Bacio Divino Proprietary Red 1996
Blend: 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Sangiovese, 9% Petite Sirah, 8% Merlot
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Being so motivated, I longed to create a distinctive, noble wine. In the California tradition of working with the new to improve the traditional, I looked to achieve a way of broadening the distinctly majestic flavors and aromas of the king of Napa Valley's varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon. Over the years I've had the opportunity to experiment with various lots of Cabernet, and I eventually settled on the hillside fruit from Ahollinger vineyards in the Mount Veeder area. This vineyard produces a bold and expressive, yet elegant wine. In 1992, we discovered the Sangiovese fruit of Cal Showket in the Oakville appellation, and were literally overwhelmed by the intensity of what resulted in our first crush in 1993. To embellish the color and acid levels of the Sangiovese, we crushed and macerated this fruit with one and a half tons of the best Petite Syrah fruit I had ever sampled.
As time aged each of these wines, and molded their individual character, I was able to determine a blend that married the elegant, yet rich and softly oaked Cabernet with the Sangiovese's long and linear tannins, at the same time elevating the cherry, berry Sangiovese fruit to a pronounced level. The resulting wine showed that a whole could be greater than it's individual parts. And so...'Bacio Divino', a divine kiss, was born.
California is a winemaking colossus; by itself it is the fourth largest producer in the world. Red wine accounts for 56% of the total by volume, and red grapes 63% of total acres planted. In addition, a number of California red wines are heralded as being among the most prestigious and sought-after wines in the world.
While the state’s incredibly diverse geography, soils and microclimates allow for a wide array of styles, the key factor unifying California red wine is the abundance of sunshine and a long, consistent growing season. This leads to well-developed fruit marked both by impressive ripeness and balancing acidity.
The state’s most famous red wine region, of course, is Napa Valley, where Cabernet Sauvignon reigns as king. But California boasts a wealth of other impressive appellations. The much larger and climatically varied Sonoma County also produces world class California Cabernet, along with wonderful examples of California Pinot Noir and Zinfandel.
Fine versions of Cabernet and Zinfandel hail from Paso Robles as well, which is also gaining fame with Rhone varietals like Syrah and Grenache. As for Pinot Noir, terrific examples can be found from AVA’s such as Anderson Valley, Carneros, Santa Lucia Highlands and Sta. Rita Hills. Wineries in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties are making wonderful Syrahs, and the Sierra Foothill appellations are proving to be an experimental hotbed, with Italian and Spanish varietals employed to great effect.
This of course is a mere sketch. The subject of California red wine is as deep and broad as an ocean, and absolutely a joy to explore!