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On Sale - was $139.99!
Fornacina only produces their riserva bottling in their very best vintages. From 100% Sangiovese Grosso selected from vineyards in Castelnuovo dell'Abate, a charming village hanging over the Abbey de Sant'Antimo a couple kilometers south of Montalcino. This riserva wine is vinified in stainless steel for thirty days before spending 48 months in the huge Slavonian oak casks traditional to the region. After this, the wine spends another twelve months in bottle before being released to the market. This allows an extraordinary delicacy of tannic texture that belies this wine's immense power. This is on the spicier side for Brunello, with notes of morello cherry and plum enrobed in silken hints of baking spices like cinnamon, vanilla, and licorice. Full bodier, rich, and elegant, this wine is fantastic with braised meats, filet mignon, wine-based stews, and osso buco. Andrew Farquhar
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 the 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 tacos on day two... David Hatzopoulos
On Sale - was $199.99!
On Sale - was $159.99!
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
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
Exceptionally clean Sangiovese from Brunello. Vines are tended under organic measures, wine is fermented with native yeasts, and there is no barrique used in the cellar, only large barrels of Slovenian oak. On the nose, the wine shows deep aromas of violets, red cherry, strawberries, and just a touch of fresh earth. The palate conveys a more rustic expression than the nose, with tar, mint, white pepper, and red plum. High acid, with tannins that are felt more on the gums than on the tongue. Elegant and interesting in the same glass. Highly recommend this bottle. David Hatzopoulos
The tint hamlet of Lamole (population 35) is one of the highest points in the Chianti Classico appellation. On soils of sandstone and clay, interspersed with small stones and pebbles, Anna Maria and Guiliano of Le Masse di Lamole craft their electric wine from Sangiovese vines up to 100 years old, some of them still bush trained. Our friend Tess from Portovino Imports described the 2016 as a Bambi wine, "sprightly, chirpy, (endearingly) gangly" in its youth when tasted a few months ago, now entering a "grunge phase, black eyeliner and nail polish: a depraved, provocative Bambi." I loved this description, and indeed the 2016 shows some beautiful brooding character, with notes of black cherry, dark forest berries, plum skin, raspberry leaves, brambles, blood orange peel, with a hint of ceder and an herbal character, almost anise. There is a also the wonderful floral character associated with Lamole, with dried rose petals, violets, and iris (though this connotation might be conditioned by the iris flowers decorating the label). With medium tannins that feel increasingly rustic as the wine opens and framed by great, juicy acidity, this is a beautiful experience of Sangiovese from a quite unique area of Chianti Classico. Oskar Kostecki
Aside from Gregory Dal Piaz’s fervent recommendation, I fell for Lecci e Brocchi for obvious reasons: the wine tastes like Chianti – very good Chianti, in fact. It’s aromatically quite intense, with bright red fruit bound to stone and savory rocky herbs. On the light side of medium-bodied, the palate follows the aromas – if anything the stony-iron character is more present. This is a very harmonious, long, and quite elegant Chianti. Tasted in the July heat, a little cool, it showed energy and grace (and was fantastic with butterflied leg of lamb from the barbeque). Jamie Wolff
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
Retromarcia means “to back up” or “to reverse” and is Michael Schmelzer’s reference to an old approach to Chianti that is hard to find today, focused on allowing the character of Sangiovese to show above everything else. The wine is made from 100% Sangiovese composed of young vines planted on a mix of galestro and sandstone soils. The grapes are fermented with native yeast on the skins for 2 weeks in stainless steel and then raised in a mixture of old barrels and unlined concrete tanks for 18 months before being bottled unfiltered. In the glass, the wine has a deep red center, with pale red edges. The nose is enticing, with wild red berries, stems and leaves, fragrant warm spices, and a hint of freshly cracked coconut. On the palate, the wine is plummy, with red and black stone fruit. There is a nuance of cocoa and a long minty finish. As a classic Chianti should be, the acidity is mouthwatering, warming up the palate for a range of food.