Staff Favorites - Greg St. Clair

Greg St. Clair

Reviews

  
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2014 Tenuta Montemagno "Nymphae" Monferrato Bianco
Review Date: 08-16-2016
The nose of this wine is so complex and inviting a complex blend of spice and herb from 50% Sauvignon Blanc and 50% the indigenous variety Timorasso that shows lots of grit, earth, apple skin. On the palate this wine is vibrantly focused around a superb acidity that is enveloped in a richly textured mid palate full of spiced apple, freshly cut hay with all sorts of baking spice for this UNOAKED wine. The finish is incredibly long, vivacious and carries through the same flavors to a crescendo, an absurdly good food wine.
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2014 Benanti Etna Rosso
Review Date: 08-16-2016
Benanti is one of the oldest and best producers on Mount Etna; their wines show the volcanic origins of the vineyards and how Nerello Mascalese is the perfect vehicle to express the Mountain’s flavors. The full nose has waves of smoky, spicy, earthiness coupled with a bit of plumy fruit. On the palate the wine is reminiscent of the structure of Nebbiolo a bit of tannic structure on the outside brushing your cheeks with a sweet plumyness inside. The flavors are complex, persistent and show a rainbow from umami driven flavors of porcini, kelp and salted plums to sweet, chocolaty plum. The wine is layered, so many different levels, heavy, light, gritty, smooth, just an amazing array of texture and flavor. The finish is evocative of the palate experience, driving, long and persistent .
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart
WE 94

2012 Cantina di Ora "Amicone" Rosso Veneto
Review Date: 08-15-2016
The nose of this wine is full of warm, wafting chocolaty Corvina, that’s the main grape in Amarone; these aromatics fill you with the sensation of something full and dense and it is rich. On the palate the wine flows across your tongue with a velvety texture but is highlighted by enough acidity to keep it from getting fat while still being full bodied, the wild cherry flavors just bowls you over. The finish is full of those complex chocolaty cherry flavors and continues on for seconds. This is a perfect wine just for drinking with a bit of cheese or with some spicy BBQ!
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2015 Treves Petite Arvine Val d'Aosta
Review Date: 08-15-2016
The nose of this wine is filled with Alpine flowers, ripe pear and a bright savory quality. On the palate the wine is expansive, rich almost to the point of oily but is restrained at that point. While the body is omnipresent the real driving force of the wine is its minerality, a forceful driving point right down the middle of your tongue that cleaves through the richness and creates a superb synergy of tangy acid and mineral with a mélange of ripe fruit. The wine has a haunting, beckoning appeal, its supple, flowing nature juxtaposed with that mineral edge that creates a scintillating finish that seems to go on for minutes.
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart

San Venanzio Prosecco Valdobbiadene Superiore Brut (1.5L)
Review Date: 08-07-2016
I was stunned by the superlative quality in this vintage of San Venanzio: 2015 has been just an exceptional vintage across Italy and most of Europe and it didn’t skip Valdobbiadene. The fruit in the nose of this wine is so pure, clean and vibrant it outgrows the appellation, the wine has so much minerality, clean focus yet still retains that Prosecco elegance and balance. Sensational finish!
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

San Venanzio Prosecco Valdobbiadene Superiore Brut
Review Date: 08-07-2016
I was stunned by the superlative quality in this vintage of San Venanzio: 2015 has been just an exceptional vintage across Italy and most of Europe and it didn’t skip Valdobbiadene. The fruit in the nose of this wine is so pure, clean and vibrant it outgrows the appellation, the wine has so much minerality, clean focus yet still retains that Prosecco elegance and balance. Sensational finish!
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
WE 91

2013 Olema Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 07-31-2016
My BEST VALUE for under $20 Cab. The nose is classic Sonoma, ripe but with more complexity less cassis. On the palate the wine shows richness, layers of fruit, spice and a touch of leafy intrigue. The finish is very well balanced, long and focused showing the layers of fruit as it drifts off your tongue.
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 91

