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Enjoying an afternoon at Fortunati Vineyards

2014 Fortunati Vineyards Spring Release Party
2014 Fortunati Vineyards Spring Release Party
Julie Santiago

On a hot summer afternoon, there is no more refreshing wine than a delicious chilled dry Rosé. Lucky us, Fortunati Vineyards is the producer of one of the best Rosé wines in Napa Valley. With excellent balance and nice structure, their Rosé of Syrah is a great choice to battle the heat.

Fortunati Vineyards
Edgar Solis

Fortunati Vineyards, now in its 10th year, is a boutique winery offering very limited production of premium handcraft wines, located in the heart of the highly praised Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley.

Fortunati means lucky in Italian, and owners Ellen and Gary Luchtel named their winery Fortunati because they feel extremely lucky to be able to celebrate their passion with wine lovers everywhere. Last May 25, 2014, during the Memorial Day Weekend, Fortunati Vineyards held their 2014 Spring Release Party, and owners Ellen and Gary welcomed their members to enjoy an "al fresco" luncheon with live music with the rock band Pinot Evil, Barbecue from Cochon Volant and Fortunati wines. Though a hot afternoon, winery members were ready to relish an afternoon with their preferred wines. At the party, members and friends were able to savor Fortunati’s new releases:

  • 2011 Surh Luchtel Cellars Viognier - (Surh Lutchel Cellars is a joint venture of Don Surh and Gary Lutchel) – Viognier is the estate-grown signature white varietal. This wine has aromas of peaches, and wild flowers with some herbaceous and subtle minerality notes. On the palate is balanced, bright and crisp with mouthwatering flavors of apricot and tropical fruits. This wine will be an excellent pairing for white fish or shellfish dish. Retails for $25.00 at Surh Luthtel’s website.
  • 2013 Fortunati 'Pranzo' Rosé – This is a mouthwatering, delicious and food-friendly wine. Made from one hundred percent estate-grown Syrah. It is delightful to the eye, an enticing salmon rosé, as it is pleasing to the palate. It has beautiful notes of strawberry, grapefruit and raspberries, but also has the spicy characteristics of a Syrah. On the palate, it is well balanced with nice acidity, perfect amount of dryness and slight peppery finish. This wine will stand to your summer BBQ and will be a great pairing for your favorite heirloom tomato salad. Retails for $20.00 at Fortunati’s website.
  • 2010 Fortivo Bordeaux- A powerful, Bordeaux style red wine blend, with 50% Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Napa Valley Merlot. It has aromas of black cherry and blackberry, with a hint of smokiness. On the palate is elegant and robust, with nice acidity and lingering finish. Retails for $42.00 at Fortunati’s website.
  • 2012 Fortunati Pinot Noir - Made with fruit from the Carneros region. This is an intense fruit-forward wine with notes of cherry, cranberry, and some hints of baking spices. On the palate it has distinctive cherry, raspberry, and plum with some undertones of vanilla. Its brilliant and enticing garnet color invites for a glass with your favorite pork or mushroom dish. Retails for $36.00 at Fortunati’s website.
  • 2008 Surh Luchtel Cellars Mosaique – This is a red blend comprised of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. This wine is a well-rounded wine. In the nose it has intense cherry and dark fruit aromas with pleasant hints of vanilla, chocolate and coffee. In the palate, you will immediately taste the plums and well-integrated tannins. Though it has intense aromas, as a youthful wine, it is ready to drink right away, and will age nicely in the cellar for few more years if you have the patience. Just have it ready for your Barbecue favorites. Retails for $28.00 at Surh Luthtel’s website.
  • 2010 Fortunati Cabernet Sauvignon – Great example of a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. In the nose, it has intense aromas of red and black berries, plum, cherry, and notes of well-integrated oak. On the palate, is youthful with a dry finish. This is wine will age well for quite some time, as well. Reserve this Cabernet for your red meat dishes. Usually retails for $60.00 at Fortunati’s website, though it seems you will have to wait until the next vintage.

Though their Chardonnay was not at the Release Party, it cannot be forgotten. If you are looking for an outstanding neutral-oak Chardonnay, this is it. Grapes used for this Chardonnay wine come from 40-year old “Old Wente Clone” vines. In the nose, it delivers aromas of apples and grapefruit with hints of tropical fruit. In the palate, its pleasant mouth watering effect hints you for what is to come, incredible balance, nice acidity and great fruit finish. Retails for $30.00 at the Fortunati’s website.

Fortunati Vineyards wines are only sold at the winery and through their website. Wine tastings at the winery are by appointment only.

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