Stella Reserve Big Love Red Napa Valley 2012

Stella Reserve Big Love Red Napa Valley 2012

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The American winemaking community draws on a rich heritage of innovation that challenged the age-old assumptions of European tradition. The first pioneers to plant vines in Napa were forced to establish their own practices, due to the unique conditions of California’s viticultural melting pot. This bold red wine evokes the early days of American winemaking, when grape varieties from the Old World were planted side by side and blended in new and exciting ways. With generous flavors of blackberry, fig, spiced plum, vanilla, graphite, and shortbread, this wine is perfect for lovers of decadent Napa Valley red blends!
91 Points - Jonathan H. Newman!
"Well balanced and mouthwatering with well delineated fruit including dark raspberries, blackberry pie, dark cherries and plum with licorice, toasty vanilla oak and milk chocolate. A zesty finish with plump tannins. It has the structure and fruit concentration for extended cellaring."
91 Points - WTSO Members!

Wine Ratings

91 - Jonathan H. Newman!


Unit Size750.00 ML
VarietalRed Blend
GrapeMalbec, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petite Sirah
CountryUnited States
RegionNapa Valley
Alcohol Content14.50%

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Verismo's Stella Reserve Big Love Red Napa Valley 2012
By Jonathan H. Newman*
Verismo's Stella Reserve Big Love Red Napa Valley 2012
UNIT SIZE 750.00 ml   
VARIETAL: Red Blend   
VINTAGE: 2012   
GRAPE: Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petite Sirah   
COUNTRY: United States   
REGION: Napa Valley   
ALCOHOL CONTENT: 14.50%      
Proprietor Frank D’Ambrosio purchased his two prime Napa Valley vineyards in 1985 and is particularly proud of Stella. The Big Love red blend is primarily Cabernet from Verismo’s vineyards in Yountville and Coombsville. The wine is well balanced and mouthwatering, with well-delineated fruit including dark raspberries, blackberry pie, dark cherries, plum, licorice, toasty vanilla oak and milk chocolate, followed by a zesty finish with plump tannins. It has the structure and fruit concentration for extended cellaring. Pair with delmonico steak, loin of lamb, brisket, london broil, chicken in a rich mushroom sauce and game meats. Enjoy now through 2021. Only 800 cases produced.
By Verismo Wines
2012 Stella Big Love Red 
Tasting Notes
The 2012 Stella Big Love Red aroma has dark cherry and blackberries with a toasted nuts, coffee, and a rich humidor character. The palate is voluptuous and smooth, with loads of cherry, blackberry, and currants, with a swirl of dark & milk chocolate that adds to a lengthy finish. This wine would complement a wide range of foods like grilled meats, stews, and hearty marinara dishes. Cheers and enjoy! -Tom Foster, Winemaker. 
The 2012 Vintage & Vineyards 
"Classic" and "perfect" are the two main accolades associated with Napa Valley's 2012 growing season and harvest. Near-ideal spring bud break, steady flowering, an even fruit set, and a steady stretch of warm days and cool foggy nights of the summer and fall, where a temperate climate dominated without any major heat waves. The fruit enjoyed a long and slow ripening. 
The Story: Verismo Wines "The Truth in Wine"
Verismo Wines is a family owned business, owned by four brothers, Don, Nick, Frank and John D’Ambrosio. Before Verismo Wines was conceived, the four brothers ran a traditional Italian restaurant called Frankie Johnnie and Luigi Too, located in Mountain View, California, as well as New York Style Sausage Company in Sunnyvale, CA. The D’Ambrosio brothers only mandate in all their ventures is, homemade fresh food and products, and lots of it. The combination of delicious recipes, hard work and dedication led to the D’Ambrosio brother’s family success. Each brother focused and specialized on a certain aspect of the family business. Don and Nick managed New York Style Sausage Company in Sunnyvale, while Frank and John ran the restaurant division. For two decades, both businesses expanded and flourished.
In 1983, Frank and his wife, Toni, fell in love with the Napa Valley. They bought a cute house on a small parcel from Doc Williams, who was retiring and moving to the city. The small ranch came with a tractor, a thousand “Pinot Chardonnay” vines and a pair of Felco pruning shears. The Doc graciously showed Frank the ropes of vineyard management. That first year, John Thatcher from Cuvaison bought the eight tons of fruit, and an agriculture career was born.
DBIC was successful in selling all their fruit until the release of the movie “Sideways,” which featured Merlot as less desirable wine. Because Merlot constitutes the majority of DBIC’s production, DBIC saw a loss in revenue. Michael Beaulac, the winemaker at St. Supery, had been buying DBIC fruit for some time, and had agreed to accommodate DBIC with a custom crush program. The 2006 harvest was so good that DBIC was able to sell twenty tons at the “hopper.” It was happening; the DBIC’s Ultra- Premium fruit was turning into their own ultra-premium wine. In 2006, Aaron DeBeers was hired to manage the DBIC vineyards and to make and develop the wine program. Aaron formulated Verismo Wines LLC, and its value labels Stretto and Stella wines. Verismo Wines and concepts were designed to embody the traditions and values that had made the D’Ambrosio brothers successful for the past four decades. 
Verismo is the depiction of realism in Italian opera and literature during the period of 1875 to 1895. Realism in the arts is an important shift in western culture, that allows for the celebration of everyday people and their efforts. As a result, Verismo Wines is real people making real wine for everyone to enjoy. After selling “super-fruit” for two decades to many of the Napa Valley wine industry stars, such as Caymus, Paul Hobbs, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Duckhorn, and many others, Verismo Wines, and its value labels, Stretto and Stella, will now shine with their own light. Our wines are designed to bring forth outstanding quality from the vineyard directly to the consumer at an exceptional value. Because Verismo Wines is a subsidiary of DBIC, DBIC is able to provide the same quality fruit to Verismo for a fraction of the price. We take pride in our ability to provide exceptional wines at an exceptional price to our loyal clientele. Thank you for your support and patronage!
[Information provided by J.H.N.]
*Jonathan Newman was Wine Enthusiasts’ Man of the Year. He also was Chairman of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, and received national recognition in Marvin Shanken’s Market Watch Magazine and many other international wine publications. He was also awarded the Guild of Sommeliers highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award. Mr. Newman's reviews have been published and quoted extensively online and in print. He travels extensively to many of the major wine growing regions and evaluates many of the wines we source from smaller and boutique wineries. We interact closely with him and the result is his rejection rate of over 96% of the wines evaluated.