2013 Olema Sonoma County Chardonnay
Review Date: 07-31-2016
I was really surprised by the quality of this wine even more so at this price. The nose shows wonderful, complex apply aromatics that lead to a creamy and balanced palate feel. A real focus and brightness on the finish, excellent value
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2010 San Filippo Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 07-25-2016
A very intense nose that seems more like a pot roast cooking, savory, earthy, bay leaves, porcini and root vegetables. On the palate the wine’s braised meat flavors continue but are captured by the texture, this wine becomes tactile, less flavor driven yet is wildly interesting, and indescribable layers of consistency, grain, fineness and feel infuse the wine with a vibrant almost tactile flavor. The flavors are there, that same batch from the nose but hints of spiced cherry emerge in the long, vibrant albeit slightly grippy finish.
Drink from 2017 to 2017

2012 Cantine Ascheri Barolo
Review Date: 07-18-2016
The nose of this Barolo is full of red fruit, spice and earth clean and vibrant. On the palate this wine is full and broad with lots of richness and the tannins are well in check, the flavors are bold, striking red fruit, cherry with hints of the classic “Tar & Roses” that Barolo is known for. The finish is long, lingering and carries the fruit well. I’d pair this with a wild mushroom risotto or braised meats. This is a perfect wine to drink now and will age for another 10+ years.
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: Hidden View Price
WS 94 JS 92

2013 Argiolas "Costera" Cannonau di Sardegna
Review Date: 07-18-2016
The nose of this wine is full of dense, saturated fruit, vibrant with a wisp of the sea breeze and touches of wild herbs. On the palate the wine shows balance first off then you notice its richness, the supple feel that glides across your palate. It is full of bold dark fruit, a bit of spice and a hint of earth yet the fruit quality is what leaves a lasting impression. The finish is full, lasting and replays that dark fruit that lingers on and on. This is an exceptional value for easy drinking or an excellent accompaniment to grilled meats or fuller, meatier pasta or the classic grilled Burger with all of the fixes. I think for those who regularly drink California wine while finding Italians to lean this is a super crossover.
Drink from 2016 to 2016

2013 La Massa "La Massa" Toscana (1.5L)
Review Date: 07-12-2016
For me, this is really a superb reflection of all of Giampaolo’s vineyard work. The wine is a delicious blend of 60% Sangiovese, which gives the wine a structural backbone, 30% Merlot, which adds some meat, density and richness, with Cabernet Sauvignon lending authority and direction even at this small amount, while Alicante Bouschet adds some personality, spice and a little bit of nastiness—it kind of reminds me of Giampaolo—and it all seamlessly blends together. It is a superb blend, and once again, highly awarded.

2013 La Massa "La Massa" Toscana
Review Date: 07-12-2016
For me, this is really a superb reflection of all of Giampaolo’s vineyard work. The wine is a delicious blend of 60% Sangiovese, which gives the wine a structural backbone, 30% Merlot, which adds some meat, density and richness, with Cabernet Sauvignon lending authority and direction even at this small amount, while Alicante Bouschet adds some personality, spice and a little bit of nastiness—it kind of reminds me of Giampaolo—and it all seamlessly blends together. It is a superb blend, and once again, highly awarded.

2011 La Massa "Carla 6" Toscana
Review Date: 07-12-2016
A tiny production of pure fruit (named after Giampaolo's daughter and the vineyard parcel number) that shows that classic, high-toned Sangiovese cherry-like note on the nose. On the palate, the wine is modern, flashy and sleek. Made in new French oak, this is supple, warm and soft, with a delicate, lingering finish.
Price: $74.99 Add To Cart
JS 94 WS 92

2013 Tenuta Novare Valpolicella Ripasso
Review Date: 07-12-2016
I always find the aromatics in Valpolicella intoxicating—that wispy, ethereal character calls to me each time I try it. The Tenuta Novare Valpolicella Ripasso is no exception: the nose is enticing, the palate presence is seductive, layered with complex fruit character, and the finish is rich and lifting in the same moment. The wine has exceptional balance and moderate alcohol at 13.5%, and is perfect for summer barbecue, roasted chicken or your favorite pasta!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2012 Terre del Palio Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Review Date: 07-12-2016
This is a sensational Vino Nobile. The nose is full of saddle leather, spice and iron, coming on bold and straightforward—no wafting around here! While this Vino Nobile’s structure shows unflinchingly on the palate, it takes a more claret-like direction, slowly opening to reveal a richer, more complex center that shows through the long finish. You should try this wine with Pici, Montepulciano’s hand-rolled spaghetti-like pasta, with a beef ragu!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2011 Rivella Barbaresco
Review Date: 07-11-2016
I drank a bottle of this the day it arrived in our store and was amazed. Made in tonneaux and barriqes, all of the 4th passage, so it doesn't have any of the sweet vanillin it is just pure nebbiolo. On the palate the 2011 vintage's richness comes across and makes it so accessible now with a certain richness and then the underpinnings of structure come through yet balanced and sweet tannin. A long finish that just says Barbaresco
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
VN 92

