Weekend Vinopolpick 5-22-20

In Today’s Newsletter:

Tiberio: A New York Times Value Pick

Featured New Arrival:
Castello di Ama’s Top Chiantis

A Dual 96 Point Brunello, Under $50

Rose of the Day
Sperino’s Rosa del Rosa Returns in June


Staff Pick
The Forbidden Fruit of Hermitage

Produttori Barbaresco
Freshly Restocked


Tiberio: A New York Times Value Pick

The New York Times just published a great column on the white wine values of Italy and we weren’t surprised at all that one of their favorites was Tiberio’s Trebbiano d’Abruzzo.  This has been one of our go-to Italian whites under $20 and the newest vintage might be the best yet.  It’s mineral and zesty, with just enough body and fruit to keep things interesting.

Abruzzo is an Italian wine region best known for two standout producers: Valentini and Emidio Pepe—but it’s probably time to add a third to the list: the wines of the Tiberio family.  They’re not quite at the level of their two closest peers, but importantly their pricing is still in line with the value producers that dot the Abruzzese wine landscape.  That delta between quality and price might make them the best value in Italy—these are some serious wines for the dollars asked.  In recommending the ’18 Trebbiano, Eric Asimov wrote:

“I’ve written about this wine several times, but it’s so good it deserves the attention. The siblings Christiana and Antonio Tiberio run this excellent estate, and they are good spokespeople for the trebbiano Abruzzese grape. Other strains of the trebbiano grape are more common, and Trebbiano d’Abruzzo may be made of either trebbiano Toscano, trebbiano Abruzzese or a combination. But the trebbiano Abruzzese grape is superior. For evidence, try this wine. The 2018 is dry, aromatic and richly textured, with bracing saline and floral flavors. Tiberio also makes a wonderful single-vineyard Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, Fonte Canale, which is considerably more expensive, and an excellent pecorino, which is not. (The Sorting Table, Napa, Calif.)”Eric Asimov, “10 Great Bottles of Italian White Wine Under $25, New York Times

In Italy, they’re best known for their single vineyard/old vine Trebbiano “Fonte Canale” (which we’re carried before and Asimov recommends, as well) but their range of ~$20 wines is why we’re enamored of them.  From their surprisingly gutsy and complex Montepulciano to the mineral, energetic Trebbiano, their wines from red grapes strike an impeccable balance between restraint and power, while their whites have minerality and intrigue to spare—a minor miracle for the prices.

In Stock Now:

Tiberio Trebbiano d’Abruzzo 2018 750ML ($21.95) $18 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 91 points
“Luminous straw-green. Perfumed pomaceous orchard fruits, minerals, lemon verbena and a hint of anise on the nose. Then very pretty, nuanced flavors of lemon ice and flinty minerality showcase intense inner-mouth perfume. A wine of impeccable balance, and very persistent and fragrant on the pure finish. Extremely strong for an entry-level Trebbiano d’Abruzzo. The Tiberio family has an uncanny ability to make outstanding Trebbiano d’Abruzzo every year, no doubt thanks to their individual talents, but also because of some marvelously old vines (as much as 60-80 years of age) that can weather and adapt to just about every growing season’s climatic conditions. Such is the magic of old vines.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

Tiberio Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2017 750ML ($24.95) $19 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Ian D’Agata – Vinous 92 points
“Vibrant red. Captivating aromas of red currant, dark plum, blueberry, licorice and Oriental spices. Broad and ripe on entry, then luscious in the middle, finishing with a riper mouthfeel than is usual for this wine, but in keeping with the 2017 vintage (dry and hot). Finishes long, with serious, building tannins and noteworthy sweetness. This is a real miracle considering the vintage’s less-than-stellar growing season; timely rainfall at the end of September provided much-needed liquid refreshment for the Montepulciano, allowing the vines to recover from the summer drought and heat and benefit from longer hang times. On a side note, wine lovers have something else to look forward to, as the 2018 vats of Montepulciano I tried during my cellar visit were absolutely superb; they are undoubtedly the best entry-level Montepulciano wines Tiberio has ever made, so there’s something to really look forward to here.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

