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The 499 Friesa is one of the softest examples of this grape that I’ve ever tasted. In the glass, it shows a dark ruby color. The nose is savory, with all the classic smells of Piedmont - earth, herbs, and fresh red fruits. There are wispy aromas of smoke and black pepper, clear signs of this rustic variety. The palate delivers rich and fruity flavors of red plum, warm cherry, and semi-bitter anise. Medium tannin and moderate acidity create blanketing structure.
From estate owned Nebbiolo vines, farmed organically and picked by hand. Vineyards are planted on calcareous soils and trained in low Guyot fashion. Fermented in oak with natural yeasts, this wine sees 10 days of skin maceration. The wine sees 12 months in barrel, before 6 more months in bottle prior to release. The 2018 Nebbiolo is very clean and edgy, with zesty dried red fruits and dark mineral tones on the nose and palate. While drinking, I thought about how well the bottle would suit a small chill, and how it could be a red for the warmer months approaching. David Hatzopoulos
Shades of red and black in the glass. A joyous nose - tons of roses and fresh red berries. The faintest aroma of flower stems. The palate is soft, then quickly rich, with cocoa and cherry. The finish turns to dark tea leaves and graphite. Despite the mineral character, this isn't a gritty Barbera. There's woven structure. Medium acidity, hitting the mark. A delight to drink. David Hatzopoulos
Last week marked the 3rd time I’ve tasted three vintages of Boggione Brunate together, and it’s reinforced how consistent in quality the wines are, expressive of vintage, but very un-fussed with in the cellar. The 2013 is showing very savory, earthy and chalky, with some cherry fruit and very fine ripe tannin. It’s an expansive mouthful, in a way that suggests it’s going to drink well fairly soon. A very fine wine indeed! Jamie Wolff
The 2016 Brunate is super-aromatic, hitting Nebbiolo’s typical indicators of bright cherry fruit, rose, rich earth/clay/limestone, some balsalm and minty notes; the wine develops even more complexity with air. To me it sings Brunate – that is, a wine with evident power and a serious nature, but also austerely elegant, and balanced between power and finesse without any strain or obvious effort. This is a classic wine that will repay some years in the cellar, but on day 1 it was very good, on day 2 excellent, and on the third day quite spectacular. This may not be the most practical schedule for home drinking, but pouring into a decanter or pitcher in the morning will yield a similar result by dinner time! I can’t resist pointing out that for a Barolo Brunate of this quality the price is very reasonable. But you can do even better: take a 10% discount for any 12 bottles of wine from our inventory, AND – for 24 hours only – we are offering a 15% discount for a 12 bottle case of Boggione. Jamie Wolff
The 2016 Brunate is super-aromatic, hitting Nebbiolo’s typical indicators of bright cherry fruit, rose, rich earth/clay/limestone, some balsalm and minty notes; the wine develops even more complexity with air. To me it sings Brunate – that is, a wine with evident power and a serious nature, but also austerely elegant, and balanced between power and finesse without any strain or obvious effort. This is a classic wine that will repay some years in the cellar, but on day 1 it was very good, on day 2 excellent, and on the third day quite spectacular. This may not be the most practical schedule for home drinking, but pouring into a decanter or pitcher in the morning will yield a similar result by dinner time!
I can’t resist pointing out that for a Barolo Brunate of this quality the price is very reasonable. But you can do even better: take a 10% discount for any 12 bottles of wine from our inventory, AND – for 24 hours only – we are offering a 15% discount for a 12 bottle case of Boggione. Jamie Wolff
To my taste I would have to guess this was a Barbaresco, but a Barbaresco of great finesse and elegance. If there’s a place in the wine to determine that you’re elsewhere, it might be the unbelievably suave and ripe tannins of the Bricco Ernesto. Aromatically the wine is expansive and rich, a lovely combo of dark cherry fruit and earthy Nebbiolo florality and earthiness. The palate is bright and intense, with an incredibly complex finish – a burst of black cherry, amaro-like herbs, citrus, balsam, and that very fine tannin to extend everything. This is a much deeper and more serious Roero wine than one would ever expect. It is, by any definition, a natural wine, completely unmanipulated, and with a final SO2 level of 27mg. Pretty brilliant wine, in my book, and it will be really interesting to see how it develops. I have a very high opinion of just two other Roero producers (Chiesa, and Val del Prete), but Bricco Ernesto is a game-changer. Jamie Wolff
You wouldn't think a Barbera to be so expressive and layered, but this bottle by Cantina del Lupo surely is. The nose has a classic Piedmontese mix of earth and fruit. Aromas of blackberry and cherry waft from the glass, along with hints of loose, healthy, pitch-black soil. On the tongue, there is red cherry, plum, and a woodsy flavor of birch and spice. Subtle but well placed tannin balance the the warm fruit on an edge of medium acidity. For those of you that loved the 2015 vintage of this bottle, we're sure you'll enjoy the 2018 just as much. David Hatzopoulos
On Sale - was $279.99!