2013 Sergio Barale "Bussia" Langhe Chardonnay
Review Date: 07-10-2016
I've already drunk 3 bottles of this wine since it has arrived...I love it. You can't compare it to anything else because nobody else would plant Chardonnay in one of the most expensive Barolo vineyards available! Planted in 1982 this fully mature vineyard highlights the mineral and soil character, long and vibrant on the palate the extended lees time the wine went through adds to the palate weight. Made in old tonneaux and it seems like no oak. You really need to drink this wine, before I drink it all myself!
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2012 Grattamacco "L'Alberello" Bolgheri Superiore
Review Date: 07-06-2016
The nose on this wine is exhilarating, rich, cassis-like aromas followed by waves of subtle Cab Franc and then a dose of plummy Petit Verdot. On the palate the wine is sensational, supple and rich yet with a real backbone, long, vibrant and lifting. The flavors suggest a real depth of complexity, and with each sip the wine deepens and shows more layers. Full in the mouth, the wine is richly textured, but the supple richness is stretched out over a long, elegant structure. This is an outstanding wine, a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot and can easily age for another decade plus. If you like Bordeaux or California Cab you should check this wine out. Situated in a Murderer’s Row of Tuscan coastal Cabernet producers, Podere Sapaio, Gaja’s Ca Marcanda, Chiappini, Guado al Tasso, Poggio al Tesoro, Le Macchiole, Sassiciaia and Ornellaia all in a 4-mile stretch of land all about 3 miles from the Tyrennhian Sea. Superb wine.
Drink from 2016 to 2016

2012 Fontodi "Flaccianello della Pieve" Toscana
Review Date: 07-06-2016
I have always loved Flaccianello, its’ purity of fruit, the meticulous winemaking, and exceptional vineyard sourcing has made it an international sensation. This vintage is magnificent; the nose is full of wild cherry, spice, earth and a sense of the suns warmth, not overripe but it has a glow. On the palate the first sensation is of its incredible length, long and then even longer but that doesn’t take away from the supple richness coiled around the central structure giving one a sense of richness. The tannins are sweet and long and with the wines length they give the wine a powerful structure for long term aging while still in excellent balance. The finish is full of spice box, leather and plum, rich with a sense of lengthening. A superb wine, hope fully you have a child born in this year, got married in this year or just like to drink this year!
Drink from 2016 to 2016

Casa Dragones Sipping Tequila 750ml (Ships as a 1.5L due to bottles shape)
Review Date: 06-15-2016
It’s not often I review Tequila but this one is I have to. This is a really unique product, the color makes you think that is an inexpensive, simple, un-aged spirit, but the nose immediately ends that train of thought. The nose is not one of those explosive, overpowering bolts of aroma that singe your nostrils the aromatics are really pure, intense and penetrating. It was enough for me to just smell this Tequila for a couple of minutes it was so fascinating while totally engaging and easily accessible. On the palate the depth of the aged flavors comes forward, wave after wave of cured Agave sweep across your tongue, no bite, no burn yet not fat just perfectly balanced. The finish….I can still taste it as I write this 10 minutes later, long, intense yet lifting. Superb spirit, not often you get to taste something like this.
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $249.99 Add To Cart
WE 96

Casa Dragones Sipping Tequila Gift Set w/glasses (cannot be shipped) 750ml
Review Date: 06-15-2016
It’s not often I review Tequila but this one is I have to. This is a really unique product, the color makes you think that is an inexpensive, simple, un-aged spirit, but the nose immediately ends that train of thought. The nose is not one of those explosive, overpowering bolts of aroma that singe your nostrils the aromatics are really pure, intense and penetrating. It was enough for me to just smell this Tequila for a couple of minutes it was so fascinating while totally engaging and easily accessible. On the palate the depth of the aged flavors comes forward, wave after wave of cured Agave sweep across your tongue, no bite, no burn yet not fat just perfectly balanced. The finish….I can still taste it as I write this 10 minutes later, long, intense yet lifting. Superb spirit, not often you get to taste something like this.
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $249.99 Add To Cart

