Making the Old and New World proud.
The Mazzei family tapped renowned winemaker Carlo Ferrini to make “Philip,” an homage to their revered ancestor. Wine Access launched the inaugural vintage in 2010, and this vintage tops them all: Robert Parker gave it 94 points, calling it a “pure expression of Cabernet Sauvignon.” It is a wine whose value Napa cannot match. Like its namesake, “Philip” does the Old and the New World proud, and we are proud to offer it once again this 4th of July.
What is the quintessential American wine? Is it an elegant powerhouse, like Phelps or Caymus, that many believe defines the American style? Or one made by an immigrant with a name like Mondavi or Tchelistcheff who embodied the American dream? To find it, should we look back to the wines that heralded the USA’s arrival on the world stage at the 1976 Judgment of Paris? We think we should we look back much further than that.
In 1774, Thomas Jefferson asked Filippo Mazzei, an Italian Renaissance man and friend whose family has been making wine in Tuscany since 1435, to plant a vineyard at his Monticello estate. Mazzei obliged, and Jefferson soaked up his ideas about viticulture, as well as much larger issues: Mazzei’s writings inspired the famous “all men are created equal” phrase in the Declaration of Independence.
Mazzei considered returning home when the Revolutionary War broke out, but was inspired by the spirit of American independence and took up arms against the British.
“All of us were told the story of Philip Mazzei,” Mazzei managing director Francesco Mazzei told us at his family’s Fonterutoli estate in Tuscany. “It not only made us feel proud to be part of our family, it made us understand that we needed to take risks in life and in the vines,” he said.
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