California: Oakville (Napa)
The Tuscan Son
Today’s offering is another stunning wine from the 96-point (Robert Parker) 2007 vintage!
By now you know just how much we adore Swanson Vineyards. While you are probably used to their finer Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot offerings, you may not be as familiar with their stunning Sangiovese.
Built for finer food pairings, this wine is also a delightful solo-sipper. Shy, at first, this wine really springs to life with some hearty swirling, revealing deep and very authentic fruit flavors and deep aromatics.
On the palate, the wine is plush and full. Bright acids support the fruit, driving flavors to the far corners of the mouth.
Serve with a grilled and garlic rubbed steak or classic Italian fare. We recommend a hearty ragu, dried meats or a double meat lasagne.
Deep and dark garnet hues with a very concentrated core. At the very edge of the glass, a ring of pink makes a fine circle around the wine. After swirling the wine, tall and skinny legs fall from high on the glass.
Sweet and bright with the aromatic aromas of cherry cordial, wild sage, and dark chocolate liquor. These are followed by soft bakers chocolate, blackberry, black cherry, dried cranberry, dried cherry, sweet tobacco, and a subtle hint of cedar.
Flavors concentrate at the mid and rear palate, with youthful black cherry, dried cranberry, plum skin and underripe blackberry mixed with subtle smoky star anise.
Moderate to long in length with powdery fine tannins and bright fruit persisting longer at the rear palate. After a few moments, the wine becomes gradually drying, leading to a chalky overall feel.
What the Winery Says
2007 GROWING SEASON
In some ways, 2007 was a year of extremes: sub-freezing temperatures in January, and only 60% of normal rainfall. A warm spring led to early budbreak, bloom and set. Crop levels were lower than average, so more time was spent fine-tuning canopy management than thinning the crop. A cool summer returned the march toward harvest to a more normal pace. Both clusters and berries were smaller than usual, leading to a significant degree of concentration in 2007 red wines across the board. Our Sangiovese was harvested in the cool morning hours in early September.
Fruit for this wine, were sourced exclusively from the historic Schmidt Ranch in Oakville, located along the central corridor of Napa Valley. The alluvial soils in this block of Sangiovese are well-suited to the production of a small crop of intense, balanced fruit.
Harvest date: September 7, 2007
Aging: 20 months in French Oak barrels
Blink and you are in Tuscany. Concentrated dried cherries and ethereal fruit on the nose, followed by a lively, equally fruity expression on the palate. Smooth, silky tannins, with no overbearing oak to detract from the purity of this Sangiovese. The balance and harmony of this wine will allow it to age gracefully for at least 6 or 7 years on the bottle.
About the Winery
We are a family winery founded on a passion for evolving the existing standards of wine and food. In the 1950s, long before founding Swanson Vineyards, the Swanson family introduced the first lifestyle product, Swanson frozen dinners, which helped women get out of the kitchen and enjoy life.
In 1985, at his 25th Stanford University reunion, W. Clarke Swanson, Jr. was inspired by a tip from a fraternity brother and successful vintner to purchase a parcel of vineyard land on the Oakville Cross Road in the heart of Napa Valley.
Clarke immediately hired André Tchelistcheff, one of the century’s most influential winemakers, as a consultant to help determine how to make the best use of the vineyards. For André the answer was to plant the then relatively unknown variety merlot—a move that would shape the future of Swanson Vineyards.
The family continues to expand the simple and sensual pleasures of life through Swanson Vineyards. With an eye toward quality, relevance and innovation, the next generation is enticing a whole new audience with a progressive approach to wine, food and the good life.
About The Winemakers
By the summer of 1987 the vineyards were replanted, and André made another influential suggestion—to hire the young novice talent Marco Cappelli to oversee winemaking. Marco, a first-generation Italian-American, was 26 and hired based on André’s gut instinct. It was a wise decision; Marco’s distinctive wines became the founding flavors of Swanson Vineyards.
For the rest of his life André lent his visionary talents to our winemaking pursuits, meeting with Marco biweekly and consulting on matters of the vine and winery. Marco remained Swanson’s winemaker for seventeen years, after which he purchased his own vineyard in the California Foothills. Marco is currently making four dessert wines for Swanson, which include Angelica, Crepuscule, Arsene, and Les Trois Filles.
In 2003, Swanson Vineyards was fortunate to obtain the talent of Chris Phelps as its new winemaker. Chris has had an illustrious career in the wine industry, first as winemaker at Dominus for twelve years and at Caymus Vineyards for six years. His wines are more refined and sophisticated than ever, yet they remain delightfully accessible and approachable—the perfect embodiment of our trademark decadence with a wink.