Get 10% off the purchase price with every order of 12 bottles or more of still wine not already on sale. The savings add up!
Candela Prol, highly experienced certified wine educator and friend of the shop, is available for tastings and training for private and corporate events. For rates and other inquiries, please contact her at email@example.com .
*Offsite events are contracted to and coordinated by a 3rd party, and are in no way affiliated with Chambers Street Wines.
Called “Barolo di Barolo” because the fruit comes from vineyards in the town of Barolo, this is labeling that we’re seeing more of these days. The wine shows some of the best aspects of the good 2018s – lovely light weight, savory and easy drinking, with entrancing citrus, rose, and earthy notes. A wine more on the side of finesse than power, it’s nonetheless complete. It will drink very well now and for the next 10+ years. Jamie Wolff
As with the Barale Dolcetto and Nebbiolo, the Barbera could serve as a text-book example of the grape. The 2020 a fine balance between very ripe fruit and very fresh, mouthwatering acidity – deliciously lush, crisp, and mineral all at once, this really outperforms. Jamie Wolff
Again the Barales achieve a fascinating balance of savory character and fruit, all in a medium-bodied wine that’s quite structured with ripe tannin, with very good length. Another classic. Jamie Wolff
A lovely light-mid weight Dolcetto, very fresh with good acidity and classically tannic, this combines bright red fruit and savory herbal notes; this will gain complexity with just a little more time in bottle. 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
A traditional Nebbiolo from Burzi, a lesser-known producer in Barolo. Aged in large old 500L barrels, and then large tonneaux for 6 months. There is a slight hint of leather here, herbs, and fresh acidity. A very friendly Nebbiolo, ready to drink or very capable of aging for several years.
Made from organically farmed grapes, by one of the Langhe’s largest organic vineyard owners, with vines on the margins of the great sites of Barolo and Barbaresco. They make more than they can sell under their own label, so we’ve lucked-out: the wine is delicious, ready to drink, and a great buy at the price. Classic Nebbiolo, with roses and a hint of dried red cherries, earthy forest floor, and fine acidity.
Very engaging on the nose, like uncovering a bowl of strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries while a breeze of light flowers and green grass stirs on a summer afternoon. Really, if the aromatics of this wine don't put a smile on your face, I don't know what will. The color is a translucent rhubarb hue. On the palate, there is vibrant acidity and only a minuscule tannic touch. The fruit on the tongue has more of an edge than it does on the nose, with tangy red cherry and crisp red apple. Edgy but deliciously fresh. David Hatzopoulos
Grapes from a small parcel in San Rocco Seno d'elvis in Alba. Grapes fermented naturally in concrete and aged for a year in large casks. The color of this Nebbiolo shows a clean cranberry core and lovely, burnt red edges. On the nose, aromas of red cherry, green herbs, and elegant floral tones combine with darker smells of orange rind, black pepper, and a touch of smoke. Plump flavors on the palate of cherry, savory citrus, and salt, leading to a bite of black tea. Structurally, this Nebbiolo has a mineral center, with a fantastic ounce of tender richness, healthy acidity and soft tannin. Truly out of this world! David Hatzoopulos
“Smells great!” reads the opening of my note, written last May while balancing a glass and notebook at the cantina. This can only (by me, at any rate) be called classic. Aromatically lovely, with delicate floral, woodsy notes, and bright fruit; the wine is quite intense and lush, beautifully balanced between savory and fruit, with quite pronounced ripe tannin. None of the heat of the vintage is apparent. Super wine, super promising – an amazing debut. Jamie Wolff
The fruit for this '16 Barolo came primarily from east and south-east facing plots in La Morra, with some Nebbiolo from east facing vines in the Barolo commune. The wine was fermented in stainless steel with a 25 day maceration on the skins, before aging in large Slavonian oak casks for 2 years. The Convento '16 is a lightly bricking cherry in the glass when the bottle is first opened but fills out into a brilliant, deep, clear red hue after an hour of air. It begins distinctly minty, with raspberry and red plum. A little clove and milled coffee bean waft over a woodsy smell of stripped bark. Over time, sweet orange peel, pungent roses, and candied strawberry appear, adding richness and pleasant aromatic dimension. The palate has a bright, mineral core - but also real juiciness. Flavors of zingy red apple and cranberry begin a little pinched, but quickly fall on the tongue like a wave of healthy fruit. The wine finishes on a serious note, with a hint of menthol and a dash of black tea. Fantastic, semi-chewy Nebbiolo tannin and firm acidity are long lasting. Drink now through 2030. David Hatzopoulos
This needed some air, after which it was delicious, open and light-to-medium bodied, with fine balance. Very good indeed. 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 currant-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
