Staff Favorites - Greg St. Clair

Greg St. Clair
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Reviews

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2010 Castello di Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva
Review Date: 3-10-2014
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The fabulous 2010 vintage provides another stunning wine. Monsanto was one of my first loves in Italian wine. It is amazing how they have maintained such high quality for so long, without ever changing style. This wine has more richness, a broader fuller feel on the palate than for most of their wines and the aromatics are a lot more open and vibrant but underneath you can feel the classic Monsanto length and depth. So much fruit now but that baby fat will go away in a year or so and then it will age extraordinarily well.
Drink from 2014 to 2025

2009 Tolaini Valdisanti
Review Date: 3-6-2014
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I often hear sales pitches from salesmen that pit the wine in question with some well known favorite that is very expensive. In this case they'll say this 2009 Tolaini Valdisanti is the ďPoor Manís Tignanello.Ē My guess is that most "rich men" buy low and sell high rather than the converse, and are always ahead of the curve... thatís how they get to be rich! However this 2009 Tolaini Valdisanti (Super Tuscan) is going to make you rich as well. I loved its complex blend of earth, wild herbs and cigar box like aromatics. Then on the palate the 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Sangiovese and 5% Cabernet Franc cuvee shows lots of power, and although there is solid structure underneath, the wine is supple, excellently balanced and has a lengthy finish. I was really surprised by the quality of this wine and how much I liked the Cabernet-based blend from southeastern Chianti Classico. After tasting, I was ready for a price point that was going to be 2-3 times what this is! This is truly an outstanding deal - drinkable now and will age very well for a decade to come.
Drink from 2014 to 2024
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart RP 94 BC 0

2011 Anima Libera Chianti
Review Date: 3-5-2014
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Anima Libera - Free spirit, thatís the name that Emiliano Falsini chose for his wine label. Emiliano is a consulting enologist, thatís a winemaker for hire, he comes in tells you what to do and moves around a lot, kind of like doing stages in dozens of restaurants. So when he decided to produce his own wine he was looking for something that described him but also his wine, because in his wine he didnít have to please the winery owner to make a wine taste a certain way he let the wine be what it wanted to be, a Free Spirit, just like him. This Chianti DOCG is textbook perfect, the aromatics of delicate cherry, hints of leather and earth are classic but when it hits your palate it expands with a plumier center adding weight to the naturally acidic Sangiovese and producing a very pleasant mouth feel. A perfect pasta, salumi, roasted chicken or cheese plate wine youíll free your spirit a bit with it!
Drink from 2014 to 2016
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2008 Musella Amarone della Valpolicella
Review Date: 3-5-2014
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When many of you hear the word Amarone you probably think of a MEGA wine, bursting with raisiny over the top ripe fruit, everything in excess. This wine is VERY different it is so well balanced, so easy to drink and just a delight. The nose is concentrated and full but isnít monolithic, it doesnít knock you down in fact it lifts you up. 2008 is a great vintage, a long dry summer allowed perfect ripening and then the grapes were dried until January. Crushed, fermented and then aged for 4 years in 700 to 2000 liter French Allier barrels the wine has ample time to come together and that it has. Very complex fruit in the nose, plums, and wild cherries concentrated but not thick just incredible focus. While the wine has great weight and palate presence its real highlight for me is its extraordinary length, thatís what gives it such incredible lift, lightness and makes it seem so well balanced you wonít even notice the alcohol. Iíd have it with braised meats or a big chunk of aged Parmigiano Reggiano.
Drink from 2014 to 2020
Price: $41.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Musella Valpolicella Superiore
Review Date: 3-5-2014
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This wine is so inviting, it has such an exotic yet so delicate of an aromatic pulse, successive waves of candied cherry, plum thoroughly spiced with cinnamon and cardamom. In the mouth it has a delicate, balanced feel yet this is a Superiore version so it has spent one year in used barrique and tonneaux that softens the palate expression and makes it slightly more expansive as the wine finishes with a long and elegant peak.
Drink from 2014 to 2018
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

Club Price: $16.99
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2012 La Ginestraia Riviera Ligure di Ponente Pigato
Review Date: 3-5-2014
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Ligurian whites don't normally make me jump up and down but this Pigato has been the best of its kind for me. Yes it has the classic length, and fresh acidity one expects in an un-oaked Ligurian white but it is the palate weight and balance that set it apart, so supple and enticing still with the bright acidity and saltiness one gets in coastal Italian whites. The fruit aromatics are exquisite, they fill your nose with penetrating and concise fruit scents while spice and white flowers drift and waft through the scene.
Drink from 2014 to 2016
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart JS 93 BC 0

