93 Points - 2014 LA Int'l Wine Competition
Gold Medal, Best Of Class - 2014 LA Int'l Wine Competition
Pope Valley is probably one of the least well-known sub-regions in Napa, for several reasons, including the fact that it was planted later than the rest of the valley, and that it is far removed from the tourist action along Highway 29 and the Silverado Trail. For this reason, the wines tend to be better values than those from Napa Valley proper, and there is also a little more diversity in the grapes planted. One grape that seems particularly suited to Pope Valley's soils and climate—with big day/night temperatures swings—is Sangiovese. Today's offering is from the 2011 vintage, from our good friends at Muscardini.
The 2011 Muscardini Cypress Ranch Sangiovese is from the Sangiovese grosso clone, the same one used in the Brunello di Montalcino region of Italy. Growing it in Napa results in a bigger, darker wine than those grown in Chianti. The Muscardini is medium ruby to garnet in color, with vanilla, cherry, and white pepper on the nose. The palate is spicy, with cherry and blackberry joined by dried herb and flower notes. Lots of acid and round tannins that soften with air highlight the finish, with good length and supple mouthfeel. This is a really exciting Californian twist on an Italian classic.
Appellation: Napa County
Vineyard: Cypress Ranch
Winemaker: Michael Muscardini
Blend: 100% Sangiovese
Bottled: September 4, 2012
Cases Produced: 498
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.