best Cabernet Sauvignon growing regions in Napa Valley, including the Rutherford AVA, Yountville AVA, Coombsville AVA and our own Diamond Mountain District estate vineyard which surrounds the Castello. Every year our Cabernet Sauvignon blends are unique. These blends allow our winemakers a freedom to make the best wine possible. Explore our selection of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon blends below.

Il Barone   ♦   La Castellana   ♦   Sinalunga  ♦   Trenta   ♦   Cabernet NV  ♦   Quattro   ♦   Diamond Mountain   ♦   Rutherford  ♦   Grigsby   ♦   Howell

Sonoma County Pinot Noir Vineyard

Single-Vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Each individual vineyard is alive with personality and nuance that show through in every vine and every grape. These single-vineyard wines best reflect the characteristics of each unique vineyard. Our grapes are grown in some of the most coveted vineyards in the Napa Valley, a collection of the finest AVAs (American Viticultural Areas) throughout the Napa Valley. Our philosophy is to make elegant, intensely flavored, and well-balanced wines that showcase the “terroir” of each unique vineyard site. In this way, we can experience the flavor and aromas of the vineyard itself. At Castello di Amorosa every one of our wines is the pure expression of its particular vineyard. No two vineyards are alike.

Butala   ♦   Morisoli-Borges   ♦   Melanson  ♦   Rapp Ranch   ♦   Manley   ♦    Don Thomas

Sinalunga, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Cabernet Description: Sinalunga is a wine epitomizing the love, passion, quality, attention to detail, and dedication that went into the making of Castello di Amorosa. Named for the small Tuscan commune near siena which inspired Dario Sattui to construct the Castello, this Exceptional, limited-production wine is symbolic of the castle itself, a crowning achievement. The idea was to create a wine that is the best thing we’ve ever done. Put as much love in the wine as we have into the Castle and as the Monastery in Sinalunga, Italy. So we decided to name the wine Sinalunga, I hope this wine will be the epitome of everything we’ve learned, of all our love and passion for winemaking. In this way I honor Sinalunga, and all my years ive spent in Italy.
Tasting Notes: Blackberry jam, licorice and chocolate
Vineyards: A blend of the Castello’s top high-end Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards from the best growing regions of Napa Valley. Only the best vineyard blocks are used in Sinalunga production.
Featured Napa Valley AVA: This limited edition Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced primarily from top vineyards in the Rutherford AVA of Napa Valley, an area famous for producing layered and complex Cabernet Sauvignon. Rutherford AVA
Production: Extremely Limited Production
Food Pairing: This bold limited edition Cabernet Sauvignon pairs beautifully with filet mignon, roast duck, or venison with wild mushrooms.
Cellaring: Expected to easily age 20+ years.
Highest Scores/Awards: 97 Points, Jeb Dunnuck, 2018.“Lots of cassis, graphite, lead pencil, and scorched earth notes emerge from the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Sinalunga, another powerful, concentrated 2018 from Castello di Amorosa. One of the more structured, tannic wines in the lineup, it has full-bodied richness, a wonderfully pure, layered texture, and terrific balance. Bottles need a good 4-6 years of bottle age, but it should evolve for 30 years or more.”

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Il Barone, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Cabernet Description: Il Barone is a very flavorful, elegant and structured red wine in the style of high-quality, very limited-production, fine Cabernet Sauvignon wines from the Napa Valley. Our Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from our top vineyards throughout Napa Valley, and shows dense flavors of dark berries, baking spice, and powerful, structured tannins.
Tasting Notes: Enticing notes of black cherry, cassis, and dark chocolate with hints of savory spices, this full-bodied wine displays polished tannins and an elegantly balanced mouthfeel.
Vineyards: Sourced from our top vineyards throughout Napa Valley, selected vineyards change year to year depending on quality.
Featured Napa Valley AVA: The majority of the fruit comes from the Rutherford AVA, a region famed for producing beautifully structured and complex Cabernet Sauvignon.
Production : Limited Production
Food Pairing: Pair with foods as bold as the wine, such as roast game meats, grass-fed steak, or grilled portabello mushrooms with reduced balsamic vinegar glaze.
Cellaring: Expected to easily age 10-20 years
Highest Scores/Awards: 96 Points – Jeb Dunnuck – 2017 “The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Il Barone (there’s 5% Merlot in the blend) is a selection geared to be a rich, powerful wine and it succeeds admirably, offering full-bodied richness and depth, awesome tannin quality, no hard edges, and a complex notes of black and blue fruits, Asian spices, chocolate, and earthy, forest floor nuances. It’s another brilliant wine in this lineup.”

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Trenta, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Cabernet Description: Trenta is an artfully crafted Cabernet Sauvignon as impressive and unique as the Castello itself. This powerful blend was aged in new French oak barrels for 30 months, a year longer than any other Castello di Amorosa reserve wine. This extended aging deeply integrates the oak  to compliment the intense black fruit profile of the wine, elevating the aroma, flavor, and texture. The barrel also provides soft finishing touches which showcase the Cabernets deep flavor
Tasting Notes: velvety soft tannins and intense black cherry and currant flavors. Dense and complex with toasted oak notes that carry these fruit forward flavors throughout the finish. The additional time in the barrel provides the Cabernet with rich depth and deeper complex flavors of Caramel, Light Smoke & Hazelnut.
Vineyards: Sourced from our top vineyards throughout Napa Valley, selected vineyards change year to year depending on quality.
Featured Napa Valley AVA: Rutherford AVA & Yountville AVA – A blend of the Castello’s top high-end Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards from the best growing regions of Napa Valley. The majority of the fruit comes from the Rutherford AVA, a region famed for producing beautifully structured and complex Cabernet Sauvignon. Trenta is the only Cabernet blend that features Melanson and Don Thomas fruit, two extremely limited single vineyard wines.
Production : Extremely Limited Production
Food Pairing: Wine that should be equally as special as the meal you pair with it, live opulently with a dry-aged well-marbled beef steak with cracked black pepper.
Cellaring: Expected to easily age 10-15 years
Highest Scores/Awards: N/A

