Staff Favorites - Greg St. Clair

Greg St. Clair

Reviews

  
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2014 Trinity Hill "Homage" Syrah Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 08-15-2017
I am not normally drawn to Australian Syrah and I too often seem to confuse the weighty, unctuous versions of Australia past with New Zealand, having majored in Geography I am even more embarrassed. Yet the Syrah that comes out of New Zealand’s Hawke’s Bay is a wine of a different ilk. The nose is restrained, showing cooler climate fruit character, some black pepper and bits of earth while on the palate the wine shows more elegance, snap, it has none of the brooding, heaviness I don’t like in Syrah it’s remarkably agile. The body is deceiving while it is quite rich it doesn’t show it at all, good acidity and mineral grit seem to elevate this wine on your palate and lift the finish. Excellent breeding, focus and flavors, really solid wine.
Drink from 2017 to 2017

2015 Fratelli Barale Langhe Nebbiolo
Review Date: 08-14-2017
I am in love with the wines from Barale it’s not just the classic label or the outstanding pricing, it is the purity of the wines, a classic statement of place over winemaking. You could say the Barale wines are simple and you’d be correct. They don’t try to be anything other than what they are, a reflection of their soil and the vintage, simply classic. The nose of the Nebbiolo says earth, smoke, leather with bits of sweet, dark fruit all swirling toward you out of the glass. On the palate the wine is supple, broad with a bit of tannic structure that enlivens your mouth. The flavors are earthy, leather bits and the sweetness of the 2015 vintage. The finish is fresh, vibrant and with hints of the classic tar and roses signature of Nebbiolo. Try it with a wild mushroom pappardelle!
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2014 Antinori "Pèppoli" Chianti Classico
Review Date: 08-09-2017
The nose on the 2014 Antinori Peppoli Chianti Classico is a blend of savory leather and plummy ripeness; together they create a slightly more international aromatic, polished and expressive. On the palate the wine is supple, round and shows bits of earth, plum and spice while being gently framed by sweet tannins. The finish is easy, balanced and round and it makes me reach for my fork, this is a perfect accompaniment to pasta or light meats off the grill.
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2014 Remo Farina Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso
Review Date: 08-09-2017
The aromatics on this wine are so complex, a blend of spiced cherry, ripe plum with hints of cinnamon. On the palate the wine is supple, smooth and elegant all at the same time, the aromatics from the nose are replayed, perhaps intensified yet the wine never loses its balance. The finish is balanced, fresh and light for a wine with so much flavor. A perfect accompaniment to roast chicken or pasta dishes.
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: Hidden View Price

2008 Bodegas Puelles Rioja Reserva
Review Date: 08-07-2017
I think this is my favorite wine from all of the different Puelles we have carried. I've always like the classic feel and flavors but this wine seems more complete, it has more mid-palate fruit to go along with that savory entry. My one issue with Rioja has always been American oak but in this wine it is so well integrated it isn't even noticed. Extraordinary balance, length coupled with superb weight and a long, vibrant and lifting finish.
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
RP 91

