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Flat front label of wine

Kuleto Estate Sangiovese 1998

Sangiovese from Napa Valley, California
  • WE88
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

This is a rich and abundantly flavorful wine from 100% Sangiovese estate-grown grapes. Our hillside fruit is so flavorful that we are able to follow in the great tradition of Tuscany's revered Brunellos, also 100% Sangiovese.

This wine, made from fruit hand-picked from 19 distinct planting blocks of Sangiovese, is naturally layered and complex, making what we feel is a delicious and powerful expression of just how good a California Sangio can be. We hope to make you, too, a believer in this versatile, fun-to-drink, Italian varietal.

Spicy dark fruits, smoky aroma, layers of baked plums and dark chocolate with a rich nuance of anise.

Gently pressed and fermented using native yeast under guidance of Winemaster John Konsgaard. Barrel-aged 15 months in 25% new French oak (medium-toast), 75% neutral barrels.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 88
Wine Enthusiast
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Kuleto Estate

Kuleto Estate

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Kuleto Estate, Napa Valley, California
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In 1992, culinary entrepreneur Pat Kuleto assembled five parcels from cattle ranchers to create a 761-acre ranch of wild hillside land on the eastern edge of the Napa Valley, overlooking Lake Hennessey, Pritchard Hill and the towns of Rutherford and St. Helena.

Plantings included cabernet sauvignon, sangiovese, pinot noir, chardonnay, syrah, zinfandel and muscat, planted at elevations ranging from 800 to 1450 feet. Construction of the state-of-the-art Kuleto-designed winery was finished in 2001, completing the vineyard estate that had grown to include extensive orchards, gardens, and a working ranch with sheep, fowl, cattle and fish from the property’s Lake Brunello.

Winemaker Dave Lattin and vineyard manager Alberto Ochoa individually cultivate and craft the small vineyard blocks at every stage of their development, focusing on lots as small as half a ton. Kuleto Estate is crafting excellent wines of character and distinction that reflect the remarkable attributes of their unique terroir.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960's, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.

The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those is the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

Sangiovese

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The perfect intersection of bright fruit and savory earthiness, Sangiovese is the backbone variety in Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino. Elsewhere throughout Italy, it can make inexpensive wines for daily consumption ranging from inoffensive to deliciously easy. On the French island of Corsica, under the name Nielluccio, it produces excellent bright and refreshing red and rosé wines with a personality of their own. Sangiovese has also enjoyed moderate popularity in California and Washington State over the last few decades.

In the Glass

Sangiovese is a medium-bodied red with savory flavors of tart cherry, plum, tomato, fresh tobacco, anise, thyme, oregano, and dried earth. High-quality, well-aged examples will take on notes of smoke, clay pot, leather, gamey meat, potpourri, and dried fruits. Corsican Nielluccio is distinguished by a subtle perfume of dried flowers.

Perfect Pairings

Sangiovese is the ultimate pizza and pasta red—its high acidity, moderate alcohol, and grainy tannins create an affinity with tomato-based dishes, spicy meats, and anything off the barbecue.

Sommelier Secret

Although it is the star variety of Tuscany, cult-classic “Super-Tuscan” wines may contain no Sangiovese at all! Since the 1970s, local winemakers have been producing big, bold wines (with price tags to match) that are typically monovarietal or a blend of one or more of several international varieties—usually Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, or Syrah—with or without Sangiovese.

KVWSANGIOVESE_1998 Item# 40047