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La Castellana, Super Tuscan Blend, Napa Valley

Cabernet Description: La Castellana is a harmonious blend that strikes a balance between power and elegance. Our “Lady of the Castle” is a Super Tuscan blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Sangiovese, with excellent long-term aging potential.
Tasting Notes: Dark stone fruit, spices, red cherries, and floral notes are supported by silky, polished tannins.
Vineyards: Sourced from our top vineyards throughout Napa Valley, selected vineyards change year to year depending on quality.
Featured AVA: Rutherford AVA & Yountville AVA
Production : Limited Release
Food Pairing: This elegant “Super Tuscan” wine goes well with lamb, sausage, grilled steak, Venison or a great pasta dish such as Pappardelle with wild boar (Dario’s favorite).
Cellaring: Expected to easily age 10+ years
Highest Scores/Awards: 93 Points – Steve Heimoff, Wine Enthusiast Magazine – 2008 “Made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with a splash of Sangiovese, this super Tuscan-style blend is powerful in every respect. It shows massively concentrated blackberry and crème de cassis flavors, with notes of dark chocolate and spices. The oak is rich and toasty, the tannins thick but as soft as silk, and the acidity lively enough to give all this richness a racy hit. Best enjoyed now and over the next 2–3 years for sheer Napa exuberance.”

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Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Cabernet Description: A bold and balanced Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, with Excellent now but can age well for over a decade.A touch of Petit Verdot and Malbec balance the rich dark fruit and tannins of the Cabernet, adding a vibrancy to its lush mouthfeel and lingering finish.
Tasting Notes: Enticing notes of black cherry, cassis, and dark chocolate with hints of savory spice.
Vineyards: A blend of fruit from some of the best Cabernet Sauvignon growing regions in Napa Valley, including our own Diamond Mountain District estate vineyard which surrounds the Castello.
Featured Napa Valley AVA: Diamond Mountain AVA, Combsville AVA,
Production: General Release
Food Pairing: Excellent to pair with steak with cocoa and coffee rub, chicken mole, or grilled meats.
Cellaring: Potential to age 10+ years
Highest Scores/Awards: 2018 – 93 Points – James Suckling “A rich, layered red with ripe berry, plum and some cedar and oak. It’s medium-to full-bodied with chewy tannins and a medium austere finish. Some toast and bitterness at the end. Give it time to open. Try after 2022.”

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Quattro, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Cabernet Description: A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon fruit from four top vineyards all co-fermented in a single tank, this powerfully-structured, limited production Napa Valley Cabernet was a result of our winemaking team’s quick thinking, and a tribute to the record 2017 harvest season.Quattro is the result of the winemaker’s instinct, quick thinking, and a little bit of luck. On October 15, 2017, after harvesting Cabernet Sauvignon from 4 of the Castello’s top vineyards, a small quantity from each was left over due to the 4 intended fermentation vessels coming full. Knowing that the fruit was all of great quality, he decided to ferment the leftovers together in a single small tank. Upon tasting the wine just as the fermentation was finishing up, we knew something special had occurred, and we proclaimed that the “Quattro” warranted a unique bottling. No blending has been done with this wine since that fateful day the grapes were plucked from the 4 distinct vineyard sites from across the Napa Valley
Tasting Notes: Enticing notes of black cherry, cassis, and dark chocolate with hints of savory spice.
Vineyards: Dependent on Season
Featured Napa Valley AVA: Diamond Mountain AVA, Combsville AVA, Rutherford AVA,
Production: Extremely Limited Production
Food Pairing: Excellent to pair with steak with cocoa and coffee rub, chicken mole, or grilled meats.
Cellaring: Expected to cellar 7-12+ years.
Highest Scores/Awards: N/A

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Diamond Mountain, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Cabernet Description: A single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon grown in the volcanic soils of the hillside vineyards surrounding the Castello in the Diamond Mountain District AVA. Meant for cellaring up to 10 years.The Diamond Mountain District is one of the northern-most growing regions in Napa Valley, and is home to Castello di Amorosa. The volcanic soils and sloped landscape characteristic of the mountain limit grapevine growth leading to an especially concentrated Cabernet Sauvignon.
Tasting Notes: The volcanic soils of this hillside vineyard give this Cabernet Sauvignon a firm structure, with intense notes of blackcurrant, cassis and green olive. Bold yet with a supple texture and balanced tannins, this wine shows layers of ripe cherry, juicy berry flavors and cedar.
Vineyards: Villa Amorosa surrounding Castello di Amorosa, This 30 acre estate vineyard surrounds the Castello in the rolling foothills of the Diamond Mountain District. The unique, porous volcanic soils and extended sun exposure above the fog line help to produce rich and powerful Cabernet Sauvignons with chewy textures and diamond-hard tannins.
Featured Napa Valley AVA: Diamond Mountain AVA
Production: General Release
Food Pairing: Food Pairing Notes Excellent to pair with steak with cocoa and coffee rub, chicken mole, hearty mushroom dishes or grilled meats.
Cellaring: Expected to Cellar 10-15 Years.
Highest Scores/Awards: 94 Points, Wine Advocate, 2013 “In the Napa Valley, hillside vineyards of Diamond Mountain District, Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District have thinner, less fertile soils which produce smaller berries with more intense flavors, reminiscent of Bordeaux style wines that require years of aging to mature. The yields are also much lower, 1–2 tons per acre in contrast to the 4–8 tons that can be produced in the more fertile valley floors. Wines produced from mountainside vineyards tend to be characterized by deep inky colors and strong berry aromas. The best.”

