We invited Charles Bruen and his wife Annette over this weekend for an old school spaghetti dinner; big salad, meat sauce from scratch, garlic bread, grilled sausages - the whole bit. I started the meat sauce early in the morning and found myself in search of a bottle of red to cook with. We had received a bottle of wine by Swanson Vineyards in Napa called La Ti Da. Convinced that I would probably never approach anyone with a bottle of wine called La Ti Da, I pulled the cork and quickly tasted it to determine if it was of sufficient quality to use in my red sauce and salad dressing.
The wine was quite nice at first pour and in fact showed potential so I carried on, and as a matter of practice asked Michele to pull some research. She came back with various tear sheets and asked if I was aware that La Ti Da is a Chris Phelps wine. I was not although I had not taken time to read the back of the bottle. Chris Phelps is famous for his time at Petrus, Dominus and Caymus, he is a big deal and as it turns out this is a serious wine, a serious Bordeaux Blend. Undoubtedly someone in marketing thought La Ti Da was a seriously cute name. I have no hard evidence to point to, but I have found that often wines with seriously cute names have a price ceiling lower than there actual worth. We are seeing them occasionally selling at well below release price.
The 2011 Swanson Napa La Ti Da is a complex, right bank Bordeaux Blend made of 76 percent Merlot, 21 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 3 percent Petite Verdot. This is a big red with lots of plum and blackberry in the flavor profile. The finish gets big and developed with a little time to breath and encompasses text book Napa dust and eucalyptus . The 2011 Swanson Vineyards La Ti Da was originally released at $59.00 retail though it was sold predominantly to Wolfgang Puck Restaurants. I asked Charles where he thought it should be priced. He said it would be a great Restaurant wine at $125.00 on the list. We have 2 cases available at $25.00 per bottle. Thank the winemaker for great juice! Thank whoever named it for a great price!
All of the best, Rex and Michele
P.S. When we told Charles the pricing, he said he was going to buy several cases for Jaspers. Sorry Charlie, we bought it all.
The proof is always in the glass!