Staff Favorites - Greg St. Clair

Greg St. Clair

Reviews

  
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2015 Villa Pillo "Cingalino" Toscana Rosso
Review Date: 04-23-2017
Cingalino is not your average Tuscan red; no Sangiovese here it is a blend of 65% Merlot and 35% Cabernet Franc grown about 30 miles southwest of Florence. Aged for 6 months is used French barriques this wine is less about its varietals than it is about its place. The nose of this wine puts me immediately in Tuscany; the nose is full of spice, leather and splashed with hints of berry and chocolate but this is not a simple wine, it has real depth. On the palate you immediately sense this wine has structure, focus and it has a linear feel to it yet it spiced with berry and plumy characters and then the earth, leather and spice rise up in the finish. I would recommend some hearty food to companion this wine, a rich, tomato driven with lots of cheese or even a Burger fresh of the grill with all the fixins!
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart
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2015 Tornatore "Pietrarizzo" Etna Bianco
Review Date: 04-23-2017
The first instant you smell the aromatics of this wine you know you’re in for a ride! The aromas are distinctive more floral than fruit, fragrant, seductively sweetish that rail into a savory, salty, briny focus. On the palate the wine has weight, density, richness, but is transformed by a striking acidity and mineral driven center. The grapes are crushed and then fermented in 50hl wooden barrels (you could fit 200 barriques inside of one) and the wine stays on the lees for 5 months. This gives the palate a more complex texture, not an unctuous oily version but a creamy lightness, weight but with a savory saber right down the middle of your tongue. The finish is vibrant, and even with the creamy richness there is still an evident lift, verve, and snap in the very long finish. Ideal for grilled fish or crustaceans especially if they have a heavier oil content like sea bass or a marinated shrimp.
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
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2015 Blason Pinot Grigio Isonzo
Review Date: 04-19-2017
The nose of this wine immediately says this is not another Pinot Grigio, not a watery, simplistic, grocery store version, this is a wine. The nose is full of white flower, ripe pear and with hints of fennel, but beyond the aromatic palette there is a complexity that sends images of a certain density. On the palate the wine does have a richness that passes across your tongue and leaves that ripe pear flavors with hints of fennel. The finish is full and broad and leaves an inviting savory snap that is asking for food! Perfect for roasted chicken or a pasta with chicken sausage!
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2015 Blason Cabernet Franc Isonzo
Review Date: 04-19-2017
Cabernet Franc is an interesting grape, one that reflects the its local terroir perhaps more than any other red variety. In Friuli, especially Isonzo, where Blason is from, it takes on a different character again. Friulian law doesn’t allow for grapes that aren’t registered in the Region to be listed as ingredients. Even stranger, there are two Cabernet Franc varieties in the area….one is actually Carmenere. Don’t ask, it really doesn’t make sense to a non-Italian, or even me. So Blason’s Cabernet Franc is actually a blend of Cabernet Franc and Carmenere, and it is really sensational. The nose is full of spice, cola, earth accented with bits of chocolate, and there’s a tiny bit of weedy aromatics that add dimension. This is a wine to be drunk at cellar temperature, it adds to the freshness and focuses the flavors, and while only 12.5% alcohol it has real texture and depth. I love drinking this wine with charcuterie or grilled sausage. Try it, you’ll really enjoy it!
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart

2012 Felsina "Rancia" Chianti Classico Riserva
Review Date: 04-19-2017
My first memory of visiting Felsina will always be the Rancia vineyard: Giuseppe Mazzocolin spent an extra five minutes in his office searching for something. He returned in a driving rainstorm and popped a tape into the player in his Range Rover, hit a button and Etta James began singing “Stormy Weather.” We slid around in the mud for an eternity until we finally arrived at Rancia. The ancient convent that Rancia is named for is one of the most ideal places for Sangiovese in all of Chianti Classico: the soil is perfect, the exposition is perfect and the wine is almost always…well it’s Rancia. For those of us Californians who rarely experience real rain, experiencing Italian rain for the first time, well it rates up there with the Biblical versions. Yet I digress,… Rancia isn’t just Chianti, it epitomizes Chianti from this southeastern corner of Chianti Classico and in the 2012 version it’s fabulous. The nose is Sangiovese, not dark fruit or red fruit, it’s Sangiovese fruit. That’s not just a simple fruit...it’s haunting, summoning, swirling waves of violet, lilac, spiced plums, each aroma and flavor a kaleidoscope unto itself. On the palate it is a complex mélange of flavors supported by a powerful backbone and sustaining tannic structure that show a wine in complete harmony and balance that is really drinkable now but will allow the wine to age for a couple decades plus. This is really lovely.
Drink from 2017 to 2017