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Rutherford, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Cabernet Description: This elegant Limited-Edition 2018 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Excellent now but can age well for over a decade. It displays traits of a classic earthy tone, a characteristic that is common among Cabernet Sauvignon made in the Rutherford region.
Tasting Notes: displays hints of black cherry, savory spices and hints of minerals. It displays traits of a classic earthy tone, a characteristic that is common among Cabernet Sauvignon made in the Rutherford region.
Vineyards: Rutherford
Featured Napa Valley AVA: Rutherford AVA,
Production: Limited
Food Pairing: Excellent to pair with steak with cocoa and coffee rub, chicken mole, or grilled meats.
Cellaring: Expected to Cellar
Highest Scores/Awards: N/A

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Howell Mountain, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Cabernet Description: With elevations of 1,400 to 2,200 feet, Howell Mountain Cabernets are some of the most concentrated wines in the world. The shallow volcanic soils results in struggling vines, thus resulting in small clusters of tiny grapes. The smaller grapes have a higher skin-to-juice ratio resulting in more complex tannis, adding unique flavors throughout the wine. This elegant Limited-Edition Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon displays hints of cassis, spice, black currant, and cherry flavors. Excellent now but can age well for over a decade.
Tasting Notes: Enticing notes of black cherry, savory spices and hints of minerals.
Vineyards: N/A
Featured Napa Valley AVA: Howell Mountain AVA,
Production: Limited
Food Pairing: Excellent to pair with steak with cocoa and coffee rub, chicken mole, or grilled meats.
Cellaring: Expected to Cellar 10+ Years.
Highest Scores/Awards: N/A

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Grigsby Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Cabernet Description: This limited-release Cabernet was grown in the Yountville AVA. This single-vineyard cab benefited from the AVA’s rocky, well-drained soils and a long growing season that allowed the fruit time to develop unique flavor characteristics. A complex and full-bodied wine with classic notes of black cherries, warm plums and ground herbs. ints of black cherry, savory spices and hints of minerals. It displays traits of a classic earthy tone, a characteristic that is common among Cabernet Sauvignon made in the Youtville region.
Tasting Notes: A complex and full-bodied wine with classic notes of black cherries, warm plums and ground herbs.
Vineyards: Grigsby Vineyard
Featured Napa Valley AVA: Combsville AVA,
Production: Limited
Food Pairing: Excellent to pair with steak with cocoa and coffee rub, chicken mole, or grilled meats.
Cellaring: Expected to Cellar 10+ Years.
Highest Scores/Awards: N/A

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Coombsville, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Cabernet Description: Released only in 2017. This limited-time Cabernet Sauvignon displays characterisitcs typical of the Coombsville growing region. Rich earthy notes and mineral flavors give way to a more fruit forward taste. Characterized by its soft but significant tannins, which provide superior mouthfeel. A sophisticated and layered wine filled with complex contrasts. Drink now through 2025.Classic earthy and mineral notes on display.Vineyard Notes
Tasting Notes: Enticing notes of dark fruits, earthy notes and mineral flavors
Vineyards: Wines from the Coombsville AVA can be recognized by their typically soft but significant tannins, which provide structure with underlying layers of earth and minerality. Coombsville is the first place the fog rolls in from the San Pablo Bay and the last place it leaves. This allows the grapes to have long, slow ripening period as vines bud early and grapes are usually among the last to be harvested in the Napa Valley.
Featured Napa Valley AVA: Combsville AVA,
Production: Limited
Food Pairing: Excellent to pair with steak with cocoa and coffee rub, chicken mole, or grilled meats.
Highest Scores/Awards: N/A

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Single-Vineyard Wines

These single-vineyard wines best reflect the characteristics of each unique vineyard. Our grapes are grown in some of the most coveted vineyards in the Napa Valley, a collection of the finest AVAs (American Viticultural Areas) throughout the Napa Valley.

Butala, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Cabernet Description: Among our most limited edition wines at The Castle is our Butala Cabernet Sauvignon. Available exclusively through our Butala Club Program. This Limited Edition, single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from Butala Vineyard, located in the legendary Coombsville AVA of Napa Valley. An exceptional Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon with excellent long-term aging potential. This estate vineyard has a very rocky, red volcanic soils and steep hillside slopes. These wines produced a small crop of highly concentrated & structured fruit. The soft tannin structure, unique to Coombsville fruit, can be attributed to the hang-time, which is the longest of any appellation in Napa.
Tasting Notes: Highlighted by flavors of earthy chocolate, black currant & with blackberry aromas.
Vineyards: Butala Vineyard in Coombsville AVA. Located in the legendary Coombsville AVA of the Napa Valley. This estate vineyard has a very rocky, red volcanic soil inhabited by the volcanic sedimentary rock and lava flows formed by the Vaca Range on the eastern side of the Napa Valley.
Featured Napa Valley AVA: Coombsville AVA
Production: Available by Allocation Club Only
Food Pairing: Ideal to pair with filet mignon or beef short ribs.
Cellaring: Expected to easily age 20+ years
Highest Scores/Awards: 2016 – 96 Points – Jeb Dunnuck – “Leading off with the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Butala Vineyard, which is a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 7% Malbec, and 4% Petit Verdot, it reveals a saturated purple color as well as a beautiful bouquet of sweet crème de cassis, blueberries, exotic flowers, orange blossom, and subtle background oak. This medium to full-bodied, elegant, beautifully polished effort is perfectly balanced, has no hard edges, and offers a great finish. It falls into the pretty, elegant end of the spectrum, yet it still has fabulous intensity and length. Drink 2019 – 2039.”

