Otherwise known for extravagant leopard spot and zebra stripe clothing, Florence-based fashion designer Roberto Cavalli and his son Tommaso broke onto the wine scene with flair and fanfare when they unveiled a new wine at a gala dinner held at their private home outside the Renaissance capital.
Posing with a bottle of his new wine in one hand and a Cavalli-accessorized poodle in the other, Robert Cavalli mingled with some 300 guests from the fashion and wine industries at his art and antiques-filled villa.
“I’ve been working on this project for 8 years,” said a soft-spoken Tommaso Cavalli at a sneak-peek tasting of the wine with a handful of journalists. “My dream is to create a wine that is as immediately recognizable in the glass as Robert Cavalli’s clothes are recognizable on the runway.”
Cavalli Selection is Bordeaux-style blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Alicante from two of Cavalli’s vineyards. Much of the fruit for the cuvee comes from Tenuta degli Dei (“Land of the Gods”), a beautiful property outside Panzano in the Chianti Classico zone that was previously dedicated to horses. The 4,800 bottles made of 2004 Cavalli Selection will wholesale for 27 euros (about $40) and will only be sold in select restaurants in Tuscany. Starting with the 2005 vintage, the wine will be available in the Unites States.
Tommaso Cavalli also announced that a 150 euro ($225) wholesale haute couture version of the wine with a snake embossed bottle, brass capsule and leopard print leather case would be available. Consulting enologist Carlo Ferrini, Wine Enthusiast’s Winemaker of the Year, makes Cavalli Selection and Cavalli Collection. The wine is elegant and modern with deep tones of red fruit and toasted oak.