Grignolino farmed organically from a few parcels owned and rented by Fabrizio Iuli. Fabrizio is the only winemaker in the village of Montaldo di Cerrina, carrying on a tradition started by his grandfather, who planted vines in the 1930s. Fabrizio's first vintage was in 1998 and he is proud of the classic Piedmontese wines he creates. The Natalin is fermented in cement with native yeasts. Aged in cement for around 7 months. The Natalin 2019 is a lovely shade of black cherry in the glass. On the nose, this Grignolino has beautifully unique fruit, with the scent of pungent ruby red grapefruit and small forest plums, with accents of smoke and fresh violets. On the palate, there is blood orange, with juicy red currant, and a minerally earthiness. Structurally, the wine is set by fantastic tannic form, with a zing of medium acidity. David Hatzopoulos
On Sale - was $799.99!
This needed some air, after which it was delicious, open and light-to-medium bodied, with fine balance. Very good indeed. Jamie Wolff
This needed some air, after which it was delicious, open and light-to-medium bodied, with fine balance. Very good indeed. Jamie Wolff
Elio Sandri is still not the household name he deserves to be considering the extremely high quality of his wines. This bottling is entirely from grapes within Barolo that did not get selected for the eponymous bottling, so he uses them for this more entry-level bottling, ferments in steel, then ages in a combination of neutral wood and tanks for a short time. The nose is savory with notes of dried earth, sun-dried tomato, rhubarb, oregano, and the palate has more freshness, salinity, and present, but approachable tannins that make this a great current drinking Nebbiolo, especially with heartier fare. Michelle DeWyngaert
Most of the fruit from the Nebbiolo comes from La Morra, with some additions from the Roero and the Alta Langha. Fermentations in concrete last about 12 days, and the wine ages in concrete and steel. The 2019 has a lovely and lively pale color; the nose is earthy, even a little funky, backed-up with bright cherry, and cocoa. The palate is savory and quite suave – but with good cut, and very ripe and gentle tannin – altogether an elegant and very tasty Nebbiolo. Nicola has the last word: “This unoaked, fruity and drinkable nebbiolo is meant to be an easy (yet not trivial) wine to share with friends during a nice and funny chat. Drink it slightly cold, maybe while sharing a platter of mixed charcuterie or with some lovely tajarin al ragù.” Jamie Wolff
Dogliani is a small town south and west of Barolo, which gives its name to a DOCG wine zone – a ‘Dogliani’ must be made from Dolcetto (life was a little simpler for everyone when the wines were called “Dolcetto di Dogliani”, but the marketers won that conversation). The zone of Dogliani, is considered the best area for Dolcetto (which not so long ago was more expensive than Nebbiolo) where Dolcetto was historically given the best sites, whereas in Barolo and Barbaresco Dolcetto is generally relegated to lesser positions in the vineyards – “Bricco”, as in Bricco Molea, means the top part of the hill, which receives the most sun and ripens best.There are plenty of contemporary Doglianis that are an attempt to make what Italians call ‘important’ wines, and thus are dark, extracted, and often oaky; Trediberri’s Dogliani is a more traditional style, intended to be fresh and lively, a wine for food, for every day, to open a meal, to drink while your Barolo ages. But this is no simple wine, and it has remarkable aromatic complexity with bright current-like fruit, white flowers, chalk, and a deep savory aspect – altogether mouth-watering. It’s very appealing on the palate, light-midweight and with the fruit in balance with chalk, and expressing a strong sense of place. From vines that are 50-70 years old; fermented in concrete for about 10 days, and aged in a combo of concrete and steel. A killer Dolcetto! Jamie Wolff
I've tried to resist the temptation of a potential cliché, but: this made me think of Burgundy, because this is a really elegant Brunello with no sign of heat, beautiful balance – it’s intense, but not at all too rich, with good lift, and a clear sense of place. I’ve tasted Fornacina for about 10 years now, and terroir emerges in the wine; the relatively high altitude (400+ meters), and the high PH of the galestro soil, must play a role in how fresh the wine is, even in a hot vintage like 2015. The wine is very fragrant with “frutti di bosco”, or forest fruits (wild strawberry, blackberry, etc), clay and “sotto bosco”, or forest floor – leafy and earthy. After 4+ hours open, it’s showing even better: a very refined wine, aromatic, dynamic, and delicious. Jamie Wolff