2015 Baccinetti "La Saporoia" Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 08-02-2017
The nose of this wine is full of sandalwood, wild cherry liqueur and wild Tuscan brush that are bold statements bursting from the glass. On the palate this is a big, rich wine with a luxurious feel, fine grain tannic structure yet still has excellent balance. The finish shows a powerful structure that is enveloped in a muscular body; the long axis lifts in the finish and lengthens the wine. This is a powerful wine for the price point and perfect for grilled meats, especially Italian sausage or your favorite pasta's flavor will be emboldened by pairing with this wine's amazing depth of flavor. For the locals... this is Catzilla, you'll know what we mean when you see the label! The 2015 Rosso di Montalcino are excellent, an outstanding vintage with a real insight to the upcoming vintage for Brunello di Montalcino.
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2013 Felsina "Rancia" Chianti Classico Riserva
Review Date: 08-02-2017
Wow….I don’t often open a wine review like this but this wine just floored me. The nose is a savory combination of salted plums, porcini dust, with a concentrated cassis like fruit focus. The wine on your palate immediately says seamless power, the textural richness of the 2013 vintage is readily apparent in a supple, smooth way yet the wine says power. Tannins are sweet, polished yet show no signs of wood intrusion they just seem to reflect the vibrancy of the sun’s rays. The flavors seem sweet for a moment with signs of wild cherry and plum then a cassis like boldness but the initial burst of fruit gives way to the wine’s savory core. Wave after wave of savory complexity begins to fill your mouth, the wine is powerful, big yet it is not dense in a heavy footed way it is just saturated flavor, fruit, earth, spice and just demands your attention. The finish is like the beginning, seamless power from front to back, side to side this wine fills your mouth with a supple, muscular, smooth richness, and this wine seems to have its own dimension. You can drink this wine now, I’d decant a couple of hours ahead of time, it is so well balanced you can really enjoy it but this is a wine that is going to last for decades 30-40 years without breathing hard. I am personally going to go deep on this wine, it is one of the best Chianti Classico I’ve ever had.
Drink from 2017 to 2017

2015 Porta del Vento Catarratto IGT Sicily
Review Date: 07-19-2017
Just like in real estate wine is location, location, location… I wouldn’t have thought much of a Cattaratto coming from this part of Sicily but when I tasted Porta del Vento I was stunned, 2,000 feet of elevation can do a lot. The nose of this wine is superb, layers of ripe pear, spiced with just a bit of earth and garrigue that just pours from your glass. On the palate the wine has weight, density and a real supple richness that is brought to focus by a superb acidity and finishing minerality. The wine has structure, it’s got shoulders it’s powerful but no hint of any wood this wine has grown out of the ground structure, a real wine. The finish is wonderfully exuberant, full of super refreshing, ripe Bartlett pear that goes on and on, sensational wine. Pair this wine with a meatier fish like shark, swordfish or even Halibut.
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

2010 Camerano Barolo Cannubi
Review Date: 07-19-2017
I love this wine, a classic old school Barolo onion skin coloring around the rim and it looks as if it is already twenty years old! The nose of this wine is classic, filled with orange peel, leather, rose hips, accented by bits of smoke and truffle. On the palate the wine is full, young and vibrant yet it has a supple fluidity, oh there’s tannin but it’s what you’d expect from classically styled Barolo. The flavors reflect the nose with perhaps a bit more of that orange peel, sotto bosco, leather all subtle and bold in the same moment. The finish is long and very linear; the wine seems to go on and on. Perfect match for braised meats or wild mushroom risotto.
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $58.99 Add To Cart

2007 Teresa Raiz Decano Rosso
Review Date: 07-19-2017
The 2007 Teresa Raiz Decano Rosso is a blend of 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc, the grapes were grown on Friuil’s classic soils a mix of glacial morainic and rocky flat. The grapes were harvested the first part of October, fermented in stainless steel and then aged in French Allier barrique for 14 months. At 10 years old the wine’s age has allowed it to soften and have the flavors evolved into a complex blend of earth, fruit and spice, owner/winemaker Paolo Tosolini suggests you try it with braised meat dishes.
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$23.99

2013 Einaudi Barbera Piemonte
Review Date: 07-19-2017
The 2013 Einaudi Barbera Piemonte comes from vineyards on the estates of San Luigi and San Giacomo in Dogliani. The five and half acre vineyards are just over 1200’ planted on a calcareous clay soil with a south- south east exposure. The grapes are harvested in the beginning of October fermented in stainless steel and then aged for a year in a mix of traditional large Slavonian oak casks and French barriques. Barbera is an acidic grape so the vertical axis of the wine is most dominant and for me that will make it an ideal food wine. In Piedmont the food choices are so varied it’s incredible but one of my favorites would be risotto with wild mushrooms, the mushrooms add a bit of woodsy complexity to the bright fruit of the Barbera, give it a shot, you’ll love it!
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$16.99
JS 93

