Excerpts repeated from earlier blog postings - 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 us, have limited resources, time, money, and opportunities to taste wines, focusing on one country, region or even varietal will help develop a vocabulary and familiarity with a particular wine type, style, region, varietal and even vintage. Learn one, then a couple, then expand.
We have about a decade of vintages in our vertical collection of this label and we're starting to wind down those from the nineties, including this 1997, a much heralded vintage that was supposed to be long-lived.
I've written about Nils Venge and Del Dotto and their venturing into the Italian Sangiovese varietal in Napa Valley. 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. Today, Del Dotto have a magnificent cellar tasting facility at that location in the heart of Napa Valley that is a must visit for those wanting an immersion tasting and tour experience.
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.
Consistent with earlier tasting notes ... but showing its age further, medium body, but the bright ruby color is starting to take on a tinge of rust brown on the rim as it starts to reach the end of its aging drinking window - 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 88 points.