Thursday, March 26, 2015

Venge Napa Valley Penny Lane Family Reserve Sangiovese 2000

Venge Vineyards, Oakville, Napa Valley, Penny Lane Vineyard Family Reserve Sangiovese 2000

AJ and I with Nil's Venge tasting this wine
at Tra Vigne in St Helena
I've written often in this blog about our fondness for Venge Family Reserve wines and Nil Venge's pioneering with Sangiovese varietal wines in Napa Valley. We don't hold much Sangiovese that isn't the artwork of Venge, whether it be under his label, Del Dotto, or some of the other boutique Napa labels that he crafted as consulting winemaker.

I wrote just last week here in this blog in a review of another Venge label that Nil's has turned over the reigns of the family vineyards and winemaking business to son Kirk. Despite the fact our Cellartracker record shows we're out of this vintage, yet still holding two other vintages, this bottle is the second to last bottle we found in the cellar from that which we tasted and acquired during our Napa Wine Experience 2002 - Venge Vineyards, Rossini Ranch winery visit back in 2002. 

This is the last of the Venge brand Sangioveses that have been the mainstay of many BYOB wine dinners where we've taken bottles to Angeli's Italian, our favorite neighborhood trattoria over the last several years. As always, this was a perfect complement to Angeli's fabulous signature pasta and peas with Italian sausage in vodka cream sauce, and eggplant parmigiana.

Unlike the last tasting notes of this wine, fifteen months ago, where it was written to be showing its age, tonight this fifteen year old was at the peak of its drinking window and showed absolutely no diminution from aging. Polished and smooth for a Sangiovese, the 2000 is dark inky garnet color, medium bodied, balanced, with flavorful predominant ripe black cherry and blackberry fruit flavors at its core highlighted, by a layer of herb and anise notes and touch of leather and tobacco. It has a flavorful lush long smooth polished finish.

RM 91 points.