2010 Gulfi "Nerosanlorè" Nero d'Avola Sicily
Review Date: 07-19-2017
If you’re tired of simplistic Nero d’Avola and you’re willing to give Nero d’Avola one more chance this is your wine. Gulfi makes some of the best Nero d’Avola made, the Sanlore’ comes from a vineyard more than 60 years old scant meters from the Mediterranean and only 30 feet above sea level, in a head trained vineyard. This is one of the most Southerly points in Europe, it is actually south of the city of Tunis in Africa and this is the place for this grape. The nose is full of wild plum touched with a salty brine, it’s heady, thick like humid air. On the palate the wine shows a full, richly textured body while still demonstrating a facile, lively presence. The flavors are deep, pooling, still fruit, showing lots of dark fruit with a salty edge and finishes very clean. Wonderful flavors, balance in a supple, flowing wine, try this the next time you are grilling a New York steak!
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
VN 95

2014 Passopisciaro "Passorosso" Etna Rosso Sicily
Review Date: 07-19-2017
2014 was an outstanding vintage on Mount Etna perhaps less glorious in the rest of Italy but sensational for the Etna Rosso DOC. Passopisciaro Passorosso is a stunning wine the nose is full of smoke, wild cherry, leather, spice and gives you the sensation of having a lot more to give I couldn’t describe everything, it’s just overflowing. On the palate this wine makes a very bold statement, it fills your mouth with a luscious density that is a new dimension for Etna Rosso, so much richer than most. The flavors are saturated; waves of sweet, plumy/cherry fruit followed by flows of smoke, herb and leather then more fruit and again more fruit. This is a fairly high alcohol wine 15.5% but it isn’t out of balance, it’s very rich but it never loses its poise and focus. A truly outstanding wine!
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $34.95 Add To Cart
VN 97 WS 90

2010 Poggio dell'Otto Brunello di Montalcino Riserva
Review Date: 07-16-2017
I’ve tasted and drunk this wine 6 different times and each time I get the same reaction, I say ”I remember this being better, more complex”, then over the next hour the wine grows, opens and begins to express the classic salty/savory flavors that this once in a lifetime vintage is known for. Each time I am more impressed, more convinced of how good this wine is. As a “professional” taster I usually get to spend less than 30 seconds per wine and usually you can tell right away, but sometimes, like this time, you really need to decant and spend the time. The nose is full of salted plum, wild cherry, ginger with hints of smoke and truffle that slowly arise from the glass. In the glass those aromas turn to flavors on your palate, expanding, growing and more cherry, bits of garrigue, spice and delicate leather while developing texture; it becomes more viscous, saturated while lengthening on your tongue. The wine rises in the finish lengthening lifting as the waves of flavor come together in the finish. Decant an hour before drinking and for the best experience accompany it with a Bistecca Fiorentina!
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

2014 Farnetella Chianti Colli Senesi
Review Date: 07-12-2017
This wine is so surprising, I’ve spent a lifetime tasting Chianti at this price and rarely have I ever seen one so well made as this one has been. The nose is full of clean, elegant fruit sort of a mélange of ripe cherry and plum that come together as one. On the palate the wine shows its real character and that is a full, fleshy, supple and smooth richness that encompasses the easy fruit, it's made from 92% Sangiovese and 8% Merlot. The wine really has a tremendously easy to drink feel about it, but this isn’t some simple gooey slop this is real Chianti, Sangiovese with direction and complexity, flavors that aren’t cloying and simple this is a real wine. OK for $10.99 this isn’t Brunello but it is really well balanced, classic flavors and truly a delicious bottle of wine and you should definitely try it, this will even go with your Spaghetti and red sauce, just add a little more Parmigiano!
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart
JS 90

