Cascina Castlet Dry Rosato 2017
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The ‘Vespa’ Barbera Rosato is made by a small, traditional estate in Piedmont owned by Mariuccia Borio, a Barbera specialist who hand picks all the fruit and makes elegant classic wines (that’s her as a girl in the pink dress in the 1950’s---love it!). This is her Castlèt Rosé, which she calls 'La vie en rose. A scent you catch with your eyes closed, but only if you know how to listen from the bottom of your heart will the music of a far-off band reach your ears. It’s a country dance with the women who scent of lavender and fleurs-de-lis, and the young men are clean-shaven and wear freshly laundered shirts. The girls on the Vespa are growing up to be women. Their looks and bows are still the same as when they were little girls, but the rose-pink is changing them. There’s a promise and there’s a hope in their still shy eyes. Pink is happiness, pink is like dawn turning to day. I’ve left the deep red of my Barbera grapes behind in the press. I’m the fruit of the soft pressing of the bunches. I spring surprises by subtraction. I have no rules and I love people who look to the future...' Serve with pork, chicken, pasta with tomato-based sauces, salmon, tuna or fine cheeses.
Josef Leitz Rudesheimer Magdalenenkreuz TBA 2003 375ml
Chateau Valandraud Saint-Émilion 2005
M. Chapoutier Ermitage le Meal 2005The Chapoutier family has been in the Rhône Valley since 1808, and growing vines for wine production since 1879. Today, the company's biodynamic approach to grape growing and winemaking ensures their philosophy of 'Letting the soil speak, and expressing the terroir and its vintage'.
Chateau Leoville Las Cases Saint Julien 2007This stellar estate is planted to 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot and 13% Cabernet Franc, with an average age of 35+ year vines. Located next to Chateau Latour, the wines produced here are majestic, ageworthy, and traditional. A Second Growth of Saint Julien since the classification of 1855, Leoville Las Cases not only deserves this status, it is thought by many critics and collectors to be of the highest First Growth quality. It is also considered one of the longest lived wines in virtually every vintage, including 2007.
Domaine Allary Haut Brion Pessac Léognan 2008Domaine Allary Haut-Brion (which used to be called Domaine de la Passion Haut-Brion) is a 1.5-hectare parcel of vines situated in the heart of First Growth Haut-Brion's vineyard. From 1954 to 1978, the property bottled under its own name, but for the past 30 years, the grapes have been going into Haut Brion wines under a cropshare agreement. Planted to 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, Allary Haut-Brion is owned by Dr. Michel Allary who decided once again produce a domaine wine at the property and 2008 is the first vintage under the new label. His daughter and grandson ensure a family-owned and managed future. Today the wine is made by celebrated Bordeaux consultant, Stéphane Derenoncourt, who is known for being somewhat modern in his approach, late harvesting and using a fair amount of new wood, to give the wines softer, sweeter tannins; but in other ways, this wine is very traditional. The new generation of Allarys work the gravel and sandy clay vineyard by hand or using horses. There are no tractors. Next year biodynamic viticulture will be introduced. ROBERT PARKER REPORTS : 'This is a tiny jewel of a vineyard (just over three acres) right in the heart of the Haut Brion vineyard. Not surprisingly, the wine is stunning. Made from 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, with Stephane Derenoncourt as the consultant, as one might expect, this beauty has some of the character of the surrounding historic estate of Haut Brion.'
Bryant Family Cabernet Sauvignon 2011One of California's most sought after, cult wines, Bryant Family Vineyards is known for their luxury Cabernets. Located in the heart of the Napa Valley overlooking Lake Hennessey on Sage Canyon Road, Bryant Family Vineyards makes Cabernet Sauvignon from fruit up on Pritchard Hill in the Napa Valley. David Abreu is their esteemed vineyard manager and Mark Aubert is the winemaker.
