Amizetta Estate 2010 “Complexity” Napa Valley
I have been drinking a lot of California Cabernets lately, and starting on New Year’s Eve, I started a little sidetrack into the wines of France, Margaux in particular. Well this couldn’t have been better timing for a sample of Amizetta Complexity to arrive.
Complexity’s blend is a “Bordeaux style”, and while it is not very similar to the wines of Bordeaux, it still represents a departure from the standard Napa Vally fare. Speaking of the blend, the wine consists of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, and 5% Cabernet Franc.
A little back story on the vineyard and winery:
The vineyard was founded in 1979 and located on the southern end of Howell Mountain (although not actually in the Howell Mountain AVA) the hillside vineyard sits at about 1,000 ft elevation. While perusing the Amizetta website I found some interesting information on hillside, or hill slope vineyards in Napa. In an effort to preserve mountain views, it has become extremely difficult to develop any new hillside vineyards. As such, the 40 acre Amizetta vineyard has become somewhat coveted, because of its size, elevation and that it faces south.
The winery was built in the middle of the vineyard in 1985, and Amizetta enlisted the help of a Mr. Justin Meyers. Justin is the founder and wine-maker at Silver Oak. The idea behind the winery was to make a “wine makers winery”.
Which brings us back to the 2010 Complexity. The fruit for this wine is estate grown, the wine was aged in French oak for 18 months, and only 1,250 cases were made. The wine retails for $45 a bottle
I decanted for 30 minutes prior to tasting. My first sip was extraordinarily rich and ripe, extracted, concentrated and jammy. However, it was only like this on the first few sips. With a few more minutes in the glass, and with my palate adjusting, the wine calmed down and the complexity started to shine through. The first thing to stand out were the tannins. The wine is remarkably mature for a 2010, yet the tannins are unmistakable, they are almost dust like in their texture. Fine, granular. The nose is nice, thanks to a hint of Cabernet Franc. As the wine opened up the elements of earth and tobacco mentioned in the winery’s tasting notes began to appear. At $45 a bottle this is a decent value for a relatively rare wine, and it should cellar well over the next 5-10 or more years. Luckily the winery shipped me 2 bottles, and if I am able to exercise any restraint I might be able to re-sample this wine in the future and see how its coming along!
Weekly Wine Journal rating: 93 points