Staff Favorites - John Downing

John Downing


2013 Fattoria del Cerro "Manero" Rosso di Toscana
Review Date: 11-17-2015
Manero is that wine so many of our customers ask us for, yet is a challenge to deliver under $10 per bottle. We were immediately taken with it but expected it to cost considerably more. That said, this delicious Tuscan blend of Sangiovese and Merlot offers up a lush palate of mixed berry fruits with pleasant notes of dark chocolate, tobacco and mineral, while ample acidity adds freshness and length to the finish. It's a tremendous wine for the price that is sure to go quickly once the word's out!
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart
JS 93

2012 La Monacesca "Mirum" Verdicchio di Matelica Riserva
Review Date: 10-13-2015
La Monacesca is one of the finest producers of Verdicchio in Italy and this wine certainly takes the varietal to a new level. The grapes for "Mirum" are picked late harvest, lightly pressed and the juice is aged entirely in stainless steel. The result is a stunning white with complex notes of almond, honey and citrus on the nose along with a rich, round, flavorful palate with a lingering finish. We think you'll agree that this is one of those not-to-be-missed Italian gems. Pair this with white meats, fish, young cheeses and vegetable dishes.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart
JS 94 GR 3

2012 La Valentina Montepulciano d'Abruzzo
Review Date: 08-30-2015
Although we turn away numerous inexpensive reds lacking the quality standards we expect for our customers, we couldn't pass on this outstanding Montepulciano d'Abruzzo! It raises the bar in the everyday red category with a flavorful mouthful of plummy dark berry fruit, dusty ripe tannins and a bright finish. Here's a versatile daily drinker that we think you'll love as much as we do.
Price: $10.95 Add To Cart
JS 92

2013 Scarbolo Sauvignon Friuli
Review Date: 08-30-2015
We're always happy to have this wine back in stock as Valter Scarbolo's Sauvignon is consistently delicious and exceptionally priced. His 2013, offers up wonderful notes of subtle orchard fruits combined with a slightly creamy palate and crisp underlying acidity. It's terrific with fish, egg dishes, soups and is especially pleasant on its own.
Price: $13.95 Add To Cart
JS 93

2014 Ruggeri Corsini Langhe Bianco
Review Date: 08-11-2015
This unique white blend from the Langhe immediately impresses with an engaging array of apple, pear and gooseberry aromas and a bright palate of layered fruit and crisp acidity. We're quite taken with this one and think you'll be, as well!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2013 Poggio Antico Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 08-11-2015
This is a classic Rosso and represents what is commonly referred to as a mini Brunello. Poggio Antico continues to deliver quality Sangiovese year after year and this latest release is no exception. A nose of earthy dark cherry, plum and mineral lead to a lively, plummy palate with a fine tannic spine and lengthy finish. A classic for sure.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WS 91

2012 Riecine Chianti Classico
Review Date: 08-11-2015
Regardless of a couple of ownership changes over the past two decades, Riecine remains among the top tier estates in Tuscany. Their 2012 Chianti is juicy and medium-bodied with intensely flavored spiced red fruit, mild tannins and a lengthy finish. It's terrific to drink now or over the next few years. Delicious.
Price: Hidden View Price
DC 93 JS 92

2013 Villa Trasqua "Traluna" Toscana
Review Date: 08-11-2015
"Traluna" combines 95 percent Sangiovese with 5 percent Alicante and is one of the most recent Tuscan values to hit our sales floors. Plenty of concentrated dark plum and cherry fruit flavors with a touch of French oak make this a versatile table red. Serve with cheeses, meats and BBQ.
Price: Hidden View Price

2013 Uccelliera Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 08-11-2015
Andrea Cortonesi is a talented winemaker dedicated to crafting notable reds from Montalcino, and his 2012 Rosso is definitely one to take seriously. This is a bigger, denser and more darkly fruited Sangiovese that takes a bit of time to open up before it struts its stuff. Put this one down for a few months if possible or enjoy with aeration. Meats, heavier pastas and hard cheeses with this one.
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart
VN 91

