94 Points, Gold Medal - California State Fair, 2012
Gold Medal - San Francisco Wine Competition, 2013
Gold Medal - Sonoma County Harvest Fair, 2012
Gold Medal - Orange County Wine Competition, 2012
Gold Medal - 7th Cabernet Shootout
Voted Best Micro Winery! - California State Fair, 2009
This week’s WineHeist offering features our old friend Muscardini Cellars, with one of their most recently released wines. As many of you know, in California a wine that is composed of at least 75% of one variety can be labeled under that varietal name (so a wine that is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot be labeled as simple “Cabernet Sauvignon,” whereas one that is 74%/26% cannot). For this reason, we always find it intriguing when a wine comes close to that 75% without actually crossing it, because you know that the winemaker must really believe in this particular blend to give up the chance to label the wine varietally. Such is the case with the 2010 Rancho Salina from Muscardini, which is 70% Cab and 30% Merlot, all from the Rancho Salina Vineyard on the Sonoma side of the Mayacamas. And tasting the wine, it is easy to see why Michael Muscardini chose to go this route; the wine is simply stunning.
The 2010 Muscardini Rancho Salina is deep purple in color, with a nose bursting with purple fruit: plums, blackberries, and boysenberries, all accompanied by a subtle potpourri character. The palate is a bit more red-fruit driven with cherry and berry flavors accompanied by vanilla and more fresh plum. The 2010 vintage was challenging in many vineyards, but clearly the 800-foot high west facing slopes of Rancho Salina had no problems ripening these thicker skinned varieties; if anything the cooler vintage may have helped retain freshness. Despite it’s considerable weight on the palate this wine remains impeccably balanced, with wonderful purity to the fruit. This is a wonderful example of a Sonoma Valley Bordeaux style blend.
Appellation: Sonoma County
Vineyard: Rancho Salina Vineyard
Winemaker: Michael Muscardini
Blend: 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot
Bottled: February 9, 2012
Cases Produced: 470
Muscardini Cellars graces Sonoma Valley’s (Valley of the Moon) Monte Terra with its estate grape vines, family home and barrel room. You are welcome to visit us in their Kenwood tasting room.
History of Muscardini Cellars
1892, when Michael Muscardini's grandfather, Emilio Alchera, was born in the village of Calliano, just outside of the city of Asti in the Piemonte region. Emilio came to America in 1909 via Ellis Island in New York. After heading to the West Coast by train to meet his two brothers, Antonio and Louis, he settled in San Francisco. Emilio began his living in California by helping to dig the Caldecott Tunnel, which connects the East Bay to Contra Costa County. After saving his money, he began to buy and run corner grocery stores where he sold fine bulk wines, and in his spare time made a red table wine for the family. His business would eventually become the "St. Helena Napa Valley Wine Company."
Learn more at www.muscardinicellars.com.