Di Costanzo, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon "DI CO"
Di Costanzo, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon "DI CO"

Di Costanzo, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon "DI CO"

California, United States 2020 (750mL)
Regular price$75.00

Di Costanzo, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon "DI CO"

Soothsaying in the wine business is full of pitfalls: Wine trends are tough to predict. But if you asked us which new producers will ascend to the top tier of California wine in the coming decade, we’d put good money on Di Costanzo. In less than 10 years, the husband/wife team of Massimo and Erin Di Costanzo have gained a very loyal following among wine professionals and lovers of the throwback Napa movement. Both their story, and their wines, are truly captivating, and their 2020 DI CO Cabernet is a perfect introduction to the important work they’re doing. A Napa Valley Cab that can be substantial, meaty, and structured while maintaining excellent freshness and sheer drinkability is a rare feat these days, but Erin and Massimo pull it off effortlessly. It’s a simple philosophy: Source the best fruit, never cut corners, and craft wines that are of the utmost quality. DI CO is a brilliant, radiant expression of what Napa Valley Cabernet can, and always should, strive to be. This is your chance to be an early adopter of Napa’s next big thing—don’t miss out!

The story of Di Costanzo is synonymous with the story of Erin and Massimo. She is a certified sommelier, born and raised in Alaska, trained in all things wine while studying and working in New York, who then ascended to the position of Wine Director at PRESS in St. Helena, the heart of Napa’s wine country. He grew up in Berkeley and spent many youthful summers visiting his grandparents and extended family in Positano, Italy. Inspired by the overlapping traditions of wine and food in his ancestral homeland and that of Northern California, Massimo decided to become a winemaker. After graduating from U.C. Davis, he spent several harvests abroad, including at Tignanello in Tuscany, before returning to Napa to begin his career. His talents landed him positions at some of the top wineries, including Ovid and Screaming Eagle, and it was during this time that he met Erin and their partnership in all things developed very quickly. Within a few weeks they were harvesting their first parcel of Cabernet.

From the very beginning, their philosophies to wine and winemaking were in perfect alignment: Select pristine fruit from excellent, sustainably farmed vineyards, and then approach the cellar work with a very light touch. This means fermenting with natural yeasts, adding minimal amounts of SO2, bottling without fining or filtration, using new oak very judiciously, and generally eschewing any and all technical manipulations. The goal is to achieve a wine of balance, where the fruit, structure, and savory minerals are all in perfect harmony. Sounds simple, but in fact it is one of the most difficult achievements in winemaking, which is why the DI CO Cab, in just its fourth vintage, is such an astounding accomplishment.

The vineyard where Erin and Massimo source their fruit for DI CO sits on a foothill of Mt. Veeder, close to where the Oak Knoll AVA ends. The old vines here are surrounded by wild plum trees and blackberry bushes. It’s a perfect location to realize their vision for balance and drinkability. 2020 was a seat-of-your-pants harvest, and with fires in the distance they decided to harvest the vineyard several days earlier than planned; it was fortunate that they did as the next day the smoke descended, ruining any and all fruit still on the vine. That slightly early pick resulted in a wine of freshness and serious old-world style charm, the type of wine that might have been found on Massimo’s family’s table during holidays in Positano. And that is exactly what DI CO, and Di Costanzo are all about: Wines that are meant for drinking, for opening, and for sharing with family and friends.

Serve this expertly balanced Cabernet at around 60 degrees in a Bordeaux stem. A quick decant is helpful, though not compulsory. A vibrant garnet hue with hints of indigo in the glass, with aromas of wild raspberries and blackberries, plum skin, tobacco leaf, cocoa powder, cedar, mint, and hints of backing space surrounding a medium bodied texture that has excellent structure, firm tannin, and droves of savory minerals. It’s a very versatile food wine, excellent with grilled steak and lamb, hearty stews, wild mushrooms, and any type of southern-style smoked barbecue. But given Massimo’s roots, I’ll recommend a classic Neapolitan style lasagna. Buon appetito and enjoy!

Di Costanzo, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon "DI CO"

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