2014 Tenuta San Guido "Guidalberto" Toscana
Review Date: 06-22-2017
The nose of this wine is subtle, sophisticated and understated claret…yes claret; it’s a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot! One notices the refined character of the nose; the aromatics are Cabernet dominant with cassis, herb and earth drifting from the glass. However it is on the palate the one sees the exquisite winemaking skill here, not a piece out of place, long, polished; medium to full-bodied and in its current stage of evolution the wine shows more earth, leather and herb characters. This is Sassicaia’s second wine and you really see the superb lineage, viticultural care and pedigree, when the wine hits your tongue its palate presence is really evident, it is regal, long elegant and subtly austere. Perfect for you New York steak off the grill or with some aged cheese.
Drink from 2017 to 2017

2014 Le Battistelle "Roccolo del Durlo" Soave Classico
Review Date: 06-20-2017
The 2013 Le Battistelle Soave Classico “Roccolo del Durlo” vineyard is a mix of tufo, basalt and clay but is so dark it’s called “Le Carbonare,” referring to the coal-like color it has. Gelmino took me out in this vineyard to show me a whole section of the vineyard that were vines more than 100 years old, incredible to look at but even harder to imagine. The nose is full of sweet quince and Bosc pear aromatics with a cinnamon and baking spice finish. The palate is dense, rich, oily yet so delicate at the same time, that’s the volcanic minerality giving lift, focus and drive to the wine on the palate. Powerful flavors, focused minerality and a decisive, long, lingering finish. 12.5% ABV
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

2014 Le Battistelle "Battistelle" Soave Classico
Review Date: 06-20-2017
Le Battistelle’s Soave Classico “Battistelle” vineyard is the steepest slope they have facing more southwest and here the soil is basalt rocks that alternate with tufo, in their dialect it’s called Togo. The nose of this wine is full of dried white flowers, just giving you a remnant of the aromatic but makes it more focused. On the palate the wine is so rich it has an oily nature to it giving it a dense richness that is remarkable being that the wine is only 12.5% ABV. The volcanic minerality gives the wine a more savory, salty character couched in that dense, powerful richness, it just makes your mouth water. The finish is extraordinarily well balanced with incredible persistence, focus and long, long lasting palate presence.
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2015 Le Battistelle "Montesei" Soave Classico
Review Date: 06-20-2017
Le Battistelle’s Soave Classico “Montesei” shows you the classic signature for volcanic wines; they never seem to leave your palate, they seem to deposit themselves on your tongue! The nose is full of sweet, white peach aromatics but once this wine hits your palate it explodes. That peach aromatic turns to plump sweetness on your tongue and then it is pierced by a bolt of volcanic mineral, that mineral just doesn’t go away, it doesn’t linger it dominates the sensation in your mouth for the next minute. While starting out as a supple, elegant wine the Montesei turns volcanic in your mouth. Tremendous finish and character for a wine at this price point! 12.5% ABV
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2015 Blason Pinot Grigio Isonzo
Review Date: 06-20-2017
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, wonderful acidity in this wine, 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

2013 Einaudi "Terlo" Barolo
Review Date: 06-14-2017
The nose is pure Piemonte, a savory cross of earth, fruit and truffle, the nose has a certain depth to it that says weight, importance but in a straight forward, easy country manner. On the palate the 2013 vintage’s hallmark drinkability is immediately apparent, there is a supple balance to the wine yet it doesn’t betray being Barolo, it’s still Barolo! On the palate the wine shows leather, spice, smoke, sotto bosco and a bit of crunchy cranberry fruit. The tannins are apparent but they are very fine grain, elegant and don’t define the wine they just give it a border. The finish is long, complex and just doesn’t go away and indication of a long life but with drinkability now. A really superb, classically styled Barolo, as I taste it I keep reaching for my fork, it begs for food.
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
JS 94 VN 92