Araujo Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
Broadbent Vintage Port 2011
Il Marroneto Brunello di Montalcino 2013Owned by the Mori family since 1974, Il Marroneto is today run by Alessandro Mori, who makes the wine and does so with great love, care and passion; from picking to bottling he follows it day after day as if it was his child, and this can be understood in a moment, by watching him slowly tasting his Brunello or hearing him talking about it with great passion and enthusiasm. He only grows Sangiovese and works in purity. He does not intervene much on the vines, he does not use any type of herbicide or special products for the protection of the plant. Of his wine, he loves the ability it has to express the fruit aromas and flavors, to rest four years in wood – years that the specification of Brunello imposes – and after all this time to remain authentic, delicate and elegant. Today, Il Marroneto, after more than 30 years is regarded as one of the ten historic companies in Montalcino (Siena). All this has been possible thanks to the long-term commitment and passion that Mori has always devoted to his work. Il Marroneto the Brunello is a traditional wine, aged in large oak barrels from Allier and Slovenia, vinified according to the traditional systems of Montalcino; the result is a very elegant wine, rich in aromas, classic in style and wonderful for aging.
Domaine Marcel Lapierre Morgon 2017This Beaujolais made of 100% Gamay is perhaps the purest expression of this region's wines we have ever tasted. Made by the late Marcel Lapierre's son Mathieu, Domaine Lapierre Morgon is made from meticulously hand harvested grapes, with gentle and natural winemaking methods, and oak aging in Burgundy barrels from Domaine Prieure-Roch in Vosne Romanee. 3rd generation farmer Marcel Lapierre had been farming with biodynamic methods for close to 30 years and eschewing full carbonic maceration. With his tragic passing last year at the age of 60, Marcel's son Mathieu took full charge of the winemaking and continued his father's legacy. Wine Advocate reports: 'Mathieu Lapierre believes that the prolonged, relatively cool carbonic maceration he favors promotes natural antioxidants so that a wine like this has impressive stability from the open bottle despite its absence of sulfur. If you have a cold cellar, try to save a portion of this for 4-6 years. The irreplaceable and virtually irrepressible Marcel Lapierre passed away just after the 2010 harvest was completed and will be sorely missed among us. His son Mathieu - who had been assuming an increasingly important role at the domaine in recent years - has admirably advanced their labors in this vintage, resulting in wines that display the levity and "digestabilite" as well as textural caress and subtle complexity that one has long associated with the crafts of this domaine. Lapierre picked from September 20 through the first week in October and achieved normal crop levels. Mathieu Lapierre might refine his father's methods but it seems unlikely that he will deviate from them in fundamental ways, and he believes that "we in Beaujolais are in danger of losing our vinous identity" thanks in part to the ambitions of growers who take their inspiration and methods from the Cote d'Or.'
Cantele Primitivo del Salento 2016The Cantele (cahn-teh-lay) family originally hailed from Veneto, but Paolo Cantele's grandfather emigrated to Puglia and founded this family estate in 1979. We met Paolo here in Spring Lake when he visited the Bottle Shop for the first time, and tasted through the Cantele wines. We were impressed by the complexity, consistency and value across the board. Made from very old vines, up to 65 years in age, this Primitivo is aged for 6 months in older barriques. Another interesting fact he shared with us is that Cantele adds even less sulfites than allowed by the legal organic limit. The estate is not organic, per se, but the vineyards are farmed as sustainably as possible. It helps that 80% of his family's vineyards are on the Adriatic Coast side of Puglia, giving the benefit of NW winds which keep the vines breezy and not too hot. This is simply an extraordinary value for a very high quality red wine. Look for an intense, spicy bouquet with notes of sour cherry and plum. Full-bodied in the mouth with a velvety warmth and gentle tannins. Ideal with game, roasted or braised meat and hard, aged cheeses. THIS SUSTAINABLE RED WINE HAS LOW SULFITES
Piattelli Premium Reserve Malbec 2017Piattelli Vineyards is located in the town of Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo. In north-west Argentina, Piattelli’s winery is located a few miles outside the town of Cafayaté and is located at 5,522 feet above sea level. The landscape is much more desert-like, and is known for its proximity to the wonderous rock formations in the Calchaquí Valley. Vineyards in the greater province of Salta are situated higher than 7,000 feet. The Premium Malbec Reserve is oak barrel aged for eight months and made of 100% Malbec.
