I have always looked forward to Casemates J Pedroncelli offerings over the years and am pleased to receive notification of another opportunity to interrupt the SIWBM once more. One of the best features of the Pedroncelli offers is the mixed case offerings allowing several different wines to be ordered in the same case. I received the 2019 Cabernet Franc for rattage which is a varietal I have not yet tried from Pedroncelli although I am a fan of the Cabernet Sauvignon, red blends, and Zinfandels. I have enjoyed many of their mixed cases but have not yet had the Cab Franc so let the rattage begin!
The color is a translucent ruby-garnet and the nose exhibits dark fruit, plum, and blackberry. The first taste caused a brief pucker followed by the same dark fruits, some oak, and long finish with integrated structured tannins. It is ready to drink now if paired appropriately with food that can stand up to the tannin and acidity but is also appropriate to lay down for another five years or so. I poured directly from the bottle and did not decant or use an aerator as they were not necessary but can be utilized if desired. It is full bodied, notably but not overly tannic, dry and oaky with dark fruits infusing, and acidic to complement bold food pairings.
On to the pairings! Lunch started with fusilli in red sauce with meatballs. Although Cab Franc does not typically pop up when searching Italian food pairings, it paired well with the marinara sauce and complemented the meatiness of the meatball. To finish the meal, the last of our Trader Joe’s peaches was sliced into the wine glass and topped off to create a simple and elegant dessert. The pairings continue into the evening with chicken soup and sliced brisket. Although the lunch pairings were better the wine was versatile enough to pair nicely with both although the brisket sauce was too sweet and had to convert to a sandwich on potato roll. All ended well when paired with dark chocolate with almonds. Overall this is another compelling offer from a legendary producer with impressive QPR.
Cherry cola and baking spices wrapped in a warm leather blanket! Love Dry Creek valley wines, and the Perdoncelli Sonoma Classico feels like amalgam of all the features of this warm weather region. Both me and my wife were impressed!
I just put this mix in my cart. Full case gets 10% discount. After tax and shipping it’s 362.84 or over $30/btl, nearly double for ground shipping what WD has this offer up for. More expensive than 5~10 years ago? Yup. What isn’t?
@ScottW58 I just miss their participation. It also depends on your budget. I am guessing many people look at $16.00 a bottle and question. For a daily drinker, $16.00 is on the high end for me especially with Kya’s vet bills.
@danandlisa@klezman@ScottW58 Another way to look at it is the relative savings vs retail. I can get the merlot (and cs 3 vineyards… not included this time but is often seen here) for $20 locally. The Casemates price is better, but I don’t have to buy 6 or 12. So the value of this offer may vary based on local price and availability.
Also agree on winery participation. Some of the old standbys like Iron Horse and Ped seem to be less engaged these days which is a bit disappointing. The “virtual tasting” component is one of the things that really sets Casemates apart.
I thought the price was high, but I went back and looked at the last similar offering in December of 2022, which was $199 for the case, a couple bucks more than this one. Slightly different mix (Merlot/Cab Sauv/Cab Franc), but comparable.
The Cab Franc has always been a standout for us - this is the same vintage (2019, Barrel Select, Dry Creek Valley) and same Merlot (2020, Bench Vineyard) as the last time, that alone may be reason enough to go for it, even though it’s a bit beyond our usual price range. We’re thinking holidays, wildfires, winter, atmospheric rivers, power outages, mudslides, cooped up with only the purr of the generator - might be nice to have on hand …
We’re paying $13-$18 for grocery store daily drinkers, so this is still a win for us.
I really enjoy all three in this offering, but have been particularly surprised by their Merlot. We don’t usually get that varietal in the house, but there’s is really well made.
2019 Pedroncelli Cabernet Franc, Barrel Select, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County
There’s a bouquet of dark berries, floral notes, and black pepper spice followed by flavors of dark fruits, some minerality, and bright acidity all integrating nicely. The rounded tannins frame the zesty finish and are accented by toasted oak and spicy notes.
Grown in the heart of the renowned Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma County, these grapes are farmed on the Pedroncelli estate. Situated on the bench above the valley floor, this vineyard gains its personality from the soil and the location’s microclimate. Cabernet Franc was planted in 1993 to complement the Three Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Bordeaux blend. We make this small lot of wine so this variety can shine on its own. The vineyard is sustainably farmed, hand-pruned and hand-harvested.
The year began with plenty of rain giving the vines much-needed water. Summer was cooler with no prolonged heat. The cooler temperatures slowed the ripening of the grapes while providing great development during season. The resulting wine has a greater level of flavors and aromas.
The crushed grapes were transferred to the fermentation tank to cold soak for 24 hours and then inoculated with selected yeast. Daily pump-overs give the wine maximum phenolic extraction. Transferred to French oak barrels for 16 months with 30% new oak. Combined with the additional time in oak the tannins are softened and complex layers are developed in the finished wine.
