Did you know that the Marchese Antinori of the 600 year old (26 generations) Antinori winemaking family makes a Napa Valley Cabernet?
Antica Napa Valley is a true blend of Italy and California, not only in name, but in style, too. The Antinori family’s long, storied winemaking history has long been synonymous with the regions of Tuscany and Umbria, but their passion for innovation has led a quest to promote new terroirs rich with winegrowing potential…like Napa Valley.
Since Marchese Piero Antinori’s first visit in 1966, he dreamt of producing an Antinori Napa Valley wine. It took a long time, when he returned to California in the mid-1980s, Piero was a man with a plan. The Antinori family purchased shares in a venture along with England’s Whitbread and France’s Champagne Bollinger to develop a 1,200 acre Napa Valley wine estate on a high plain in the eastern mountains of Napa Valley. Piero knew that the property’s location—with its rocky soil, high elevation, and drop-dead gorgeous landscape—had great potential for growing quality wine grapes.
For Piero, this land was love at first sight. So it seemed like fate when the Antinori family was presented with the opportunity to purchase the Whitbred’s and Bollinger’s shares in 1993. The family bought out the partners and happily assumed direct ownership of the estate. Piero hand-picked reserve blocks that would be used to produce an Antinori Family Napa Valley wine; the remaining blocks were leased under a 15-year agreement that expired in November 2008.
As luck would also have it, a neighbor was looking to sell a property adjacent to the estate. So in 1993, the family bought an adjoining tract of land that included 24 acres of vineyard. This boon provided an additional selection of grapes to use in the first vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon (2001), and though limited in production, it was a small but important first step towards establishing this Napa Valley property.
In 2006, the estate was named Antica Napa Valley—Antica being a combination of Antinori and California, and the word for ancient in Italian. But Antica is more than a name. It’s a symbol that represents the realization of Piero’s long-standing desire to produce a Napa Valley wine and a milestone in the family’s long winemaking tradition. Antica Napa Valley’s 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2006 Chardonnay were released in limited quantities to the market in September 2007. But with more than 600 years of winemaking history behind them, this release marked the beginning of another chapter in the Antinori family’s storied winemaking tale.
Our 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon is the type of wine that makes you weak in the knees---it’s refined and beautiful with great intensity and purity. It’s a perfect blend of red fruit with a touch of minerality. Its fine tannins and long finish make your tongue dance while you savor ever last sip.
94 points Robert Parker: "The finest wine I have yet tasted from Piero Antinori’s rocky hillside vineyard on Soda Canyon Road in southeast Napa, this 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon boasts a dense purple color along with a rich, sumptuous bouquet of licorice, creme de cassis, and smoky oak. This opulent, fleshy, full-bodied wine exhibits beautiful purity and concentrated fruit. It should age nicely for 15-20 years. Impressive ... and reasonably priced!" (12/09)
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Grown on Antinori’s original property, high on Atlas Peak, although you’d never know it from searching the front or back labels. It’s a very fine wine, dry and elegantly constructed, with little of the baby fat over-the-topness that affects some Napa Cabs. Within that firm structure are extraordinarily complex blackberry, black currant and spicy plum flavors. Delicious now despite the firm tannins, and should develop over the next 8-10 years, at least." (12/10)