Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Del Dotto Giovani's Tuscan Reserve

Del Dotto Giovani's Tuscan Reserve Napa Valley Sangiovese Blend 2002

People often ask me how one learns about tasting wines with all its variations, and I jokingly reply, practice, practice, practice (See my Wine Tasting 101). More seriously, perhaps I should say focus, focus, focus. Since most folks, like me have limited resources, time, money, and opportunities to taste wines, focusing on one country, region or even appellation will help develop a vocabulary and familiarity with a particular wine type, style, region, varietal and even vintage.

Readers of this blog know we collect and favor Bordeaux varietals (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot) from the US and France, and to a lesser degree Shiraz. That said, we do not collect or focus on Italian varietals or producers. Hence, for lasagna dinner at home, we pulled from the cellar this Sangiovese (Italian varietal) blend from California Napa Valley.

We have about a decade of vintages in our horizontal collection of this label. I've written about Nils Venge and Del Dotto and their venturing into the Italian Sangiovese varietal in Napa Valley. Del Dottto were the featured wine producer of several of our Napa Valley Wine Experiences during the mid to late nineties and after the millenium.

This Sangiovese based blend is named after the Del Dotto's first born son, Giovanni. I remember first discovering this wine and buying it at the Wine Stop wine shop in Burlingame near SFO back in the mid-nineties, and then obtaining more from the producer over the years. I recall the early releases of this label came in 500ml bottles rather than normal 750's. Del Dotto remain one of our favorite Napa producers whose wines from their early days continue to impress with their longevity and endurance. True to that style, there remains much life in this twelve year old.

This 2002 is a blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon and exhibits dark garnet color, medium to full body with the full forward, complex tight black fruits masked by tones of smoke and charcoal before giving way to aromatic floral and bright tangy black cherry fruits with spicy, firm tannins on the aromatic, lingering finish.

RM 90 points.