Tiberio Cerasuolo Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2018 750ML ($21.95) $17.75 special, 8 bottles in stock now
Ian D’Agata – Vinous 92 points
“Luminous pink-red. Bright aromas of red cherry, redcurrant, blood orange and botanical herbs. Then bright and juicy, with laser-like acidity lifting and extending the red fruit flavors on the juicy, long, floral and slightly saline finish. A very precise, seamless Cerasuolo with no hard edges and sneaky concentration.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Tiberio Pecorino Colline Pescaresi IGT, Abruzzo 2017 750ML ($24.95) $19.50 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Ian D’Agata – Vinous 90 points
“Abruzzo’s Tiberio winery has quickly risen to the top of the hierarchy not just in Abruzzo’s but in all of Italy. What the talented Cristiana Tiberio has achieved in the very hot 2017 vintage with Pecorino (a variety that does not like heat) is a testament to her talent. The 2017 Tiberio Pecorino is by no means the best Pecorino she has ever made (and frankly, it would have been very strange if it was otherwise, given the year’s weather), but it offers lovely balance with pure sage and kiwi notes that mingle with ripe orchard fruit nuances complicated by a saline edge. Both these wines made for a wonderful start to my meal, but they would have paired very well with all the other dishes I chose to eat this evening.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $26.99


Featured New Arrival

Castello di Ama’s Top Chiantis

Castello di Ama has emerged as one of the truly special estates of Chianti.  Open to new ideas, always with quality in mind, Castello di Ama makes rich, textural Chiantis that rival the region’s most sought-after wines.  Just arrived, their 2017 Chianti Classico Ama is no exception. Archetypal of modern Chianti, drinking beautiful even in its youth, and sub-$30 per bottle, it deserves a spot at your dinner table this weekend.

Gran Selezione is the new level above Riserva designating longer aging and designed to let producers highlight their tip-top wines from Sangiovese.  In championing the new designation, Castello di Ama has further telegraphed their commitment to quality.  Their 2014 is a stunning example of what’s possible with Sangiovese when no corners are cut and punches way above its weight.  Full-bodied, rich and surprisingly silky, this is really special stuff. The latest release, arriving just arrived, is a show stopper. It’s 2016, one of the finest vintages in the region, and has garnered rave reviews. 

In Stock Now:

Castello di Ama ‘Ama’, Chianti Classico DOCG 2017 750ML ($34.95) $28 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Castello di Ama ‘Ama’, Chianti Classico DOCG 2017 750ML ($399.95) $299 special (that’s only $24.92/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Wine Enthusiast 95 points
“Rose, mature red berry and wild herb aromas mingle with a balsamic whiff of eucalyptus. The delicious, polished palate boasts a restrained elegance, delivering juicy Marasca cherry, crushed raspberry, star anise and white pepper alongside refined tannins. Fresh acidity keeps it balanced and lends just enough tension. Drink through 2023.”
Antonio Galloni 92 points “The 2017 Chianti Classico Ama is fabulous. Racy and voluptuous to the core the Ama captures all the richness of the vintage while retaining a great deal of aromatic freshness and energy. Succulent red cherry, plum, rose petal, mint and sweet spice build in an open-knit, inviting Chianti Classico that hits all the right notes. This is a terrific showing from Ama’s young-vine Chianti Classico bottling.”
James Suckling 92 points “Lots of primary sour cherries, blueberries and spices here. Medium-bodied with cranberry flavors and intense acidity throughout. Little edgy on the finish, but the warmth and generosity to the juicy tannins hold this together. Drink now.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 91 points “The 2017 Chianti Classico Ama is a terrific wine that opens to a mid-weight feel but produces an enormously expressive bouquet. The hot vintage has shaped warm tones of tilled earth and dark fruit but it is all carefully weighed and in context. The wine is open, accessible and generous. You can’t go wrong with this entry-level offering from Castello di Ama, especially with a lentil or spelt soup.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $30

