[review] Tis the season! To get through the bitter cold, come together with family and bake cookies or carol around a fireplace or whatever you do that makes your family unique. One thing that makes any Christmas eve unforgettable and/or bearable as an adult is a truly fantastic bottle of wine.

Not your typical everyday sort of wine you pick up on your way to a party with pretty labels and a sexy name…something that shocks and awes the gift receiver, something that an oenophile will swoon over and a wine newbie will be pleasantly surprised with an eye opening experience.

The special occasion, unforgettable swoon worthy wine is one (or two if it’s a VERY special someone) bottle of Del Dotto Vineyards 2009 Rutherford Estate David. The MSRP of $410 is pretty impressive – and worth it.

Dave Del Dotto, founder of the famed Del Dotto Vineyards out of Napa Valley

Dave Del Dotto, founder of the famed Del Dotto Vineyards out of Napa Valley

Del Dotto Vineyards is a small, family owned winery located in beautiful Napa Valley that has been making small production premium wines for over 20 years. The Del Dotto’s have acquired vineyards located in some of the best spots for growing grapes: Rutherford Bench, St. Helena Appellation, Howell Mountain and Sonoma Coast. The vineyard sits 1,800 feet above sea level and consists of 42 acres. Yields are tiny, which Del Dotto attributes to the scarcity of water and the gravelly dirt.  That makes for limited edition deep heavy reds that have been associated with some of the greats of Napa.

Del Dotto winery is constantly experimenting with ancient winemaking techniques with an ultimate goal: To make great wines that will bring people together to enjoy life with family and friends.

Currently, it consists of 437 acres with 121 acres planted with varietals including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Sangiovese. It took 18 years to find the ideal sites to cultivate each individually selected grape clone and to maximize the terroir flavors in the wine. Each vineyard is organically farmed, with no sprays or chemical fertilizers in use, and all weeding performed by hand. The plants are meticulously tended by professional vineyard workers in order to maintain the quality of crop that has built the Del Dotto reputation.

The original Del Dotto tasting room with barrels lining the walls of the caves hand dug by the Chinese in the 1800's

The original Del Dotto tasting room with barrels lining the walls of the caves hand dug by the Chinese in the 1800’s

The 2010 David is a red Bordeaux blend with a characteristic mountain style – more minerality and tannin as well as a harder, more austere style than the standard Bordeaux blend and true to the Del Dotto style of opulence and extravagant richness and body. This big red needs 2-3 years of cellaring and should drink well for 15 or more years. Big nose of rich red berry with some sappy maple bar and fresh cherries. It’s got a mineral driven palate with flavors of forest floor, earth and wet stone. A refreshingly innovative and organic taste on the tongue.

Be the unforgettable guest who brings the stunning Del Dotto to the holiday party this weekend, decant a bottle of David for a cozy night in or wrap it up and leave it as a tantalizing treat under the tree. Either way, it’s a very Merry Christmas.

Tasting the fantastic 2009 Rutherford Estate David at Del Dotto Vineyards

Tasting the fantastic 2009 Rutherford Estate David at Del Dotto Vineyards