By all reports a vintage of reduced crops, 2017 has been standing out to me as a vintage of quality for several Tuscan producers who were able to handle the concentration of the vintage and maintain balance with their wines. The 2017s from Monte Bernardi stand out, along with the Montesecondo wines I tried from 2017, and one of our local faves, the Lecci e Brocchi (we're onto the 2018 now, but the '17 was great while it lasted!). Enter Fattoria le Masse's 2017 Chianti Classico, a perfect rendition, with medium-full body, dark cherry notes, a touch of leather... sound like Chianti yet? Ideal with any meat dishes, red sauces, home-cooked pizzas, or roasted veggies. Grapes were harvested by hand in October. Fermented naturally, macerating on the skin for about 40 days. Aged one year in French oak and matures in bottle for 8 months before release. A classic Chianti, with fine tannins and just the right amount of material and acidity to age very well for 3-5 years, perhaps even longer! -EL
We know of Canaiolo mainly as a blending grape in Tuscany, and rarely do we find wine enthusiasts outside of Italy who can speak on its virtues, as it is equally rare to find a 100% Canaiolo wine. Recently however, there have been a few estates that have started to produce varietal expressions. The Fattoria le Masse 'Timeo' is a fantastic example, lithe and perfectly balanced with acidity and refined and elegant deep red fruit flavors, delivered with energy, and on the lighter side of medium. Grapes were harvested from vines planted in 1961 to sand and clay soils at the end of September. Fermented with indigenous yeast, with about 40 days on the skins without temperature control in steel tanks. Aged for 6 months in steel before one more year in bottle. Now we find that Canaiolo was "more popular in Central Italy than Sangiovese until the eighteenth century" (J Robinson/J Harding/J Vouillamoz, WINE GRAPES), with the "velvety texture and full body of its best examples rounding out Sangiovese's firm tannins." Curious indeed! Maybe the immediate joy of the Canaiolo was replaced by the reward of Sangiovese's noble ageing potential, but one can see with the 'Timeo' why Canaiolo was popular. Immediately drinkable, friendly and balanced, this is a perfect red for appetizers, salads, poultry, grilled fish, pretty much anything! I did find myself yearning for more material when I tried to pair it with meatballs and red sauce, so maybe the Chianti from Fattoria le Masse would be the better choice for red meat or dishes with tomato sauce, but this Canaiolo definitely goes the distance! -EL
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
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
90% Sangiovese Grosso and 10% Canaiolo from old vines planted 550 meters above sea level. Fermentation and aging is done in cement and 500 liter French oak tonneaux. In the glass, the wine is a ripe red cherry in color. The nose is full of fresh red berries, with a touch of juniper perfume and woodsy earth. Rich on the palate, with strong iron and mineral strength, with a zap of firm cherry - finishing on a semi-bitter cranberry note. The structure is bright, with incredibly healthy acidity and very clean tannic chew. What a balanced yet invigorating wine! David Hatzopoulos
I Fabbri's Fiasco bottling is an incredibly bright Sangiovese from one of our favorite Chianti producers. The nose of this fresh red is full of wild fruits - cherries, strawberries, and blueberries. Lending a rustic accent is a pleasant aroma of savory green herbs. Flavors of black cherry and dark stones create a bright palate with a healthy level of high-toned verve. Great acidity and a light hint of tannin round out this delicious (and dangerously drinkable) wine! Serve at cellar temperature for extra refreshment. David Hatzopoulos
100% Sangiovese from organic vineyards in Montalcino, planted too high in elevation to qualify for Rosso DOC or Brunello DOCG labeling. Fermented in cement with native yeasts and a 15 day maceration on the skins. Aged in Slavonian oak for 12 months and bottled without clarification. A clear black cherry hue in the glass. On the nose, the Troncone has lovely red berries, small plums, dried red and purple flowers, a touch of warm ginger, and lightly tilled garden soil. Flavors are sparky, with snappy cherry, zesty black pepper, and a core of brisk minerality. The finish is bright and citrusy. Very cooling in structure, with a great, lapping texture on the tongue, with medium acidity and just a dash of tannin. David Hatzopoulos
The Ragonaia bottling from Lecci & Brocchi is 100% Sangiovese from vineyards 420 meters above sea level. Fruit harvested at the end of of September. Vinification in vertical open tonneaux with manual punch downs. Fermentation is natural. Malo happens in steel tanks before aging in barrique for 12 months. In the glass, the wine shows a lovely black cherry in color. On the nose, the wine is soft, with savory red plum, red flowers, and dark citrus peel. Flavors of ripe red cherry and minerally earth. Generous on the palate, showing medium acidity and fuller but woven tannin. 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
In the glass this 2015 Brunello is a clean red cherry in color. The nose is full and complex, with roses and herbal aromas. Lovely red fruits and a hint of springy grassiness give the nose a great pop. After hours open, the bouquet deepens and a touch of spice develops. The palate is peppery and full of plum and black cherry. Right after opening, a lively spark of salinity and a flavor refreshing mint show on the palate. With air, the wine plumps up with enhanced richness. The wine has a great chew and acidity. 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.