2011 Corte Guala Amarone
Review Date: 06-15-2016
I love the classic nose of this Amarone, it's full of bright, wild cherry and plum fruit. On the palate those wild cherry and plum characteristics are backed up with some spice and earthy intrigue. The finish is great, I'm not a fan of clumsy, overly dried and too sweet Amarone, this wine is very full but exceptionally well balanced. Have it with your favorite lasagna or a big hunk of Parmigiano Reggiano!
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2013 Tormaresca "Neprica" Puglia
Review Date: 06-08-2016
It is hard to believe that a wine at this price point can carry the quality level it does, but the Antinori family has centuries of experience to back them. This wine is a blend of NE (Negroamaro) PRI (Primitivo) and CA (Cabernet), hence the Neprica name. Negroamaro is Puglia's most important grape and provides the size and frame and structure of the wine, the Primitivo gives it a rich dose of fruit and the Cabernet adds backbone and complexity, all told for the price this wine can't be beat!
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2013 Luce Della Vite "Lucente" Toscana
Review Date: 06-02-2016
The nose is full of bold fruit; wave after wave of black cherry, blackberry very dark fruited. On the palate the wine is supple, fleshy and rolls across your palate full of an almost cassis like flavor. The richness gradually subsides as the structure begins to slowly emerge and shows lengthening balance. The finish is full of bold fruit and hints of earth. The wine seems to step between two worlds, enough forward fruit and richness to seem New World but with traces of the Old World structure. Real value wine for this price point!
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $19.95 Add To Cart
JS 92

2010 Tassi Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 05-25-2016
The nose is full of sweet plumy fruit, wild cherry, earth, Tuscan dust, smoked meats and herb, all flowing gently from the glass giving one the sense ease and grace, not forceful but full. In the mouth the wine shows a lush, fuller expression almost chocolaty, with plum and herb and earth, a supple, warm and inviting palate presence that just begs to be drunk, yet for the wine to be so easy to drink it shows remarkable depth and definition. The finish is long lasting, and carries through the chocolaty, cherry, dried herb character but it is its texture, that luscious, lustrous broad power that catches your attention and makes you go back for another taste.
Drink from 2016 to 2016

2013 Villa Poggio Salvi Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 05-23-2016
Villa Poggio Salvi is situated high on the Western slope of Montalcino in a very "fresh" zone, cleansing breezes keeps the vines healthy. The nose is all old school, earth, leather and iron, yes iron, it smells rusty almost (in a good way). On the palate the wine is ripe but its tannic structure balances out the richness. A long finish, perfect for braised meats or an American Lasagna.
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

2013 Tassi Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 05-23-2016
From the southern slope of Montalcino Fabio Tassi's Rosso di Montalcino is fabulous! The nose is inviting, full of spice, brush, wild flowers and plum. On the palate it is lush, broad strokes of wild cherry spiced plumy flavors on a supple, warm and full body. This isn't just some jammy plonk, fuller yes but this wine has such complexity, balance and most of all Drinkability!
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart
JS 90

2013 Agostina Pieri Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 05-23-2016
Pieri's vineyards are near the southern boundary of Montalcino in the deep, rich, Terra Rossa soil. The nose is full of complex, high toned, plumy aromatics. On the palate the wine is full, broad and richly textured giving one the sense of richness and size. The finish is bold, fruity and cries out for Baby Back Ribs, hey it's almost summer and BBQ time, this wine is perfect for that Summer fare! If you like Zinfandel you'll love this wine.
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: Hidden View Price

2013 Sesta di Sopra Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 05-23-2016
The desire to call Sesta's 2013 Rosso a "baby" Brunello is really coursing through my veins, as much as I don't like to use the phrase, but man this wine is something. This wine so complete, with such depth of flavor, so much fruit and such perfect balance; it is stunningly good for the price and remarkably drinkable now, although I'll be aging a six-pack myself for another few years. If you're new to Brunello, this is a great wine to get familiar with the region at a really good price.
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 90

