By Jonathan H. Newman*
2010 Cloverdale Ranch Alexander Valley Cabernet by Pellegrini Family
UNIT SIZE: 750.00 ml
VARIETAL: Cabernet Sauvignon
GRAPE: Cabernet Sauvignon
COUNTRY: United States
REGION: Alexander Valley
ALCOHOL CONTENT: 14.50%
This is the fourth generation of the Pellegrini Family that has owned and grown grapes in the Sonoma Valley. Their holdings include some of the top vineyards like the famed Olivet Lane that goes into ultra premium wines like Williams Selyem Pinot Noir. They take great pride in their incredible portfolio including this fine Alexander Valley Cabernet vineyard. The taste profile of this wine exudes Alexander Valley Cabernet. And this wine is from Pellegrini Family’s single vineyard Cloverdale Ranch. 2010 was a uniquely intense vintage with two heat spikes in the summer that caused very low yields. I recently met in the Valley with the Pellegrini Family team and they are quite proud of this wine and spoke of its intensity and ageability. It has dark cherries and black raspberries front and center with blueberry jam, toasty vanilla oak, sage, licorice and a nutmeg pepper spice box. It’s quite nice and will pair with a diversity of foods including Veal Parmesan, Prime Rib, lamb chops and hearty chicken dishes.
By Cloverdale Ranch
2010 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Pellegrini Wine Company is a family-owned business that has been growing grapes and producing wine in Sonoma County, California, for four generations. The Pellegrini family name has been associated with every tier of the wine business since the early part of the 20th Century, from grape sellers to a wholesale wine distribution company. The story of Olivet Lane & Pellegrini wines, as we know them today, starts with a spark in the family's third generation. Robert, under the urging of his grandfather & an epiphany he had while traveling through vineyards in Beaune, France, set out to establish a new family vineyard. In 1973, the Pellegrini's purchased a 70-acre apple, plum & olive orchard on West Olivet Road in Santa Rosa. They planted Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, developing one of the first vineyards in the region devoted exclusively to these two varieties - which would become known as the Olivet Lane Vineyard, named after the 120 olive trees which line the vineyard's east entrance. It was one of the first Pinot Noir estates in the Russian River Valley, and over the years has been the grape source for many of the Valley’s Pinot Noir luminaries, in addition to the family’s own award-winning Olivet Lane Estate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir production. Today, Olivet Lane is home to Pellegrini Wine Company's state-of-the-art Tuscan styled winery, which opened its doors in 2001. We produce small lot wines from our estate grown grapes, as well as select vineyards in the region. Quality & unadorned terroir is of our utmost priority in every bottle.
The 2010 growing season would be classified as a cool one. There were however two massive heat spikes both in July and August. The first heat wave was the most damaging, Fruit that was still green cooked under the unseasonal heat. We lost about 50% of our crop between both heat waves. The result of this calamity was small yields that benefited from a long Indian summer. The fruit was picked at perfect ripeness and fermented in small stainless steel tanks. The ferments were aerated early on to provide color, supple tannins and mouthfeel. Once fermentation was complete the new wine underwent an extended maceration on the skins to further develop structure and complexity before being pressed off to barrel. Both primary and secondary fermentations were completed with indigenous yeast and flora.
The 2010 vintage of our Cloverdale Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon is dark garnet in color, with complex aromas of currants, cedar and winter spice. The tannin profile is as concentrated as the fruit which is the result of the smaller yields on the vines. A great year for the consumer, this wine will age and age.
[Information provided by J.H.N.]
*Jonathan Newman was Wine Enthusiasts’ Man of the Year. He also was Chairman of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, and received national recognition in Marvin Shanken’s Market Watch Magazine and many other international wine publications. He was also awarded the Guild of Sommeliers highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award. Mr. Newman's reviews have been published and quoted extensively online and in print. He travels extensively to many of the major wine growing regions and evaluates many of the wines we source from smaller and boutique wineries. We interact closely with him and the result is his rejection rate of over 96% of the wines evaluated.