Bottle Notes, Cabernet Sauvignon

2003 Dalla Valle Cabernet Sauvignon – Bottle Notes

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.

Purple in color. 13.5% ABV. Stunning nose of blue and black fruits, molten licorice, scorched earth and leather. Concentrated, big and chewy. Even at 18 years of age there is some youthful exuberance but at the same time some tertiary notes are present. Supreme balance. Blueberries, cassis liqueur, graphite and earth on the palate. The finish on the wine is exceptionally long with an abundance of coarse tannins. Not nearly as good as a recent bottle of the ’02 but still pretty special. Best over the next 2-4 years.

My rating: 95 points.

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

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