A nice lively translucent color; both savory and meaty red fruit on the nose; very bright cranberry and current fruit on the palate, and somehow both powerful and elegant. After 4+ hours the wine relaxed and opened to become really drinkable – a very fine Rosso. Jamie Wolff
Gioventu Chianti comes from Michael Schmeltzer, the man behind our beloved Monte Bernardi wines. As expected, this wine is fantastic - worth so much more than the $16 price per bottle. From younger vines (planted in 2010) of Sangiovese, Canaiolo, and Ciliegiolo. After the grapes are crushed, the wine ferments naturally in cement tanks. Aging in also in cement and lasts 12 months. There is no fining or filtering before bottling. The color of the wine shows a burgundy center, becoming a clearer, burnt red on the edges. The nose is bold, with complex layers of fruit and earth. Aromas of black cherry, dark red flowers, and crushed, loamy rocks are at the core, with spicy, woodsy smells of milled black pepper and autumnal dried leaves right above it. The palate is focused on savory fruits of blackberry, cherry, and red citrus, freshened by a zing of clean minerality. Structure-wise, this wine has power, with long lasting acidity, and tannin on the top of the gums and down the tongue. An incredibly delicious wine! Paired wonderfully with taco truck carnitas and al pastor on day two... David Hatzopoulos
100% Sangiovese, 13.5° alcohol, vinified in concrete and aged in old wood ranging from tonneau to 30HL botte. And wow! Very aromatic – delicately floral, bright fruit, stony. On the palate a lovely light texture and beautiful balance, again very stony, with sweet raspberry, thyme, olive, and slightly grainy tannins that add complexity. Very, very good, old school wine – I’m brought back to why I fell for Chianti in the first place. After a few days open still beautifully lifted and complex – my kind of wine. 111 points. Jamie Wolff
From organically-farmed vines planted in red Galestro soils. The 2016 Chianti Classico Riserva Il Chiorba has a bright ruby robe. The nose offers an effusive mélange of wild raspberry, rose petal, sour cherry, freshly fallen leaves, a bit of iron and dried flowers. The palate displays fine brightness and acidity, with succulent tart red fruit flavors, a sapid mineral core, and a long, mouthwatering finish. Delicious now, the pinpoint balance has me expecting a fine upside in the intermediate future. This is shows great flair and is what I want in a Chianti. Highly recommended. John McIlwain
A Chianti Classico Riserva that pushes tender dark fruit and fresh earth into leading roles. 100% Sangiovese from the Sa'etta Vineyard on the Monte Bernardi estate in Panzano. This single vineyard has southern exposure, boasts soils of shale and limestone, and maintains vines of 40(+) years of age. The area is described by the producer's website as having the "best position, exposure, and terrain on the estate." The choicest grapes are picked by hand from vines tended with biodynamic practices. Once moved to the winery, natural fermentation begins in large oak casks. After malo naturally occurs in Austrian and German oak, the wine ages in wood for 18-30 months. Bottle aging before release is a minimum of 12 months. The wine is unfiltered. Powerful and full, the color in glass is black at the core, with dark burgundy edges. The nose is a basket of fresh black olives, sage leaves, bushy stems of oregano, dried dark cherries and milled cocoa. Large ripe plums and dates are the foundation to a dish of flavors that also include less forward notes of Provencal herbs and subtle black tea. There is an overarching "of-the-earth" quality, aromatically and flavor-wise, that makes this Sa'etta '16 so comforting and pleasant to drink. It has medium acidity and a tempered, though engaging, chew. Please enjoy in 2020, but know that the wine has been made to develop well over many years. Sipped alongside Parmesan-polenta with sausage, shrimp, onions and tomato. Looking forward to revisiting today after a night open... David Hatzopoulos
This is the only Super Tuscan we carry in the store, and an anomaly within the character. 45% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc, and 15% Petit Verdot. All estate grown fruit, picked by hand, from southern facing slopes. Natural Fermentation in steel, secondary fermentation in oak, with 18-24 months of aging in barrique and tonneaux before bottling. The color here is black cherry, especially dense in the center of the glass. The nose is minerally and bright, with a scent of crushed graphite. Additional aromas of soft vanilla bean, mosey forest floor, and fruits like cherry, blueberry, strawberry, and raspberry fill out the profile. The palate also carries that stony character, surrounded by rounder flavors of plum and dark cherry. On the finish, that lean taste of graphite reappears to add an earthy final touch. This is a tannic wine, but tender on the tongue with a soft middle. Acidity is refreshing and vibrant. What a beautiful wine! Complex and so tasty. Drink now or age 10 years. David Hatzopoulos