Antinori Santa Cristina Toscana Rosso 2016Santa Cristina was originally introduced in 1946 as a Chianti Classico by Piero Antinori's father, Niccolò. But with the passage of the 1984 DOCG laws - spearheaded by Piero Antinori- requiring lower vineyard yields, Chianti Classico grapes became so complex and rich that they required more aging than this soft, fruity fresh wine. So in the 1987 vintage Santa Cristina became a 'Toscana', and in the 1994 vintage Antinori began including 10% Merlot to the blend. Look for vibrant ripe fruit on the nose with hints of flowers. Well-structured, soft and harmonious. Ripe tannins and lingering fruit in the finish will pair well with pasta in tomato basil sauce or with brick oven pizza.
Tenuta Le Calcinaie Chianti Colli Senesi 2018Organic since 1995, grower Simone Santini is such a passionate Tuscan winemaker…we thoroughly enjoyed our visit to his estate in San Gimignano in May 2018. We were so impressed with both his Vernaccia whites and Chianti reds; they were ripe, pure, energetic and utterly charming, just like the winemaker! Le Calcinaie is composed of 30 acres covered with vines with perfect exposure, beautifully tended, and olive trees. This Chianti has fresh, happy aromas and flavors of plums, cherries, violets, rosemary, figs and more. Serve with pesto ravioli, pasta pomodoro, artisan pizza, cured meats, meat pâté and cheeses. “Tenuta le Calcinaie is a breakout winery in this report. Their Vernaccia-based wines all performed beautifully. I look forward to tasting more from this small estate in the future.” –Wine Advocate
Matua Sauvignon Blanc 2018# 40 TOP 100 WINE OF YEAR 2017 WINE SPECTATOR: This is the 42nd vintage of Matua Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. Zesty, tropical, citrus fruits are complemented by herbaceous undertones. Crisp, fresh Marlborough acidity balances with gr structure and length – a real New Zealand classic.
Beringer Private Reserve Chardonnay 2017In 1870 Jacob Beringer arrived in California from his homeland in Germany to pursue his dream of making fine wine to rival the best wines of Europe. Today the winery is the oldest continuously operating winery in the Napa Valley and the winemaking program is managed by California-veteran winemaker Ed Sbragia and California-native winemaker Laurie Hook. Beringer's northernmost Chardonnay vineyard and the primary source of Private Reserve Chardonnay, Gamble Ranch, is located near the town of Yountville where daytime temperatures slowly climb as the cooling morning fog recedes south to San Pablo Bay. This significant diurnal shift allows the grapes to maintain their acidity, which is essential to balancing the ripe, rich flavors they develop during warm afternoons. Each Chardonnay lot was kept separate throughout the aging process. After sending the fruit directly to press, winemaker Laurie Hook fermented the juice in French oak barrels (76% new) to enhance the natural richness in the wine. Weekly lees stirring enhanced the toasty notes, and integrated the oak flavors for an overall balance. All of the wines were put through malolactic fermentation to encourage a lush creaminess. After 9 months aging, Laurie chose the most expressive lots and blended them to create a richly layered wine with aromas of crème brulee and rich citrus and fruit flavors.
Costantino Nero d'Avola 2015Dino and his son Fabio Costantino produce classic wines of Sicily, from vineyards on the southeastern slope of Mount Etna, from where you can see and smell the Mediterranean Sea. The family favors organic farming and indigenous grape varieThis 'everyday' Nero d'Avola was an extraordinary find, as it is from the 2014 vintage, and has become a well-balanced, rich, savory example of this ancient Sicilian red. We also like that although it is full of flavor, it is only 13.5% alcohol. Dark cherry, black plum, sweet herb and saline-inflected minerals abound in both the nose and mouth. Serve with eggplant, pasta and meat courses, or with cheeses and cured meats.
Rochioli Chardonnay 2017'Quiet and assured, third generation winemaker Tom Rochioli continues to produce spectacular wines from the family’s 100 acres of vineyards in the heart of the Russian River Valley on both sides of Westside Road south of Healdsburg. The two most commonly encountered cuvées are the Russian River Estate Chardonnay and Russian River Estate Pinot Noir.' ROBERT M. PARKER JR.