2010 Terre da Vino "Essenze" Barolo
Review Date: 07-15-2015
The 2010 "Essenze" is a really nice introduction to Barolo at a great price. The vintage really shines through and there's plenty of mouth-filling fruit, smooth tannins and a lingering finish. This delicious Nebbiolo is easy on both the palate and the wallet so take advantage while the supply lasts.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 91

2010 La Mannella Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 07-15-2015
At the moment, La Mannella is a bit reticent and tightly wound until it has a good amount of time to aerate. The nose offers bright aromas of spiced red fruits, sandalwood, wood spicing and dried flowers while the palate is compact with ample acidity and youthful fine tannins. I recommend cellaring this one for at least a couple of years to allow it strut its stuff.

2010 Castiglion del Bosco Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 07-14-2015
This is ideal for those looking to pick up a well-priced, earlier drinker from the 2010 Brunello crop. Aromas of cherries, dried florals, wood spice and minerals join a fleshy palate of delicious fruit with fine tannins and excellent overall balance. Drink now or over the next few years.

2012 Correggia Barbera d'Alba
Review Date: 07-01-2015
Correggia is one our favorite producers from the Roero subzone of the Langhe. Their wines are first-rate and the 2012 Barbera truly shines. This surprisingly concentrated wine is packed with rich berry fruit and bright underlying acidity making it a versatile wine at the table. Especially great with pizza, pastas and meats.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2012 Villa Symposia "Equilibre" Languedoc Rouge
Review Date: 06-23-2015
Hats off to my esteemed colleague Keith Mabry for discovering this latest gem from Languedoc. Organic farming and modern winemaking techniques combine to make this classic. An expressive nose of sun baked black and brambly red fruits along with notes of dusty earth, licorice and black olive opens to a concentrated palate of savory black and red fruit with hints of milk chocolate, ample embedded tannins and a flavorful finish. A value hunter's delight.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
RP 90 - 92

2010 Tolaini Valdisanti Toscana
Review Date: 06-22-2015
Valdisanti was among our top-selling Tuscan reds last year and this wonderful new release from Tolaini is already an instant hit with staff and customers. Packed with a mélange of savory black fruits and solid acidity, this generous, full-bodied Rosso can not only be enjoyed now but also will continue to develop over the next few years.

2013 Tua Rita "Rosso dei Notri" Toscana
Review Date: 06-22-2015
Although Rosso dei Notri is produced from Tua Rita's youngest vines (Sangiovese, Cabernet and Merlot), it offers more than expected and satisfies the demands of those looking for well-priced, high-quality Tuscan reds. Aromas of blackberry, dark chocolate and graphite are followed up by a sumptuous, mouth-watering palate of juicy ripe black fruit. While the Sangiovese was matured entirely in steel, the Cabernet and Merlot were finished in oak, which is nicely integrated.

2012 Fattoria Petrolo Torrione Toscana
Review Date: 06-01-2015
This world-class Tuscan red is, quite simply, impressive. Inviting aromas of black fruits, dried tobacco and dark chocolate are upstaged by a juicy palate of sumptuous black currant and black cherry fruit flavors that burst forth. It's full-bodied and flavor-packed with ripe tannins, fresh acidity and a long finish. The 2012 Torrione is a beauty that is certainly not to missed.

2012 La Massa "La Massa" Toscana
Review Date: 05-19-2015
La Massa melds proprietor Giampaolo Motta’s love of both Bordeaux and Tuscany and the result is this on-going customer favorite. Loaded with flavor and personality, this 2012 is already flying off our sales floor. It's an irresistible Tuscan gem that you'll not want to miss. Fire up the BBQ and pop this one.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

JS 93 RP 93

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!
Price: $25.99 Add To Cart

2009 La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 07-07-2014
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.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2008 Bodegas Muriel Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 04-08-2014
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!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
DC 95