Another fantastic vintage of this staple red from Monte Bernardi. 95% Sangiovese with 5% of Canaiolo Nero from estate vines in Panzano, Chianti. Wine is fermented naturally in oak and stainless steel before aging 18-24 months in oak. The nose is very fragrant, with notes of warm blueberry preserve, balsamic and freshly baked pie crust. Above those deep aromas, there are fresh red cherries and woodsy forest shrubs. On the palate, there are flavors black cherry, milled coffee beans, and a very lovely note of candied blackberry. The wine has a long finish of herbs and spice. Structure-wise, this Chianti has high acidity and healthy tannin. An incredible wine! David Hatzopoulos
The 2016 Ruvaln Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG from Adalia comes from vines 400 meters above sea level, planted to calcareous soils. The vines are planted in in the double pergola trentina trellising system, which gives the leaves the best exposure to the sun's rays, while keeping the grapes cool under a shady canopy. The Ruvaln is made up of 40% Corvina, 40% Corvina Grossa, and 20% Rondinella. The grapes are selected by hand in the first part of October and let to naturally dry for 3 months. At the beginning of February, the grapes are destemmed and gently pressed. Spontaneous fermentation begins in stainless steel, followed by malo. In the cellar, the wine ages in barrel for 24 months before release.
A while ago, my fiance filled me in on an interesting fact. Many of the grapes that go into the red wines of the Valpolicella DOC are named after the birds that eat them. Corvina is based on "corvo," which means "crow." Rondinella is based on "rondine," which means "swallow." The Adalia 2018 Laute is 35% Corvina, 35% Corvina Grossa, 20% Rondinella, 10% Molinara. The grapes are trellised in the regionally traditional pergola trentina system, allowing the leaves of the vines to catch optimum sunlight, while the grapes are shaded underneath their canopy. Fruit is picked by hand at the end of September, destemeed, and gently pressed. Fermentation begins with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel. The wine sees one week on the skins before malo. Aged in stainless before bottling. On the nose, the Laute shows red cherry, stripped tree bark, clove and pepper. The palate has juicy cherry and plum, coffee, and with cool green herbs. The mouthfeel is fresh, lush with it's fruit, and soft with it's tannin. David Hatzopoulos
The Adalia 2018 Valpolicella Ripasso DOC Superiore Balt comes from a blend of the regions traditional red grapes. Composed of 35% Corvina, 35% Corvina Grossa, 20% Rondinella and 10% Molinara from vineyards planted to calcareous soils at 300 meters above sea level. Like all of the Adalia wines, the vines are set up in the double pergola trentina system, allowing the leaves to obtain as much sunlight as possible, while shielding the fruit below the canopy. The grapes are picked by hand in the second half of October, before being destemmed and gently pressed. Fermentation begins with native yeasts in stainless steel. Maceration on the skins lasts for approximately one week. At the end of February, the wine is then "passed over" the skins of the dried Amarone grapes for 7-10 days. Aging is done in oak barrels for 18 months, where secondary fermentation finishes before bottling. On the nose, the wine has plummy dark fruit, with cherries and herbs. There is a hint of raisin. On the palate, the wine is medium bodied, with cherry and earth on the palate. David Hatzopoulos
The 2018 Sabbia Rosso taught me how to love Campania. This '19 is just as delicious. So expressive - the nose is a dense bouquet of dark flowers, plums, and salt. There are bold, warm scents of espresso and baked cherries. Definitely more sultry than the rustic 2018, with a little less earth and a bit more perfume, but with an attractiveness so honestly displayed that it is just as humble of a wine. The palate shows the classic plummy flavor Piedirosso almost always carries. I can taste graphite and herbs that remind me of Cabernet Franc, and a brininess that reminds me of Rhone Syrah. Structure is perfect, with dry tannin on the gums and tongue, refreshed by a bolt of minerally acidity. Pair with anything that is full of anchovies, thick tomato sauce, and black olives. Or drink it while waiting to Zoom with your brothers on a Saturday night. That's what I'm doing. Anyway, Agnanum, I love you. David Hatzopoulos