Castello di Ama ‘San Lorenzo’, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG 2014 ($59.95) $39 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 93+ points
“The 2014 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione San Lorenzo flaunts its importance. It boasts confidence and an outward-looking personality that comes as a refreshing surprise. Like all Gran Selezione wines, it is released 30 months after January 1st following the harvest. That means it still has a few more months to go before it hits the market. This expression of Sangiovese shows depth and power with ripe fruit tones of cherry and forest berry. Like many of the other high profile wines I preview-tasted from the difficult 2014 vintage, I am delighted and surprised by the elegant and soft nature of the mature tannins. The wine’s finish offers bright freshness with layers of dark fruit, wet earth and forest floor.”
Wine Enthusiast 93 points “Aromas of exotic spice, pipe tobacco, woodland berry and a whiff of French oak take center stage on this fragrant, elegant red. The racy, ethereal palate delivers tart red cherry, tart pomegranate, cinnamon and vanilla framed in taut fine-grained tannins and vibrant acidity. Drink 2019–2026.”
James Suckling 93 points “This is extremely tangy with plenty of chocolate and lemon character and hints of cedar, too. Medium body, bright acidity and chocolatey aftertaste. Very refined and well-crafted for a 2014. Drink now.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $48

Castello di Ama ‘San Lorenzo’, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG 2016 750ML ($59.95) $45 special, 27 bottles in stock now
Wine Enthusiast 96 points
“CELLAR SELECTION. A blend of 80% Sangiovese, 13% Merlot and 7% Malvasia Nera, this opens with aromas of black- and red-skinned berry, pipe tobacco, tilled earth and a whiff of new leather. Elegant and taut, the palate shows tension, verve and finesse, delivering juicy Marasca cherry, crushed raspberry, licorice and hints of French oak. It’s balanced, with polished, fine-grained tannins and bright acidity. Drink 2021–2036.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “Offers stunning aromas of black cherry, blackberry and violet, with ripe, sweet fruit on the palate, shaded by iron, earth and tobacco elements. Supple yet well-structured, this should come together soon. Shows terrific harmony and length. Best from 2022 through 2036. 6,500 cases made, 670 cases imported.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2016 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione San Lorenzo is immediately more inky and balsamic in terms of aromas. As soon as you lift the wine to your nose, you get pretty tones of blackberry, cassis, rosemary essence, licorice and a touch of medicinal herb. I love when Sangiovese produces those elegant aromas, and for that reason, this wine stands tall among the three single-vineyard expressions from Marco Pallanti and Castello di Ama. It shows fiber, richness and lasting structure with a very well-managed quality of tannins.”
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2016 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Castello di Ama San Lorenzo is a blend taken from Ama’s four core estate vineyards. Black cherry, graphite, sage, mint, juniper berries and licorice give the San Lorenzo a distinctly dark, brooding profile to match its powerful feel. The big tannins need time to soften, but there is certainly plenty to look forward to. Stylistically, San Lorenzo is closest to Bellavista, with which it shares a decidedly somber feel. This is such a gorgeous wine.”

Only six magnums available!
Castello di Ama ‘San Lorenzo’, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG 2013 1.5L ($119.95) $99 special, 6 magnums in stock now
Wine Enthusiast Top 100 in 2018
Kerin O’Keefe-Wine Enthusiast 95 points
“Fragrant and refined, this radiant wine opens with scents of violet, red berry, baking spice and a whiff of plum. The chiseled palate delivers succulent wild cherry, white pepper, cinnamon and star anise alongside firm, refined tannins. It boasts a long licorice finish while bright acidity lends balance. It’s already delicious but hold for even more complexity. Drink 2020–2033.”
James Suckling 95 points “Tight and super silky with a gorgeous density and precision that gives great polish to the tannins. Makes them almost dusty. Lots of subtle dark berry, mineral and spice. Drink or hold.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $135

