Are wine bloggers journalists? This is a heavily debated question that does not afford an easy answer. Probably a more apt question is whether or not wine bloggers are influencers? A much easier question to answer, with wine industry professionals from wineries to wine retailers recognizing the influence of the blogging community. In fact, to honor the influence of a select few wine bloggers, Scotto Cellars invited four wine bloggers to Lodi to collaborate on a wine!
“Wine bloggers have emerged as important voices for sharing reviews, wine stories, food pairings, and wine related travel adventures. They also represent knowledgeable wine consumers and stay in close touch with market preferences and trends.” Paul Scotto III
With the Wine Bloggers Conference being held in Lodi, Scotto Cellars decided to embark on a fun and unique adventure. They invited four prominent wine bloggers to their winery and gave them eleven barrels to sample premium juice from Lodi’s best vineyards with only one caveat: “create a wine of superior quality with widespread appeal.” What? Some wine bloggers may have winemaking experience, but these four had none. The bloggers traveled to Lodi, crafted their wine, and waited for the wine to be unveiled at the Wine Bloggers Conference, surrounded by thousands of their peers. No pressure! The good news is the wine was received as a success. The bad news was I did not get an opportunity to try it. Much to my pleasant surprise, a couple of bottles of the 2014 Scotto Cellars Masthead Sangiovese arrived at my door in December.
I must confess receiving this wine was a bit tricky for me. I knew the wine was enjoyed at WBC in Lodi. But I know the four bloggers who crafted this wine, one of them I consider a very dear friend. What if the wine wasn’t as good as everyone said it was? And Sangiovese? I have traveled all over Italy’s Sangiovese regions. I drink Italian Sangiovese all the time. My palate knows Sangiovese. Oh Lord please let it be good!
2014 Scotto Cellars Masthead Sangiovese Lodi California ($30): 100% Sangiovese sourced from Lodi’s famous Mohr-Fry Vineyards, Ranch 40, Lot 433; clear pale ruby with garnet hues; clean medium- aromas of juicy red fruit, medicinal notes, red licorice, sweet baking spice, dried savory herbs, soft tobacco, minerality, and vanilla; medium- acidity and tannins, medium body, bright fruit that is very lively with a hint of Sangiovese’s rustic nature, well-balanced and structured, silky mouth-feel, medium tart red fruit finish. After fermentation the wine was divided and aged in French, American, and Hungarian oak barrels, the wines were tasted separately by the bloggers after 18 months in barrel; the final blend the bloggers selected was 50/50 French and Hungarian oak, the wine was then bottled and aged for three additional months prior to release. To order call Janice Lucas in the Scotto Cellars Tasting Room at 209-224-8590.
I am happy to report, no prayers needed…it is honestly and completely VERY GOOD!
My husband and I enjoyed the wine with a homemade pizza topped with Puglian EVOO, spicy Italian sausage, purple onions, pistachios, and Gruyere cheese. The pizza was delicious and it paired so well with the wine. I was concerned about the spiciness of the sausage but the wine was so juicy that there was no conflict. The wine is so easy to drink, we drank it faster than intended and were disappointed when it was gone. It is a perfect wine for a weeknight meal, Friday night pizza, or a special occasion; a true crowd pleaser. We have every intention of ordering more of the Masthead Sangiovese.
Scotto Cellars is a 5th generation family owned and operated winery. Great Grandfather Dominic Scotto was a winemaker in Italy at the turn of the 20th century. In 1963, Scotto Cellars opened in California. Today the four siblings operate state of the art wineries in Napa Valley, Lodi, and Amador County; crafting old world inspired wines with new world style.
Credit for the 2014 Scotto Cellars Masthead Sangiovese goes to:
Peter Bourget and Nancy Brazil of Pull That Cork
Melanie Ofenloch, the one and only Dallas Wine Chick
Cindy Rynning of Grape Experiences
And of course Scotto Cellars winemakers Mitch Cosentino and Paul Scotto
My Song Selection: My friend Melaine Ofenloch said, “I cannot wait to see what song you pair with it [the wine].” Ah, the pressure! Melanie is a 70’s & 80’s songstress like myself so I knew I had to be creative in my selection. Melanie provided an great suggestion that was totally fun, Abba – Take a Chance On Me. However, as I said, the Masthead Sangiovese is really good wine, no chance needed, you will enjoy it. Therefore, I selected a different song
Get your own bottle of 2014 Scotto Cellars Masthead Sangiovese and let me know what song you pair with it. Cheers!