Bottle Notes, Cabernet Sauvignon

1997 Dalla Valle Cabernet Sauvignon – Bottle Notes

The 1997 Dalla Valle Cabernet Sauvignon was the winning bottle in the August installment of Pick Ny Next Bottle. The wine was decanted for two hours.

Dalla Valle 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.

Deep red in color and fading to rust on the edges. 13.5% AVB. 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc. High toned nose of glycerine, tobacco, cherry and eucalyptus. Rich, structured and full bodied. Still somewhat tightly wound. Currants, cassis, menthol, chocolate, tar and licorice on the palate. Chalky, dusty tannins. I have no doubt this wine will age well for another decade.

My rating: 93 points.

Dalla Valle wines are only available via the mailing list. The current vintages runs $150. I continue to buy this wine year in and year out.

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2 thoughts on “1997 Dalla Valle Cabernet Sauvignon – Bottle Notes

  1. Great review, Tom. The wine that got me into collecting was 1991 Dalla Valle Maya. It was an epiphany wine, mind blowingly delicious and massively complex. I will always have a soft spot for this winery. Cheers!

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