California’s Castello di Amorosa: Sangiovese and More

Napa Valley tourists may be attracted to the Castello di Amorosa by the faux 13th century Tuscan castle with moat, torture chamber, and several hundred feet of elaborately carved underground wine caves.  A much better reason, in our opinion, is to taste the excellent, growing portfolio of wines made by Brooks Painter, Director of Winemaking.  Consistent with its Tuscan image, the Castello’s portfolio includes Sangiovese.  It’s one of the few wineries in California to have achieved success with this variety. We review the latest releases below.  These wines are only available at the winery or online.

The Wines

Castello di Amorosa 2017 Sangiovese Napa Valley ($36) 92  Medium light red. Showing a spicy nose of fresh and dried red cherry, this is a beautiful example of Sangiovese. The palate is silky and mouth filling with light herbal/earthy notes complementing the delicious fruit and with round tannins, finishing very long and pure. 14.7% alc. A blend of 85% Sangiovese from the estate vineyard in the Diamond Mountain District and the Voyager Vineyard and 15% Merlot matured 18 months in 35% new French oak.  Outstanding value!

Castello di Amorosa 2018 Sangiovese Voyager Vineyard Napa Valley ($45) 91  Another very good Sangiovese from the Castello, this single vineyard bottling is a bit reticent on the nose but flavorful on the palate, showing good depth of dark cherry fruit along with some rustic herbal notes, finishing with dry tannins.  100% Sangiovese from the Voyager Vineyard matured 18 months in 35% new French oak. 14.5% alc.

Castello di Amorosa 2018 Pinot Noir Morning Dew Ranch Anderson Valley ($75) 93  Medium ruby red.  This was one of the best Pinot Noirs we tasted for our Anderson Valley report, and the 2018 vintage continues course.  It shows pretty, pure red cherry, pomegranate, and raspberry fruit with light nuances of savory herbs. It has a silky texture, pliable tannins and a long, rich finish.  Harvested on October 8 from the Castello’s vineyard in Mendocino’s Anderson Valley; matured 11 months in 53% new French oak. The Morning Dew Ranch is located just west of Philo and is home to a wide variety of clones.  13.1% alc.

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