Dalla Valle Vineyards overlooks the Napa Valley floor from a hillside terrace, 400 feet above the Silverado Trail in Oakville. Since Gustav and Naoko Dalla Valle purchased the property in 1982 and began planting vines, this exceptional acreage has continually distinguished itself as an ideal site for producing some of the world’s finest wines. The convergence of lingering sunlight, cooling marine influence, red volcanic soil, low yielding vineyards and fastidious attention to detail mean that the wines age very well.
The top wine is named after their daughter Maya, composed of 50% Cabernet Franc and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon. The newest addition to the Dalla Valle stable is Collina; made to be enjoyed upon release from the fruit of the estate’s young vines.
2012 Dalla Valle Collina
This newest offering from Dalla Valle is a compelling testament to what Dalla Valle’s hillside blocks are capable of producing. Blended mainly from the fruit of the estate’s young vines, Collina, which means “hill” in Italian, is intended to be enjoyed upon release—although, like all Dalla Valle wines, it will continue to evolve for a decade or longer. 2012 was a spectacular vintage in Napa Valley, with mild temperatures, very little precipitation, and an Indian summer that lasted until late October. The fruit on the Dalla Valle estate ripened beautifully, allowing us to harvest over several weeks with optimum flavour, aromatics, and tannin. The 2012 Collina Dalla Valle, produced mainly from younger vines on the estate, highlights the delicacy, precision, and richness of the vintage.
Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
The 2013 vintage, which fell in the second year of an extended drought in California, produced wines with remarkable concentration, aromatic brightness, and a strong sense of place. On our vineyard, which sits several hundred feet above the valley in the eastern hills of Oakville, both the Cabernet Franc and the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes arrived at the winery with an intense character, and great varietal definition. In the winery, the grapes seemed to extract quickly, with loads of color, and ample tannins. Even going straight to barrel the wines seemed fully formed, though with a very firm tannin profile.
The Cabernet Sauvignon offering from our Oakville Estate is dazzling in its purity, depth, concentration, and balance. The intensity of this vintage shows immediately in the wine, with its black-purple hue and notable viscosity. The fruit arrived at the winery in pristine condition, a relatively light crop of small, flavor-packed berries. As is the case with all of our wines, the winemaking is decidedly simple: berries are destemmed, the fruit is soaked cold for a number of days. After a slow, controlled fermentation—which retains fruit character and gently extracts tannin—the wine is macerated on the skins until we feel the tannin character is just right. In 2013, it did not take long for us to feel the power and structure of the vintage. The resulting wine went directly to barrels, where it aged for 22 months, before being bottled without fining or filtration. The final blend—Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot—is phenomenally dark in color, and while it is rich in tannin and extract, the texture is silky, polished and long. In its youth, the wine is showing notes of mocha, cassis, black cherry, clay, and smoke. On the palate the fruit and spices are very generous, even at this stage, and these flavors crescendo on the finish, with ample acidity helping lengthen the impression. It is a classic vintage.
Maya 2014 – Available early 2019
This jewel in the crown originates in the remarkable vineyard that shares its name. A proprietary blend aged in primarily new French oak, Maya showcases the site’s exceptional Cabernet Franc; it is graceful and alluring with an unmistakable pedigree. Fewer than 500 cases are produced each year.