2012 Agostino Bosco "La Serra" Barolo
Review Date: 04-19-2017
The nose of Andrea Bosco’s La Serra Barolo is piercing, filled with bold, wild cherry and blueberry aromatics mixed with tobacco and earth, hints of sandalwood, sage and leather. On the palate the wine shows the classic La Serra tannic signature, well structured yet incorporated, it seemingly stretches from the soil into the glass. While the wine drives across your palate bold kirsch like flavors emerge to meld with the more traditional Barolo flavors of leather and dried rose petals, the combination adds depth and background to the powerful texture. The finish is long, and seems to etch itself on your palate, delineating layers of fruit, earth, spice and intrigue. Make no mistake this is a classic Barolo, powerful, full bodied and capable of aging 30+ years. To drink all Barolo drinkers will tell you that you should decant for several hours and then have it to accompany braised meats or wild mushroom risotto or both.
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart
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2014 Villa Pillo "Borgoforte" Toscana
Review Date: 04-19-2017
The nose of this wine says Tuscany, hints of wild cherry, sage, rosemary from the 50% of Sangiovese then followed by the plumy, chocolaty depth from the 40% Cabernet Sauvignon with hints of spice from the 10% Merlot. The wine has a linear character, and on the palate it has vibrant depth and structure but opens on the back end showing more breadth and suppleness. This is a remarkable wine for the price point and should probably be more expensive just to give folks a heads up that it isn’t to be drunk as simple plonk, it’s a real wine, powerful, deep, expressive and should be decanted and had with a grilled T-bone or a big cheesy lasagna.
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
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2014 Tornatore "Pietrarizzo" Etna Rosso
Review Date: 04-19-2017
If you’re not familiar with the wines from Sicily’s Mt. Etna, it should be your next adventure in the wine world. I’ve been to Etna and the air, light and aromatics just seem different it is one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been to; one senses the Volcano’s presence in everything. The nose of the Tornatore Etna Rosso is full, ripe and is wild, not in a gamey sense but there’s a sense of adventure in it, there’s no simple fruit, no raspberry or plum it is too complex to put in a single word. On the palate the wine has richness, complex fruit but its highlight is the savory character, a mineral, salty tang that brands this a volcanic wine. That tang is what drives the wine, elevates the fruit and aromatics and leaves a lasting impression in the long finish this wine has. It’s sensational, and at an unbelievable price point for wines from this region and quality.
Drink from 2017 to 2017

2014 Antica Masseria di Sigillo Primitivo di Manduria
Review Date: 04-19-2017
Primitivo from Manduria is usually too sweet for me, lacks a bit of acidity and can often be flabby but this wine is Rockin! The nose of this wine is stunningly complex, a vibrant blend of spice, fruit and earth that booms from your glass. On the palate the wine has structure, tannin and acidity that combine with the wine’s richness to give a really focused, long and dynamic palate feel. The flavors are incredible, spiced fruit compote, leather, with enough richness to give one the impression of weight and density but with lift in the finish. Try this beauty with braised or stewed meats and aged cheeses.
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart
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2013 Le Filigare "Lorenzo" Chianti Classico
Review Date: 04-18-2017
Le Filigare is just a little west of Panzano in San Donato in Poggio, the center-western portion of Chianti Classico. From the moment I put my nose in the glass this wine just exploded, ripe wild cherry, spice, bits of earth but all couched in a inviting sweetness that makes you want to taste it! On the palate that sweet luxurious nature slides across your palate but then…what’s that structure, balance, focus…wow, what a combination. The palate flavors are a complex fruit compote laced with violet and lilac with hints of sage that all play out toward the finish. The Lorenzo is 100% Sangiovese; it shows the ripeness of the 2013 vintage but is exceptionally balanced, long, long finish, you’re going to love it!
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
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2011 Baccinetti "La Saporoia" Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 04-18-2017
Baccinetti is a tiny producer on Montlacino’s 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 and next to one of Montalcino’s “famous names” Lisini. Their wines are pure, unadulterated and natural, the initial textural smoothness belies its complexity, and 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. The 2011 vintage is ripe, full and lush, that makes it easier to drink now. Try it with your favorite meat off the grill or an American style lasagna!
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$24.99
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2011 Poggiarellino Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 04-18-2017
I first met Anna and Lodovico Ginotti in February of 2003. I was doing research on wineries on the Versante Senese (the slope towards Siena), and on the map I saw a producer called Poggiarellino that I’d never heard of. I had set up my week with five winery visits per day and I had one spot open, so I made an appointment. Poggiarellino is at the northern edge of the DOCG for Brunello di Montalcino. The road into this property is just across the street from the road to Altesino, one of Montalcino’s most famous producers. Anna and Lodovico both had careers in Siena, Anna as a teacher and Lodovico selling insurance. Then they inherited this estate. They had no relevant experience—it was a Tuscan take on the old TV show Green Acres! My visit was to evaluate this particular property’s character and see how it fit into the regional flavor profile. I had never tasted the wine or seen it in the market. They made a tiny amount of the 1997 vintage, preferring to sell most of their grapes rather than make and try to sell the wines. I tasted a couple of samples, thanked them and moved on. Then a year later they wrote to me asking if K&L wanted to be their importer. I returned the following February and tasted their wines again with a different intention and was really blown away by the intense character in their wines. Every year since, their wines have gotten more expressive and better balanced. The raw quality of the grapes from their property is awesome. You’ll see that in this 2011 Poggiarellino Brunello di Montalcino. The nose of the wine is full of wild, marasca cherry notes with hints of leather, plum and earth. On the palate your first impression is of texture; this is a luxurious yet structured wine where the marasca cherry flavors swirl across your tongue. Sangiovese’s natural acidity lengthens and balances the finish. All you need is a Bistecca Fiorentina and you’re in heaven!
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$24.99
JS 90