Castello di Ama ‘Ama’, Chianti Classico DOCG 2015 1.5L ($69.95) $49 special, 36 magnums in stock now
James Suckling 92 points
“So much sweet tobacco and cherry character here with hints of smoked meat. Medium body, fine tannins and a bright and fruity finish. Acid tension give this definition. Tangy. Drink now.”
Wine Spectator 90 points “The raspberry and cherry flavors are immediate in this elegant, balanced red, followed by accents of earth and spice. Not excessively long, but well-proportioned. Drink now through 2022. 900 cases imported.”

This is the only listing in the USA today for the magnum!

A seamlessly refreshing rose wine for warm spring evenings
Castello di Ama ‘Purple’ Rosato Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2017 1.5L ($69.95) $49 special, 9 magnums in stock now
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 90 points
“Luminous red-pink. Fresh aromas of strawberry and flowers, then ripe and sweet with similar flavors to the aromas that show very good acid cut. This actually leaves a sweet impression on the long suave finish, but has so much acidity it seems less sweet than it is. Lovely. Winemaker Marco Pallanti has changed the winemaking so as to macerate the must on the skins for twelve hours and then ages the wine in used (one year) barriques to round it. A blend of mostly Sangiovese with a little Merlot.”

This is the only listing in the USA today for the magnum!


A Dual 96 Point Brunello, Under $50

Talenti has been one of our go-to Brunello producers over the years, producing big, rich wines at exceptionally reasonable prices.  As you might expect, their 2015 is dynamite, with two 96 point scores and two more 95’s to go along with it.  Even better, the wine’s under $50 a bottle—nearly impossible for most wines given the scores.  We just secured our parcel, arriving late this fall.

Arriving ETA November

Talenti Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Talenti Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($359.95) $276 pre-arrival special (that’s only $46/bottle!)
Wine Enthusiast 96 points
“Editor’s Choice. Rose petal, crushed mint, woodland berry and eucalyptus aromas slowly take shape on this delicious full bodied red. It’s linear and elegantly structured, featuring juicy Marasca cherry, cranberry, licorice and cocoa alongside firm velvety tannins. It closes on an orange-zest note. Drink 2023–2035.”
James Suckling 96 points “There’s freshness galore here i,n the form of orange zest and citrus peel. But this Brunello isn’t short on power either; red licorice, cardamom and dried hibiscus pepper the nose. To support the ripe fruit are layers of sinewy tannins and gliding acidity, making for an altogether sophisticated and edgy impression. Refined and elegant on the long finish. Drink from 2023.”
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 95 points “Bright vibrant red-ruby. Inviting aromas of red plum, mocha, redcurrant jam, tobacco, and gently smoky herbs. Bright, silky and suave, with mellow flavors of redcurrant, red plum, tobacco and mocha. Multilayered and extremely stylish wine, finishing with polished tannins, outstanding balance and subtle persistence. So well-balanced in fact, this gorgeous Brunello is almost deceptively easy to drink and can practically be accessed even now. Very well done.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “Well-delineated black cherry and black currant flavors are matched to graphite, earth and wild herb accents in this powerful red. Balanced in a broad-shouldered way, this leaves a vibrant impression on the lingering finish. Best from 2023 through 2042. 2,700 cases made, 380 cases imported.”


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Rose of the Day

Sperino’s Rosa del Rosa Returns in June

Arriving ETA June:

Limited quantities available.
Proprieta Sperino ‘Rosa del Rosa’ Rosato Coste della Sesia, Piedmont 2019 750ML ($21.95) $18.80 pre-arrival special
Eric Guido-Vinous 93 points
“The 2019 Sperino Rosa del Rosa is stunning, opening to reveal depths of ripe peach and strawberry, with hints of cumin, ginger, dried orange, and roses. It floods the palate with silky textures, tugging at the cheeks as zesty acids settle in, then soothing through sweet liquid florals and ripe fruit. The finish is long, showing a hint of fine tannins, yet not austere; instead tactile, perfectly balanced with a hint of savory spice and just begging me to take another sip. This is a blend of Nebbiolo and Vespolina, which is gorgeous right now, but it may even get better with a little time in the cellar. Frankly, it was hard to put the glass down.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!



