Staff Favorites - Greg St. Clair

Greg St. Clair
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Reviews

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2010 Ciacci Brunello di Montalcino Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 2-8-2015
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The nose speaks of sunshine, warmth, sweetness not floral just fruity. The flavors begin to expand on your palate and the simple plumy fruit is transformed to more of a kaleidoscope of flavors, Umeboshi (dried, salted, Japanese plums), wild cherry, iron and leather. While the nose speaks of ripeness the palate presence is freshened by the perfect acidic balance for this wine, just enough to lift without becoming edgy, a long and complex finish that has layers of flavor and textures.
Drink from 2015 to 2025

2010 Tenuta del Cerro (La Poderina) Brunello di Montalcino Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 2-8-2015
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The nose speaks of dried, salted cherries with hints of brush and leather then leading to an array of spicy dried berries. On the palate the wine speaks of balance, length, lightness, energy, it is really elegant yet the balance hides the incredible texture. Richness, depth yet so delicately woven, a marvel to behold, the finish is a composite of freshness, balance and intrigue.
Drink from 2015 to 2030
Price: $38.99 Add To Cart JS 94 BC 0

2010 Caparzo "La Casa" Brunello di Montalcino Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 2-8-2015
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The nose highlights wild cherry and sweet earth that flow from your glass in a slow, easy presentation. On the palate the wine is supple, plumy and seems to have a depth of texture, yet is never overpowering it has a presence that is subtle while still having a prominent demeanor. The flavors come together in a rather understated yet beguiling way, this isnít a wine that is shouting it is signaling with more of a come hither smile. The finish is long, slow, supple where the cherry and earth begin to emerge along the edges of some very fine grain tannin.
Drink from 2017 to 2030
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart JS 96 BC 0

2010 Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 2-8-2015
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I smell restrained ripeness, lots of chocolate in nose, broad, full, rich, plumy, ripe and intense. On the palate the wine rolls easily, balanced, complete with a sweet lushness while still exhibiting a central focus and balance. The flavors are bold yet less saturated, theyíre easy, present, there isnít any tension behind them but lots of flavor, lots of residual finish, that begins to show that savory intrigue. A solid, deep and long finish.
Drink from 2015 to 2025

2010 Baccinetti "La Saporoia" Brunello di Montalcino Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 1-21-2015
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When I first smelled this wine I couldnít believe it, it was like someone had taken out the spice drawer, turned it on its end and poured everything into my glass of wine. It was so aromatic it was hard to concentrate. Incredible layers of wild cherry, marzipan, dried flowers, a kitchen sink of Middle Eastern spice, star jasmineÖitís like the whole alphabet was there. Once on the palate, the wine flows luxuriously across it, displaying layers of wild cherry with hints of leather that gradually focus the wine as it stretches out into a long finish. Fine tannins gradually build showing the power and structure that lie just under the surface of this delectable wine. Capable of aging 15-20 years but delicious now.
Drink from 2017 to 2030
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart JS 97 BC 0

2010 Il Valentiano Brunello di Montalcino "Campo di Marzo" 1.5L Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 1-21-2015
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A bit shy at first in the nose but slowly this wine begins to release its core; itís a gentle flow, exuding a composed center, no rush or hurry here. The nose shows hints of its western slope origins with hints of ripeness but this is layered between spice and earth as it delicately flows from the glass. On the palate the wine the has a really savory quality, salty, iron, leather then, slowly, the fruit escapes from its tightly wound core where hints of wild cherry, plum and cocoa powder mix with fine grain tannin to give a really focused palate presence. The long, persistent finish with layer after layer gradually makes its presence felt with superb balance, and a growing flavor crescendo. Drink in 2-3 years but capable of aging 10-20 years.
Drink from 2017 to 2030
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart JS 92 BC 0

2010 Il Valentiano "Campo di Marzo" Brunello di Montalcino Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 1-21-2015
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A bit shy at first in the nose but slowly this wine begins to release its core; itís a gentle flow, exuding a composed center, no rush or hurry here. The nose shows hints of its western slope origins with hints of ripeness but this is layered between spice and earth as it delicately flows from the glass. On the palate the wine the has a really savory quality, salty, iron, leather then, slowly, the fruit escapes from its tightly wound core where hints of wild cherry, plum and cocoa powder mix with fine grain tannin to give a really focused palate presence. The long, persistent finish with layer after layer gradually makes its presence felt with superb balance, and a growing flavor crescendo. Drink in 2-3 years but capable of aging 10-20 years.
Drink from 2017 to 2030
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart JS 92 BC 0

2010 Tenuta di Sesta Brunello di Montalcino Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 12-24-2014
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I find that Tenuta di Sestaís wines are always overlooked upon release, they are never the loudest, tallest or heaviest the just seem to be pleasant. Yet after years of tasting their wines I find they are just slower to develop and end up morphing into silky, elegant masterpieces. In this the 2010 vintage their Brunello shows far more upfront earth and mineral than usual at this stage, yet the pure Sangiovese aromatics of wild cherry and plum cut in behind the earthy elements along with hints of dried roses and freshly cut leather. On the palate the wine is graceful, seemingly plump yet the acidity is present in the finish and the longer the wine is in your glass the deeper and more profound the flavors become and the longer the aftertaste. This wine always puts a smile on my face it just feels so good, never pushy or demanding just there growing with each minute in the glass. I canít wait to see this wine in another 5 years, stunningly good.
Drink from 2015 to 2030