2011 Cabreo La Pietra Chardonnay
Review Date: 3-4-2014
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If you're a fan of the big, bold California style Chardonnay with a little fresher character this is your wine! Full-bodied and sumptuous texture, layers of spiced baked apple and vanilla and still has superb balance. A long finish and capable of aging for a another 3-5 years, while saving yourself $15!
Drink from 2014 to 2019
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart JS 93 BC 0

2008 Friggiali Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 2-26-2014
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Friggiali's 2008 Brunello shows lots of earth, leather and spice in the nose and on the palate it has a fair amount of tannic structure, but the flavors are balanced and the wine follows through into the finish very well. For those looking for a drinkable Brunello at a BARGAIN price, here's your chance. I'd decant this for an hour or two and then try it with richer pasta dishes or a grilled flank steak.
Drink from 2014 to 2018

2008 Sesta di Sopra Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 2-26-2014
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Bold, smoldering aromatics of earth, sage and leather highlight the nose, while on the palate the wine has layers of complex earth, stone and plumy notes. This is a supple and richly textured wine that will do well with 2-3 hours in a decanter to open up. I'd pair it with a rosemary draped pork tenderloin or braised meats like a veal shank, or an aged piece of Pecorino Toscano; make sure it is Toscano.
Drink from 2014 to 2020

2011 Poggiarellino Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 2-21-2014
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The ripeness of the 2011 vintage comes through on the palate where the ripe plum fruit character is mixed with classic Poggiarellino nose full of gamey, complex dark cherry and plum fruit, with nicely evolved notes of tobacco leaf and has layers of what the Italians call sottobosco (the flavor of the forest floor). I has a long finish and is rockin' to drink right now! I'd still decant it an hour ahead of time just to let it evolve a bit.
Drink from 2013 to 2020
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2008 Poggiarellino Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 2-21-2014
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Anna and Lodovico Ginotti produce a small amount of Brunello yearly at their Agriturismo just north of the town of Montalcino. The 2008 is a classic, the nose is full of wild marasca cherry flavors that combine with subtle expressions of leather and earth on the palate. On the palate the plumy richness of the wine begins to expand and shows you its depth.
Drink from 2014 to 2023

2011 Seven Hills Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 1-22-2014
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I was really impressed by this wine's balance, focus and complexity. The aromatics were pure and restrained but were perfectly integrated with the delicate hints of barrel spice. Really long on the palate with a long aftertaste, outstanding wine from this up and coming region for the price.
Drink from 2014 to 2019
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart WE 91 BC 0

2001 I Clivi "Clivi Brazan" Friulano Collio
Review Date: 1-16-2014
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How would you ever come up with this idea? 140, yes 140 months. Once you taste this wine you will be thankful they did! 140 months in a stainless steel tank, that's almost 12 years of aging for a white wine. Not many white wines can last that long, let alone gain complexity. Predominantly made from the Friulano grapes that come from an 80-year-old vineyard, this wine's balance, texture and complex aromatics are viscerally stunning.
Drink from 2014 to 2017
Price: $47.99 Add To Cart RP 92 BC 0

2011 Domaine Ballorin & F Marsannay "Clos du Roy"
Review Date: 1-16-2014
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I was really stunned at the quality level of this wine, and not that it is a big, structured, powerful wine, but because it is pure; no forced aromatics or flavors. Texturally pleasing at the moment with a super supple (for Burgundy) mouthfeel, truly ethereal aromatics and no sweetness. I just made sure I bought my bottles before I posted this review--this wine should already be sold out; it way outperforms its price point!
Drink from 2014 to 2018
Price: $39.95 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 I Clivi Ribolla Gialla
Review Date: 1-16-2014
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It is rare in todayís wine world that one can find complete phenolic ripeness, a really intriguing wine full of mineral focus and is only 11.5% alcohol, yet thatís what Mario Zanusso has been able to do with this scintillating Ribolla Gialla. Ribolla Gialla is one of Friuliís indigenous varieties that ripens very slow and rarely achieves an alcohol level above 13% but in this wine Mario does a tremendous amount of testing waiting for the perfect moment of ph, acidity and sugar to produce a fully flavored wine and delicious wine that is super easy to drink. Light, refreshing yet not a simple wine at all, perfecto for shellfish pasta like Spaghetti con Vongole.
Drink from 2014 to 2016
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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