Staff Favorites - Greg St. Clair

Greg St. Clair
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Reviews

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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
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart JS 95 BC 0

2010 Ferrero Brunello di Montalcino 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
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart JS 95 BC 0

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 Castello di Bossi "Berardo" Chianti Classico Riserva
Review Date: 12-22-2014
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If you like the 2009 version of this Chianti Classico Riserva youíre going to LOVE this one! The 2010 vintage is producing many outstanding wines and Castello di Bossi is no exception. The nose just flows from the glass and envelopes you in a cloud of plumy fruit with hints of blackberry and barrel spice that flows onto the palate, where there is an extra layer of supple richness; a depth where the flavors become more saturated and expansive. The finish is long, penetrating and finishes with a vibrant crescendo of flavor. Drink now with an hour or so of decanting or you can age another 10+ years, this is a well-built wine. Iíd have it with grilled New York steaks.
Drink from 2015 to 2025

2010 La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 12-22-2014
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The nose is dark cherry, yet intertwined with earth, Tuscan herbs, and hints of fresh leather in a relaxed flow from the glass. On the palate it is the texture that grabs your attention, it isnít dense but energetic, fruit Öthe fruit in this vintage is hard to explain, it tastes less fruity and by that I mean it is more complex, less simple, not just sweet and squishy, it is more developed, nuanced--I hesitate to use the word layered, because it seems too simple, but it is enchanting. The wine has tannic structure that is evident but is in the background as the acidic balance lengthens and lengthens the finish. Such balance and power yet so effortless, the wine is a pleasure to drink now, yet the greatness will be down the road another 5-10 years. The Best La Fortuna Brunello ever.
Drink from 2015 to 2030
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart JS 96 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

2012 Filippi "Castelcerino" Soave Colli Scaligeri
Review Date: 11-25-2014
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This is an incredible wine, grown in volcanic soil and partially macerated on the skins. That skin contact adds a tremendous flavor boost, like Granny Smith apple skins on steroids, yet balance with superb acidity and minerality. The wine has weight, complexity, intense flavors and a sensational finish. Long, powerful and something you won't soon forget. Have it with grilled sea bass or lobster, it's an experience.
Drink from 2014 to 2017
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 La Massa "Giorgio Primo" Toscana
Review Date: 11-25-2014
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After an initial bit of bottle shock upon release this wine has finally come into balance! If you are a fan of Bordeaux or California Cabernet this wine is more similar to them than other Italian Bordeaux blends. The nose if full of blackberry, currant with hints of vanilla and on the palate the 70% Cabernet Sauvignon 25% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot blend gives a powerful impression. Layers of fruit, spice, and earth with a smooth and supple texture give this wine a balanced, long but luscious finish. Aged for 18 months in 80% new French oak barriques this wine can surely age for another decade plus but is still very drinkable now.
Drink from 2014 to 2024

2010 Viticcio Chianti Classico Riserva
Review Date: 11-24-2014
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This wine took me by surprise but it needed an equipment change suggested by my dining companion to fulfill its promise. It being Sangiovese-based, I went to my tried-and-true Chianti/Zin glass but this wine struggled--it was tannic and awkward. But switching to a Cabernet/Bordeaux glass opened up this wine's depth and smoothed out the tannins. Layers of spice, dark fruit and leather just flow from the glass and on the palate; the richness and concentrated character adds real length and concentration. Drinking well now, but still capable of aging another decade! Try it with a grilled rib-eye drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.
Drink from 2014 to 2022

2013 Blason Friulano Isonzo
Review Date: 11-20-2014
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Giovanni Blason is a dynamo. His small winery on the extreme eastern edge of Italy produces about 3,000 cases annually and Giovanni, with the help of his consulting enologist Andrea Rossi, is producing wines of outstanding quality for bargain prices. His wines have received high marks from Italian critics. I Friulano, this is the Friulian national drink I love the freshness this wine has, the crisp minerality, the hint of tarragon in the finish, lively and fresh on the palate. Sprightly and nicely acidic, it is also somehow creamy with peach and apricot notes and a hint of clover honey on the end. No oak here, thank you. It is so refreshing and sensationally balanced, crisp and refreshing. Enjoy it with sautéed red snapper, grilled vegetables or with some Frico! Frico is fried Montasio cheese that crisps up and is absolutely delicious! (Greg St Clair, K&L Italian buyer):
Drink from 2014 to 2016
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart GR 2 BC 0

2012 Erik Banti "Carato" Toscana
Review Date: 11-18-2014
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Erik Bantiís Carato is a Mini Super Tuscan! Itís a blend of 75% Sangiovese, 15% Merlot and 10% Ciliegiolo aged for 10 months in oak barrels and is just delicious. The wine tastes like it should cost much more, full, smooth, flavorful with excellent balance. A K&L Direct Import that offers you extraordinary value, and at this price you will be saying--Wow!
Drink from 2014 to 2016
Price: $7.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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