2014 Falesco Vitiano Rosso
Review Date: 04-05-2017
The nose of this wine just explodes out of the glass, plums, chocolate and a bit of savory spices. On the palate the wine has waves of lush richness that seem to lap up against your cheeks, boldly fruity with those plumy chocolaty flavors. The finish is complete and leaves a feeling of bold opulence, like you’ve really had an experience. All in all this is a pretty amazing wine for the price point and the perfect sort of Tuesday night wine!
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $9.95 Add To Cart
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2012 Castellare di Castellina "I Sodi di San Niccolò" Toscana
Review Date: 04-03-2017
At the first whiff of aromatics I was in love with this wine, it speaks of place, of seasons and history, not of barrels or winemaking. The addition of 15% Malvasia Nera takes the Sangiovese to another level, it seems to release scented waves of intense spice, wild roses, lavender, violets and iris. On the palate the wine says Sangiovese; a long linear axis is the focus yet it still shows a sweet, supple balance and now at 5 years old its’ youthful tannins have faded. The wine is full of flavors crushed, dried flowers, sweet wild cherry, cinnamon, leather and leaves a bit of a roasted chestnut taste in the finish. The Malvasia Nera is pure perfume, it fills the nose with an array of fragrance and yet on the palate it adds facets, highlights to Sangiovese’s stark structure that seem to weave themselves into the wine’s core. The I Sodi is supple, characterful, balanced, and expressive while having a hauntingly powerful pull on my emotions; I can feel its call. This is a superb wine, it isn’t going to bowl you over it is going to entice you in, to take one sip after another and have a long engaging dialog. I love this wine.
Drink from 2017 to 2017

2013 Hacienda Monasterio Ribera del Duero Crianza
Review Date: 03-29-2017
Impressive, the nose of this wine is a complex blend of concentrated fruit, spice and earth that reaches out to you and beckons you in. It isn’t bursting out of the glass, it’s pooling under the surface. On the palate this is a really focused, well made wine, in a bit of an “international” style but for someone like me who doesn’t like “international” style it’s not over the top. The wine is dense yet very linear, not clunky or fat. It’s a powerful, yet supple wine; tannin is evident but with its linear axis aligned the tannins elongate and balance. The finish carries through with a savory, complex fruit character, long and balanced.
Drink from 2018 to 2018