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Manley Estate Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Cabernet Description: Our newest Castello Estate just had its first harvest in 2021! We are very excited to see the results it produces. So far, so good as the fruit looked amazing as it rolled through the crush pad.
Tasting Notes: Expect to see classic notes displayed in the Rutherford floor AVA.
Vineyards: Manley Estate Vineyard located in the Rutherford AVA.
Featured Napa Valley AVA: Rutherford AVA, Manley estate lies in the heart of Napa Valley just in the Rutherford Bench, home to the famed Rutherford AVA. Known for producing some of the best Cabernet in the world.
Production: N/A
Food Pairing: N/A
Cellaring: N/A
Highest Scores/Awards: N/A

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Morisoli-Borges Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Cabernet Description: The Morisoli Family started growing grapes in western Rutherford around 1900. This wine comes from a blend of these “old” and “young” blocks, and it expresses the Rutherford appellation’s famous “dust” character, with its unique soft, silky tannins.
Tasting Notes: The silky Cabernet shows hints of blueberries, blackberry jam, cassis, and graphite. The silky Cabernet shows hints of blueberries, blackberry jam, cassis, and graphite.
Vineyards: Morisoli-Borges Vineyard located on the Rutherford Valley Floor.
Featured Napa Valley AVA: Rutherford AVA, This elegant single-vineyard Cabernet comes from the legendary Rutherford AVA in The Napa Valley.
Production: Extremely Limited Production
Food Pairing: Pair with foods as bold as the wine, such as roast game meats, grass-fed steak, or grilled portabello mushrooms with reduced balsamic vinegar glaze.
Cellaring: Expected to Cellar 10-20 Years.
Highest Scores/Awards: 2014 – 96 Points – Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate “Coming from the valley floor, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Morisoli-Borges Vineyard hails from the tenderloin of the so-called bench area. It shows gorgeous fruit, loads of blueberry, blackberry and cassis notes, licorice and incense followed by an opulent, voluptuously textured, super-sexy style with oodles of glycerin, fruit and extract. This is a stunner and irresistible already. Moreover, it should age nicely for another 15 or more years.”

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Melanson Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Cabernet Description: This limited release wine is a wonderful example of the unique terroir of Pritchard Hill, touted for its steep, well-drained sloped and rugged volcanic soils. This wine will age elegantly for the next 10-15 years.
Tasting Notes: Inky black in color, black fruit aromas and earthy notes show the intensity and character of this wine. Intense fruit is framed by a very sturdy and age worthy tannin structure. Inky black in color, velvety tannis, black fruit aromas and earthy notes show the intensity and character of this site.
Vineyards: Located in hillside vineyards near the town of St. Helena.
Featured Napa Valley AVA: Vineyard rests high (1,200 ft) on the Eastern hills of the Napa Valley overlooking Saint Helena. The location, known as Pritchard Hill, is touted for its steep, well-drained slopes and rugged volcanic soils. Melanson Vineyard rests high on the eastern hills which overlooks Lake Hennessey in the Napa’s eastern mountains.
Production: Extremely Limited Production
Food Pairing: This bold single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon pairs beautifully with filet mignon, roast duck, or venison with wild mushrooms.
Cellaring: Expected to Cellar 10-20 Years.
Highest Scores/Awards: 2017 – 97 Points – Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate
“Made of 100% Cabernet Sauvingon, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Melanson Vineyard has a deep purple-black color and stunning perfume of candied violets, chocolate-covered cherries, potpourri and menthol over a warm cassis and crushed black plums core plus a waft of garrigue. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is built like a brick house, with a firm, grainy texture and tons of freshness lifting the densely packed fruit to a good long finish. Drink 2020 – 2038.”

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Rapp Ranch, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Cabernet Description: Long established as a premier horse ranch in the rural countryside of southern Napa Valley, is located in the heart of Coombsville. The defining characteristics of Coombsville, the newest sub-appellation in the Napa Valley, are the long, cool growing seasons that reward patient winemakers with intensely concentrated and complex wines.
Tasting Notes: is inky purple in color, with an imposing structure that frames a mouthful of savory spices, blackberries, and wild herbs. The tannins are silky and smooth, leading to a remarkable impression of black fruits and lingering flavors on the palate. Inky purple in color, with an imposing structure that frames a mouthful of savory spices, blackberries, and wild herbs. The tannins are silky and smooth, leading to a remarkable impression of black fruits and lingering flavors on the palate
Vineyards: Rapp Ranch located in the Coombsville AVA of Napa Valley. This fast growing AVA has shown classic traits of elite Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards. The area displays red volcanic soil inhabited by the volcanic sedimentary rock and lava flows formed by the Vaca Range on the eastern side of the Napa Valley.
Featured Napa Valley AVA: Coombsville AVA
Production: Extremely Limited Production
Food Pairing: Excellent to pair with steak with cocoa and coffee rub, chicken mole, or grilled meats.
Cellaring: Expected to Cellar 10-20 Years.
Highest Scores/Awards: 2016 – 95 Points – James Suckling “A very deep and intense wine with a gorgeous core of ripe fruit and velvety tannins and a beautiful finish. Full-bodied and flavorful. Energetic finish. Reserved. Better in 2020.”