2013 Baricci Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 05-23-2016
When I first tasted this in Montalcino last February I was blown away by the supple texture and weight but as the wine has finally come together and it is the layers of dried violets, sweet earthy notes and wild cherry that just flabbergasts me! Layers of spice, wild fruit aromatics give the presence of a distinctly bold wine but it is really elegantly balanced and so easy to drink right now! Try it with a grilled pork tenderloin rubbed with rosemary, garlic, fresh cracked pepper and sea salt. Absolutely delicious!
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2010 Tassi "Franci" Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 05-19-2016
The nose is smoky, dark, shows more earthy aromatics with hints of iron, leather, dried herbs, dried meat, more of that umami savory character with hints of mineral salts. On the palate the wine is expansive, powerful while still showing definition in the midst of its richly textured body. The wine comes on in waves, full, powerful, texturally dominating but then the flavors take over, plumy, chocolate, Christmas spice, wild cherry and then to the meaty, more savory flavors, just an incredible array. The finish is long, powerful, supple, complex and really brings this wine to an exciting…well I can’t say finish because it just goes on and on. Drink from 2015 to 2035
Drink from 2016 to 2016

2013 Tenuta Luisa Cabernet Franc
Review Date: 05-19-2016
I love the complex blend of earth, spice, olives and forest floor you find in the nose of this wine. Friulian Reds sometimes are a bit too lean or green but 2013 was a great vintage for Reds there and this wine has the texture and balance in spades! Long finish full of complex herbs and spice, elegant and supple, a perfect food wine. Try it with pasta, sausage or savory onion tarts.
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
W&S 90

Sesta di Sopra K&L Exclusive Grappa Riserva (750ml)
Review Date: 04-27-2016
Sesta di Sopra is a tiny producer of Brunello, a Massive 340 cases a year, so as you can guess they don't make much Grappa. The have a small portion that gets aged in small barrels for a year and the results are magnificent. The nose is spiced and somewhat restrained for Grappa, in fact this spirit seems less Grappa like and more Armaganc'ish, (apologies to any Armagnac producers) ok maybe a stretch but the supple balance, depth of flavors really makes this spirit special, and for me the Hallmark of any great drink is the finish and this has got it, a really complete, long and layered finish...Superb value.
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: Hidden View Price

Sesta di Sopra K&L Exclusive Grappa (750ml)
Review Date: 04-27-2016
Full disclosure...I don't drink Grappa, but being the Italian buyer I'm constantly made to taste Grappa when I'm in Italy, so I have a lot of experience! This Brunello Grappa has the classic Tuscan Grappa nose, petrol, gamey, and potent, yet in the mouth the quality of fruit is exceptional, so well balanced actually refreshing and has very good weight as well. Very well made.
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: Hidden View Price

Montechiara Prosecco DOC
Review Date: 04-20-2016
You can't find a better Extra Dry Prosecco at this price point, clean, richly textured, fresh, crisp so easy to drink with a wonderfully balanced mousse! This is the perfect afternoon refresher, just as you finished gardening or if you love Aperol Spritz this will be your companion mixer! Friends coming over before dinner aperitif, everyone loves a little Prosecchino!
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2011 Riecine "Riecine" Toscana
Review Date: 04-17-2016
I’ve always loved Riecine but it wasn’t until last year that I actually visited the winery. During the visit we tasted the 2011 Riecine, Riecine… its classic 100% Sangiovese nose is full of cherry, earth, spice, and on the palate the wine has depth, richness and lots of length. The flavors just resonate across your tongue, vibrant, warm and richening, slowly you see a bit of tannic structure in the back end but all in balance. The finish is superlative, long, lifting and thoroughly enchanting.
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
JS 97

2013 Zorzal "Gran Terroir" Malbec Gualtallary
Review Date: 04-15-2016
The nose on this wine caught me right away, I’m generally not a Malbec fan, too many indistinguishable bass notes, yet this wine was vibrant, focused, pure and really intrigued me to give it a palate try. On the palate the wine had lift, freshness and a really complex array of Bordeaux-like flavors yet with enough New World weight and fruit, it really grabbed me. The finish is long, memorable, balanced and replays the palate flavors for an encore. I really like this wine; I was a bit at arm’s length just from the name, Zorzal, a takeoff on Zorro? I’m no longer a skeptic, this is really good wine and at a bargain price for the quality.
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
RP 93

2014 Domaine Les Pins "Les Rochettes" Bourgueil
Review Date: 04-13-2016
Wonderfully spicy aromatics, just a hint of herbaceousness in the nose, on the palate the wine has good weight for a wine in this price range, warm, rich and pleasing with just a bit of tannin to let you know what you’re drinking. A perfect French Café red, easy, everyday drinking….How do you say Burger in French?
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
WE 92