2013 Argiano "Solengo" Toscana
Review Date: 03-20-2017
Argiano’s Super Tuscan blend, was originally created by the famed enologist Giacomo Tachis. they call it “Tuscan soil meets French varieties” and it's a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot e Syrah. The nose is full of aromatics, dense, Syrah spice, then plumy Cabernet followed by perfumed Merlot. On the palate the wine is rich, dense and you can feel the Petit Verdot, it gives the wine a saturated feeling, thick and intense. The richness is nicely offset by a surprisingly refreshing acidity, especially for the weight of this wine, which allows the complex nature of these flavors to blend together. Lots of length, spice, sweet fruit really make this wine a great drink now and at this price it’s a total steal!
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
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2015 Ronco Blanchis Sauvignon Blanc Collio
Review Date: 03-13-2017
This wine has the classic Friulian Sauvignon character which is musky, earthy and a bit tangy on the nose, not that wild greenness that Sauvignon can take on in other regions, in Friuli it is a complex blend of soil intrigue and pungent tang. The wine has a rich, fleshy feel to it yet still has wonderful acidity that is the central core of the wine. The finish is long and pleasing showing off the wine’s balanced richness and piquant nature. This wine is made for food and the more salty and savory the better, prosciutto in puff pastry with a bit of onion and caraway, you get it? Savory…
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
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2015 Ronco Blanchis Pinot Grigio Collio
Review Date: 03-13-2017
The Collio region is usually thought of as one of Italy’s premier white wine growing areas and the bounty of incredible wines from the stellar 2015 vintage continues with this exceptional Pinot Grigio. The nose is full of white flowers and ripe pear that are forceful and dynamic, too often I find PG’s to be rather one note and simple but this wine has real depth in its aromatics. On the palate the wine has weight, and a luscious texture, it has no wood yet still shows a creamy texture but accented by vibrant acidity that brings the focus back to the center. The finish is lengthy, a replay of pear and spice highlighted by the crisp acid that slices into the wine’s luscious richness.
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
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2014 Farnetella Lucilla Toscano Rosso
Review Date: 03-07-2017
I have to admit this wine caught me by surprise, I was expecting something a bit grittier but wow, the nose alone shows loads of rich fruit, like a mixed berry compote, wave after wave of flavor. On the palate the wine shows more spice, earth a bits of leather mixed in with the bold berry statement. It leaves a bit of an umami driven, savory finish that is ridiculously good for this price point.Yet this isn't a plump, structure-less wine this baby's got it all going, fruit, complexity, length with a bit of tannic structure. Really a spectacular wine.
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart
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2013 Garlider Grüner Veltliner Alto Adige-Südtirol
Review Date: 02-24-2017
Christian Kerschbaumer’s Garlider Estate is in Feldthurns,in the Isarco river valley. He is a “Biologic” producer. It is a natural process and he wants the vines and the soil to do the talking. In his wines you really can feel the sun shining on the vines, and the stones giving a distinct character. This Grüner Veltliner is amazing. The aromas burst from the glass, full of white pepper and hints of alpine flowers. On the palate the wine has a density and weight, and supple richness that warms your mouth. The finish is stunning, powerful and long. This wine can easily age another six to eight years but it is so tasty now it’s hard to imagine waiting. Grüner Veltliner is one of the most versatile wines. It can accompany fish, poultry, pasta, pork or veal. This wine has a vino-lock, a glass plug in the end, my favorite closure. Don’t use a corkscrew!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$17.99