Beginning with Auosnia's pied de cuve, new grapes are added and kept to ferment for 15 days on the skins before wine is pressed off. This is the same procedure for Ausonia's more fundamental Apollo bottling. However, in this case, aging is done in amphora. One vessel is 8 hectolitres and one is a smaller 2 hectolitres. This lasts 12 months before the wine is bottled unfiltered and aged 6 more months in bottle. The color is black in the center with purple edges. Compared with Ausonia's standard Apollo, this wine shows much less fruit. It is more reserved. The wine's nose is soft, with notes of iron, tobacco, soy sauce, raw almonds and walnuts, and dried, savory red cherry. The palate has black cherry and a mix of warm herbs. In structure, the wine displays a soft texture of well-integrated tannins and medium acidity. David Hatzopoulos
Grapes are grown in San Vito, Sardinia, to soils of crumbling granite and red-tinted quartz. Fruit from these 10 year old vines is harvested in mid-September. Native fermentation is done in 1950s cement tanks. Wine ages in the same tanks for 5 months before being bottled unfiltered. If you enjoy Grignolino from the Piedmont, this bottle would be great for you.
Bardolino is just north of Valpolicella, and shares the same three grapes (Corvina, Molinara, and Rondinella) as those wines. The “Nogara” is mostly Corvina, with some Rondinella; despite the fact that Corvina is the more structured grape, the Nogara is a lively and fresh expression in which it’s hard to perceive the relationship between Bardolino and Amarone. The color is quite light (a dark Rosato in some other quarters), and cranberry and strawberry fruit dominate, underpinned by lime peel and chalk – refreshing chilled, easy to drink at 12.5 alcohol, guaranteed to hit the spot on a hot day, and absolutely delicious. Jamie Wolff
I love Etna, and I’ll go out of my way to taste Etna wines, even though they are mostly not much to my taste. Thus I am really happy to have found Flavia, another crazy-good Sicilian wine imported by Vinotas (see Pianogrillo). Flavia is made by two of the younger generation of the Rallo family – famous for Marsala, but apparently present on Etna “since 1860”. Flavia is made from certified organic grapes, fermented with indigenous yeasts in steel, and aged in used Slavonian botte. Pedigree aside, note that it’s a liter bottle, so 25% more volume – it would be a bargain for a .750 bottle. This is a classic expression of Etna – on the lighter side – very pure, and unmistakably Nerello Mascalese. It was correct and pleasing at first, but after some serious time open (and on the second day) it really sang. Great wine, amazing value. Jamie Wolff
Il Fortunato aced it with their Rosato Spumante; another lively sparkler produced from organic vineyards with only a minimal addition of sulfur. The nose is playful with a mix of bright berry fruits and fresh red cherries cut by tart apple skins. On the palate, a delicate mousse lifts the wine showing some weight, great acidity, and just touch of sugar. Absolutely lovely! Pair with charcuterie, simple pasta, or simply drink on its own. Andy Paynter
The nose on La Visciola's 2015 Priore Superiore brings a warm wood shop to mind. Fresh resin, smoke, pine and candle wax. Additionally, there are airier aromas of dark flowers, clove, mint, and even a hint of something savory, like paprika. The palate is generous, with low acidity and a plush softness structured by imposing tannin. Displayed are flavors of deep red cherry fruit, pine, birch, and turned earth. The color of the wine is rustic, balancing between it's dark red core and clear mahogany edges. One of the most soothing Cesanese wines I've tasted, combining power with a certain mature, tempered character. Drinking great right now. David Hatzopoulos
The 2017 Vignali from La Visciola has a deep red core, with earthy red edges. Freshly picked cherries and strawberries, red plum, dark flowers, loamy earth, and a hint of smoke and aromatic herbs combine on the wine's pronounced nose. The palate has a distinct flavor of roasted coffee, along with a depth of cherry and plum. A beautiful wine that doesn't lack strength, high in acidity with medium tannin. David Hatzopoulos
This effervescent Barbera is one of a kind! Just a little fizzy, the wine is perfect for denser holiday meals - like root vegetables and roasted white and red meats. In the glass, it has a dark ruby color. The nose is fresh, though full of dark fruits (cherry, blackberry, and small plum). There are aromas of birch, smoke, and savory orange peel. The palate has blueberries and raspberry, mixed with slightly bitter green herbs - before finishing with a light essence of strawberry. High acid on the tongue, and just a little sparkle, make this wine incredibly drinkable. You’ll want this in stock all winter long!