Appellation: Dry Creek Valley, Estate Vineyards
Barrel Aging: 16 months new (30%) and seasoned French oak barrels
Total Acidity: .615g/100ml
2020 Pedroncelli Sonoma Classico, Dry Creek Valley, Barrel Select
From the fruit-forward aromas to the lingering flavors, Sonoma Classico blends the characteristics of each grape seamlessly: red fruits with a touch of cooking spices; cherry and berry flavors with bright acidity and light toast notes. A medium-bodied blend, there is an underlying structure of rounded tannins bringing balance along with a peppery and toasty finish.
The Vineyard & Cellar
Overall a good growing season with a warm Summer and a few heat spikes in September. Grapes for the blend come all from estate vineyards in Dry Creek Valley. The grapes were picked during the second week of September based on maturity and acidity levels. High concentrations of phenols and aromatics are reflected in this vintage.
Barrel aging took place over 11 months in new and seasoned American oak barrels with 20% new oak. Working toward an approachable style, the time in oak softens the wine and adds complex layers to the finished product. The oak influence is nuanced and a supporting player because of the judicious use of new oak blended with neutral barrels.
Sonoma Classico: the standard by which all others are measured
Definition of a classic: judged over a period of time to be of the highest quality and an outstanding example.
Sonoma County’s classic roots are in those early blends ranging from “Burgundy”, “Claret” and “Mountain Red” to today’s high-end “Red Wine Blends”. These wines have been a regular part of Sonoma County’s heritage. Sonoma Classico is the next step in the evolution of these blends. The classic style invites you to gather round the table as it becomes part of the meal, not the centerpiece. It is the sharing of this wine with family and friends that defines it as a standard.
Composition: A proprietary blend of Merlot, Sangiovese, Syrah, Zinfandel, Tinta Madeira and Souzao
Appellation: Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County
Aging: 11 months in American Oak barrels, 20% new
Total Acidity: .577g/100ml
2020 Pedroncelli Merlot, Bench Vineyards, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County
Aromas of dark red fruit and a touch of warm cooking spices. Flavors of cherry and plum are showcased with a vanilla oak toast. Medium-bodied with mild tannins follow through to a round and fruity finish. A beautifully balanced wine.
Bench Vineyards: The source for our Merlot comes from three vineyard blocks off our estate vineyard located along Dry Creek Road from a vineyard planted over 5 years beginning in 1990. Bench Vineyards, the
name chosen for this wine, describes the natural benches that flank Dry Creek Valley and rise gradually into the steep hills. Characterized by sloped topography and gravelly/rocky residual soils, the unique growing conditions combine to bring out the best in our Merlot.
2020 brought a good growing season with a warm summer and even ripening. The grapes were picked over the last days of August based on maturity and acidity levels. A high concentration of phenols and aromatics highlights this vintage. The fruit was crushed into temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks and cold-soaked for 48 hours. Daily pump-overs during the fermentation give a substantial increase in flavor and color. The young wine was transferred to small American oak barrels to age for 14 months in order to develop smoothness and complexity, giving the wine a subtle backbone of oak components with judicial use of new oak.
Appellation: Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County
Barrel Aging: 14 months in American Oak, 30% new
Total Acidity: .630g/100ml
2x 2019 Pedroncelli Cabernet Franc, Barrel Select, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County
2x 2020 Pedroncelli Sonoma Classico, Barrel Select, Dry Creek Valley
2x 2020 Pedroncelli Merlot, Bench Vineyards, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County Case:
4x 2019 Pedroncelli Cabernet Franc, Barrel Select, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County
4x 2020 Pedroncelli Sonoma Classico, Barrel Select, Dry Creek Valley
4x 2020 Pedroncelli Merlot, Bench Vineyards, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County
For nearly a century, the Pedroncelli family has been crafting exceptional wines in Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley. It all began in 1927 when John Pedroncelli, Sr. purchased a vineyard and a small winery west of Geyserville; two elements have remained unchanged since then the exceptional place the Pedroncelli family farms their vineyards and their dedication to creating fine wines.
For nine decades, the Pedroncelli family has been producing wines of the highest quality, tradition and heritage. Their commitment to excellence and their family-run business make them a trusted source of great wines - enjoy them with confidence.
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I wouldn’t describe the price as high based on the winery’s reputation and my own recent experience with them… I’m just considering whether I should break my rule of not buying mixed cases due to the opportunity cost of hanging onto three wines instead of just one. Is this something like being penny-wise and pound-foolish, or just ADHD getting the better of me?
@roncunningham I’ve been redirecting for all of the summer. Haven’t had the need to in the past few weeks. If you are prevented from doing so, I doubt that it would be a Casemates policy – more likely a local one.
@Mark_L I haven’t had any issues redirecting other shipments, just this one. Failed delivery today, but at least it is only 80 degrees. I’ll try to figure out what’s up, as I can’t buy wine without being able to control the place / time of delivery.