Reserve Wines

Jim Sullivan

May 24th, 2022

Reserve Wines

Have you ever seen the word Reserve or even the term, Napa Valley Reserve on a bottle of wine? The bottle might even display such phrases as, Private Reserve, Special Reserve or Proprietor’s Reserve. In some wine growing regions of the world, like Italy and Spain, for example, where the Italian Reserva and the Spanish Reserva are legally defined and indicate wines are aged longer (could be a combination of oak barrels and bottle) than regular bottlings. In all cases, reserve wines of this distinction are highly sought after and are largely considered collector wines.

While there is no legal definition of a reserve wine in the U.S., generally reserve wine bottlings usually consist of wines considered by the winemaker to be of greater quality that can age gracefully, many years longer than a regular bottling of the same variety.  Usually selected from special wine barrel lots that merit additional aging and, in some cases, complete vineyards or select rows of the vineyard will be designated for the winery’s reserve program. It is common for select vineyards to have certain areas where the growing conditions are slightly better than other sections.  This could be due to the slope of vineyard in that section which allows for better sunlight on the vines or creates better soil drainage. 

Additionally, in vineyards near hillsides, it is common for alluvial soil to accumulate in sections of the vineyard. Alluvial soil is a rich, nutrient-dense composition of gravel, clay and silt that improves the richness in the soil and supports healthy vines and their complex and deep root structure. These types of soils contribute greatly to the diversity of wines produced from vineyards with alluvial soils and results in Napa Valley wines with a softness and elegance. 

In the Napa Valley, a region home to many collectable wines, reserve bottlings consist of wines that are considered by many winemakers to be finer and have greater aging potential than their regular bottling of the same collectable napa wines. The most common wine that garners the distinction of being called a top collectable wine is Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Reserve as it’s coined by many wine connoisseurs.  

At Castello di Amorosa, winemakers Brooks Painter and Peter Velleno have crafted a complete line up of Napa Valley Reserve wines in their Napa in Reserve portfolio. Our portfolio also includes fine wine selections from the Anderson Valley, the Green Valley of the Russian River Valley and Mendocino AVA- some of the top AVA’s in California wine country. 

Click here to see our full collection of reserve wines.

King of Cabernet SauvignonSingle-Vineyard Wines

Rapp Ranch, Coombsville AVA Napa Valley

Rapp Ranch

Bradley Aden

May 23rd, 2022

Run Wild with Our Single Vineyard Cabernet

Rapp Ranch is our single vineyard Cabernet from the Coombsville AVA. The wine 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. The wine is expected to age nicely and cellar from 15-25 years.

Located in the heart of the Coombsville AVA, Rapp Ranch has long been established as a premier horse ranch in the rural countryside of southern Napa Valley. The Coombsville AVA is one of the fastest growing Cabernet Sauvignon producers in Napa Valley. Having received its AVA designation in 2011, Coombsville is set to be Napa Valley’s next great Cabernet Sauvignon appellation. The defining characteristics of Coombsville, are the long, cool growing seasons that reward patient winemakers with intensely concentrated and complex wines.

Located just east of the city of Napa, the appellation varies from sea level all the way up to 1,900 feet on the Vaca Mountain Range. The cooling effects of the nearby San Pablo bay provide daily fog, which causes more constant temperatures. This allows us to have a long, slow ripening period as our vines bud early and our grapes are typically among the last to be harvested. Coombsville itself is a bowl-shaped depression, cradled by a crescent-shaped section of the Vacas Mountain Range.

Rapp Ranch in The Coombsville AVA

Long established as a premier horse ranch in the rural countryside of southern Napa Valley. The history of Rapp Ranch is rich in horses. Originally known as the premier breeding & training grounds for quarter horses in the Napa Valley, became world renown throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Utilizing a variety of barns, riding arenas and outdoor spaces, Rapp Ranch produced some of the top award winning international competitors. Continuing on to present day, the name Rapp Ranch has became synonymous with outstanding quality.

The property eventually sold to a businessman who removed some of the horse facilities and planted 12 of the 25 acres of ultra premium Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. When the opportunity presented itself, the Alkossers purchased the property in February 2016. Thoroughly enchanted by the beauty and significance of this place, they saw the potential in combining the history of the horse ranch, the premium vineyards and the state-of- the-art winery into the ultimate destination for wine connoisseurs and adventuring travelers.

When the opportunity presented itself, we were thrilled about partnering long-term with Rapp Ranch. Our winemakers Brooks Painter & Peter Velleno are proud to carry on the tradition of ultra premium Cabernet Sauvignon. We look forward to producing incredible vintages of Rapp Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon for years to come.

Past Awards & Accolades

Explore our past awards and accolades for our Rapp Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon.

♦ 93 Points – James Suckling

“Amorosa’s Rapp Ranch cabernet bottling has a very suave, cedary nose with regal, dark-berry aromas, typical of cabernet, as well as hints of fresh leather. The palate is so succulent and juicy with very fresh and attractively detailed tannins carrying good length. Fresh finish. Drink or hold.”

♦ 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.”

​♦ 93+ Points – Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate

“Deep purple-black in color, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Rapp Ranch displays subtle black raspberries, black and red cherries and black currants with hints of wild thyme, damp soil and tree bark. Medium to full-bodied, firmly textured with plenty of youthful, crunchy fruit, it has a pleasantly chewy finish.”