Dalecio Pinot Noir 2016

Sonoma Coast
$95 (Wine Club Reorder Price $85)

There are brand new Phillipe Melka wines on the block and we are blown away by their inaugural releases. Melka is similar to Thomas Rivers Brown in that they both consult for over 30 different wineries. They are the top dogs in Napa and Sonoma right now and if you’ve ever had a wine made by either, you understand why.

Melka is a French native of Bordeaux who had the rare combination of talent and fortune to be a winemaker who started at the top: his first job out of school was at Château Haut Brion. From there, he took a position with the reputable Moueix Company and was sent to Dominus Estate in Yountville to study soils in 1991 – this is where he first became fascinated with Napa Valley. It wasn’t until 1994 that he moved to Napa fulltime after being trained and influenced by some of the most notable personalities in the wine business such as Jean Delmas and Jean Philippe Masclef from Haut-Brion, Christian Moueix and Jean Claude Berrouet from Petrus, Paul Draper from Ridge, Daniel Baron from Silver Oak, and Michel Rolland who he still works with today.

Vintners Scott & Kathy Dalecio are native to Northern California and always knew they would return to their roots. They don’t sacrifice quality for quantity, which is what I love about their winery. They are happy making top-tier small production wines versus making a buck on mass production. When you take a sip of this Pinot, you can tell it was made with boutique winery TLC.

This 2016 vintage scored 94 points and comes from the elite Reuling Vineyard. It is silky smooth with delicious flavors of raspberry, cherry, bramble fruit, forest floor and mountain herbs. This full bodied Pinot could stand up to a roasted lamb or filet.

One of my favorite details about this wine is the saying “LOVE, ETC!” on the cork. Kathy’s father signed all of his cards, letters, and notes to family with “LOVE, ETC!”. He was a man who carefully chose his words and preferred life experiences over lavish gifts. Anyone who knew him knew that this was his way of letting them know they meant the world to him. So when you open this bottle of wine with friends and family, take a moment to appreciate that simple moment of enjoyment with good company.

Taylor Morgan – June 2021

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