2013 Einaudi "Terlo Vigna Costa Grimaldi" Barolo (1.5L)
Review Date: 06-14-2017
I notice immediately that there is a bigger fruit component to this wine than one usually finds in Einaudi Barolo, it’s strident, tightly focused but very intense. The fruit aromatics roll back quickly as the dusky, leathery, and brambly notes move to the front; this is the classic Einaudi spectrum that begs for time, food and a broad Burgundy glass. On the palate the fruit is center stage once more, showing a sweeter density that seems to be bursting from the middle trying to push the tannin off your palate to the edges. The flavors are plumy but vibrantly so, they are dense and luxuriant but taught, as the wine rests on your tongue and shows layers of leather, earth, smoke, and tobacco. In classic fashion this Einaudi Barolo has tannin (like most Barolo!) but this wine’s tannin is ultra fine grain, almost supple to the feel, embracing rather than gripping and slowly dissipates. To drink now decant for a couple of hours and have it with Brasato al Barolo (Italian Pot Roast) or a porcini laden risotto, this wine will age very well for the next few decades.
Drink from 2017 to 2017

2013 Einaudi "Terlo Vigna Costa Grimaldi" Barolo
Review Date: 06-13-2017
I notice immediately that there is a bigger fruit component to this wine than one usually finds in Einaudi Barolo, it’s strident, tightly focused but very intense. The fruit aromatics roll back quickly as the dusky, leathery, and brambly notes move to the front; this is the classic Einaudi spectrum that begs for time, food and a broad Burgundy glass. On the palate the fruit is center stage once more, showing a sweeter density that seems to be bursting from the middle trying to push the tannin off your palate to the edges. The flavors are plumy but vibrantly so, they are dense and luxuriant but taught, as the wine rests on your tongue and shows layers of leather, earth, smoke, and tobacco. In classic fashion this Einaudi Barolo has tannin (like most Barolo!) but this wine’s tannin is ultra fine grain, almost supple to the feel, embracing rather than gripping and slowly dissipates. To drink now decant for a couple of hours and have it with Brasato al Barolo (Italian Pot Roast) or a porcini laden risotto, this wine will age very well for the next few decades.
Drink from 2017 to 2017

2012 Talenti Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 06-13-2017
You can really sense the richness of this wine that is dictated by Talenti’s Western Slope location, the wine smells of the afternoon sun. The nose is full of an umami spiked plum, far more savory than fruity yet the nose still has a dense fruitiness to it, it fills your nose almost like the difference between warm summer breezes that fills your sinuses in New Orleans versus a similar afternoon in Phoenix, there is a lushness to it that feels like humidity rich environments. On the palate the wine is agile, linear, while still reflecting that density that is ubiquitous yet it remains remarkably elegant and fresh on the palate. The flavors amble between those salty plum and dried wild cherry flavors with suggestions of Mediterranean garrigue. The finish has a certain lushness about it, but not overtly fat at all just a bit of weight on its bones that gives it more drinkability now. It still has the classic Sangiovese linear drive in it that gives the balance and freshness in the finish. BBQ pork chops with fresh rosemary for me with this wine, don’t overcook them they need to be a little pinkish. This wine will age well for another decade but is too delicious to wait!
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $43.99 Add To Cart
JS 95 VN 91

2012 Fattoria dei Barbi Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 06-13-2017
This wine is gorgeous, Fattoria dei Barbi is one of Montalcino’s classic wines, and for me it defines the “classic” style in Montalcino. The nose is full of a tight wild cherry, plumy swirl interspersed with leather, spice and Tuscan brush that is wildly attractive. On the palate the wine has a density, a smooth muscle power, supple, and where Barbi sometimes comes across a little gritty this vintage shows a bit of sweetness rounding off the edges. The flavors are stunning, so focused, saturated, and really show a great combination of place and vintage while being extraordinarily well balanced. The finish is long, alive and seems to lift in the back end regaling one with that ultra complex Sangiovese wild cherry spice that goes on and on. This wine is remarkably drinkable now yet will age easily up to 20 years from the vintage, I really love this wine.
Drink from 2017 to 2017