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Trending Wines

Re arrived. Pure joy from a joyous vintage!
Cameron Winery Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2018 750ML ($29.95) $27 special
Case-12 Cameron Winery Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2018 750ML ($369.95) $315 special (that’s only $26.25/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
: The 2018 shows more color and immediate impact than the 2017. (We’re extremely excited about the vintage.) Right out of the bottle, it’s well balanced and medium-bodied. It’s showing aromas of boysenberries, purple lilacs, and spice with a touch of black tea and a palate-cleansing astringency on the finish. John Paul declassified a few extra barrels of what would have made it into the Abbey Ridge bottling to be able to offer more Pinot at this price point (who knows where the economy is heading). Fortunately for you, we’re going deep and offering it for the lowest price in the USA. It’s the perfect case of wine for drinking now, next and later.

A serious wine for the price—this is bright, mineral and capable of laying down (if you can keep out of it).
Championship Bottle “Hard Promises” Pinot Blanc, Chehelem Mountains 2018 750ML ($24.95) $19 special, 15 bottles in stock now
Winery note
“Pinot Blanc is a cypher of a grape—so versatile that it reveals a lot about what a winemaker values.  It’s capable of being turned into wines across the stylistic spectrum, from pleasant, innocuous quaffers to broad, rich showy wines and everything in between.  Rarely, though, is it presented like it is here—steely and bright, with minerality allied to just enough texture to elevate the wine. Hard Promises was a wine that tried our patience, but ultimately rewarded our waiting.  From the long fermentation to the extended elevage in barrel (seventeen months), this wine required time to show its truest and best self. From a purely economic perspective, making a wine like this is a terrible idea—most winemakers see Pinot Blanc as a “cash-flow” grape. Yet with time and care, it rises beyond the assumptions of its origins to be compelling in its own right. In that sense, this might be the wine that best epitomizes what we do.”

Previously sold out.  Re-arriving Wednesday at the same spectacular price.
Vouette et Sorbee Cuvee Fidele Extra Brut, Champagne (2016) NV 750ML ($89.95) $54 pre-arrival special, ETA Wednesday, 5/27
No reviews for the 2016-base. The following are for reference.
2014-base review: Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 94 points “The NV Brut Nature Fidèle (R14) is a Blanc de Noirs from Pinot Noir on Kimmeridgian soils and is entirely based on the 2014 vintage. Disgorged in October 2017 the oak-fermented wine shows a golden-reddish apricot color and opens with a very delicate, floral and herbal yet intense and vinous bouquet of red fruits, with warm, dry earth and spices and just a hint of oak. Bone dry (of course), fresh and elegant on the palate, this is an impressively delicate and filigreed Champagne to be enjoyed as a still wine rather than a fizz. The finish is long, clear, dry and well-structured (even with fine tannins) and reveals discreet salinity. In fact, Fidèle drinks like a Burgundy-inspired Coteaux Champenois with very fine but not effervescent bubbles, persistent lemon juice and a touch of oaky flavors. Don’t use a flute to enjoy this young, gastronomic wine; instead, use a wine glass or one of the rounder, more voluminous Champagne glasses like the Lehmann Jamesse (which stresses the finesse rather than the vinous character). Don’t serve the Fidèle too fresh, either, but if you must, wait a bit and don’t worry if the wine is suddenly 12 or even 14 degrees Celsius—it’s still delicious and even more vinous then! (To be honest, when tasted at 15 or 16 degrees Celsius, I even got some Gewürztraminer notes (lychees) on the nose…!)”
2013-base review: Antonio Galloni 93 points “The amber-colored NV Brut Nature Fidèle is gorgeous. Lifted, precise and nuanced throughout, the Fidèle possesses a captivating aromatic. Medium in body and tense in style, the Fidèle is super-expressive today. It could use another year in bottle to soften a bit, but it is nevertheless striking.”
2012-base review: Antonio Galloni 95 points “The NV (2012) Extra Brut Fidele is another fabulous wine from Vouette & Sorbée. Here, the richness of Pinot Noir comes through loud and clear in the wine’s depth and overall richness. Creamy and beautifully layered throughout, the 2012 hits all the right notes. Red berry, mint, flowers, sweet spices and candy fill out the wine’s broad frame effortlessly. What a gorgeous wine this is. Simply put, the 2012 is a total knock-out.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $82

