In 1906 Italian immigrant Matteo Battuello arrived in America by steamship docking at Ellis Island. Relatives in Napa Valley encouraged him to come to California, which he did, and in 1909 he purchased property in Saint Helena and founded Battuello Vineyards. Today the vineyard is managed by the 3rd and 4th generation of Battuellos, Craig and his son Dave, both of whom studied agriculture at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. They sell most of their grapes to Stag’s Leap (which makes a single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from Battuello grapes), but beginning in 2016 they began holding back a small amount for winemaker Michael Trujillo to craft into their own wines.
The 82 (68 planted) acre Battuello Vineyard lies in Napa Valley’s Saint Helena appellation where the family grows Cabernet Sauvignon, Valdiguie, Petit Verdot and Sauvignon Blanc. They follow sustainable farming practices. Total production is less than one thousand cases.
Battuello 2019 Valdiguié Rosé St Helena, Napa Valley ($28) 91 This rosé is lively, bright and packed with fruit. It evokes Thanksgiving cranberries and pink grapefruit with just a hint of cinnamon. Very appealing and superb balance with brisk acidity, nice depth and outstanding persistence. 100 cases made 12.5% alc.
Battuello 2018 Valdiguié St Helena, Napa Valley ($45) 92 Dark ruby. Our favorite of the Battuello portfolio, the Valdiguié offers delicious fresh aromas and flavors. Dark berries and spicy toasted oak show on the nose, while the palate reveals huckleberry, plum and a hint of red berries. There’s beautiful balance, juicy acidity, and good persistence on the finish. This wine is a winner! Aged in French oak. 145 cases produced. 14.5% alc.
Battuello 2018 Petit Verdot St. Helena, Napa Valley ($70) 91+ The Petit Verdot is a very good wine from its dark berry, dried herbs, and cedary nose to its rich, long finish. It’s soft on entry, silky in texture, and mouth filling with good density and purity. We especially like the persistent finish. 14.5% alc.
Battuello 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon St. Helena, Napa Valley ($90) 91 Saturated dark ruby. Showing a dark red fruited nose of mulberry, plum, cassis and toasted oak, this is a nicely concentrated, albeit slightly rustic, Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. Flavors mirror the nose with well integrated oak and earthy dark red fruit, finishing dry with good extract. There’s excellent fruit in this wine; greater refinement would give it an even higher evaluation. 14.4% alc. Just 65 cases made. 65 cases made, 14.4% alc.