Dan Berger's Vintage Experiences

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Orsi Sagratino earns 94 POINTS and a Platinum medal at the recent Critic’s Challenge International Wine Competition

2015 Orsi Schioppettino, Dry Creek Valley ($36): Some things you simply take on faith. Almost no one I know (except Santa Rosa Italian wine importer Don Chigazola) would t get excited about a grape variety called Schioppettino, not only because it is so obscure, because most people seeing the name on the label may even assume it is a generic wine. The grape is native to Friuli (a mostly white wine region that sits high in the Italian Alps). As such any red wine you make from this great likely is higher in acidity than most people prefer. In this particular case, winery owner Bernie Orsi has such faith in Dry Creek Valley as a match for many areas of Italy that he invested an enormous amount of time and effort putting Italian varietals to the test. The result is some very exciting, if not necessarily perfectly identified sub-regional characteristics, including a superb white wine (Biancolella d’Ischia) that is a complete delight ($26) and this red wine, which displays a classic cool-climate aroma of faint black pepper, plums, and a juicy yet food-friendly expression of depth and personality. It is best aerated for two hours, or aged a few more years.


  • 2014 Sargrantino Dry Creek Valley $34.00 Platinum 94 points/platinum medal
  • 2015 Negro Amaro Dry Creek Valley $38.00 Gold 91 points
  • 2018 Fiano Dry Creek Valley $1.00 Gold 91 points
  • 2015 Nebbiolo Dry Creek Valley $38.00 Gold 90 points
  • 2018 Biancolella D'Ischia Filomena's Block Dry Creek Valley $26.00 Silver

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