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.”


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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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


A Chill In The Air

Mary Davidek

March 15th, 2013

A chill in the air

This is the time of year when winemakers and vineyard managers start paying close attention to weather patterns. Although long periods of extreme cold and sub-freezing temperatures can always cause distress in a vineyard; frost is particularly damaging in the early spring. Once bud break occurs, spring frosts can kill the young shoots potentially destroying a crop. If you visit wine country in early spring you may spot a few different methods utilized by vintners in attempts to combat frost damage. Most preventative measures are expensive and vary in effectiveness, but, the financial loss of frost damage is extreme.

The least utilized and possibly least effective is burning oil in a smudge pot. The smoke and heat generated is hopefully carried over the vineyard by the wind forming a warmer protective blanket. As the heavier cold air sinks, the warm blanket of air protects the shoots.

A solution that seems just as drastic but that has actually proven viable in some vineyard locales; spraying the vines with a fine mist of water. As the water freezes it forms a protective layer of ice insulating the young shoots by trapping the heat, (think of an igloo or an ice cave). Since Napa Valley’s Mediterranean climate doesn’t generally dip below 25 degrees Fahrenheit, this method shows promise as it is environmentally less invasive and more economically viable. A negative for using water is fairly obvious but worth noting: you are using water, which can be scarce or completely unavailable in remote vineyards.

The most common and visually the most obvious method in use can be viewed off Highway 29 and along the Silverado Trail. What looks like windmills are actually wind machines, which move air over vineyards to keep the coldest air from settling on vulnerable, young shoots. The heavier cold air mixes with the warmer air, being moved by the wind machine, creating a slight elevation in temperature which is often just enough to ward off frost as long as that temperature is above 28 degrees Fahrenheit. However, I live close to one such wind machine and I see it as only partially effective. While it prevents frost from developing in areas directly in the path of said turbulence, my personal observation is the outlying areas are often blanketed with frost. Another fact to consider…..wind machines are essentially propellers that run on fuel so they can be expensive to run and the noise level can be extreme – especially in the wee hours of the morning when they are typically used. *yawn*

Does a foolproof solution exist? Well, if you have an opportunity when driving in the valley, look to the hills. It is rare to find any method of frost control on sloped vineyard sites.  Dense cold air naturally drains off the hillsides and settles onto the valley floor quite often rendering the hillsides unaffected by frost.

In this north end of the Napa Valley we are fortunate. With the Mayacamas Mountains to the West and the Vaca Mountains to the East, some of the most prestigious viticultural land in the world has been created. Castello di Amorosa’s Il Barone and La Castellana wines are crafted from Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards on Diamond Mountain, part of the famed Mayacamas range; above the fog line, drenched in sunshine and relatively unharmed by frost.
As we continue to progress in viticulture methodology one fact holds true – Mother Nature will always have the final word.
And with that my final word – Cheers!
Mary Davidek C.S., C.S.W.