Bauccio is a special selection of 50+ year old vines in the Liscone vineyard. After fermentation in open-topped wood, the wine is matured in large tonneau; the wood seems to integrate seamlessly. The 2013 has a dark purple robe. Violets, leather, cassis, black fruits and leather mingle on the nose. The palate is muscular and ripe and it’s quite a mouthful: black brambly fruit and plum stone, a bit of game, obsidian stone, and cracked pepper. Rich, but deft, this has firm, but fine-grained tannins and a bit of mineral smoke on the after aromas. This is still young and probably in need of a year or two more in the cellar, but delicious and quite satisfying with a lamb ragu with mezze maniche, chilis, mint, and pecorino with enough freshness to make the mouth water in anticipation of the next sip and bite. A fine Aglianico Del Vulture that veers more towards elegant than rustic, while still capturing the wild character of the DOC. Fine stuff and treat with richer dishes. John McIlwain
Liscone is an old Contrada, or farm; Paulo says that the fruit for the Liscone bottling comes from younger vines — only 30 years old... After about 2 weeks in open-top fermenters, the wine goes in old tonneau. It's intense — smokey, very mineral. Savory, with ripe tannin, this isn't a fruit-driven wine, but a really sophisticated expression of the Vulture. The wine is certainly drinkable now, but this is a fine candidate for mid-term aging.
2017 was a much riper vintage than 2016, and this wine shows it. Francesco added a tiny bit of sulfur just at bottling. The nose opens with notes of plum, a hint of prune, dark forest fruit, stewed raspberry and blackberry, dried cherry, grape jam (a high quality one), baking spice, nutmeg, and a hint of forest undergrowth. The palate is juicy, still with a lot of energy and acidity to retain balance. Though lacking some of the subtlety and fascination of the 2016 vintage at the moment, it may be best to hold for a year or two, as I feel this will be a wonderful wine with some time to settle. That being said, there is no harm in opening it now, and indeed at a recent tasting some folks preferred the more forward aspects of the 2017. Oskar Kostecki
2017 was not an easy vintage for producers on Etna. Extreme heat and no rain posed a huge threat to production. With yields down, many consumers were worried about the quality of the vintage. Masseria del Pino's I Nove Fratelli 2017 is one of the most expressive bottles of Etna Rosso that I've ever tasted. Complete with a mix of fresh and candied red fruits, green herbs and fresh volcanic soil, this is a dynamic bottle in aroma and taste. It doesn't lack structure either, though it is leaner and fresher than the 2016 vintage. It goes to show you how wonderful farming and great winemaking can turn a scary vintage into a real success. Bravo to Federica and Cesare for delivering such a fantastic bottle of wine, despite the hardship. David Hatzopoulos
The Sisma by Monterosso is structured, with bright acidity. The 2017 vintage was hot compared to the 2016. Earthy aromas of smoke, iron, and crushed black stones mix with dark cherry and cassis on the nose. On the palate, the flavors are framed by ripe, firm tannins, with bursts of earthy red plum and blackberry/raspberry fruit. This is an assertive Nerello Mascalese, especially in contrast with the gentler character of the 2016. A few years in the cellar should allow the flavors and structure to integrate. David Hatzopoulos
What an awesome vintage for one of our staples here at Chambers Street. The wine is always delicious, but the 2018 might be the best I've had so far. The Lagnusa Nero d’Avola vines range in age from 20-50 years old, and they give the wine remarkable depth and complexity. My notes for the wine's bouquet reads: "smokey, dark roses, tar, and savory cherry." It is almost startling how complex the nose is upon first whiff. The palate has classic red berries, with a little spice and fresh herbs. The structure is bright, with only a hint of pleasant tannin and some lovely acidity. David Hatzopoulos
From 15 year old vines planted in both guyot and pergola training systems, Pranzegg's Lagrien is fermented with submerged cap for 4 weeks, and is a deeper expression of "mountain wine."Notes of dark fruit (blackberry, plum, and cassis) mingle with mineral notes wet stone and graphite. Framed by quite bright acidity, this is a great food wine, and will pair well with anything from a steak or roast pork, to a burger or barbecue.