2014 La Fortuna Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 02-07-2017
In 2014 La Fortuna decided not to make Brunello, so all of those grapes went into their Rosso, an extraordinary financial sacrifice—but it puts their Rosso in a different class. This is another wine from Montalcino’s south slope and it’s full of ripe Sangiovese fruit, from vines 25–35 years of age, and aged for one year, six months of which were in French oak barrique. The texture is lush: plum and chocolate flavors coat the palate, yet the inherent structure of this wine gives it terrific depth, concentration and scintillating aromas. Drink it now and it will give you a thrilling drinking experience, and it will age well for the next 3–5 years. Try it now with your meat-sauced pasta, yet it will go equally well with roasted chicken or grilled meats, or just as a glass on its own!
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2014 Sesta di Sopra Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 02-07-2017
This wine is pure and classic—that wild cherry Sangiovese just explodes from the glass—not opulent and fruity, just heady, lithe and focused. Ettore Spina has crafted a superbly complex and classic expression of the vintage, a wine that feels equine to me—rippling muscles but lean, not heavy, vibrant not ponderous. Nose in the air and ears back, this wine is just bursting to get in your glass—with so much complexity, balance and length, a truly superb wine.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2014 Baccinetti "La Saporoia" Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 02-07-2017
Lush, rich and luxurious, this wine is awesome— the wild, spicy and plummy fruit flavors just burst in your mouth, with layers of spice and a powerful palate presence. Perfect for grilled meats, especially Italian sausage or your favorite pastas. You’ll love the richness, be captivated by the complexity, and be back buying more!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2014 Tenuta di Sesta Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 02-07-2017
Tenuta di Sesta is our most elegant Rosso. It is subtle and has a more feminine grace, but underneath that obvious restraint lies a wine full of complexity and intrigue…it just takes a bit of time to open up (I’d decant for an hour if you have the chance—also, they will age wonderfully for another 4–5 years). The soil here is rich in marl and limestone, the perfect foil to harness Sangiovese’s vigor and allow the vine to produce complexity rather than bulk. Long, balanced and so flavorful, this wine is ideal for roasted pork tenderloin with a bit of rosemary, sea salt and black pepper. So good, you’ll need to buy more!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2013 Musella Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore
Review Date: 02-07-2017
Musella’s wines have an elegance, a supple grace to them and don’t carry that “heavy” connotation that most would tag on Amarone—but to really understand Amarone you must understand Valpolicella first! I really like folks to work their way up the chain to understand the base flavors that make Amarone, and if you start with the 2014 Musella Valpolicella Superiore you’ll see why these are the grapes for Amarone. But if you venture just a little deeper to the 2013 Musella Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore you’ll hit the OMG moment. This is a stunning wine, with layers of spice, complexity and then a richly textured body…wow.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2015 Villa Poggio Salvi "Caspagnolo" Chianti Colli Senesi
Review Date: 02-07-2017
The 2015 Villa Poggio Salvi “Caspagnolo” is tremendous. It’s so well balanced that you can drink it now and it’s so well structured, it will age for another five-plus years, and at this price you can afford to buy multiple cases!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart
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2011 Villa Poggio Salvi Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 02-07-2017
A superb example of this ripe vintage. The winery’s elevation, high up on a ridge facing the western breeze, provides a fresher climate than many of their counterparts and wasn’t as bothered by the August heat spell. Instead, this has wonderful plummy fruit, with the estate’s signature leather, iron and spice notes, that dominates the mid-palate and continues into a long finish. This wine is drinking beautifully now and I would suggest you enjoy it with pork tenderloin slathered with rosemary, or a rare T-bone with extra virgin olive oil drizzled across the top. You’ll enjoy the combinations!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
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2015 La Monacesca Verdicchio di Matelica
Review Date: 02-07-2017
A vibrant, aromatic wine that is unoaked and layered with fruit, spice and a long, mineral-driven finish that is couched in a richly textured body.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2015 Ermacora Pinot Bianco Colli Orientali del Friuli
Review Date: 02-07-2017
The wine Dario is most proud of is always the Pinot Bianco, and the 2015 Ermacora Pinot Bianco is no different. The wine has richness on the palate yet underneath you can see the structure and depth. Then the flavors start to emerge, with hints of nutmeg, cardamom and bergamot. The wine lengthens on your palate, driving deeper and deeper. Every year I visit the Ermacoras we do a vertical tasting of the Pinot Bianco, and it almost always shows best about 2–5 years after the harvest. You should put some in your cellar—trust me!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2015 Ermacora Pinot Grigio Colli Orientali del Friuli
Review Date: 02-07-2017
The 2015 Ermacora Pinot Grigio is broad. Pinot Grigio naturally has a bit more heft, and in this vintage it’s powerful and muscular with excellent balance.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2015 Ermacora Friulano Colli Orientali del Friuli
Review Date: 02-07-2017
Friulano is what the locals more often than not drink. This has a bit more flesh on the mid-palate and sort of a tarragon-flavored tang with excellent lift in the finish.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2015 Ermacora Ribolla Gialla Colli Orientali del Friuli
Review Date: 02-07-2017
Ribolla Gialla is an indigenous grape variety that usually shows a more energetic acidity, and because of that is often used in sparkling wines, but in this vintage it really sings. This is fragrant, with a citric crispness, and a wonderful shellfish wine.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2012 di Majo Norante "Ramitello" Molise Rosso
