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Staff Favorites - John Downing
2012 Fattoria Selvapiana Chianti Rufina
Review Date: 3-23-2015
In my opinion, Selvapiana is not only one of the top wineries in Chianti Rufina but also a benchmark within Tuscany. This storied estate captures the unique terroir of the zone and produces wines with ample fruit, substantial acidity and excellent aging potential. Those looking for an exceptional value-priced and classically styled Chianti will definitely not want to miss this outstanding 2012.
2011 Ornellaia "Le Serre Nuove"
Review Date: 3-15-2015
Despite the hot weather of 2011, Ornellaia crafted another gem with the release of their "Le Serre Nuove" or second label. It's made primarily from Merlot but those preferring Cabernets might want to give this one a go. Aromas of black fruit, earth and graphite are complemented by an impressively rich and flavor-packed palate. It's smooth and concentrated and surprisingly fresh considering the warmth of the vintage. Although nice to drink now it will continue to improve with a couple years of cellaring.
2010 Cantine Ascheri Barolo
Review Date: 11-11-2014
Thanks to Matteo Ascheri's sizable vineyard holdings and long-term vision he has managed to craft an outstanding quality Barolo at a very affordable price. This terrific red is ideal for those wanting to try Nebbiolo for the first time as well as for Barolo drinkers looking for serious value. Although it's delicious now, it will only improve with a bit of time in the cellar. Don't miss this one!
2009 La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 7-7-2014
We enjoyed sampling this latest release from La Fortuna not only because it's so darn tasty but also due to the fact that we know so many of our customers will simply love it. Thanks to some flavorful concentrated fruit, mild acidity and rounded tannins, this silky smooth Brunello is ready to open and drink. Delicious.
2009 Baricci Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 7-7-2014
Baricci Brunello is an on-going staff and customer favorite and we're excited that the 2009 has finally hit our sales floors. Considering the number of Brunelli priced well north of $50, this pure expression of Sangiovese is a must-buy for fans of Tuscan reds. While this classically styled, understated gem is approachable now it will certainly improve with a year or two in the cellar if you can wait that long.
2008 Bodegas Muriel Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 4-8-2014
This lively, affordable Rioja offers a nose of black cherry and dried florals along with notes of cedar, dill and vanilla from a combination of French and American oak barrel aging. Additionally a lush, medium-bodied palate of high-toned blackberry fruit finishes with bright acidity and tangy berry fruit notes. Enjoy this with roasted or grilled meats and firm cheeses!