Andretti Montona Super Tuscan Napa Valley Reserve BYOB at Angeli's ItalianAngeli's Restorante Italian, our favorite neighborhood Italian trattoria.
I took a special Reserve bottle BYOB from our cellar for the occasion. This was a perfect selection for the evening and was a highlight of our dinner out - a tribute to Mark's career in the auto business from producer legendary race car driver Mario Andretti, a Super Tuscan Italian Blend, tribute to Shirley's Italian heritage, and a fabulous wine pairing for our Italian cuisine dinner.
Andretti Montona Super Tuscan Napa Valley Reserve Red Wine 2016
We discovered this wine and the Montona portfolio/brand when we visited the Andretti Winery and Estate in southeast Napa Valley during our Napa Wine Experience in 2018. I wrote about that visit in a more detailed blogpost earlier, and about the Montona brand and this particular label in another previous blopost.
Actually, the village where Andretti was born is in Croatia, home to another famous Napa ‘vintner producer’ Mike Grgich.
Andretti Winery was established in 1996 by the famed race car driver, Mario Andretti in a joint venture project with Joe Antonini, former CEO of Kmart, who was one of Mario’s sponsors during his racing days.
Andretti also leases about 42 acres of vineyards surrounding the winery, planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc.
also purchase grapes from other growers from select vineyards around
Napa Valley which must include the Sangiovese which is a key foundation varietal in this blend.
Andretti Montona Reserve Napa Valley Super Tuscan 2016
As noted above, this label is not Estate bottled, meaning the grapes for the juice in the bottles are not necessarily grown on the property, but rather, may have been purchased from contract growers. As such, the (rear) label cites the wine is merely "Bottled by Andretti Winery".
Hence, with all due respect to the legendary Indy Racecar driver, Mario Anrdretti, and his benefactor investor partner in the winery venture, former CEO of K-Mart Joe Antonini, they are tenant wine producers, not landowners or winery estate owners.
As a wine collector and eonphile, I would prefer to support family owned farmer/grower winemakers who produce wines from grapes produced on their properties. This provides a consistent source of fruit year after year and thereby allows for the focus on terroir and its impact on the wine from vintage to vintage, as a basis for comparison over the years, and as a comparison against other similarly situated terroir focused wines.
In any event, this wine was delicious and I'd like to obtain more, especially in light of the fact we've run out of one of our favorite labels, the same grape varietal from the same vintage, that we drank this week as I featured in the previous blogpost.
Having just written the comments above about this wine, and all the reasons why we may not continue buying and collecting such, I now admit, this may be the highest performing Montona Reserve label we have tried from Andretti. As with earlier tastings, this wine tonight exceeded our expectations for this producer and label release. At a super premium release list price of $110, one would hope and expect it to be a top performer.
The Winemakers' notes on this wine: "The Montona Reserve Super Tuscan is an intense and complex wine achieved by blending our finest barrels of Sangiovese with our favorite Bordeaux varietals. Deep ruby red in color the 2016 Super Tuscan is bursting with aromas of rosewood and violet, followed by candied cherries and dark plum. On the palate the fruitiness explodes in your mouth with bright flavors of cherry, raspberry and plum layered with toasty vanilla and silky smooth tannins. Enjoy this wine with grilled meats, braised short ribs, or your favorite aged cheeses."
This was aged 20 months is 50% new French Oak.