Review Date: 02-07-2017
I was really stunned by the richness, complexity and depth of flavors in this wine—and then I saw the price! This blend of 80% Montepulciano and 20% Aglianico offers such bang for your buck, you are not going to believe it. The nose is full of bold, dark fruit aromatics. Layers of spicy Montepulciano fruit wrap around a solid core of structure. Balanced, bold and a real mouthful of wine—and such a deal!
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart
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2015 Einaudi Dogliani (Dolcetto)
Review Date: 02-07-2017
This is what Dolcetto from Dogliani is all about! The nose of this wine just bursts out of the glass with a flow of wild cherry, and as the wine crosses your palate the richness plays out on your tongue. Then the Middle Eastern spices begin to emerge, with bits of leather and earth. This is the perfect wine for these cold wintry nights. I can just imagine this wine with a plate of braised meat on a bed of polenta!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2011 Mazzei "Philip" Cabernet Sauvignon Toscano
Review Date: 02-01-2017
This is a unique wine; first it was made to honor Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello Viticulturalist Philip Mazzei an ancestor to the current day proprietors of Castello di Fonterutoli. Secondly it is a blend of grapes from two different properties, the Mazzei Family Belguardo estate along the Tuscan coast and their home property the Castello di Fonterutoli in Chianti Classico. Lastly the winery has used exclusively tonneaux to age the wine rather than the smaller barrique, allowing the real character of the grapes, soil and climate to be the dominate character rather than the barrel. I love the nose of this 100% Cabernet Sauvignon it is warm and full, waves of ripe cassis aromatics just flow out of the glass. As this supple wine smoothly rolls across your palate layers of flavors come forth, bold cassis fruit steps forward followed by hints of leather spiced with a bit of earth, wild herbs and smoke. The finish slowly rolls across your palate leaving a warm richness; the wine isn’t “hot” at all it is just warming, just what you need for these cold winter nights. This wine is very drinkable now but can still age for another 15 years. I’m smelling braised beef on a bed of polenta with some wild mushrooms for this baby, or if you’re grilling a T-Bone….let me know.
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
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2013 Lamole di Lamole Chianti Classico
Review Date: 01-12-2017
Lamole is a tiny hamlet not far from the town of Greve in the heart of Chianti Classico. I visited this estate twenty-five years ago and had always been impressed with the raw product and he potential of the wines produced at this estate. The soil and vineyards just had something unique, a special aromatic about them, but unfortunately the rest of the winemaking was a bit sketchy. Shortly thereafter, the Santa Margherita Group—yes, the folks that bring you the Pinot Grigio—bought the estate, and instead of turning it into a winery making oceans of mass produced swill they kept the winery small, spending time and money rebuilding the terraces holding the vineyards up on the hills. They refurbished the cellar, brought in new cooperage (much needed) and began to make real wine, with depth and character, but the types of distribution needed for these two different wineries are hard to combine and the brand has languished a bit as the winery was rebuilding its products. I love this new 2013 “Blue Label” Chianti Classico because they have really captured that uniqueness I saw in this area so many years ago. The nose is full of stone, spice, leather, violet, wild cherry, dried plums with hints of smoke and earth; it is a complex cauldron of flavors. On the palate the wine has a breadth, a depth of richness and a supple power that is really amazing for a wine in this price range. The flavors grow (I would decant this an hour or two ahead of time), develop and bring the leather, cherry and violet together to form a fascinating expression of Sangiovese, complex and vibrant. The finish has so much going on, a pooling of the spice; plum and leather come together in a long and memorable finish. This isn’t so much a Pasta wine as it is a red meat wine, a T-Bone would do well or grilled leg of lamb. Sensational wine, you shouldn’t wait!
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart
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2013 Antinori "Peppoli" Chianti Classico
Review Date: 01-12-2017
Antinori is not an unknown name in Italian wine, they are one of the largest and highest quality producers in Italy. Many years ago, when I first started in this business, there were two names that stood for Italy, through whose tireless efforts brought a new age of quality Italian wine to America, they were Angelo Gaja and Piero Antinori, each year they would spend months crisscrossing the country doing presentation after presentation. Gaja’s flamboyant bravado earned fans everywhere; his wines weren’t so bad either, but it was Piero Antinori’s graceful elegance, understated presence and his ability to present wines to both the connoisseur and the common man that made his voice so resonant. This new Péppoli Chianti Classico is a beautiful representation of what Sangiovese expresses in this micro-climate of Chianti Classico’s northwest. The nose of this wine is pure Sangiovese, but to use more of a musical metaphor there’s a lot more treble in this voice, long, pure, elegant. A cleaner, wild cherry aromatic that is very focused is what comes out of the glass followed by delicate threads of spice and earth but is that Sangiovese solo that is the dominant expression. On the palate that same linear characteristic is articulated, faceted, and lets the 10% portion of Syrah and Merlot flesh out the mid palate adding a bit of meaty richness. The dominant flavors are the cherry, with hints of stone fruit, earth and spice. This wine reminds me of Audrey Hepburn: restrained, elegant, and lean, but so much focus, energy and lift, you can tell it has breeding. This wine’s elegant, linear character makes it the perfect match for richer pasta dishes; whether you choose what my choice would be a sausage and cream with penne rigate, if you’re an Alfredo fan this would work too, or if a traditional ragu is your choice just remember to go heavier on the oil or cheese, you don’t want a tomato dominant dish. A brief decanting always helps Sangiovese, but this wine will drink well over the next five to eight years.
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

