August 27, 2015

VINO NOCETO, Amador County

Among California's best Sangiovese


2011 Sangiovese, Amador County
Retail: $22.95 / bottle (12 btls/cs) 


A Chianti inspired wine from the Shenandoah Valley

Suzy and Jim Gullett established Vino Noceto in 1987 and their first vintage was 1990.  The 40-acre property includes olive and walnut trees — hence the name ‘Noceto’ — in the Sierra Foothills, outside Plymouth in the Shenandoah Valley (an hour east of Sacramento). The California Gold Rush of the 1840s inspired the establishment of many vineyards and wineries, making Amador one of California's oldest winemaking regions. 

Noceto grows 5 Tuscan Sangiovese clones — acquired by conventional methods, or by ‘suitcase’ — including Sangiovese Grosso from Biondi Santi & il Poggione, Sangiovese from Isole e Olena, and Sangioveto from Castello dei Rampolla. Neighbours provide some fruit for this ‘classic’ Sangiovese, and for their impressive vineyard-designated bottlings of Barbera (Linsteadt vineyard) and Zinfandel (Original Grandpère Vineyard, planted 1860s).  Bobby Gullet works together with his parents and is responsible for sales & marketing.

Annual production at Vino Noceto is about 10 000 cases.  The vineyards are all sustainably farmed and the Gulletts follow a rigorous waste-reduction and composting program. In fact, Noceto was among the first solar-powered wineries in the Sierra Foothills — 100% of the power to the winery and tasting room is solar generated.  We love the authentic Tuscan nature of these wines, which display vibrancy usually absent in California Sangiovese. This wine has the exuberance and fruit forwardness of California, framed by medium body, fresh acidity and a wonderfully savoury edge. 


2011 Sangiovese, Amador County

Retail: $22.95 / bottle (12 btls/cs)

Modeled after Tuscan Chianti, this wine is medium-bodied, fruit packed, and easy drinking. It has just the right amount of tannic grip with ripe red cherries, dried cranberry and forest floor on the palate. This wine is widely regarded as ‘the best Sangiovese in California.’(Dan Berger, Darrell Corti, Mike Dunne, Elaine Taylor).