I was introduced to Di Costanzo and Massimo by Mike Smith in Saint Helena a few years back. Mike suggested I try the wines as he thought I would really enjoy Massimo's style and his project. Well he was right as usual and I've been following the wines since the 2013 vintage. I had a tasting lined up for a larger group of customers in Napa with Erin but our meeting was cancelled. Not to be deterred Erin was nice enough to join my wife and I for lunch at Charter Oak in Saint Helena to kick off our weekend.
I met Erin when she was still at Acme so it was great to see her and spend some time catching up and trying some awesome wines. Erin has a great palate and knowledge of wine so she and Massimo are quite a team. Their story reminded us of many of the great producers we met back in the mid 2000's that risked so much to pursue their passion of making great wine. These are the producers we love to support. Erin brought 3 wines that she opened and decanted as we arrived and we followed the wines for about 90 minutes over lunch.
2017 DiCo- Like the 16 this is sourced from the Rafael vineyard. Deep and dark with notes of sage and black fruit. This really opened up over time and more then held it's own next to the 2 very serious wines next to it. Nice energy and freshness run through the wine. It developed additional complexity and character as it opened. I will let mine spend some time in the cellar when they arrive but can be enjoyed now with decanting. A great value in Napa Cabernet. Very good with upside
2016 Di Costanzo Farella- I've had the 13 and 14 recently and am a big fan of what Massimo does with Farella. The 16 I believe is the best yet. It's a bit deeper, darker and slightly more savory than the 14. There is great energy and verve balanced by friendly tannin that makes the wine very approachable now. There is a great note of dark cocoa running through the finish. It will be hard to leave these alone as its terrific now but will want to try this in a few years as I think some additional time in bottle will help. Outstanding and if I had to put a number 96 points with upside for me
2017 Montecillo - Really cool story behind how several producers are now getting access to this vineyard in the Moon Mountain AVA. It will be a fun tasting in a few years to try these wines together if I can source them all. I believe Bedrock, Di Costanzo, Turley and Ketan Mody's Beta Wines made a 2017. Massimo's was my first to try from this area. Another wow wine with deep dark fruit, tremendous energy and reflective of Massimo's style of letting the place and wine speak for itself. The savory finish has a slight herb and black pepper note which reminds me of some of the great Sonoma wines I've had in the past. This is very young now but showed well with time in the decanter. Outstanding now but let this one rest for a few years.
Erin said the 17 single vineyards will be released in the new year so keep an eye out for the release. It sounds like some 16 Farella is still left if you have not tried yet. Overall these wines reflect the sweet spot in Napa cab for me. Plenty of fresh fruit and energy with perhaps a lighter touch on oak and ripeness. These walk the line between modern and classic styles and should be enjoyed by folks who like both styles.
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Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
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