Thursday, October 22, 2020

Robert Biale Royal Punishers and Dalila Sicilia White Blend

Robert Biale "Royal Punishers" Pettite Sirah and Dalila - Viognier Grillo Blend for Angeli's Italian Dinner

Our whacky govenor is espousing shutting down restaurants again in Northern Illinois so we made a point to dine out at Angelis' Italian, our local Italian trattoria in case we're prohibited from doing so in the near future. I took BYOB from our cellar this hearty Napa Valley Petite Sirah for the occasion. It was ideal with our dinner entrees, especially the Veal Marsala with its hearty brown sauce, and the seasonal butternut squash gnocci. 

We also ordered from the Angeli's wine list this interesting unique Italian white blend from Sicily. Both wines were sensational with this one an ideal accompaniment to the steamed mussels, Linda's Seared Ahi tuna, and the daily special, Angeli's Jalapena Gnocci. 

Stemmari Dalila Sicilia Viognier Grillo DOC Blend 2016

This wine finds its way to the Angeli's winelist as a result of owner Tony Angeli having visited the winery estate during his visit to the region a couple years ago. 
This wine is from the Stemmari winery located in the town of Acate in the Ragusa province of Sicily located in south eastern Sicily. The winery has 1,700 acres in two estates along the south coast of Sicily, one in Sambuca di Sicilia in the Agrigento province and the other in Acate in the province of Ragusa.
The vast Stemmari brand has a broad portfolio of wines include single varietals like nero d’avola, chardonnay, pinot grigio, moscato, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon and even a sparkling grillo. They offer a few blends including this Dalila wine.

This unique blend is comprised of the Sicilian varietal Grillo and the international Viognier, native to the French Rhone River valley. The local indigenous wine grape "grillo" – which means "cricket" in Italian. This Sicilian white wine is composed of 80 percent grillo and 20 percent viognier.  
The interesting branding of music as a metaphor for the harmonizing of the two elegant varietals in the Dalila blend with musical notes on the label and on the bottle foil.

This was sensational and a very pleasant surprise discovery. Its available at a price point that provides great QPR - Quality Price Ratio

Straw colored, medium-full bodied, nicely balanced acidity and smooth mouthfeel with intense, bright vibrant, nicely integrated tropical fruits with notes of pear and hints of peach, apricot and citrus with tones of vanilla, floral and stone fruits with character and profile of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

RM 91 points.

Robert Biale Petite Sirah Royal Punishers 2013

Robert Biale Vineyards in Napa Valley dates back to the 1930s when the Biale family grew Zinfandel grapes and other produce, selling the grapes to local wineries, saving some for their own wine production. During prohibition, to obfuscate their banned trade selling bottles of illicit homemade Zinfandel, they would refer to their dark fruit filled wines as "Black Chickens" over his party line phone service.

Biale Winery was formally founded in 1991 when Aldo Biale and his son Robert formed a partnership with winemaker Al Perry and wine salesman Dave Pramuk. Their initial product was Zinfandel, eventually adding Petite Sirah grown on their 25 acres in Napa Valley.  

Despite its popularity, the Petite Sirah grape is somewhat rare with less than 10,000 acres planted worldwide, with the bulk of that in California. In France, the grape is referred to as Durif. Not to be confused with Syrah, Petite Sirah is a cross of Syrah and Peloursin. The result is darker and fuller.

In Napa Valley, the market has turned to Cabernet Sauvignon and other French varieties leaving Zinfandel as a rare varietal comprising less that 3% of the valley's grape production.

The inaugural wine production was a quantity of 400 cases produced from 8 acres of old non-irrigated low-yielding vines called "Aldo's Vineyard." Today, Bob Biale, Dave Pramuk, and winemaker Steve Hall specialize in a broad portfolio of twenty Zinfandel labels each representing the terroir driven personalities of their property with some of the oldest vineyards in America.

Biale Zinfandel is produced in a distinctive style utilizing intensive old world Burgundian methodology from vineyard to barrel to bottle and are recognized as one of the top Zinfandel producers in America.

In addition to Zinfandel, Biale also is recognized for producing blockbuster and ageworthy red wines from other California varietals – Petite Sirah, plus small lots of Syrah, Sangiovese, Barbera, Rhone blends, and Sauvignon Blanc.

This bottle exceeded my expectations for a big fruit forward sipper. It got 95 points from  Robert Parker's Wine Advocate and 92 points from Wine Spectator noting it as "Highly Recommended".

Robert Parker calls it "stunning, almost off-the-charts richness, and a killer finish of nearly a minute."

It was aged in 30% new French oak for 17 months prior to bottling

Dark inky black/purple color, full bodied, rich concentrated, dense juicy ripe blackberry and black raspberry fruits, floral and spices with hints of tea turning to a long chewy polished tannin finish. 

RM 93 points.