Leading international wine critic, Robert Parker was back in the Napa Valley recently at the invitation of the Napa Valley Vintners Association to taste and rate Napa Valley wines. Castello di Amorosa wasted no time in sharing our best 2008 wines (not yet released in the tasting room), including a barrel sample of the 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. The results, published in his influential, "Wine Advocate" journal, proved Mr. Parker continues to like our wines and reflected it in his scores, rating each wine 90 points or greater for the second consecutive year.
The comments, or tasting notes, that accompany the scores are very important, perhaps even more important than the score itself. "The written commentary that accompanies the ratings is a better source of information regarding the wine's style and personality, its relative quality vis-a-vis its peers, and its value and aging potential than any score could ever indicate," states Parker in the "Wine Advocate."
The results of his tasting of Napa Valley wines were published in Wine Advocate #192, December, 2010. Il Barone receive a rating of 92 points. In his written commentary, he noted, " The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Il Barone (91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, and 4% Petit Verdot) is a selection of the estate's finest lots of Cabernet Sauvignon. Graphite, creme de cassis, black currant and spice box aromas jump from the glass of this opaque ruby/purple-colored 2008. Expansive, rich, authoritative and elegant, with impressive texture and length as well as sweet tannin, it will be even better in 3-4 years, and should last for 15+."
The 2008 La Castellana Super Tuscan Blend received a similar outstanding review and a 90 point score. He wrote, "The 2008 La Castellana (71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, and 14% Sangiovese) is a supple-textured, dense plum/ruby/purple-tinged wine offering notes of high class, unsmoked tobacco, sweet cherries, black currants, earth and spice. Medium to full-bodied, silky textured, complex and already delicious, it is ideal for drinking over the next 7-8 years."
Looking to the future, we submitted a barrel sample of 2009 Il Barone and 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley knowing full well these wines would not be receiving a score. Nonetheless, we were interested in what Mr. Parker thought about some of our best barrels of wine as selected by Dario Sattui, Brooks Painter, Winemaker; Assistant Winemaker, Peter Velleno, and President, Georg Salzner. Knowing the importance of his recent commentary, we are extremely excited about wines that will be not released in for another 2-3 years. Parker stated,"Barrel samples of the 2009 Il Barone and 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley revealed well-endowed, deeply colored wines with sweet tannins. They both possessed all the components needed to be as good as their 2008 and 2007 counterparts, but it's too early to pass judgment."
2007 La Castellana and Il Barone, available for purchase in the tasting room or on our website.
While the 2008 wines are not yet released, we are pleased to offer the 2007 Il Barone, 94 points, and La Castellana, 92 points in the Il Passito Room, our reserve wine tasting and wine club member room. Situated above the Courtyard, the Il Passito Room offers comfortable leather seating in which to enjoy our award-winning wines.
Utilizing grapes sourced from Bien Nacido Vineyards in Santa Barbara county, Castello di Amorosa Winemakers, Brooks Painter and Peter Velleno crafted an elegant Chardonnay worthy of 92 points in a recent edition of Wine Spectator.
American wine critic with particular expertise on California wines, Wine Spectator's, James Laube, commented, "A real treat in exotic Chardonnay. Firm, rich and creamy, with a mix of tropical fruit flavors built around guava, pineapple, fig and melon. Full-bodied, with spicy oak and a long, lingering finish. Drink now through 2017."
The 2007 vintage of this wine was Double Gold, Best of Class in Chardonnay at the 2010 American Fine Wine Competition in Florida and besting over 50 other Chardonnay's from around the country. Painter and Velleno will submit the 2008 vintage to Florida to defend it's well-earned title as one of the top Chardonnay's in America.
It's great paired with rich herb-roasted chicken and rich seafood dishes. Thinking of BBQing salmon? Aged in oak and full bodied this Chardonnay made at Napa Valley winery, Castello di Amorosa, is silky and mouth-filling and our recommended pairing for the bbq salmon all year round.
Bien Nacido Vineyards chosen "Vineyard of the Year" by California State Fair.
In January of 2010, Castello di Amorosa's 2007 Bien Nacido Vineyards Chardonnay was awarded Double Gold, Best of Class at the American Fine Wine Competition in Florida; it was the top Chardonnay of over 50 Chardonnay producers from around the U.S.
And now comes confirmation of the quality of the grapes that comes from this historic, vineyard-- Bien Nacido Vineyards of Santa Maria -- it won a the prestigious "California Vineyard of the Year" at this year's California State Fair. This award recognizes a California vineyard which has consistently - over several growing seasons - produced grapes that have contributed directly to wine of superior quality and marketability within commercial sales systems and among fine wine judges.
Congratulations Bien Nacido Vineyards.
Fog descends on Bien Nacido Vineyards near Santa Maria, California (Photo courtesy of Bien Nacido Vineyards)
Robert Parker, a leading U.S. wine critic with international influence can literally make or break wineries with his judgments. He was in the Napa Valley at the invitation of the Napa Valley Vintners Association and posted the following in his newsletter, The Wine Advocate.
Robert Parker score: 94
"The brilliant 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Il Barone boasts an opaque purple color as well as a beautiful sweet nose of blackberries, black currants, camphor, subtle toasty oak, and espresso roast. Rich and full-bodied with sweet tannin, a hint of smoked meats, deep fruit, and an impeccable balance, purity and texture, this stunning wine should drink nicely for 15-20 years."
Robert Parker score: 92
"The 2007 La Castellana is a proprietary blend of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, and 6% Sangiovese. An outstanding, hedonistic, complex red, it reveals notes of wild strawberries, new saddle leather, black currants, cherries, cedar, and smoked herbs. Full-bodied, lush, and seductive, this beautifully mouthfilling, supple wine should be enjoyed over the next 7-10 years."
Castello di Amorosa wines are sold only at the winery, directly to the consumer. The 2007 vintages Il Barone and La Castellena Super Tuscan will be released in 2012.
Waiting for more La Fantasia? Well, the wait is finally over; La Fantasia is back in the tasting room and we're so excited we're throwing a party. Wine club members and up to five of their guests are invited to Castello di Amorosa for a complimentary tasting of our wines including, the super-popular and now, "just released," Fantasia. It's at TheCastello (also our Twitter handle) Sunday, January 31, 2010 from 11:00 a.m. 'till 4:00 p.m.
Castello di Amorosa's La Fantasia is an Italian soft-style wine which is lower in alcohol, naturally sweet and refreshing with bright aromas of cherry, exotic flowers and wild berries. It sells out every year, so come by the tasting room to place your order.
Castello di Amorosa's 2006 Merlot was recently judged the best Merlot in a blind taste test sponsored by the Napa Valley Vintners Association and the St. Helena Star.
Judged by veteran Napa Valley winemakers, the Castello's Merlot was the least expensive of the five finalists.
Here's the link to the St. Helena Star article:
The following is an excerpt from the article:
"Castello di Amorosa Napa Valley Merlot 2006 ($34) is a bowl of ripe cherries, currants, raspberry and dark plum with dusty tannins. Crafted by winemaker Brooks Painter, this wine is 100% Merlot. Visiting the incredible castle, between Calistoga and St. Helena on Highway 29, would be a fun way to share the holiday with friends and family. While there won't be sleigh rides in the snow, Castello di Amorosa has horse-drawn carriage rides through the vineyards."
Visit Castello di Amorosa to taste the award-winning Merlot. Our wines are only available at the Castello or online.