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Del Dotto Vineyards

Buy Online

Rating: B-C
Apr 20th, 2008
1445 St Helena Highway, St Helena, CA 94574

Phone: 707 256 3332

Hours: 11am-3.30pm. By Appointment Only

Club/Discounts: VIP Club: Must purchase $1500 of wine per calendar year

Tasting Fees: $30 Bar Tasting. $50 Cave Tour & Barrel Tasting

We were driving north on Hwy 29 just before St Helena and noticed a new building to our left. The sign outside the winery stated "By Appointment Only", but we thought we would check it out. As soon as you see the Del Dotto winery you will notice that no expense was spared (it is known as the "Cathedral"). The tasting room is spectacular. The Del Dotto family wanted to stay close to their Venetian and Tuscan roots, and used the best marble, tiles and Venetian chandeliers in doing so. The goal is to create a wine experience rather than a tasting. We were pleasantly surprised that they would let us taste the wines at the bar and even offered to take us on a tour of the caves. We declined the tour as we didn't have the 1-1.5 hours it takes but did take a look into the caves. Incredible attention to detail, the caves are lined with chandeliers, marble and Italian tile. We were very impressed. The tastings are expensive at $30 (or $50 with the tour) but they have to charge high prices to cover the cost of the winery. We found the service excellent and were hoping the wines would live up to the winery, which they did (which brings up a good point - would you prefer wineries to spend less on the lavish wineries so that they could make the wines more affordable?). We got samples of everything they were pouring, had chocolate at the bar with the wine, and got to enjoy the beautiful tasting room whilst talking to the knowledgeable staff. All barrels are only used once! We will go back for the tour. Recommended. Del Dotto wines can only be purchased at the winery. The more I go back to "Del Blotto" (as it is known locally from the quantities of wine served), the more I am impressed. Very good wines, beautiful location and very friendly staff. The tastings are not cheap but you do get a lot of very good wine. Definitely recommended. May 8th 2010: Back to Del Dotto to try more wines. Another great experience. $30 seems pricey for a tasting but it is good value at Del Dotto considering the amount of wine that gets poured. Very impressive 2007 wines. October 30th 2010: We took a group up to Del Dotto for the cave tour. There were about 15 of us. We got to try 8 barrel samples from the 2008 vintage and the wines are no doubt good, even out of the barrel. The tour was great and the service very good. Our problem was that they would not let us try any of the current vintages out of the bottle that were being poured in the tasting room afterwards. Not good. Our group had just spent a lot of money at other wineries and were there to buy, but obviously were not going to buy if they could not taste. On top of that we had paid about $750 for the tour. The manager quite frankly was an idiot and did not realize that he just lost out on a lot of business. This is exactly what we hate about some of the pretentious wineries in Napa. Del Dotto used to be great, the wines are excellent but they are starting to lose focus on who the customer is. Rating got lowered because of this

Sort by : Vintage / Name / Rating
2005 St Helena U-Stave Cabernet Sauvignon ($85)Rating: C-D
Apr 20th, 2008
I thought the U-Stave Cab was excellent. 100% Cabernet that had been open for a day. The wine is named after the U shape of all the barrel staves (carved out for maximum wood contact). You can definitely taste the wood but this is a big Cab. Would like to come back to it in a few years
2007 Howell Mountain Merlot ($125)Rating: C-D
May 8th, 2010
I was very impressed with the Howell Mountain Merlot. Ian was less impressed as the wine has flavors of vanilla; it seemed almost buttery which was definitely different to any Howell Mountain Merlot we have tried. But excellent structure, very smooth and long finish. $125 is a lot of cash these days and there is big competition at that range
2007 Lot B2 Cabernet Sauvignon ($85)Rating: C-D
May 8th, 2010
      Best Wine - May, 2010

Beautiful wine. Really good structure; very well balanced with long finish. Fills your mouth. We were impressed
2005 Cabernet Franc ($58)Rating: C
Apr 20th, 2008
      Best Cabernet Franc of 2008

100% Cab Franc. Big fruit. Dark red color. "Licorice". Taste of Rutherford dust. A good Cab Franc
2005 Caves Merlot ($39)Rating: C
Apr 20th, 2008
100% Merlot. Aged for 2 years in French Oak. A very smooth merlot with good structure which fills your mouth. Good merlot and a good price.
2005 Napa Valley Sangiovese ($45)Rating: C
Apr 20th, 2008
100% Sangiovese. A nice wine. Light red but fills the mouth with light tannins. Good finish. A nice wine to start the evening
2005 The David ($85)Rating: C
Apr 20th, 2008
OK, try to get past the name, which is on a par with "The Donald" (as Donald Trump goes by). We were laughing. Obviously David Del Dotto wanted his last name on his winery and his first name on a Cabernet. 80% Cabernet, 18% Merlot and 2% Cab Franc. Again open a day and was still a big wine. Would like to come back to it. 93 points Robert Parker
2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($65)Rating: C
Jan 22nd, 2010
Easy C rating and should improve with time. I was impressed with the 2007 Napa Cabernet. Very good fruit, structure and finish. Definitely want to try this again in a few years. May 8th: Tried the 2007 Cab again and I would up the rating to C-D. Excellent wine
2007 Pinot Noir ($75)Rating: C
Jan 17th, 2010
This is a new release and a very impressive Pinot. 93 points from Robert Parker, very good structure and finish. A lot of competition at the price makes it difficult to justify
2005 Vineyard 887 Cabernet Sauvignon ($85)Rating: B-C
Jan 17th, 2010
Big finish. Fruit did not seem to match the finish but it should get better / smoother over time. Not drinking really well right now (for the price)

Sort by : Vintage / Name / Rating
Del Dotto Vineyards winery, Del Dotto Vineyards

Del Dotto Vineyards winery, Del Dotto Vineyards

Del Dotto Vineyards winery, Del Dotto Vineyards

Del Dotto Vineyards winery, Del Dotto Vineyards

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