Dalla Valle, founded in 1982, is run by mother and daughter team Naoke and Maya Dalla Valle. Responsibility for the property fell to Naoke with the death of her husband in 1995, and daughter Maya has largely taken over in the last four years. Maya earned a degree from Cornell University in oenology and then a master’s degree in Winery Management from Bordeaux’s Sciences Agro University. She trained at Chateau Latour, Petrus and Ornellaia in Tuscany. Dalla Valle is in the renowned Napa AVA of Oakville, and nearby neighbors include Screaming Eagle and Peter Michael. Their wine maker, Andy Erickson, previously worked for Screaming Eagle. In sum, the estate has quite a pedigree.
As expected from an Oakville winery, and with a proprietor trained in Bordeaux, the estate produces Bordeaux-style wines. Their premium bottling is the ‘cult’ wine Maya, which is a Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc blend, usually about 60/40. There is also a bottling they label Cabernet Sauvignon, but it’s actually a blend with a smaller percentage of Cabernet Franc and also some Petit Verdot. The property has long been organic and recently converted to biodynamic practices.
Today we want to focus on the third wine in the lineup, Collina Dalla Valle, which is their most accessible release with regard to both price and near-term drinkability. The 2018 Collina is 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Cabernet Franc and 6% Petit Verdot. Here is winery’s tasting note: “ . . . the wine has an aromatic fine focus on the fundamentals: black fruits, cedar, vanilla bean and flint . . . tannins are fine grained but present, and the mid-palate is silky, generous, and long, with flavors of blueberry, black cherry, and dark chocolate.” It is intended to be enjoyed on release but will age very well for a decade or longer. The Collina is a value ‘2nd label’ from one of the top Bordeaux-style producers in Napa. Please note we have a limited quantity on hand now, but will be receiving an additional allotment at the end of the month.
Dalla Valle Collina Napa Valley Red 2018
Sale Price: $114.97
Jeb Dunnuck, 94pts. – “Always a red blend, the 2018 Collina is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Cabernet Franc, and the balance Petit Verdot. This cuvée is always made in a more up-front, fresh, drinkable style compared to the Cabernet Sauvignon and Maya. Rich, mouth-coating currant, dark chocolate, dried herb, and graphite notes all emerge from this beauty, which is full-bodied and has a ripe, sexy texture, great tannins, and just an undeniably delicious style.” (1/2021)
Vinous, 93 pts. – “The 2018 Collina Dalla Valle is a flat out gorgeous wine. Racy and sumptuous to the core, the 2018 captures all of the natural radiance of this eastern sector of Oakville. Soft contours and silky tannins make the 2018 an absolute delight to taste today. Readers will have a very hard time finding a Napa Valley wine that delivers this much sheer pleasure for the money.” (1/2021)
Past Cellar Selections:
Il Censo Praruar and Njuro – School of Bea
Bordeaux 2009 – A Legendary Vintage
Walter Hansel Pinot Noir and Chardonnay 2018
Muga Rioja – Old World and New
Luigi Scavino Azelia Barolo 2016
Clos i Terrasses “Laurel” 2018 - Homage to Garnacha
Canon la Gaffeliere St. Emilion '15 & '16
Keenan Cabernet Reserve 2016 - Cult Wine for the Masses (Ha!)
Casanova di Neri 2016 – Historic Vintage & 99pts.
Falletto Giacosa – Grand Cru Barolo
Gianfranco Alessandria Barolo 2016
Chandon de Briailles - Wines Without Artifice
Viña Real Rioja Gran Reserva – What were you doing in 1987?
Domaine Simon Bize 2018 – Value Burgundy
La Rioja Alta “890” Gran Reserva Rioja 2004
Alion and Pintia – The Other Vega Sicilias