2000 VDLC Sangiovese
Sangiovese •Vin de la Cruz (Iridesse)
California: Napa Valley
What we say
[Note: Due to exceptional nature of this deal and the fact that we are just opening our doors to the public we will be running this wine for a couple days.]
WINE SPIES DEAL ALERT!
If you like Old World wines that are easy drinking and smooth - but with tons of character - this is a great wine.
This Napa Valley Sangiovese surprised us with its subtle complexity and Old Italy taste. We know that ‘subtle complexity’ sounds oxymoronic, but hang in with us here.
On first sniff, this wine smells of ripe plum, dark leather and a unique smell of fresh, clean soil. First sip hits you a little sharply on the tip of the tongue, but quickly mellows as you roll it around. Initial flavors of cedar, subtle strawberry and dark plum fill your mouth. After you let this wine breathe for a little while, more complex flavors and aromas of mixed herbs and powdered cocoa emerge.
This seven year old wine, is delicious and it will only improve with age.
Our spies found this wine to be an easy drinker that likes to be sipped or gulped (for different effect). It reminds us of finer wines we have enjoyed while on covert operations in Europe and it is easily enjoyed by itself or with a fine meal. We drank ours with a delicious homemade Penne Carbonara ala Agent Zin. What a great pairing! [want the recipe? write to firstname.lastname@example.org]
The Wine Spies extend a big THANK YOU to Iridesse for making this wine available to our customers! We only wish that there was more.
The Winery Backstory
In 2000, winemakers Patrick and Genevieve Llerena started a winery called Vina de la Cruz. The wines were great and met with critical acclaim, but the name was problematic for them. Back they went to their secret wine lab where they toiled with branding and naming. They emerged soon after as “Iridesse”, which embodied the essence of their approach to wines and wine-making.
Here’s what they say about their winery:
“The iridescent colors of the dragonfly capture the eye and the imagination. In much the same way as with color, the aromas and flavors of wine sparkle, glimmer, shift and change with each sip – iridescence of flavor. It is our pleasure to present, Iridesse Wines. Iridesse expresses the efforts of master growers and our careful winemaking to create small lots of unique wines.”
We say that we love their passion and we love their wine. This particular wine is super delicious and at $15 a bottle - for a $40 wine that drinks like a $50 wine - its a real covert value. Like Italian wines? This is what a great Tuscan wine should taste like.
What the winery says
Try a wine that should be retailing from $40 for only $15 per bottle!
The 2000 Sangiovese Napa Valley from Vina de la Cruz - a precursor to Iridesse Wines - is a great wine. These cases were tucked away in the back of the warehouse and forgotten as we changed labels to Iridesse. When we found them, we immediately shared them with our favorite Wine Spies. Is it a good wine? Here’s the review it got upon release:
89 POINTS! • Vina de la Cruz 2000 Anam Cara, Sangiovese, Napa Valley $36.
“Brilliant ruby red hue. Cherry, thyme and cedar aromas. A medium-bodied palate leads to an elegant finish with high acidity, supple tannins and bright fruit flavors. A vibrant and food-friendly wine.” (tasted on May-01-2002)
Now more than five years later, take this description by the ratings panel to the Wine Enthusiast and then add some more. Decant this wine for ten minutes and let it shrug-off the bottle bouquet. The color has deepened some, but still shines. Perfume of Plumeria and Lilies, black olives, and figs then cedar aromas blend into your palate with the ripe plum, leather, Herbs de Provence, and wild strawberries. The finish is as alive as ever with bright acids and gentle tannins still framing the long, food-friendly acids that linger, linger, linger.
It makes no sense for us to go through all the trouble of re-labelling such a small amount of wine to our new Iridesse brand. We would much rather let you - Wine Spies faithful - have a wine to drink every night with no excuses or apologies!