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$17.99
JS 92

2014 Olema Sonoma County Chardonnay
Review Date: 01-04-2017
For the second year in a row I was really surprised by the quality of this wine and once again even more so at this price. The nose shows wonderful, complex apply aromatics that lead to a creamy and balanced palate feel. This wine has a real focus and brightness on the finish, excellent value. I'm not a real Chardonnay drinker but this wine seems to bridge the gap between the clumsy, over oaked varieties by having a creamy enough texture to satisfy an inveterate California Chardonnay drinker and those looking for more of a balance between, fruit, spice and texture.
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JS 91

2014 Baracchi "O'Lillo!" Toscana
Review Date: 12-27-2016
The nose of this wine is stunning: waves of complex wild cherry, classically Sangiovese, mixed with smoke and earth focus your attention immediately, as if you were to say this is the nose of a lot more expensive wine. On the palate the complexity expands, develops flavor facets that expose soil, mineral, saturated fruits with hints of leather and earth. The wine glides across your palate displaying lots of richness that is bridled, focused and gives you a sense of power and depth. The finish is long--sometimes that seems like a placeholder for this part of the review, but this wine really has length, superb balance, lots of flavors and a supple drinkability. Outstanding wine at this price point!
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JS 93 WS 90

2015 Fattoria Le Pupille "Saffredi" Maremma Toscana (375ml)
Review Date: 12-14-2016
I tasted a barrel sample of this wine last September and I was blown away! Saffredi is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot but grown along the Tuscan coast. The hallmark of the 2015 vintage for me is the sweet fruit purity is totally evident, the fruit just sings, ripe yet focused, complex and really engaging. On the palate the wine is bold, rich yet not fat, it has superb balance and length, the fruit character is so complex yet open at the same time a revelation. The finish is fresh, lifted and just seems to go on forever, a hint of toastiness now but that will age out by the time the wine is bottled and released, a fabulous wine!
Drink from 2018 to 2018
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
JS 98 - 99

2015 Fattoria Le Pupille "Saffredi" Maremma Toscana (1.5L)
Review Date: 12-14-2016
I tasted a barrel sample of this wine last September and I was blown away! Saffredi is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot but grown along the Tuscan coast. The hallmark of the 2015 vintage for me is the sweet fruit purity is totally evident, the fruit just sings, ripe yet focused, complex and really engaging. On the palate the wine is bold, rich yet not fat, it has superb balance and length, the fruit character is so complex yet open at the same time a revelation. The finish is fresh, lifted and just seems to go on forever, a hint of toastiness now but that will age out by the time the wine is bottled and released. A fabulous wine!
Drink from 2018 to 2018
Price: $159.99 Add To Cart
JS 98 - 99

2015 Fattoria Le Pupille "Saffredi" Maremma Toscana (3L)
Review Date: 12-14-2016
I tasted a barrel sample of this wine last September and I was blown away! Saffredi is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot but grown along the Tuscan coast. The hallmark of the 2015 vintage for me is the sweet fruit purity is totally evident, the fruit just sings, ripe yet focused, complex and really engaging. On the palate the wine is bold, rich yet not fat, it has superb balance and length, the fruit character is so complex yet open at the same time a revelation. The finish is fresh, lifted and just seems to go on forever, a hint of toastiness now but that will age out by the time the wine is bottled and released, a fabulous wine!
Drink from 2018 to 2018
Price: $335.00 Add To Cart
JS 98 - 99

2012 Villa Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva
Review Date: 12-06-2016
Tasting this wine was a revelation for me. I had felt in past vintages that Antinori had become too big, that they had lost their way as a top Chianti producer; this wine really shows they’re back on track! The nose is so pure, classic Sangiovese aromatics of wild cherry, earth, leather and a woodsy spice fill your nose. On the palate the wine carries those same aromatics and turns them into lively flavors. As the wine warms in your mouth it builds, opens and expands the spice and leather blossom and adds a complex layer to underscore the wild cherry. This wine is really built for the future; superb balance and structure. I opened mine and decanted it a couple of hours ahead of time and it just exploded. While built for the future it is so well balanced you can drink this wine easily now, as I did with my bottle! Try it with your favorite pasta or as I did with grilled pork chops! Kudos to Antinori for getting this fabulous Chianti Classico back on track!
Drink from 2016 to 2016