2013 La Monacesca "Mirum" Verdicchio di Matelica Riserva
Review Date: 04-06-2016
Matelica is my favorite DOC for Verdicchio, the inland Apennine valley full of marine sediments that has a true continental climate and always gives wines with verve, bright burst and...richness. The 2013 Monacesca Riserva Mirum shows powerful structure and depth of flavor; with its later harvest (starting the third week of October) the grapes achieve total physiological ripeness of flavor without losing balance. That leads to the deeper aromatics, that show more complete flavors, less green and more complex fruit on the palate. The amazing thing is that even with the ripeness this wine has great acidity and real aging ability. Yes, aging ability: I’ve had them back to the early 1980s, yes that’s not a misprint, still vibrant complex showing its real terroir. This is truly a superb wine and for the price and outstanding bargain from one of Italy’s TOP indigenous varieties.
Drink from 2013 to 2013
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart
W&S 92 WE 91

2010 La Fiorita Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 04-06-2016
La Fiorita is a blend of vineyards from two sides of the ridge that runs through Montalcino, a piece in the southeasterly corner called Pian Bossolino and then on the western slope just outside of Tavarnelle. The wine is aged for 1 year in French oak tonneaux, first and second passage and then for 1 year in 80hl Slavonian oak. The nose is full of barrel spice, cherry, plumy notes as well, while on the palate the wine is powerfully structured, showing structure and depth, a real forceful presence where toasty oak splashes across your palate. The finish is bold, powerful and begs for a beg piece of meat. This wine should be aged for a few years for the best results, however if you’re going to try it now, 2-3 hours in a decanter would help greatly!
Drink from 2019 to 2019

2014 Ermacora Pinot Grigio Colli Orientali del Friuli
Review Date: 04-06-2016
Of the 3 important DOC zones in Friuli the Colli Orientali del Friuli (graciously referred to as COF) is the most northerly, its best vineyards sit on U shaped glacial moraines that offer slope to the otherwise flat glaciations of the rest of the Region. This is the 17th vintage for us importing the wines of Ermacora, I originally went looking for inexpensive Pinot Grigio but came away in awe of their Pinot Bianco and Friulano. Each vintage one or the other of them just shines a bit brighter than the others, this vintage the Pinot Grigio (I think the best they have released to date) is full of superlatives. Not usually my favorite Italian white variety but this wine…ROCKS! Fermented and aged in stainless steel as always but this vintage has given this wine a backbone. By that I mean a real structural center, acidic balance and a place to hang your spice-laden fruit. PG is usually a bit round and simplistic but this wine has facets, brilliant edges emphasizing the fruit and spice. It still has plenty of weight and richness but coupled with that central purity, lifting its flavors, this is the best Pinot Grigio they’ve made.
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2014 Ermacora Friulano Colli Orientali del Friuli
Review Date: 04-06-2016
Of the three important DOC zones in Friuli, the Colli Orientali del Friuli (graciously referred to as COF) is the most northerly. Its best vineyards sit on U-shaped glacial moraines that offer slope to the otherwise flat glaciations of the rest of the region. This is the 17th vintage for us importing the wines of Ermacora. I originally went looking for inexpensive Pinot Grigio but came away in awe of their Pinot Bianco and Friulano. Friulano is appropriately the “National Drink” of Friuli, it’s what they have with breakfast, break-time, lunch, break-time, after-work cocktail, pre-dinner cocktail…well, you get the idea. It isn’t a varietal that has a super definitive aromatic signature like, say, Sauvignon or Gewurz, but for me its emblematic feature is a coupling of richness and just a hint of tarragon in the finish. This is a versatile wine and made for food: the Friulian cuisine has a lot of eastern European influence, both spice and substance-wise. Lots of egg dishes, spiced meat and onion dishes, polenta and of course Frico: Frico is fried cheese, Montasio cheese is the best to use but it crisps up perfectly into a crunchy treat, especially with Friulano.
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2009 Trimbach "Cuvée Frédéric Émile" Riesling Alsace
Review Date: 04-06-2016
Beautiful nose, with just a bit of that Riesling fusel nature, but on that palate this wine gets serious. Power, structure, length all allow that spiced floral nose to languorously coil around the center. A wine with a long life ahead!
Drink from 2016 to 2016

