Harvest: Villa Ragazzi picked Sangiovese for red winemaking on September 1, a full 9 days earlier than last year. Even for an early variety like Sangiovese, that's early. The fruit looked great!
The surprise? Last night we brought this 47-year old bottle of Louis Martini Pinot Noir to our traditional anniversary dinner at La Toque (one of Napa's finest restaurants). It had been in our cellar since 1978, when Louis P. Martini gave me a mixed case of his wines as a thank you for organizing Napa Valley's first joint vintner tour of the US. (Another vintner gave me a tree.) Moët & Chandon loaned us their business jet, so we traveled in style. The whole story is in my book, Bubbles to Boardrooms http://tinyurl.com/ycuk2p2k.
We knew Louis made wines that age well, but weren't sure what to expect since very little good Pinot Noir was made back then. No worries: the cork was in perfect condition, the color a lovely clear red, and the fruit very present along with bottle age characters. Delicious. Thank you again, Louis.