Sunday, July 22, 2018

Del Dotto Napa Cabernet 2000-2001

Del Dotto  Napa Valley Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon 2000-2001

Following our Del Dotto Vineyards Napa Valley Winery visit last week on our Napa Valley Wine Experience 2018 and our tasting the Cabernet Franc last evening, we opened Del Dotto Napa Valley Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon 2000 in magnum for a family gathering gala dinner. We tasted the 2000 vintage Napa Cab alongside a Château de Pez St Estephe Leognan Bordeaux of the same vintage. After we finished the 2000, we opened a 2001 for a mini-vertical comparison tasting of the label.

Del Dotto Napa Valley Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon 2000

Tasted from magnum, tonight this wine was showing remarkably well, perhaps due to the large format bottle which tends to age better and more gracefully than a standard size bottle. While the fruits were a bit subdued, it showed a solid core framework of tasty oak. This predominant layer of oak was cited by Robert Parker in his review when he wrote: "Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon exhibits plenty of new oak and black currant characteristics as well as fine texture and an attractive mid-weight style ...."

Parker did not project this wine to last for eighteen years suggesting it be consumed 'over the next 5-7 years'.

RM 90 points.

Del Dotto Napa Valley Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon 2001
Our Cellartracker records show we hold a dozen vintages of this wine label.  Our last tasting of the 2001 was almost three years ago when I wrote:

"Tasted alongside the '99, this is drinking at the apex of its drinking window and demonstrates the longevity of Napa Valley Cabernets. While it will not likely improve any further with aging, it still has several years to go at this level.'

'Medium to full bodied , deep dark ruby color - black berry and sweet black cherry fruits accented by clove spice and a hint cassis and whisper of English toffee on the 'Rutherford Dust' moderate silky tannin finish."

RM 91 points.

We compared these Napa wines against a similar vintage Bordeaux.

Château de Pez St Estephe Bordeaux 2000

Son Ryan pulled from the cellar this 2000 vintage Left Bank Bordeaux to taste alongside the same vintage Napa Cab.

Garnet colored, medium bodied, black berry, cherry and plum fruits with bright acidity and notes of leather and tea; more vibrant fruit although not nearly as structured or well balanced as the Napa Cabs above, coming across a bit flabby in comparison.

RM 87 points.

Overall, these wines were a perfect complement to grilled beef tenderloin dinner with haricot vert and scalloped potatoes. They also went with the artisan cheeses before dinner and the varied chocolate desserts, brownies and dark chocolate cake with fresh berries and whipped cream.

Additionally, Linda prepared grilled Sockeye Salmon. With the Salmon, I served a California Sauvignon Blanc 2016. 

Oak Farms Vineyards Central Valley Lodi Sauvignon Blanc 2017

The grapes are grown by Mohr Fry Ranches  in the Mokelumne River Sub AVA or the greater Lodi Appellation. The vines are from the same clone (clone 1) that had help put New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc on the map. The property has 60 acres of estate vineyards with grape varietals grown on the property including: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Verdelho, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Primitivo, Petite Sirah, Petite Verdot, Sangiovese and Barbera.

Nice easy every day drinking in this high QPR (quality price ratio) Sauvignon Blanc.

This Sauvignon Blanc is light straw colored with light body, flavors of moderate citrus are accented by delicate tones of tropical fruits with hints of mango and passion fruit with pleasant easy drinking crisp acidity and a lingering finish.

RM 90 points.

Del Dotto Napa Cabernet Franc 1997

Del Dotto Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Franc 1997

Having just returned from our Napa Valley Wine Experience 2018 where we tasted Del Dotto Seven Rows Estate Napa Cabernet Franc 2015, we pulled this vintage Del Dotto Cab Franc from the cellar to compare and to reminisce about our spectacular trip. The Del Dotto Piazza Winery Delicacies wine and food pairing tasting was a highlight of our trip. It was there we tasted the current release. Looking over our purchase receipts and tasting notes, it must have been one of the favorites of the tasting as we ordered several bottles of this label as part of the numerous mixed cases we purchased.

Del Dotto Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Franc 1997

This bottle was showing remarkably well at 21 years of age, better that some earlier ones opened, the difference likely due to bottle variation since they were all acquired as a case purchase upon release at the time.

Despite our last tasting notes being from two years ago, tonight's experience was consistent with that last tasting experience when I wrote, "Tonight's tasting was more consistent with notes from a few years ago, dark ruby color, medium to full body, spicy black berry and black currant fruits are still vibrant in this nineteen year old, accented by tones of earthy leather, cedar and tobacco with hints of anise on the smooth tannin finish."

RM 89 points.

Earlier tasting: