holiday gifts Archives - V. Sattui Winery

Magnums: The Ultimate “Party Size” and Much More!

Bigger is better in more ways than one.

Learn why from one of our long-time wine experts, Chris Rota, who has been with V. Sattui for over 25 years.

At the supermarket, we have all become accustomed to larger packaging and the psychology attached, such as “Jumbo Pack” or “Value Pack” or “Sharing Size”. Every potato or corn chip offers a package touting the moniker “Party Size”.

When it comes to the world of wine, nothing says party like Champagne, and producers have been marketing party sizes for over 150 years naming them after Biblical kings, such as Methuselah or Balthazar. The largest size would be a Nebuchadnezzar (20 Bottles) which was named after the King of Babylon. However, a few houses produced even larger sizes such as the Solomon and the mighty Melchizedek (40 bottles). I think the latter comes packed with a crane. By and large, when one of these monsters entered a room, guests would fall silent. That said, these massive bottles of sparkling were made specifically for show. No fermentation ever occurred in a monster bottle; rather, completed Champagne in 750ml bottles were carefully poured in and corked.

In wine, size is much more than just volume…

Besides looking impressive and creating great focal points in a cellar, bottles larger than 750ml actually store and age their contents better and longer. This dimension transcends by far “the life of the party”. It emphasizes the concept of placing a skin around a volume of wine, be it wood, steel, or glass, and it takes on its own life i.e., development and aging trajectory.

Perhaps it’s the ratio of oxygen in the ullage of a bottle (space between cork and fluid) and how it assimilates into the wine as well as how it reduces in the wine over time. Bottle aging is really a process of reduction in which molecular chains become longer, softening tannins, and creating complexity (read wisdom and grace). Depending on the quality of a given vintage, one can age 2 or 5 years, even a decade longer in larger vessels.

Here are the standard large formats wine packages:

                                                                  750ml equivalent

Magnum                            1.5 Liters         2 Bottles

Double Magnum              3 Liters            4 Bottles

Imperial                             6 Liters            8 Bottles

Nebuchadnezzar              15 Liters          20 Bottles

Magnums

Of all the bottle sizes, the Magnum performs the best over time, and nobody can really explain this phenomenon.  It’s akin to how the best olives come from trees with multiple trunks. Nobody knows why, but that’s the way olive growers train their trees. I have personally experienced this and ironically it was at a party. V. Sattui Winery, where I have worked almost 25 years, throws the best parties in the Napa Valley. Unpretentious, yet filled with grace, style, food, and fun; these events are nothing short of magical. During this particular soiree, one of the venues of the evening was to feature library wines and I happened to be pouring a 2002 Suzanne’s Vineyard (now Vittorio’s Vineyard) Cabernet. It was a high point of the party and as fate would have it, we ran out at the height of the evening.  As lines and disappointment continued to grow, I had to do something; so, I brought in some magnums of the same wine. The fruit was still very much intact yet highlighted in the backdrop of sophistication that can only come from age. It was utterly amazing, and it reminded me of the wedding feast of Cana where the steward said, “Why did we serve the best wine so late in the party?”

Life of the Part: V. Sattui Magnums

I suspect some ideas are fomenting here. Anytime you have an age-worthy wine that you intend to lay down, particularly from a stellar vintage, I think you should anchor that inventory with 4 to 6 magnums. This, of course, will extend your enjoyment of a favorite wine and/or vintage. When you are sharing one of those 750ml treasures with special friends and guests (i.e. those who know and appreciate wine) or when you and your guests are tasting through a vertical of vintages; do the following. Compare that gem with a magnum of the same wine as an eye (and palate) opener. Or select the best vintage of a vertical and punctuate the string years with that magnum. Be prepared for gasps and swoons.

Decant your large format wines.

Of course, a magnum of great wine will always dazzle a party. I recommend having decanters handy, as they are much easier to pour than the large bottles. Also, have the “Wine-of-the-Evening” magnum(s) on display for your guests’ anticipation of something special to soon be enjoyed. And if your occasion celebrates one of life’s precious hallmarks, consider using a large format bottle as the guest book at the reception.  Enjoy the empty, signed bottle as a sentimental memento from the event for years to come.

Giving “Big”

Magnums by their sheer size, weight, and presence, make impressive gifts for the Holidays and beyond. Be sure to check out our specially curated collection of Anniversary Magnums sporting Cabernet from our flagship vineyards, stellar vintages, from ready to cellar (2018) to exquisitely aged and at the zenith of their trajectory. Great gifts and great savings – not a bad combination.

Anniversary Celebration Magnums Sale.

But there’s more. While the overt size catches attention, what’s inside engages appreciation at a whole new level. Ultimately the collective, social message implied is loud and clear…

“Wine is always better when shared with friends.”


 

Top 5 Gifts for the Holidays 2020

The perfect gift is as elusive as it is impactful. It should be sentimental, but not sappy; classy, but not pretentious; personal, but not awkward. It’s a lot to think about! Fortunately, V. Sattui Winery has been specializing in gifting for longer than most Napa wineries have been in existence, and we are here to help! From your Aunt Pam in Miami to your most important client in Chicago, to your best friend from college living in Denver, here are the Top 5 ways to give the gift of V. Sattui this holiday season.

1) Wine & Gift Packs

 

Hand-packed with LOVE, V. Sattui gift sets include artisan foods and logo merchandise paired with hand-selected wines for a perfectly personalized present. Choose from fun and friendly packs like Pass the Mustard and Yay for Gamay!, or focus on pure indulgence with our Pamper-In-Place and Wine Not? boxes. Shop online and select the wine(s) you prefer in each box. With ten themed gift packs to choose from, there is something for everyone! Prefer a different collection of goodies? No problem! Contact kellie@vsattui.com for a truly custom gift to match your budget.

2) Wine Packs

Take the guesswork out of your gifting! Ensure everyone has their favorite dinner wine on-hand with our food-friendly For the Bird and For the Roast 6-packs, or encourage la dolce vita with our After Dinner Holiday Dessert 3-Pack.

We even have the perfect gift for the wine collector in your life – the Cabernet Horizontal 6-pack, featuring all our single-vineyard designate Cabernets from the 2016 vintage, plus our signature Bordeaux blend, the 2016 Paradiso.

3) Personalize it!

 

Add some “WOW” to your wines this year with personalized decals and hangtags that are guaranteed to make an impact. Include your company logo to impress your clients and employees, or add some flair to your gift with fun clipart or a heartfelt message to really bring that holiday cheer into their homes.

4) Virtual V. Sattui Experiences

Even sheltering-in-place, the V. Sattui Experience is never out of reach! Let one of our expert wine educators “edu-tain” you over Zoom and guide you through a palate-pleasing selection of genuine V. Sattui wines, with five different “vino packs” to choose from. Sip and savor with friends and family online, or substitute your company’s holiday party this year with a stay-at-home cooking demonstration or cheese board assembly contest that’s sure to inspire laughter, fun, and plenty of joyful holiday memories.

5) Wine of the Month Club Membership

For the wine lover who has everything… give them something more! The V. Sattui Wine of the Month Club is a wine subscription service unlike any other in the Napa Valley. Choose from six different club levels sure to satisfy even the most discerning palate, with monthly or bi-monthly shipments.

Other benefits include complimentary tastings at the winery (including barrel tastings!), discounts on wine purchases, invitations to member-exclusive events, and more! And just think – each time your giftee opens a new shipment, they’ll be reminded of you.


No matter who you’re sending gifts to this year, V. Sattui Winery is committed to making it easy for you and special for your recipients. Call us at (707) 963-7774 for personalized assistance with your order!

Make it unique. Make it delicious.  Make it memorable.
Make it V. Sattui.

 

 

Tom’s Best Buy List

‘Tis the season for spending quality time with good friends, family, eating favorite foods, and savoring delicious wine.  We decided to ask Tom Davies, President of V. Sattui Winery, who has been working here for 35 years for guidance on gifting, tasting, or cellaring, V. Sattui wines.  Here are Tom’s recommendations:

tom-in-tux-croppedAs you create your holiday gift lists, don’t forget that wine, and the story that every bottle holds, is a great gift.  At V. Sattui, we make gift-giving easy by shipping to every state (except Utah). We can also personalize your gift with custom gift tags with your own message hanging on the bottle. We encourage you to be sure to include YOU on the gift list too!

Here are some of my V. Sattui recommendations for gifting, tasting, and cellaring:

 

GIFTING:
Madeira– Many of you know the cult following this wine has! Solera-made, wood-aged, and fortified V. Sattui Madeirawith brandy, this dessert wine is sweet and luscious with flavors of almonds, caramel, toffee and orange zest. It is great with holiday desserts, and some of us like to take it outside and enjoy a fine cigar with it!

2012 Preston Cabernet Sauvignon– Just about everyone covets and appreciates a fine Napa Valley Cabernet. The Preston Vineyard is one of our flagship vineyard sources in the Rutherford appellation. It is a powerful, complex cabernet that is silky on the palate, with sweet black fruit flavors that are balanced with full-bodied texture and a long finish.

2011 Prestige Cuvée—Everyone loves a celebration with bubbles! This Prestige Cuvée is our best sparkling wine to date. The late-disgorged sparkling has a classic toasty brut blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

TASTING:
2014 Los Carneros Chardonnay– out of the thousands of wines submitted for the San Francisco Chronicle’s Wine Competition, this wine was awarded the White Wine Sweepstakes winner. This is a crisp, elegant Chardonnay with ripe pear, fig, and honeydew notes that slip right into a finish of white peach.

2013-Entanglement2013 Entanglement -This rich, complex blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre shows pomegranate fruit flavors combined with earthiness and dried herbs. It is a great wine for pairing with a variety of foods, so it is perfect to serve at all of your holiday gatherings.

2014 Carneros Pinot Noir- The sweet smell of a holiday potpourri tickles your nose when you open this estate-grown cool climate Pinot. With anise, clove, and cinnamon on the nose, this wine’s mild body with flavors of peppercorn, and wild, brambly cherry play beautifully with a symphony of holiday favorites like honey-baked ham, scalloped potatoes, and roasted root vegetables.

CELLARING:
2012 Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon– 2012 has been hailed as the “Vintage of the Decade” for Napa Valley Cabernet. It was a year of near-perfect weather conditions for grape growing, and our Mt. Veeder Cabernet reflects this in a rich, powerful Cabernet with broad shoulders and impressive dimension. Selected as “Wine of the Year” and the “Best Cabernet Sauvignon” at the 2015 Monterey International Wine competition, you can’t go wrong with purchasing at least a case of this wine and savoring it for years to come.

2012 Paradiso that great 2012 vintage also gave us an abundant crop of high quality fruit for our proprietary Bordeaux-style blend. This wine is 2012 Paradisomade of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, and smaller amounts of Petite Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. Lay this wine for five to eight years, and you will enjoy its elegant texture and polished tannins.

2013 Howell Mountain Zinfandel Grapes for this wine come from Napa County’s highest vineyard which is also biodynamically farmed and certified organic. What’s best about this wine is the impeccable balance it shows off. This is a Zinfandel made in a style that is both restrained and loaded with flavor. It is delicious today, however those with patience will be rewarded. With proper storage it will improve over the next 5-8 years and drink well for at least 4-6 after that.