The legend and classic, back in stock at a great tariff.
Pierre Peters Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($69.95) $57 special, 12 bottles in stock now
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 91 points
“Disgorged in June 2019, the latest rendition of Péters’ NV Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Cuvée de Réserve offers up a lovely bouquet of citrus oil, pear, pastry cream, dried white flowers, hazelnuts and crushed chalk. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, fine-boned and elegant, with ripe but racy acids, a delicate pinpoint mousse and a long, saline finish. As usual, this is an immensely refined Champagne that exemplifies the timeless style of this Mesnil-based Chardonnay specialist.”
Antonio Galloni 90 points “The NV Cuvée de Réserve (base 2016) is absolutely delicious and also shows the greater natural harmony of 2016 vis-à-vis 2015. Creamy and open-knit, the 2016 will be easy to drink pretty much upon release, as it is a Champagne of absolutely exquisite balance. White orchard fruit, crushed rocks, flowers and mint all grace this sublime, wonderfully nuanced Champagne from Rodolphe Péters. Dosage is 6 grams per liter.”

Quentin Paillard’s wines always over deliver for the price.
Pierre Paillard ‘Les Parcelles’ Bouzy Grand Cru Extra Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($54.95) $39 special, 10 bottles in stock now
2014-base (XIV). Review provided for reference.
Wine Advocate 92 points “The NV Bouzy Grand Cru Les Parcelles XIII is based on the 2013 vintage plus roughly 40% of reserve wines from 2012, 2011 and 2010. The assemblage consists of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay, fermented in stainless steel and in a few demi-muids. The nicely colored wine (white gold with a pink reflection due to the late harvest and no fining agents) offers a very clear, precise and delicate bouquet of cherries and red berries. Pure and filigreed on the palate, this is a beautifully pure, clear, fresh and delicate blend that reveals impressive mineral structure and length. Simply fascinating. Dosed with 3.5 grams per liter and disgorged in October 2017. Tasted in April 2018.” 

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today for any vintage!


Staff Pick

The Forbidden Fruit of Hermitage

As far as I have been concerned, Hermitage was the forbidden fruit. Price points and availability have always kept me looking for other wines that over performed from less tony areas of the northern Rhone. I’ve been very lucky to have a number of friends who have shared their cellar stashes of well aged Hermitage that have shown beautifully, but I’d always ended up opening mine far too soon. I was determined not to open the Colombier Hermitage before its time, but recently my determination was pushed aside. Having made plans to open the wine a day early, I pulled the cork on a Friday evening and poured a small glass to open up a little headspace. My first impressions seemed to confirm my fears that the wine was not yet ready. The fruit had been destemmed so there was no wild character,  but the initial attack seemed too intense and concentrated, dense with dark fruit and spice. I walked away from even that small glass, coming back to it over the evening to stick my nose in from time to time. It stayed tight as a tiger until almost 3 hours later when the transformation started. All of a sudden the beautiful floral notes that I always detect in older bottles started to bloom. There was hope after all.

