Bottle Notes, Cabernet Sauvignon

The First 100 Point Bottle Note on Zinfandel Chronicles

Dalla Valle Vineyards was founded in 1986 by Gustav and Naoko Dalla Valle, who purchased 21 acres on the east side of Silverado Trail on Oakville Hill. They planted the vineyards to Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc and had their first crush in 1986. Dalla Valle produces a Cabernet Sauvignon and a very limited amount of a proprietary red named Maya, after the couple’s daughter. Maya usually contains 45-55% Cabernet Franc, and Robert Parker has written that the finest Cabernet Franc in “the New World is from Dalla Valle’s vineyard.” Though Gustav Dalla Valle died in 1995, Naoko has continued to run the winery.

Decanted for about one hour and served with Waygu Top Sirloin.

This bottle was opened on Day 3 of the #coronaviruswinechallenge. I hope to open a great bottle every night until we collectively get through this. Please consider joining by tagging me in your post on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Crimson in color. 13.5% ABV. Sublime nose of black and blue fruits, violets, cedar and leather. Full bodied and well balanced. Immense and concentrated. Blackberry, blueberry, cassis liqueur and licorice on the palate. The finish is breathtaking. It blows my mind how well this bottle is showing at 18 years of age. What an absolute stunner. Without question the best bottle of Dalla Valle I have ever opened. My last two bottles will be enjoyed over the next 6-8 years.

My rating: 100 points.

Since launching my blog in 2012 I have scored many wines in the 98-99 range. Examples include the 2002 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon, 1997 Pahlymeyer Proprietary Red and the 1989 Chateau Lynch Bages amongst a score of others. On Friday night this wine exceeded those bottles and was absolute perfection.

Dalla Valle wines are only available via the mailing list. The current vintage runs $175 and will be released later this Fall.

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