2014 Antinori "Pian delle Vigne" Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 05-24-2017
Antinori’s Pian delle Vigne estate is on the western edge of the Montalcino appellation west of the village of Camigliano. Pian delle Vigne’s location is in the warmer, drier, western portion of Montalcino the harvest is generally a couple weeks earlier than what it would be in Chianti Classico and all around Montalcino. In the wet, cool 2014 vintage it helped to be in a warmer drier location and the wine’s 100% Sangiovese shows a fleshier balance than many of the other 2014s. Aged in large oak casks the wine has complex character of plum, leather and spice, perfect for a plate of Pinci, the hand-rolled spaghetti-shaped pasta that you will undoubtedly have with a wild boar sauce when you are in Montalcino!
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$22.99

2015 Fattoria dei Barbi Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 05-24-2017
One of Montalcino’s oldest wineries dating from the late 19th century is situated on the east side of Montalcino’s spine ridge not too far south from Biondi Santi. This is the first winery I ever visited in Montalcino way back in 1982 and their style is “classic” the nose is full of leather, earth, Tuscan brush and is slow to open. On the palate you sense a vibrant core of acidity and tannin that sets the tone for the wine, it is dynamic yet expanding. This is a wine to decant for 2-4 hours or to power decant it (pour back and forth between decanters multiple times), you don’t need to be gentle, the core of this wine begins to uncoil with air contact, or age, and if you drink half a bottle one night and go back the next you’ll be amazed at the growth. This is what all Brunello and Rosso used to taste like, a bit focused and tight that over time with air contact it then opens into a beautiful wine. On the palate the wine gives you real Sangiovese flavor, bright, wild cherry with a bit of earth and leather that has a bit of a gritty texture to remind you it’s a classic. The finish is tight, clean, focused and layered with earth, spice, leather and wild cherry, this wine needs a richer food so T-Bone… or American style lasagna would work as well.
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Talenti Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 05-24-2017
The nose of this wine is so pure, so clean and so classically Sangiovese it thrills me. Talenti’s position on Montalcino’s western slope allows for a slightly riper profile but its elevation adds intrigue and focus. Lots of fresh plum, herb, and spice and glove leather flow from you glass in a gentle beckoning manner, never bold but always compelling. On the palate the supple, smoothness is the first thing you notice, the structure there is but it never protrudes as obvious, as the lithe wine glides across your palate it’s a more savory plum flavor that you notice, less fruity, more complex, more background earth and herb. The finish is long, balanced and seems to wander across the back of your tongue rather than forcefully play itself out. This wine will age well for the next 8-10 years; I like this wine with a slightly more delicate accompaniment, no wild boar for this, rabbit, or veal with some fresh pappardelle!
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Argiano Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 05-23-2017
The nose of this wine is smoky, earthy spiced with aromatic plums, but more red plums than dark plums. The body shows lushness, supple warmth, yet without being fat, it is just textured, Argiano is in the western portion of Montalcino and has sun-kissed glow to its feel. The flavors show a bit of earth, spice, leather that combine with the smoky, spiciness, the red plums come in at the end and drive those into a more singular flavor. The finish shows Sangiovese’s long, natural structure and in a great vintage like 2015 where everything lines up you can get quite the show. Balanced, complex, texturally supple with a long finish this is a really good wine that’s going to age for another 5-10 years.
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Uccelliera Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 05-23-2017
The nose of this wine is smoky, savory, umami driven and reminds me a lot of the aromas from the 2010 vintage and they were heavenly. It isn’t as if there is a lack of fruit it’s just that it’s not that ebullient California fruity forwardness. The fruit in this wine is part of that savory nose it’s just integrated, the wild cherry aromatics are less like a bowl of Jell-O they’re more like that pungent, earthy, aromatic, dried cherries can give, concentrated but not “fruity”. On the palate you sense this is Sangiovese immediately, the long axis that gives wines from Montalcino that great length and lift. There is no sense of sweetness on your tongue but you can feel the movement, that electric vibrancy driving the flavors and the supple texture. The finish is very well balanced, complex and persistent. This is a wine that is really drinkable now, but I always like to decant Sangiovese for an hour or two, it opens an expressive option. This wine will age very well, 10-15 years from the vintage opening, gaining complexity.
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2011 Proprietà Sperino Lessona
Review Date: 05-23-2017
The nose of this wine is so incredibly sensual; it is the proverbial siren’s song. Waves of savory complexity, laurel, cardamom, salted plum, middle-eastern spices fill your nose. On the palate you can tell this is Nebbiolo, there’s no doubting the lacy tannic structure that defines the wine’s size, but the tannins are sweet, long and give the wine length without losing its supple smoothness. The flavors on your palate are once again more savory, dried herbs, salted plum, fresh leather and dried cherries. The finish is long, persistent and reaches every corner of your palate leaving a layer of spice, intrigue and memory. This is a wine that is drinkable now…yet will last another 30 years; the wines from Alto Piemonte are incredibly long-lived and a century ago were Italy’s most famous, wars, economics, history changed the face of this zone that has only resurfaced in the past few decades as once again some of Italy’s greatest red wines. The winery is owned by the de Marchi family, the owners of Isole e Olena the famed Chianti producers, this is their original family estate.
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: Hidden View Price
WE 96