Sourced from 50 year-old vines trained in pergola and farmed biodynamically, this is a more profound expression of the grape Schiava than one usually finds. The wine is fermented with 30% stem inclusion and macerates for 6 weeks in large conical vats followed by elevage in old oak and cement tank for 10 months.
The Allegracore bottling from Romeo del Castello is 100% Nerello Mascalese from the younger part of their vineyard, planted in 2004. The wine is fermented in 5000L stainless vats for 20 days. The wine ages for a year afterwards, also in stainless. An elegant and approachable Etna Rosso, it has been a Chambers Street favorite since the 2009 vintage! The nose on the 2018 is a fresh bouquet of pitted, ripe dark cherries and plums and violets. Attractive green aromas balance the flowers and fruit with swaths of spring grass and ferns. The juicy palate is full of cherry, raspberry and plum - all bolstered by an enticing minerality of dark stones. The finish is long, ending the wine on notes of dried red fruits and herbs. As stated above, we always love this wine, but the 2018 is a knock-out. You'll want this bottle during summer meals outside. David Hatzopoulos
From the Veneto, this is a low alcohol rosato. A fresh blend of Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara - grapes most famously used in the production of Valpolicella reds.
Vittorio Savino, owner of Fenicotteri, joined Foti’s small association of producers called i Vigneri (some of whose wines from Mt. Etna we always have on our shelves). I Vigneri offers unparalleled expertise in every aspect of viticulture and production (including the services of Ciccio, the group’s mule). Foti’s work at Gulfi, and his knowledge derived from the vines in Pachino must have been very valuable when trying to restore a vineyard that’s virtually on the shore of the lagoon. The farming is impeccable (only copper and sulfur and sheep manure are used on the bush-trained vines) but it’s the location that brings an incredibly compelling mineral and saline lift to the wine. Called Fenicotteri (flamingo, in Italian) after the migratory flamingoes who visit the lagoon next to the vineyard. JW Firmly medium-bodied, the 2015 shows beautiful notes of black cherry, blackberries, black currant, raspberry jam, a hint of leather, cut hay, cocoa, coffee grinds, with hints of black pepper and a black olive brininess. Well integrated and soft, but quite present tannins and medium acidity. Wonderful complexity which just keeps unfolding the longer the wine is open. There is a certain plushness, without anything extravagant. This wine is very compelling all the way through the bottle. Oskar Kostecki
In Emilia-Romagna, Terraquila creates red méthode ancestrale sparklings from organic Lambrusco Grasparossa. The wine goes through a cold maceration with the skins. It is aged for 15 months on the lees and is released without disgorgement. The color of the Falcorubens is a dense red. Aromatically, the wine offers roasted coffee and dark forest fruit, with a touch of barnyard and earth. Similarly, the palate is full of burly flavors like smoke, plum, raw herbs, and espresso. The structure is soft with a touch of tannin. A lovely wine to sip, a great bubbly for the cooler weather. David Hatzopoulos
A co-harvest of Corvina, Rondinella, Molinara, and Sangiovese from biodynamically farmed 53 year old, pergola-trained vines on the western shore of Lake Garda. Considered too atypical to be labeled under the Bardolino Chiaretto DOC, Daniele Deliani just labels this as a humble vino rosato.