2014 Ermacora Pinot Bianco Colli Orientali del Friuli
Review Date: 04-06-2016
Of the 3 important DOC zones in Friuli the Colli Orientali del Friuli (graciously referred to as COF) is the most northerly, its best vineyards sit on U shaped glacial moraines that offer slope to the otherwise flat glaciations of the rest of the Region. This is the 17th vintage for us importing the wines of Ermacora, I originally went looking for inexpensive Pinot Grigio but came away in awe of their Pinot Bianco and Friulano. Ermacora’s Pinot Bianco is their TOP wine, it is what they are known for, the wine has great focus and concentration, it’s rich, creamy, with bergamot orange spice (that’s the zing in Earl Grey). On the palate the custardy richness is accented with white peach and lemon along with the Bergamot influence. I love this wine with fuller bodied fish like halibut or, swordfish especially when this wine is aged for 2-3 years you won't believe the incredible added complexity!
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2013 Brancaia "Tre" Toscana
Review Date: 04-06-2016
Brancaia’s “Tre” represents the 3 different Estates the grapes where the grapes are sourced and also the 3 different varietals, 80% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Traditionally I’d always found this wine to be a bit worked, a little too much evident winemaking, yet now it is has really come together. Two thirds of this wine is aged in tonneaux (500L barrels) twice the size of a barrique, and the other third in concrete tanks. The results are a terroir first character where the nose is full of spiced cherry, leather, earth and that umami like complexity. On the palate the wine has weight, depth and the Bordeaux varieties wrap themselves around the core of Sangiovese, blending perfectly, giving a mix of earth, leather, cherry, plum flavors. The finish is remarkably long, balanced and the flavors seem to go on and on. I generally don’t even talk about finish in wines of this price point but this wine is remarkable, you should really try it.
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $16.95 Add To Cart
JS 92

2010 Terre Nere Brunello di Montalcino "Campigli Vallone"
Review Date: 04-05-2016
Terre Nere comes from the southeast corner of Montalcino near the village of Castelnuovo dell’Abate. The wine is aged for 4 years in 30hl and 50hl Slavonian oak barrels. The nose is full of umeboshi the pickled, salty Japanese plum, along with a savory saltiness and hints of crushed oyster shells followed by bits of spice and leather and wild fruits. On the palate the wine is deeply textured, lustrous, full and inviting, and the umami character rushes forward to give you a sense of complexity and depth, with notes of wild strawberries and earth. The finish is long and inviting and gives you a feeling of weight and importance; a bit of tannic structure toward the end but totally in balance.
Drink from 2016 to 2016

2010 Ruffino "Greppone Mazzi" Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 04-05-2016
Greppone Mazzi is located a few kilometers southeast of the town of Montalcino on a series of rugged, sloped ridges. The nose is classic, old school leather, earth, spice and wild cherry and shows a subtle gaminess. The wine is aged for 3 years in 30-60hl Slavonian oak barrels and on the palate. It shows a powerful, opulence, not too flashy or ripe, but definitely a mouth-filler with lots of spice and warm plumy fruit that are reined in by gentle tannins. The finish is bold, full-bodied and long lasting; hints of tannic structure well up in the end, but this is a big time wine, the best I’ve had from this estate.
Drink from 2016 to 2016

2011 Agostino Bosco "Neirane" Barolo
Review Date: 04-03-2016
The 2010 Neirane was last year’s powerhouse surprise; this vintage’s warmer feel has softened the 2010’s boldness and made it drinkable now. The nose is deep, red fruit tinged with hints of woodsy, leather and tea; on the palate this wine has powerful structure but it only matches the bold flavors, deep plumy, chocolaty richness coat your mouth while the finish amplifies the nose with more leather, porcini and again ends of dark chocolate.
Drink from 2016 to 2016

2011 Agostino Bosco "La Serra" Barolo
Review Date: 04-03-2016
One of my favorite Barolo vineyards La Serra always shows so much elegance, but in this vintage the level of complexity is off the charts. The nose is full of Middle Eastern spice, and what the Italians call sotto bosco, just wave after wave of intrigue and complexity. On the palate the wine has verve, you know it is Barolo but the sweet tannins are so well integrated you hardly notice them. The wine has facets, vibrant, forceful, it’s not lustrously smooth, but it is amongst those facets where all the flavors shine bright. The finish is a spice, porcini, bright cherry, but wrapped in a warm, richness. Stunning wine capable of aging another 10+ years.
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart
JS 93 VN 92

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