Thursday, November 21, 2013

Cal-Ital Del Dotto Giovanni Tuscan Reserve

Italian Wine/Dine Fest Continues with Cal-Ital Del Dotto Giovanni Tuscan Reserve Alongside Hazy Blur Barossa Shiraz

Following our gala Italian wine tasting dinner last weekend, we pulled a 'Cal-Ital*' Del Dotto Giovanni Tuscan Reserve for dinner with friend Mark and Gayle at Angeli's, our local neighborhood Italian eatery. To compliment the hearty Italian fare and contrast with the Sangiovese based blend, we also took along a Hazy Blur Australian Barossa Valley Shiraz 2006.

Del Dotto Giovanni Tuscan Reserve 1997

This is a Sangiovese based blend named after Giovanni Del Dotto, son of the Del Dottos. David and Yolanda Del Dotto were featured producers at several of winemaker dinners during our Napa Valley Wine Experiences including those 1998, 1999, 2002 and 2003. Del Dotto was one of the Up and Coming Napa Producers featured back in "The Undiscovered Dozen" 1994 Wine Spectator article. We discovered them then and started collecting their flagship Napa Cabernet and eventually adding this Tuscan Reserve and their Cabernet Franc. We still collect and hold a vertical of Del Dotto Cabernets going back to their 1992 inaugural vintage. They continue to amaze and reward us with their aging longevity.

Today, Del Dotto have a magnificent cellar tasting facility in the heart of Napa Valley that is a must visit for those wanting an immersion tasting and tour experience.

Del Dotto, working with then winemaker, legendary Nils Venge were one of the first producers to experiment with Sangiovese in Napa Valley. Indeed, their first plantings were at the Estate along the Highway 29 at Zinfandel Lane just south of the town of St Helena.

Consistent with earlier tasting notes ... Medium body - aromatics of black berry and woody cedar, slight earthiness starting to show age but a couple years life left - slightly tart black cherry fruit with tones of anise and spice turning to moderate silky tannins on a pleasant lingering finish.

RM 89 points.

* Cal-Ital refers to wine produced in California from grape varietals historically from and associated with Italian wines,  in this case Sangiovese. Another example of a Italian grape varietal that is finding its way to California is Nebbiolo.

HazyBlur The Baroota Shiraz 2006

Dark inky color, big, firm and full bodied, rich thick tongue coating, super ripe raisin fig fruits, hints of cedar, pepper, violets, and blueberry. This is too ripe and raisiny for my tastes but the bride likes it this way - and so does Wine Advocate who gives it a 91.

RM 91 points.