2015 La Monacesca Verdicchio di Matelica
Review Date: 05-16-2017
The vineyard for the Classic bottling is made from a vineyard that is 50% 30 year old vines and 50% 10 year old vines. The nose is full of elderflower, pear and stone fruit aromatics, but the really impressive part of this wine is the palate presence, body, texture, and depth add to the mineral laden center of the wine. The finish is decisive, focused and seems to go on forever.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2011 Mastrojanni Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 05-11-2017
Mastrojanni is located in Montalcino’s southeastern corner near the town of Castelnuovo dell’Abate, home of the Romanesque Abbey of Sant’Antimo. Down in this angle of Montalcino it is a little warmer but the wines don’t take on the baked character they sometimes can on the western border. I find Mastrojanni’s wine always take on a really savory, salty, umami character rather than a bold berry/cherry statement. To me this nose gives the wines a really complex character that shows depth and intrigue and I find that it makes a far better food accompaniment than a boldly fruity wine. The 2011 vintage was a warmer vintage but Mastrojanni’s experience in this warmer region has taught them how the vines need to be treated in warmer climes, so there’s no hint of over-ripeness just a deeper more luxurious texture. This is a supple wine yet very well structured and balanced and is going to be capable of aging for 20 years or more. I won’t be coy, I love the Mastrojanni wines, perfect balance, deep, complex flavors and just as a side note those crazy J’s in Italian are pronounced like “I” so the name is Mas-TROY-on-ee.
Drink from 2017 to 2017

2016 Tenuta Roveglia "Limne" Lugana
Review Date: 05-03-2017
This wine excites me: the nose is floral, spicy, and a bit of beeswax and honey flow from the glass. On the palate the wine has weight and a distinct richness yet you immediately feel the snap of acidity, that vibrant center-palate zing that just lights up your mouth, and a rarity to find wines that have that richness but are so clean on the palate, and at only 13.0%. The flavors are spice, lees, braised fruit, all offset by the focused central acidity that add lift and drive to the palate presence. The finish is long, mineral driven, and shows incredible balance; layers of fruit, spice and floral notes are consistently blossoming in the finish. This Lugana Limne is capable of aging very well for another 2-4 years, the Riserva up to 10 years.
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

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
JS 91

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
JS 93 WE 91

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: Hidden View Price
JS 94 VN 91

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
WS 91

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
WS 90

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
JS 93

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: $24.99 Add To Waiting List
JS 91

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: $24.99 Add To Cart
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
JS 91

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
JS 94

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: $10.99 Add To Cart
JS 92

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2005 La Gerla Brunello di Montalcino ($59.99)