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Don Thomas Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Cabernet Description: Don Thomas Vineyard is nested in the rolling hills that define the Western border of Rutherford in the Napa Valley. At every point throughout the life of this limited release wine, special consideration was given to showcase the unique Terroir of this exceptional vineyard.. This wine will age well, with it’s best years still ahead. The impeccable fruit from this sought-after hillside vineyard was hand crafted by Winemaker Brooks Painter into a single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon of purity and opulence.
Tasting Notes: This Don Thomas Cabernet shows exceptional character with notes of classic “Rutherford Dust”, tobacco, smoke and grilled herbs. A balanced, fruity red with mineral and berry character, plus hints of currants. Full body with silky tannins and a fresh, tangy finish. This wine shows exceptional character with notes of classic “Rutherford Dust”, tobacco, smoke and grilled herbs
Vineyards: Don Thomas is a 6 acre vineyard, planted exclusively to Cabernet Sauvignon, is nestled in the rolling hills that define the western border of the Rutherford AVA in Napa Valley. Located at the valley’s widest point, Rutherford receives more sunlight during the day than other parts of the valley. This, combined with a wide variance of daytime to nighttime temperatures (average fluctuation of 12 degrees in the summer months) allows the fruit to ripen at a steady pace, and helps to make the Rutherford AVA the most famous of Napa Valley’s nested appellations for growing Cabernet Sauvignon.
Featured Napa Valley AVA: Rutherford AVA
Production: Most Limited Single-Vineyard Wine
Food Pairing: Pair with foods as bold as the wine, such as roast game meats, grass-fed steak, or grilled portabello mushrooms with reduced balsamic vinegar glaze.
Cellaring: Expected to Cellar 20+ Years
Highest Scores/Awards: 2016 – 96+ Points – Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate
“Composed of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Don Thomas Vineyard is deep purple-black in color and features vibrant notes of crushed wild blueberries, black raspberries and red and black currants with wafts of rose hips, raspberry leaves, unsmoked cigars and pencil shavings. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is tautly structured with ripe, grainy tannins and beautiful freshness framing the red and black fruit layers, finishing long and mineral laced. Drink 2020 – 2039.”

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Winemaker Peter Velleno with Trenta Caberent Sauvignon

Trenta

Bradley Aden

September 10th, 2021

Trenta Cabernet Sauvignon
Peter Velleno Winemaker

The Inspiration

Introducing Castello di Amorosa’s newest Cabernet family addition, Trenta—a wine aged for 30 months in French Oak barrels. Grown in the best vineyards in Napa Valley, this powerful blend was aged 1 year longer than any other Castello Cabernet. This extended aging deeply integrates the oak to complement the intense black fruit profile of the wine, elevating the aroma, flavor, and texture.

The brainchild of winemaker Peter Velleno, Trenta carefully illustrates the close relationship between the wine & barrel. The 30 months provides this Cabernet blend with depths not normally seen with 18-month barrel cycles. Our winemakers chose to experiment with 30 months in French Oak barrels, which provide 1 extra year in barrels.

Trenta Cabernet Sauvignon

30 Months in Barrels

Barrel aging is the step between fermentation and bottling, which matures the wine and gives it distinct flavors. Barrel aging begins after five to eight days in fermentation tanks. The juice is pressed from the skins and seeds and pumped into French Oak barrels for aging in our extensive underground cave and cellar system. This process normally takes between 6 to 18 months (shorter times for white wine, longer for red wine). Ultimately, wine is aged in barrels for flavor development, maturity, and longevity after bottling. The oxygen that slowly comes through the oak barrel helps the wine mature, and tannins develop the structure of wine over time.

Only the highest quality barrels with tight oak grains and medium-plus toast levels are used. With our Trenta wine, we always use 100% new oak. The medium toast and new oak help to retain the wine’s natural elegance and balance. The toasting level of a barrel is created by exposing the wood to flames, thus creating a char within the wood. The more that wood is exposed to the flame, the more charred the wood becomes. This greatly affects the flavors imparted to the wine. Barrel production is science as well as art.

French Oak barrels have long been preferred by us because of their subtle ability to compliment the wine without overpowering the natural flavor profiles of the fruit. When examining French oak, we find the highest tannin of the oak types. Logs sourced from the Office National des Forêts make for more expensive timber. This results in a more expensive barrel that is appreciated by winemakers for its unique flavor characteristics. We are sure that Trenta will provide all these great characteristics of high-quality French oak barrels.

French Oak Wine Barrels

Wine Profile

Trenta is made from a blend of the Castello’s top high-end Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards from the best growing regions of Napa Valley. The majority of the fruit is sourced from the Rutherford AVA, Coombsville AVA and Yountville AVA. All famed regions for producing beautifully structured complex Cabernet Sauvignon. Trenta is the only Cabernet blend that features Melanson and Don Thomas fruit, two extremely limited single vineyard wines.

Every year the blend used to make Trenta is unique. Each year before bottling, we select a few Cabernets to incorporate into a new blend that we think will improve even further with another year in barrels.

Limited Production

Each bottle of wine is 750 ml, so for each gallon of wine you have, you will be producing five bottles. If you have a large 60-gallon barrel, it holds approximately 300 bottles of wine. Meaning that we only made a few barrels worth of this wine, making it one of our most limited productions.

A wine unlike any other with luscious, velvety soft tannins and intense black cherry and currant flavors. Dense and complex with toasted oak notes that carry these fruit forward flavors throughout the finish, this well aged wine is beautifully presented now, but can easily age for years to come. The barrel also provides soft finishing touches which showcase the Cabernets deep flavor. The additional time in the barrel provides the Cabernet with rich depth and deeper complex flavors of Caramel, Light Smoke & Hazelnut.

