in the Mix was recently invited to a tasting of Antica Napa Valley wines by Estate Manager, Glenn Salva. Antica represents “Antinori California,” and the estate fulfills the family’s longstanding desire to produce wines with personality and style in the Napa Valley. The Antinori family’s winegrowing philosophy – to produce wines with passion, patience and perseverance – is expressed fully at Antica Napa Valley.
Antica Napa Valley produces a Napa Valley Chardonnay ($35) and a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($55) that are 100% Estate grown and 100% varietal. The wines truly reflect where they are grown. Glenn has managed the vineyards on Atlas Peak for more than 20 years and he works for the Antinori family.
Antica’s steep, rocky and well-drained soils are the perfect match for Cabernet Sauvignon. The Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are harvested from the estate’s 24-acre Townsend vineyard, which sits at an elevation of 1460 feet. The volcanic soils and low yields per vine create grapes with great structure, fruit concentration and persistent flavors.
We sent our correspondent Brittany Chardin, a certified sommelier, to meet Glenn at the St. Regis to review the wines, and here is what she had to say…
Antica Napa Valley Chardonnay 2009
I enjoyed this Chardonnay immensely. I fully disclose that I am not typically a Napa Chardonnay lover and find that so many are over-oaked and over manipulated. But I found a lot to love is this wine from the hillsides of Napa Valley.
The pleasant minerality is well-balanced with the slightly tropical floral and rich citrus, almost lemon curd notes. The freshly ripe pear, white peach and elderflower blossom carry from the nose to the palate. Fruit and acidity stay focused through to the rich, creamy oak and warm vanilla-spice finish. Powerful, yet with good finesse that I don’t typically find in a Napa Chardonnay.
Antica Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Under-priced or great value are terms one hears regularly in regard to California Cabernets. Often that is because of a price adjustment the winery has taken to fit in with the current economics. However, I just could not stop thinking, sip after sip, that the 2008 Antica Cabernet was one of the best steals, at any price, I have tasted all year.
The cold spring and low yields of the 2008 Atlas Peak harvest allowed for terrific elegance and fruit concentration in this (the 5th) vintage from the Antinori’s Antica Winery. Rich with dark red and black fruits, especially plump currants, and complex sweet roasted coffee notes, with a hint of mocha and spice. I suspect this wine will have a decade or more of terrific aging potential, but its fine tannins, balanced acidity and rich fruit flavors will insure it never knows anything past 2011 in my house.