Angeli's Italian, our favorite neighborhood trattoria. For Italian dining, we took two Del Dotto Sangiovese based wines, Del Dotto Sangiovese and Giovanni's Tuscan Reserve Sangiovese blend. This was a replay of our Sangiovese Italian dinner the day before when we did a Sangiovese and a Sangiovese based blend.
Del Dotto Napa Valley Sangiovese 1998
I wrote yesterday in these pages about Del Dotto Sangiovese. This is the last of our bottles of this label from this era. I've written often about the 1998 Napa vintage releases, how they were panned by the media and pundits as an off vintage, yet they proved to impress and over-perform with pleasurable drinking, even two decades later. The 1998 vintage was overshadowed by the 1997 and 1999, which in retrospect were over-hyped and over-rated. For years, the 1998 has proven to be the top performer for a go-to wine.
Tonight, at twenty years, this 1998 release was holding its own very nicely and showed no signs of diminution from age, whatsoever. This, despite having a partially saturated cork that came apart on removal.
"Medium bodied, flavorful black cherry, black berry, and currant fruits, with notes of cedar and floral. Getting down to the end of a case and this one definitely more vibrant than earlier tastings. Earlier leather and earthiness gave way to the lively floral and cedar - perhaps age served it well?'
That night I have it a better rating than my previous review a year earlier when I wrote, "Del Dotto's first release of a 100% Sangiovese, grown on the mountains of Calistoga in Napa Valley. Medium bodied, fruity nose with a smoky slightly earthy floral flavor - chunky fruity wine."
RM 90 points.
Del Dotto Giovani's Tuscan Reserve Napa Valley Sangiovese Blend 2002
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.