Our 2018 Trenta is for sale now, made is extremely limited number. We are proud to present Trenta: a wine symbolic of our winemaking team, a crowning achievement.



Rutherford Vineyard AVA

Manley Vineyards

Bradley Aden

September 9th, 2020

Rutherford Vineyard AVA

Manley Vineyards – The Newest Castello Addition

On the corner of Manley Lane & Highway 29 in Rutherford is Castello’s newest estate vineyard located in the Rutherford AVA. Home of unique terrior and home to some of the Napa Valley’s most historic and world-reknown wines. Manley Vineyards is part of the Rutherford AVA and is known for its exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon wine. The vineyard gives us a chance to continue our tradition of producing fine Napa Valley Cabernet’s.

The vineyard is 3 acres and is entirely Cabernet Sauvignon. Two acres were planted in 2000, the remaining acre was added in 2009. The human touch with this vineyard starts with David Bejar, who lovingly cares for the vines throughout the year.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Manley Estate Vineyards – Rutherford AVA

The Rutherford AVA is an American Viticulatural Area located within Napa Valley AVA and centered on the town of Rutherford, California. The area is known for it’s unique terroir particularly with it’s Cabernet Sauvignon. The well-drained soil of this area is composition of gravel, loam and sand with volcanic deposits and marine sediments from the Franciscan Assemblage. The appellation accounts for only 6,650 acres.

Rutherford is an appellation within the appellation, which has a diversity of soils, exposure, and orientation that is as complex as Napa Valley. The alluvial soil fans that deliver into Rutherford from the east and west. What most people don’t understand about Rutherford dust is that it represents a later ripening site in the heart of the valley, which slows the ripening down to add finesse and complexity to the wines. Historical records show that a portion of the vineyard was actually planted in 1895 by Mrs. Thomas Rutherford herself

Rutherford Dust

“The Rutherford Dust”

The legend of Rutherford dust starts with the regions superior soil makeup. The lighter dirt on the valley floor helped differentiate it from the other Napa Valley AVA’s. Thus giving the region the term “Rutherford Dust”, now the name is used around the world by winedrinkers alike. In Rutherford, the deeper soils and microclimates create longer growing seasons and ‘hang time’ that seem to round out the tannins in a soft, dusty style. The lighter soil dust gives the Rutherford region a special flavor profile that differentiates it from other Napa Valley regions. This gives wines from the area a powdery ‘fine dusty tannin’ effect with hints of plump cocoa powder.

Rutherford Cabernet

Cabernet Country

Director of Winemaking Brooks Painter noted “The quality of the Cabernet Sauvignon fruit from the Manley Lane Vineyard is astounding. It is deep, rich and full of intense flavors that can only come from valley floor Cabernet. We can’t wait to share the wine made from this vineyard in the very near future. Cheers to Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon!”

Rutherford Dust Cabernet Sauvignon
Rutherford Cabernet


Cherry Cake

Red Wine Chocolate Cherry Cake

Cherry Cake

Recipe Date: July 3rd, 2020
Difficulty: Easy
Measurements: Imperial (US)

Red Wine Chocolate Cherry Cake

From Pastry Tales

With Cherry season in full swing, our favorite collaborator at Pastry Tales had a special recipe in mind. If you love wine & chocolate, you are sure to love the recipe. The chocolate cake creates an ideal match for fresh cherries. The cake is highlighted by our 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley.

Ingredients

For the cake

1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/3 cup dark cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 cup white granulated sugar

2 eggs, room temperature

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup red wine. I used Cabernet Sauvingon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups fresh cherries. Sliced and pitted.

For the ganache/icing:

3 ounces semi sweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces. If you don’t have baking chocolate, you can use chocolate chips.

1 tablespoons light corn syrup

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted

2 tablespoons red wine. I used Cabernet Sauvignon

Instructions

For the cake

Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter and flour your baking pan. Line the bottom of your pan with parchment paper.

1.- In a mixing bowl add flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cocoa powder and sugar. Mix. Set aside.

2.- In a smaller bowl mix eggs, oil, vanilla extract, wine. Mix well.

3.- Using a mixer in low speed, add the wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until everything is combined. Do not overmix.

4.- Using a spatula fold in cherries.

5.- Pour the cake batter into your prepared pan.

6.- Bake for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. If you notice the top of your cake is all baked but the inside isn’t ready yet, just cover the top with a piece of foil and keep baking until it’s done.

For the glaze

1.- In a heat-proof bowl mix the chocolate, light corn syrup and butter. Place this bowl in the microwave and heat it up medium heat for about 40 seconds. Take the bowl out of the microwave, stir well and do another 40 seconds. Mix well until everything is well combined and chocolate is melted. Be careful to not overheat the chocolate because it can burn.

2.- Place this bowl on a cooling rack and let it cool completely. It will thicken more when it cools off.

Enjoy and cheers!


Related Products – Cabernet Sauvignon



Sautéed Button Mushrooms

Recipe Date: February 26th, 2020
Difficulty: Easy
Serving Size: 4
Cook Time: 00:15
Measurements: Imperial (US)

Sautéed Button Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • 6 tbsps Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs whole small button mushrooms, wiped clean
  • 3 tbsps butter
  • gray sea salt
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsps fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 2 tbsps lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley leaves

Directions

  • In a large skillet, heat the oil over high heat. Add the mushrooms. Do not move the mushrooms until they have caramelized on the bottom. If you toss them too soon, they will release their liquid and begin to steam. When the bottoms are caramelized, toss them and continue to cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the butter. Cook and toss for 5 minutes, until beautifully browned.
  • Season with salt and add the garlic. Saute another 2 minutes, and add the thyme, lemon juice, and white wine. Cook to evaporate the liquid.
  • Toss in the parsley and serve immediately.
  • Learn how to cook the perfect filet mignon to pair with your mushrooms with this great instructional video from our friends at Best Filet Mignon:



Best of Show Gewurztraminer

2020 American Fine Wine Competition!

Bradley Aden

February 14th, 2020

2020 American Fine Wine Competition

We received 9 gold medals at The American Wine Competition. We were the only winery to receive 2 Best of Class Wines. AFWC is “Invitation-only” and includes only wines that received an invitation. The panel of 32 judges include a somm, a wine-trained chef, a wine writer, and an educator, with no producers or distributors to avoid biases. Judges in the AFWC circulate to encourage positive, consistent and careful evaluations.

Best of Show: 2018 Gewurztraminer, Anderson Valley

Winemaker Brooks Painter noted “The grapes for this wine were grown in the Anderson Valley, Mendocino County. We pick after the grapes have developed a pink to reddish hue, and the aromas are effuse with rose petals, cinnamon spice and exotic lychee fruit. We handle the fruit very carefully, avoiding as much as possible some of the more bitter tannins found in the skins. It is cold fermented in stainless steel and bottled in the spring. Gewürztraminer is a grape I am familiar with, as it was one of the first white grapes I made into wine when I started in the wine business 38 years ago. It is delightful with strong cheeses, spicy Asian dishes and sauced white meats.”

Mary Davidek, who runs our highly acclaimed Royal Food & Wine Pairing Tour at the Castello, recommends pairing spicy dishes such as Thai or Indian cuisine with Gewurztraminer, to complement the sweet & spicy elements of the wine.

Best of Class: 2014 Il Barone, Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Robert Parker of The Wine Advocate scored the 2014, 94 Points. Parker Noted “The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Il Barone is also impressively endowed with plenty of crème de cassis, blueberry, blackberry fruit, a dense purple color, full-bodied mouthfeel, sweet tannin and a long finish. The wine has more fruit and less minerality than the Butala Vineyard and doesn’t quite show the graphite character, but it is a beautiful Cabernet Sauvignon to drink over the next 15-20 years. Drink 2016 – 2036.”

Mary Davidek, who runs our highly acclaimed Royal Food & Wine Pairing Tour at the Castello, recommends grilled red meats, wild game, and flavorful cheeses to compliment the excellent 2014 vintage.

All awards from the 2020 American Fine Wine Competition

Castello di Amorosa also received a number of Gold and Double Gold Medals, along with two Best of Class medals for our 2015 Il Barone, Cabernet Sauvignon & 2018 Dry Gewürztraminer. We also received Best of Show White Wine Winner in 2018 Dry Gewürztraminer. Check out the complete list of award winners:

We are always proud of our amazing winemaking team, and look forward to sharing our award-winning wines with you!



Flat Iron Steak with Cocoa Nibs and Coffee Rub

Recipe Date: September 28th, 2018
Difficulty: Easy
Measurements: Imperial (US)

Flat Iron Steak with Cocoa Nibs and Coffee Rub

From Oak Avenue Catering

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs flat iron steak
  • 1/2 cup cocoa nibs
  • 1/4 cup whole bean French roast coffee
  • 1/2 cup ancho chili powder
  • 2 tbsps kosher salt
  • 2 tbsps granulated onion
  • 1 tbsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tbsp Herbs de Provence
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsps cracked black pepper
  • 2 tsps dry mustard
  • 2 tbsps neutral vegetable or grapeseed oil

Directions

PREP THE RUB:

  • Add cocoa nibs and coffee beans to spice grinder and process until finely ground.
  • Mix all dry ingredients thoroughly in a bowl and set aside.

 PREP THE STEAK:

  • Coat the trimmed and cleaned steak with the vegetable oil.
  • Rub the spice mixture liberally all over the meat.
  • Wrap the steak tightly in plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerate overnight, or at least 4 hours.

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat grill to medium-hot.
  • Remove the plastic wrap from the steak.
  • Cook the steak on one side for 4-5 minutes until caramelized and brown. Check after 2 minutes to make sure the steak is not scorching. Turn down heat or use less direct heat if needed.
  • Turn the steak over and cook another 3-4 minutes or until an internal temperature registers 130○F.
  • Transfer the steak to a cutting board and loosely cover with foil. Let the steak rest for 10-15 minutes.
  • Slice the steak thinly on the bias and serve.
  • Sprinkle with Maldon salt to taste.

NOTES:

  • The wonderful balance of cocoa, coffee and chili makes for a flavor so enjoyable you can forego any additional sauces.
  • Enjoy the steak with your favorite BBQ sides. We are particularly fond of grilled vegetables over a smear of labne and sprinkled with a savory granola.
  • Pair with a medium to full-bodied wine like our Zingaro Old Vine Zinfandel or Napa Valley Merlot.


Related Products



Bison Burgers with Cabernet Onions

Recipe Date: February 17th, 2017
Difficulty: Easy
Serving Size: 4
Cook Time: 00:45
Measurements: Imperial (US)

Bison Burgers with Cabernet Onions

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 3 cups sliced onions (roughly 2 onions)
  • 3/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1 lb ground bison
  • 2 tbsps chopped onions
  • 1/4 tsp coarse kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 brioche buns or soft rolls
  • 6 ozs cheese
  • dijon mustard
  • romaine lettuce or escarole

Directions

Heat grapeseed oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, sprinkle with salt, and sautée for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add wine, and sautée another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until liquid has absorbed and onions are tender. Remove from heat and set aside (can be made a day ahead and chilled).