2011 Sergio Barale Barolo "Bussia"
Review Date: 11-30-2016
I absolutely love this wine. The nose is deep, it has a brooding ripeness, a mix of wild cherry, plum with bits of smoke and rose hips, just scintillating. On the palate the wine has a richly textured presence where waves of supple warmth and layers of fruit flow across your tongue. A broad, expansive palate presence where the complexity builds and the wine flows toward a long, vibrant finish. This is real Bussia vineyard Barolo, complex, dense yet in the warmth of this vintage the wine has a luscious open fullness and is really drinkable, I’d still decant it for an hour, but this is a sensational wine. Try it with braised meats, polenta or risotto and wild mushrooms.
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $45.99 Add To Cart
JS 92

2015 Fattoria le Pupille "Saffredi" Maremma Toscana (750ml)
Review Date: 11-22-2016
I tasted a barrel sample of this wine last September and I was blown away! Saffredi is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot but grown along the Tuscan coast. The hallmark of the 2015 vintage for me is the sweet fruit purity is totally evident, the fruit just sings, ripe yet focused, complex and really engaging. On the palate the wine is bold, rich yet not fat, it has superb balance and length, the fruit character is so complex yet open at the same time a revelation. The finish is fresh, lifted and just seems to go on forever, a hint of toastiness now but that will age out by the time the wine is bottled and released, a fabulous wine!
Drink from 2018 to 2018
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart
JS 98 - 99

2013 Leone de Castris Salice Salentino Riserva
Review Date: 11-21-2016
The nose of this wine is full of plums, leather and wild herbs that gracefully emerge from the glass. On the palate you get an initial sensation that is full bodied, richly textured and smooth, then the acidity picks up and freshens, lengthens and leaves a wonderful back end complexity. The flavors are savory, braised meats, leather, cooked plums with hints of spice and herbs gently coming forward and leaving a long and substantial finish. Leone de Castris always seems to produce this Salice Salentino with exceptional balance, it is truly a great deal, try it with your favorite pasta!
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2015 Tenuta Montemagno "Nymphae" Monferrato Bianco
Review Date: 11-20-2016
The stunning quality of the 2015 even eclipses the sensational 2014 vintage of this wine, just delicious! 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

2013 Tenuta Sette Ponti "Oreno" Toscana
Review Date: 11-11-2016
This is finessed and structured wine with supreme balance and concentration. For Italian wine fans who still want to drink claret, this is a stylish and satisfying option. Tenuta Setta Ponti's "Oreno" has been the Wine Spectator's top 100 wines of the year on multiple occasions, and the 2013 has all the potential to make it back on that list again.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart
JS 97

2014 Antinori "Cervaro della Sala" Chardonnay Umbria
Review Date: 11-07-2016
This is an outstanding wine that finally accomplishes all of the original intentions of this thirty year long project from Antinori. The idea here was to make an Italian chardonnay that would rival both California and Burgundian chardonnay, but what they needed was an expression that was uniquely Italian, not just a carrbon copy. With this 2014 vintage, not only has Antinori figured out the formula, they're knocked it out of the park. That little touch of 10% grechetto adds a lovely minerality to the wine's backbone and a hint of tarragon to the clean chardonnay flavors. The wine has richness, mid-palate structure, depth, and ageability. It's the whole package for fans of serious Italian whites.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
JS 96 WS 91

2012 Felsina Chianti Classico Riserva
Review Date: 10-30-2016
The nose of this wine is full of the land it comes from, wild brush, rosemary, sage, wild mushrooms with hints of smoke drifting by and then a bold expression of fruit, plums, wild cherries drive it to your senses. On the palate it instantly lets you know this is an important wine, the structure is powerful yet balanced to express its supple richness rather than edgy tannins. The flavors start with the plums and wild cherries up front and then as the wine reaches your back palate the savory and earthy notes come forward. Superb balance and a long, long finish, this is truly a superb wine at a spectacular price and capable of aging more than 10 years, perfect for drinking now or putting in the cellar, stock up for the holidays!
Drink from 2016 to 2016

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