2010 Ferrero Brunello di Montalcino (1.5L) Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 12-24-2014
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One of the curious attributes of the stellar 2010 vintage is that most wines are darker in color than normal, Ferrero is no different and the lustrous sheen should prep you for what is coming up. The nose is full of tight black cherry aromatics, focused, vibrant and penetrating. On the palate the first thing I noticed was the length and balance, normally in Ferrero I usually find itís the weight and richness in the first sensation but this winesí incredible balance just jumps out at you. The flavors are saturated, dense, layered and all held in perfect balance, the black cherry is accented with hints of earth and spice and the finish goes on and on. The best wine Ferrero has produced.
Drink from 2015 to 2030

2010 Baricci Brunello di Montalcino Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 12-22-2014
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I love the complex earthiness, which has a sort of cherry tobacco, plum mixture that graces the elegant and lithe body. This wine favors grace over power, and needs a curious mind to delve into the layers of spice, earth and fruit. It is a wine without a need to speak loudly and leaves itself to be discovered rather than shouting out its own name. Those who like Baricci, love this complexity and find reward in the effort to understand it. This is a Great Baricci--you should definitely buy a case to put away. I will.
Drink from 2015 to 2030
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart JS 93 BC 0

2010 Poggiarellino Brunello di Montalcino Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 12-20-2014
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I first tasted Poggiarellinoís 1999 Brunello in 2003, they were a tiny producer making a couple of hundred cases and I was looking to write about the northern portion of Montalcino, they just happened to fit geographically. We started to import their wines with the 2000 vintage and the quality of their wine grows every year. Since I first tasted the 2010 from their 25-hectoliter barrels Iíve been waiting for this day to offer it to you, it is simply the best wine they have ever made. When you first smell this wine the gamut of aromas is classic Poggiarellino, wild Marasca cherry, plum with a certain wild sauvage that the Italians call sotto bosco (the aroma of the forest floor). On the palate the wine shows a broad richness with a decisive tannic structure, not obtrusive or harsh just powerful, fine grain and shows the how big frame of this wine really is. The flavors reflect the aromatics, more Marasca cherry, with plum and red berry then hints of saddle leather followed by that sotto bosco intrigue. The wineís rich powerful presence glides easily to the back of your palate with a long and elegant finish, impressive for such a powerful wine.
Drink from 2015 to 2030
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart JS 95 BC 0

SMWS 36.82 Benrinnes 17 Year Old "Rare Release" Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 12-11-2014
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It is rare that I wax poetically about single malt Scotch but this extraordinary spirit was so unique and exciting that I had to put pen to paper. The nose struck me so much that I spent literally 10 minutes just nosing the glass--I usually find single malt to fall into either a peaty or fruity category but this was different, it was just magic. The nose was a twisting, flowing breadth of freshness. Never have I seen a minty sweetness in a malt nose, and this example was enchanting, and while it was so inviting there were hints of peat spice, not the simple camphorish version but saturated smoke, depth and persistence. So impressive on the palate but this malt needs water, it is cask strength and at 59.5% a little bit of water will open the malt up as well as your experience. Truly worth the price, a tremendous spirit.
Drink from 2014 to 2020
Price: $149.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Cantele Salice Salentino Riserva
Review Date: 12-8-2014
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I absolutely love this wineís aromatics, so intriguing, full of Middle Eastern spice, elegant plum, bramble, dried-cherry fruit and nuances of fresh Provencal herbs. On the palate the wine is supple, medium bodied while still being so full flavored, easy to drink, only 13.0% alcohol yet this multifaceted red always beckons you for another sip and then another it is just so tasty. Made from 100% Negroamaro fermented in stainless steel and aged in 1-2 year old barrique for 6 months. This complex yet elegant wine comes from Puglia, the heel of the Italian Peninsula and is the perfect accompaniment to your favorite tomato based pasta dish.
Drink from 2014 to 2016
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart ST 90 BC 0

2012 La Monacesca Verdicchio di Matelica (1.5L)
Review Date: 12-4-2014
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The 2012 La Monacesca Verdicchio di Matelica* is harvested the first 10 days of October, fermented and aged in stainless and released after a year. The wine is so powerful and intense that bottle aging, or decanting, is needed to get to this powerful wineís mineral core. The nose is full pear-like fruit spiced with anise, citrus and a bit of brioche-like toastiness, although the wine sees no wood.
Drink from 2014 to 2022
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart JS 93 BC 0

2009 Baccinetti "La Saporoia" Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 12-1-2014
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Baccinetti is a tiny producer on Montlacinoís south face, their winery located kitty corner between Sesta di Sopra and Tenuta di Sesta. Giovanni and Mieke's wines come from their vineyard a mile or so west adjacent to Lisini. Their wines are pure, unadulterated and natural, the initial textural smoothness belies its complexity, the nose is racy, deep red fruit, gamey, filled with sauvage overtones full of rich strawberry fruit with layers of spice. Earth and leathery components back up the fruit and spice elements and finish the richly textured body with a subtle grip. It will benefit from some age, but is very drinkable now.
Drink from 2014 to 2019

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