Review: Picchetti Winery 2017 Vino di Vicino

Hello Everyone! It’s time to review another bottle of wine and like the last review, it’s from Picchetti. I’m a member of their wine club and have a backlog of wines from previous releases. So it’ll be Picchetti for a few more weeks. I’ve always had a soft spot for Picchetti for a couple of reasons. The first is that they were close to where I grew up in the SF Bay Area so it was easy to get to. The second is that they don’t sell their wines outside of the winery and their online store. This makes the wines fun to talk about and share with folks who are not local or knowledgable about small wineries.

Today’s wine is the 2017 Vino di Vicino. The first thing I wanted to know was what the term Vino di Vicino meant. The language is Italian and it translates to “wine of the neighborhood”. Some quick checking online reveals that the term is not commonly used. I found a couple of references to wine stores in the US and Italy that use the phrase in their name. But I found no other wine with the phrase on the label. This gives the wine a nice, casual feel while not casual in price!

My immediate impressions of the wine are positive and it is an improvement over the 2019 Cinsault in the last review. However, I will update this review after I have allowed the wine to settle for a few days and have been able to pair it.

Overall Rating: 11/15

Here are the specifics.

NameVino di Vicino
ProducerPicchetti Winery
Vintage 2017
VarietyRed blend composed mostly of Cabernet Sauvignon
OriginSanta Cruz Mountains
Price (single bottle, non-club)46.95 USD


BOTTLE: Once again, the bottle would get top marks if I included that in the score. Like all their other wines, this bottle has an elegant and understated appearance which I find sophisticated and attractive.

WINE: The wine is a deep red which makes sense given that it is primarily composed of Cabernet which is a pretty dark grape. Unlike the Cinsault from the last review, this wine appears more “mature” but I base that purely on the deepness of the color and on no other scientific observation. There were barely any wine legs that formed when the wine was angled against the glass.

Rating: 4/5


I was immediately reminded of spice and leather when fully inhaling the aroma and letting it linger. There was also a hint of black pepper and dried apricots when inhaled from a slight distance from the glass while swirling the wine. I enjoyed the aroma and when I did the full inhale I was immediately reminded of the smell of a leather shoe – before it was worn!

Rating: 4/5


You can definitely “taste” the spice. The notes of pepper from the aroma were accompanied by notes of fennel as well. The slightly sweet taste from the apricot was a pleasant experience particularly when swallowing the wine immediately and letting the after taste linger. Several additional sips helped to convey a fatty flavor as well though this was probably helped by the coating of the tannins in my mouth by that point.

Rating: 3/5

Wine Review! Picchetti Winery 2019 Cinsault

Hi Everyone – I’ve decided that I should live up to the title of my blog and talk a little bit about wine. I’m in the process of developing my palate so that means that future reviews will only get better.

Today, I’ll be trying the 2019 Cinsault (pronounced “sin-so”), one of the two wines that Picchetti Winery released for their Summer 2021 Wine Club Release. Cinsault is primarily used to blend with other red varieties. In South Africa, Cinsault is frequently blended with Pinotage. It is also commonly blended with Grenache.   

Upon doing some research, the vineyard is located in Lodi, California. As a native Californian I was only aware of Lodi as a “drive-thru” city between my home in San Jose and my parent’s home in the Sacramento area. However, the more I have been researching wine in California, the more I read about Lodi. Perhaps I can do a quick pitstop on my way to Sacramento next time!

I’ve enjoyed Picchetti Winery a lot over the years. It’s nestled in the foothills over Cupertino, California – where I grew up. The actual property is beautiful and the tasting room is enjoyable and is a great place to host an event. And I like their wines and their staff. But this particular wine misses the mark for me. It’s apparent to me why the wine is typically blended with other reds. Nothing stands out for me. I plan to pair this wine with pork belly throughout the week. And will be happy to update this review based on its pairing.

Overall Score: 10/15

Below are the specifics (including images) and how my score adds up.

ProducerPicchetti Winery
OriginBechtholdt Vineyard, Mokelumne, Lodi, CA
Price (single bottle, non-club)42.95 USD


BOTTLE: The bottles at Picchetti are beautiful. The labels are understated and tasteful, using gold script that appears handwritten. I believe that the first bottle (prototype?) is actually handwritten. I don’t know if the rest are then printed or actually handwritten. The vineyard produces small batches so I could see someone’s full-time job being that! I don’t rate wine labels but this one is a favorite of mine for its simplicity and elegance.

Beautiful elegant label. Really like the Picchetti livery.

WINE: The wine itself is bright red. The light diffuses evenly in direct sunlight with a translucent red halo around the rim. The wine’s viscosity appears somewhat low as no define “wine legs” appeared though it still took several seconds for the alcohol to evaporate on the glass. The color is attractive in both neutral light and direct sunlight when out of the bottle.

Rating: 5/5

The wine has a pleasant red color in direct and indirect light.


The wine smells of cherry fruit to me. As I let the wine settle the cherry smell permeated even more. When the wine first came out of the bottle I could smell a hint of citrus. The aroma is fine but not distinct to me.

Rating: 3/5


The wine is sweet immediately on the tongue. The taste of cherry is present and also orange. Picchetti winery describes it as “blood orange”. The taste does not linger long after the initial taste. The wine is somewhat acidic and I could feel it on my tongue and the back of my mouth. The overall bouquet is one of spiciness. Cardinal tastes for me are sweet, sour and a slightly bitter finish.

Rating: 2/5