$32 (Wine Club Reorder: $28)
In 1999, Mark and Jami Grassi bought a 14-acre property in Napa, south of the acclaimed, fertile Stags Leap District. Mark had established a custom construction business, but the seed of another life kept beckoning. That seed had been planted decades before when Mark studied viticulture in college before pursuing a career in the construction industry.
In 2000, Mark dug the first test pits on the Grassi family’s Napa Valley land and set aside four acres for planting. Early on, key guidance and wisdom came from Mary Maher, vineyard manager for Harlan, and Franus Wines.
Within two years, planting was almost complete and the vineyard was taking root. Then, in 2008 they brought their first commercial release – the 2005 Grassi Cabernet Sauvignon. The Wine Spectator included Grassi among “hot new” Napa Valley Cabernet producers.
Now, Mark and Jami’s daughter, Cassandra Grassi, is carrying the family business into another generation. Cassandra grew up on the Napa Valley property and heard wine talk at the family dinner table. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business from the University of San Francisco. While in college, she worked at a wine bar and interned at the PlumpJack Group. After graduation, she was part of the hospitality team that opened CADE Estate Winery in Napa Valley.
The 2018 Estate Sangiovese is big, bold, dry, somewhat tannic, but with a smooth finish on the palate. Black fruit and earthy notes abound We think it will pair well with beef, veal, poultry or game dishes. You might even want to try it with a truffled pasta dish, which we’ve heard is an amazing pairing choice for this Cal-Ital style wine.
Amy Ryan – January 2022