Assuming that you have read past newsletters or visited the Guy du Vin website, you must be aware of the fact that I love the wines of Gasparini.
Located due north of Venice, the historic estate of Venegazzu produces some of the most famous red wines in northern Italy. Their fame comes from the production of the Capo di Stato. This wine was served at official events in Venice and was once mistaken by Charles De Gaulle as a great St. Emilion at a state dinner. In order to honor the former President of the French Republic for his very flattering mistake, wine maker Count Loredan Gasparini dedicated the wine to Charles De Gaulle.
The Palla family (owners of the estate) also make Venegazzu della Casa “White Label” made in part with the same grapes and same compositions as the Capo di Stato – only at a significantly lower price. The difference lies in slightly higher yields and a shorter period of aging in old Slovenian oak barrels (18 months).
I have been waiting for this wine to arrive in the Portland market ever since I met with Lorenzo Palla a few months ago at Guy du Vin global headquarters. We tasted both the 2006 Capo di Stato and the 2006 Venegazzu della Casa. In my mind, both wines are models of what anyone outside of Bordeaux that produces Cabernet or Cabernet Blends should be striving for. In fact, every Cabernet producer in California, Washington, and Oregon should be required to taste this wine so they might get an idea of what their own wines lack so profoundly.
The 2006 Venegazzu della Casa is delicious right now, with incredible freshness. It is a very red wine, both in color and in flavor. It will improve over the next 3 to 6 years as the wood integrates more fully into the wine. I will state this unequivocally – This is the best value in a Cabernet Blend in the market.