Two months ago I celebrated my centennial video with a visit to Napa, California’s V. Sattui winery (the visit was virtual through a wine review). Today, we make a return virtual visit to preview three more of their wines. V. Sattui is in the midst of celebrating 125 years. Established in San Francisco in 1885 by Vittorio Sattui and then re-established in St. Helena in 1975 by Vittorio’s great grandson Dario, V. Sattui is one of the few remaining established family businesses in the wine world.
Truly a unique Napa destination winery, V. Sattui is 100% self distributed through their tasting room, and through the old fashion phone and interwebs. The majestic grounds and picnic areas add to the enjoyment of visiting. If you want to see some amazing pictures, check out the V. Sattui wedding blog!
For today’s tasting, V. Sattui sent three different cheeses from their Italian Marketplace-Deli. With pasta, Panini, charcuterie, deserts, breads, salads and 205 different cheeses from around the world you may get more than a little distracted from the wine. The cheese didn’t quite make it to wine tasting but I can vouch that it was yummy.
2008 V. Sattui Sauvignon Blanc (Vittorio’s Vineyard)
- The Stuff: 99.8% Sauvignon Blanc and .2% Semillon (not sure why?). This wine was fermented in stainless steel but a portion (18%) of the wine spent time in neutral French oak. 773 cases were made; 14.5% ABV
- The Swirl: The wine is much lighter in color than I would expect for a Sauvignon Blanc.
- The Sniff: An amazing amount of aroma jumps out of the glass. The wine starts as a tropical blast with subtle hints of almonds and lemon zest.
- The Sip: The soft subtle initial attack wraps around your tongue and then gives way to gentle melon flavors, pineapple, and moderately tart lemons. The traditional flavors are very well integrated and offer fantastic layers of enjoyment. The wine keeps evolving in the mouth and with each sip!
- The Score: At $22 this is a bargain. The layers of quality flavor won’t disappoint. Easily a 4/5
- The Stuff: The Alexander Valley fruit is 93.8% Cab Franc, 3.9% Cab Sauv and 1.4% Merlot (sadly I misspoke in the video). Fermented in stainless steel and aged in 50% new French oak. 14.8%ABV, 637 cases
- The Swirl: Colors of grapey purple, dark and medium bodied.
- The Sniff: The initial impression reminds me of taking a plum and rubbing in the dirt for a while. There are also aromas of green pepper.
- The Sip: A soft attack of plums and blackberries that transform into black tea or coffee on the mid-palate. The medium bodied wine offers a slight zip of pepper and a smooth finish.
- The Score: At $30 this is a 3+/5
- The Stuff: 100% Zinfandel from Howell Mountain AVA. Aged 16 months in 50% new oak, 14.5%ABV
- The Swirl: Slightly tanned colors with a medium thin rust color that is about 60% opaque
- The Sniff: Definitely not your big berry Zinfandel. The wine offers a soft aroma of cedar and hints of pepper and earth. If you’re looking for a strawberry jam pie, this isn’t it.
- The Sip: The V. Sattui Zin comes off a little thin on the fruit and then offers licorice and mocha flavors. This isn’t a poorly made wine, just different from what I’ve come to expect from a California Zin. At $40, give it a try before you buy, 3/5
*wine was provided as an industry sample with the intention to review