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
80% Corvina and 20% Rondinella planted to Morainic soils on the eastern shores of Lake Garda in the Veneto. 10 maceration before natural fermentation. Aged for a year in 20 hl barrels of used oak. Six months of bottle aging before release. In the glass, the wine is a black cherry in color. On the nose, the wine is savory, with hints of spice and flowers, like a lovely potpourri. On the tongue, there is great fruit, with zippy cassis and red citrus, balanced by fresh black pepper. Structure here is rich, with fine-grained and plush tannic form and exceptional acidity. David Hatzopoulos
CD = Contrada Calderara Sottana – 40 year-old vines, 610 meters above sea level; 1200 bottles produced. CD sees a little longer on the skins than the other crus. Cornelissen writes “The wines are generally more feminine combining elegance and in the best cases the wines are profound.” A lovely pomegranate color in the glass. The nose is earthy, with aromas of freshly tilled garden soil and dry ash wafting above a foundation of red cherry. Flavor-wise, plump blueberries, red apple, and cherry form the base of this wine, with black pepper and green stems adding nuance to the fruit. The finish is terrific, showing mint and spice. High acidity is softened by simple but very well-placed tannin. A very engaging and flavorful red, definitely the ripest of this vintage's single vineyards that we've had the chance to taste. David Hatzopoulos
CD = Contrada Calderara Sottana – 40 year-old vines, 610 meters above sea level; 1200 bottles produced. CD sees a little longer on the skins than the other crus. Cornelissen writes “The wines are generally more feminine combining elegance and in the best cases the wines are profound.”
A lovely pomegranate color in the glass. The nose is earthy, with aromas of freshly tilled garden soil and dry ash wafting above a foundation of red cherry. Flavor-wise, plump blueberries, red apple, and cherry form the base of this wine, with black pepper and green stems adding nuance to the fruit. The finish is terrific, showing mint and spice. High acidity is softened by simple but very well-placed tannin. A very engaging and flavorful red, definitely the ripest of this vintage's single vineyards that we've had the chance to taste. David Hatzopoulos
CR = Contrada Campo Re – 70 year-old vines, 730 meters above sea level; 2000 bottles produced.
CS = Chiusa Spagnola – 90 year old vines, 620 meters above sea level. Frank says Chiusa Spagnola produces wines that are "perfumed and tannic; lighter in color and more backward and Nebbiolo-ish compared to the other crus". 2500 bottles produced.
PA = Feudo di Mezzo – Porcaria. 60 year-old vines, 640 meters above sea level - from the higher part of Feudo di Mezzo. Frank writes "A challenging location in order to achieve perfection in maturation. It has the power as well as refined elegance... A complete wine." 2000 bottles produced.
FM = Feudo di Mezzo. 40 year-old vines, 580 meters above sea level. A 'feudo' is a farm; the Feudo di Mezzo is a large farm (now with many different owners), and this is from the lower ("Sottana") part of the farm. Frank writes: "Although lower in the valley floor, the wines are of an unusual elegance which characterizes this area. Relatively deep soil which, in humid vintages can create some problems although the well ventilated site helps to get ripeness. Burgundian elegance and roundness, even in hot vintages makes this a special wine with finesse as it’s personality." 2500 bottles produced.
MC = Monte Colla – 70 year old vines, 750-780 meters above sea level. Cornelissen writes: "An extremely steep and terraced vineyard, beautifully exposed to sun and wind and right in front of Mount Etna. The sandy clay soil and the old-vine Nerello Mascalese, planted in 1946, produces a rich and powerful wine, maintaining elegance. Our “Hermitage” of Etna." 2000 bottles produced.
PU = Contrada Puntalazzo – 20 year-old vines, 610 meters above sea level. This is Frank’s only vineyard on the east side of Etna, facing the sea (the same area where Benanti, Biondi, Monte Rosso, and other great wines are made). Our tasting – the first time we’ve tried this wine – confirmed Frank’s opinion: “The wines have an atmosphere which resembles the surroundings, fragrant, elegant, nearly fragile and of a rare beauty.” In the glass, this wine has a clear cherry color. It is a crisper hue than the standard Munjebel. On the nose, it is the most floral of Cornelissen's single vineyard '18s that we've tasted so far. Along with red flowers, aromas of small forest berries are accented with light smoke, fresh basil and a hint of balsamic. On the tongue, there is a clean mineral drive and a dual fruit profile of both red cherry and dark citrus - before a springy, grassy finish. The structure here is zippy, with a healthy edge and just a dash of tannin. David Hatzopoulos
PU = Contrada Puntalazzo – 20 year-old vines, 610 meters above sea level. This is Frank’s only vineyard on the east side of Etna, facing the sea (the same area where Benanti, Biondi, Monte Rosso, and other great wines are made). Our tasting – the first time we’ve tried this wine – confirmed Frank’s opinion: “The wines have an atmosphere which resembles the surroundings, fragrant, elegant, nearly fragile and of a rare beauty.”