The next morning, I went back to the bottle to see what had transpired overnight and the progression was lovely. As I poured it that evening, there was a pronounced firm cherry note mixed in with the dark blackberry and plum. The acidity seemed more vibrant and the wine had a verve and jump to it. Knowing that their plots have more limestone I had hoped that there would be a lifted style to the wine, and I was not disappointed. Even the tannins seemed more fine and gentle than they had the night before. The finish was lengthy but not overpowering; just enough memory of what you’d just tasted to make you want another sip. I am so glad to have more of these in the stash. They will definitely hold for years, and now that my curious nature has been sated, I expect that they’ll stay in the cellar, but I am looking forward to the next excuse to enjoy them.

Domaine du Colombier Hermitage Rouge, Rhone 2015 750ML ($99.95) $79 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 97 points “
The 2015 Hermitage comes from the Les Doignières and Les Beaumes lieux-dits which are more clay and limestone soils. It’s another sensational Hermitage from this magical hillside that I wish every reader could taste. Cassis, damp earth, liquid violets and a liqueur of rocks-like profile emerge from this full-bodied, concentrated and powerful Hermitage, which has no shortage of extract or tannin. It’s for consumers with cold cellars and plenty of patience as it’s going to require at least 4-5 years of cellaring.”


Produttori’s Barbaresco

Freshly Restocked

In good vintages, there may be no better value on the planet than the Produttori del Barbaresco’s normale Barbaresco—and 2016 and 2015 are great vintages.  We sold through our stock of the 2016, but just brought more stock in.  Take advantage while it lasts (and grab some of the even-better-drinking-at-this-precise-moment 2015 while you’re at it.

Back In Stock:

Produttori del Barbaresco ‘Barbaresco DOCG’, Piedmont 2016 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95 points
“The 2016 Barbaresco is a tight and beautiful wine that will require more time to unwind and soften. This beautifully balanced vintage is characterized by a tight inner core of fruit that underlines the graceful aging capacity of these wines. The 2016 is shaping up to be one destined for long cellar aging. Now in its youth, the wine offers wild berry, rose and licorice aromas.”
Wine Enthusiast 95 points “Cellar Selection. Enticing aromas of violet, woodland berry, loose vineyard soil, wild mint and a hint of spearmint shape the intensely fragrant nose. The tense, young palate is still nervous but already boasts finesse, showing wild raspberry, crunchy red cherry, white pepper and star anise. Firm, refined tannins and racy acidity give it a linear, almost austere elegance, while bright acidity keeps it focused and balanced. Drink 2026-2036.”
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2016 Barbaresco is a stunning wine with tremendous richness for this bottling. Ample, deep and powerful, the 2016 exudes pedigree and class from start to finish. I can’t remember a straight Barbaresco here with this much fruit density and unctuous richness, and yet there is more than enough tannin and overall structure to give the wine its classically leaning feel. A blast of sweet red cherry fruit, tobacco, menthol licorice and smoke hits the potent finish. What a wine!”

Also in stock now:

Produttori del Barbaresco ‘Barbaresco DOCG’, Piedmont 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Produttori del Barbaresco ‘Barbaresco DOCG’, Piedmont 2015 1.5L ($99.95) $79 special
Wine Spectator 93 points
“Charming aromas of cherry, strawberry and rose are inviting in this red, with flavors to match, showing ripeness and focus. Earth and mineral elements chime in as this firms up, but the harmony is there and this should really sing in about five years. Best from 2022 through 2040. 23,333 cases made.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 93 points “I tasted this wine after bottling but before its commercial release. The 2015 Barbaresco will hit the market on September 1st. It was scheduled to be released in October, but because Produttori del Barbaresco is already out of stock of the ’14 Barbaresco, they decided to move this release up and shorten waiting times. I mention that because you definitely don’t want to pop the cork too early. The 2015 vintage opens to a visibly darker color and thicker concentration compared to recent past vintages. Next to the upcoming 2016 and 2017 editions, we can expect 2015 to be the most fruit-forward of the three. You get dark tones of plum and blackberry with dry tannins at the rear.”

Don’t forget!  One week until the 2015 Crus land!

You can see all of the great cru wines from Produttori
(from 2013, ’14 and ’15) in our web store!


Thanks for reading!