The 2016 La Vita blend features Refosco as the leading component, followed by Dolcetto and Nebbiolo. This unique Northern Italian blend is big and bold, but has distinct old-world character. Refosco and Dolcetto contribute darker fruit and structure to the blend, while Nebbiolo brings lively aromatics and bright color. Fruity notes of black plum and cranberry are met with black pepper, licorice, and savory spice. This wine was aged a lengthy 31 months in barrel and another year in the bottle prior to release, but will continue to improve as its rich tannins soften. This wine is ready to enjoy now, but can be cellared for another 5-10 years if you prefer. Suggested food pairings include creamy cheeses, rich Italian dishes, tri-tip, and meatballs.
At the turn of the century, brothers Phillip and John Bargetto emigrated from Piedmont, Italy and later established Bargetto winery in 1933. They brought with them years of Italian wine-making history. Wanting to highlight the distinct quality of their mountain-grown wine, Phillip and John decided to label their first wine with the designation "Select Mountain Vineyard" to showcase where the grapes were grown.
The Next Generation...
The Bargetto Family winemaking heritage continued with John's son, Lawrence, who during the 1960's and 1970's introduced modern technology such as stainless steel fermentation and added new Santa Cruz Mountains varietals such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. He also instituted the Chaucer's line.
Today, the third generation of Bargetto's direct the operation of the winery, which stands as the oldest California winery producing Santa Cruz Mountains wines. We have continued our pioneering spirit with the establishment of a new Santa Cruz Mountains Vineyard in Corralitos, California (Santa Cruz County), where we have planted Chardonnay, Merlot and Pinot Noir. In keeping with our family heritage, we plan to experiment with the northern Italian varieties.
A rugged and topographically diverse cool-climate appellation with a rich history, the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA stretches from Half Moon Bay, just south of San Francisco, to the northern border of Monterey County. Elevations range from 800 feet to upwards of 3,000 and microclimates vary substantially depending on which side of the mountains the vineyards lie; cool ocean winds and fog play an important role here. This can be a challenging region in which to grow grapes, but it is well worth the effort. Santa Cruz Mountains wines are noted for balanced acidity levels, often showing great aging potential. Wine has been made here since the 1800s, most notably from the legendary Ridge Vineyards, whose Monte Bello vineyard garners international admiration.
Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are the stars of this region, while Merlot and Zinfandel also perform quite well. Organic and sustainable vineyard practices are becoming increasingly common.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended red wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged resulting in a wide variety of red wine styles. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a red wine blend variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.
How to Serve Red Wine
A common piece of advice is to serve red wine at “room temperature,” but this suggestion is imprecise. After all, room temperature in January is likely to be quite different than in August, even considering the possible effect of central heating and air conditioning systems. The proper temperature to aim for is 55° F to 60° F for lighter-bodied reds and 60° F to 65° F for fuller-bodied wines.
How Long Does Red Wine Last?
Once opened and re-corked, a bottle stored in a cool, dark environment (like your fridge) will stay fresh and nicely drinkable for a day or two. There are products available that can extend that period by a couple of days. As for unopened bottles, optimal storage means keeping them on their sides in a moderately humid environment at about 57° F. Red wines stored in this manner will stay good – and possibly improve – for anywhere from one year to multiple decades. Assessing how long to hold on to a bottle is a complicated science. If you are planning long-term storage of your reds, seek the advice of a wine professional.