Combine ground bison, oregano, diced onions, salt, pepper, and garlic powder (if you have any leftover liquid from the sautéed onions, you can add a splash in as well). Divide into four portions and shape into 1/2 inch thick patties. Sprinkle burgers with salt and place on a grill that has been sprayed with non-cook spray or oil, cook until desired doneness (roughly 150°F for medium). Burgers can also be cooked in an oiled large, heavy skillet over high heat, roughly two minutes per side.

Preheat broiler. Open buns and arrange, cut side up, on rimmed baking sheet. Place cheese slices on bun tops. Broil until cheese melts and bottom halves are lightly toasted, about 1 minute. Spread bottom halves with mustard. Top each with a few lettuce or escarole leaves, then the burger. Spoon onions on top of burgers, dividing equally. Cover with bun tops; press lightly.

Serve with French fries and a glass of your favorite medium to full bodied red wine, such as our Il Brigante or Napa Valley Merlot.

Recipe adapted from Epicurious



Food and Wine

Perfect Pairings Dynamic Duo

Mary Davidek

February 11th, 2013

Perfect Pairings Dynamic Duo

The first time I saw the man who would eventually become my husband I was dumb-struck (quite a confession those who know me will attest).  Just my type; tall, dark (it was summer), and handsome.  After a chat over a glass of vino (what else?), I made the fatal mistake of telling him I thought he was smarter than I was.  I say fatal mistake as it is now 24 years later and he won’t let me forget that statement.

Our friends often tell us they have never met 2 people more suited for each other, meant to be together.  Better together as 1 than separate as 2.  Like peanut butter and jelly, milk and cookies, peas and carrots……it just works.

Perfect pairings certainly enhance and intensify and one thing which is singularly good, but with food and wine, perfect pairings take on a new meaning.  If you have ever been on the Royal Pairing Tour at Castello di Amorosa you may have experienced a few of these perfect pairings.  A rich pate’ with Castello’s award winning Il Passito comes to mind.  Sommeliers agree this match is perfection.  Popular wine writer Karen Macneil says “this luxurious pairing comes perilously close to maxing out the human tolerance for pleasure”.  An endorsement like that certainly piques the imagination.  But, must perfect pairings always be so lofty, and quite candidly, so costly to be perfect?  Does perfection have a price?  A rule of thumb, pair rich with rich and humble with humble.  One of my affordable favorites, a simple roast chicken (any grocery store’s rotisserie is fine), and a bottle of Pinot Noir.  The rustic flavors of a simple roast chicken, a loaf of crusty bread and the earthy tones of Pinot Noir are magical together.  When selecting your pinot go for light and fruity bottlings from Sonoma.  For my dollar Castello’s Los Carneros Pinot Noir is the perfect choice with a hit of clove balanced with bright fruit.  This Valentine’s Day, a day dedicated to perfect pairings, celebrate this dynamic duo with your honey.  Light a couple of candles, put in your favorite music, pour a couple glasses of vino and relax.
Throughout the year, connect with your inner match-maker; go forth and discover new and exciting pairings.

And remember, perfection is in the eyes of the beholder……

Cheers and Happy Valentine’s Day

Mary Davidek C.S., C.S.W



Is Bigger Always Better?

Mary Davidek

January 31st, 2013

Is Bigger Always Better?

Big juicy burgers.  Big healthy baby.  Big hotel suite.  Big expense account.  Mr. Big.  But big wine?  In our super-sized reality is big always better?

Since big is often a matter of perspective and can be vague in usage, to better understand big as it relates to wine we need to go to the source; to the vineyard.  In wine, big is typically synonymous with Cabernet Sauvignon grown in the Napa Valley.  Since Napa is home to some of the most expensive agricultural land in the United States it is understandable how big enters the picture.  Cabernet grown in this lush valley thrives.  Upon examination this petite powerhouse of a grape resembles a small dark blueberry more than a familiar table grape.  As a matter of fact, all grapes are called berries.  Cabernet berries are tightly clustered and the skin is thick and darkly pigmented.  But this power is not just skin deep.  With the largest seed mass of any black grape, the tannin to juice ratio is only one factor when defining big – as there is nothing passive about this aggressive little berry.  However, it is all part of the big reveal.  We must look to the winemaking team and the philosophy espoused by each winery and the fruits of their labor for ourselves.

Since I do not drink wine that assaults my palate, when drinking Cabernet I seek out plush, velvety and elegantly styled wines.  Some critics may argue this type of cabernet disappeared with payphones and library cards.  I disagree.  Classically styled Cabernet, while not prolific, is available.

Under the direction of Dario Sattui, one of Napa Valley’s biggest success stories, the winemaking team at Castello di Amorosa strives to produce wines with sophistication.  Executive winemaker Brooks Painter utilizes “tannin control” techniques from vineyard to production.  The result is palpable.

In the vineyard, Castello’s Cabernet is picked at 25 degrees brix (sugar level).  But aside from sugars, Brooks and his team monitor the maturity of the tannins by tasting the fruit from each vineyard block as harvest approaches.  Once the juice is in the tank the cap of solids (skins and seeds) is reintroduced to the juice via punchdown or gentle pump-over to limit the over-stimulation of phenolics (natural organic  compounds in the juice).

But regardless of the winemaking philosophy or the vineyard geography, the real test is largely subjective and that individual perception or preference is ultimately the biggest player in the equation.  The big reveal is how you perceive the wine you are drinking. Thus the debate on big wine continues.
When does size matter?  There is one point on which we can all agree…….

A big glass of wine is always better.

Cheers!

Mary Davidek, C.S., C.S.W.

 

Merlot Napa Valley