In the glass, this wine has a clear cherry color. It is a crisper hue than the standard Munjebel. On the nose, it is the most floral of Cornelissen's single vineyard '18s that we've tasted so far. Along with red flowers, aromas of small forest berries are accented with light smoke, fresh basil and a hint of balsamic. On the tongue, there is a clean mineral drive and a dual fruit profile of both red cherry and dark citrus - before a springy, grassy finish. The structure here is zippy, with a healthy edge and just a dash of tannin. David Hatzopoulos
P1 = Cuvee Perpetuum – 60+ year-old vines, 600-800 meters above sea level. A new wine! “The first bottlings of our MunJebel® rosso classico were blends of 2 vintages which I have always liked as it gives a good idea of a larger area instead of a vintage wine. When I stopped blending vintages as of the 2012 vintage to search for more precision, I kind of missed the evolved “old-school” style of the first wines I produced and so I decided in 2016 to produce a similar style wine again, applying the “perpetual” method of great solera wines. The first edition will be a blend of 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019. We will be bottling 25% of this first edition in 2021 and adding the selected wine of the 2020 vintage to fill up the tank again. Perpetuum is born!” An auburn color in the glass, very reminiscent of Nebbiolo. On the nose, smells of wet ash and dried red cherry. There is a softness to the bouquet, broad and savory. On the palate, plummy red fruit is scored by a dark beam of minerality and enhanced by a fresh, airy smokiness. A finish of rich stone fruit underlines the wine's surprisingly full structure. High acid with a bit of chew, the P1 is impressive in mouthfeel. David Hatzopoulos
P1 = Cuvee Perpetuum – 60+ year-old vines, 600-800 meters above sea level. A new wine! “The first bottlings of our MunJebel® rosso classico were blends of 2 vintages which I have always liked as it gives a good idea of a larger area instead of a vintage wine. When I stopped blending vintages as of the 2012 vintage to search for more precision, I kind of missed the evolved “old-school” style of the first wines I produced and so I decided in 2016 to produce a similar style wine again, applying the “perpetual” method of great solera wines. The first edition will be a blend of 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019. We will be bottling 25% of this first edition in 2021 and adding the selected wine of the 2020 vintage to fill up the tank again. Perpetuum is born!”
An auburn color in the glass, very reminiscent of Nebbiolo. On the nose, smells of wet ash and dried red cherry. There is a softness to the bouquet, broad and savory. On the palate, plummy red fruit is scored by a dark beam of minerality and enhanced by a fresh, airy smokiness. A finish of rich stone fruit underlines the wine's surprisingly full structure. High acid with a bit of chew, the P1 is impressive in mouthfeel. David Hatzopoulos
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
Cesanese is perhaps the most “important” indigenous red grape of Lazio, capable of making fresh red wines with intense perfume and delicate structure. The reds from La Visciola are all varietal Cesanese from different plots showing distinct features of this underappreciated grape. The nose carries hallmark flavors of tart and brambly red fruit with herbal tones of bay spice and pepper plant. The palate is quite light with whispery tannins, and tart, fresh acidity carrying plenty of red raspberry and cherry fruit with a slight menthol tone leading into a dry finish. As with all Cesanese wines, we can't imagine enjoying this without food: give it a shot with margherita pizza, red sauce pastas, charcuterie, semi-firm cheese, or of course with pasta carbonara for a truly classic pairing.
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!
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
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 barbacue. Oskar Kostecki
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.
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
From the famed Trappist monastery Suore Cistencensi, this is a lithe, fresh and light bodied red. Our photo is of the 2019, but the 2020 is actually an even more moderate 11.5% alcohol! Sangiovese and Canaiolo, with several weeks of infusion style maceration. Though very light-bodied, this red has a lot of character, with herbs and balsamic notes.
In the words of our friend Ernest from PortoVino: "It’s the mediaeval elixir that the monks saved in the monasteries when Rome was burning." 2013 was the first vintage that Luigi Tecce has released of this wine, a small parcel of ancient Aglianico clones planted in 2000 using the cordone speronato trellising system. The yields here are about half of Tecce's other vineyards, and the wine carries a depth and density that justifies its name. There is beautiful intensity on both the nose and palate, with heady aromas of macerated black cherry, blueberry, and fig, with a smoky mineral/volcanic underbelly and a touch of balsamic. The 2013 is starting to show some slight notes of development, but its still clearly a baby, and will be rewarded with decades in the cellar. 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