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2010 Barolo: Part I

The first batch of the 2010 Barolos have arrived!  Like the Barolo producers and the press, we are quite excited to be offering this spectacular vintage.  While we expect the bulk of the releases to arrive in the fall, this is a pretty tasty introduction to how good 2010 was and is.  With or without the exuberant press and lofty verbiage, this is a great time for wine fans, in general, and Barolo fans in particular: these wines are the real deal.  Why not come taste them at our wine bar July 10th and judge for yourselves!

“... Simply put, 2010 is the greatest young Barolo vintage I have tasted in 18 years of visiting the region and a lifetime of buying, cellaring and drinking these wines.” “As structured as the 2010s are, these aren’t your father’s (or mother’s) Barolos. In other words, the wines won’t take decades to become approachable.  Significant strides in viticulture and winemaking have made today’s young Barolos more approachable than they have ever been. For example, the 2008 Barolos, wines from another cool, late-maturing vintage, are surprisingly open today. Those wines may close down at some point in the future, but the days of needing to cellar Barolos for decades before they drink well is largely a thing of the past. The last vintage I can remember with truly forbidding youthful tannins is 1999.” - ANTONIO GALLONI... Vinous Media (January 2014)

 

VIETTI 2010  BAROLO CASTIGLIONE

ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - “The 2010 Barolo Castiglione is beautiful in the way it brings together the vibrancy of the year with a soft, inviting textural presence. Freshly cut flowers, mint, sweet spices, anise and red berries are all woven together nicely in the glass. With time in the glass, the wine blossoms with exquisite finesse, floral aromatics and exquisite overall balance. Ripe, silky tannins support the exquisite finish. An insanely beautiful wine, the 2010 will give readers a good idea of just how great the 2010 vintage is at Vietti. The Barolo Castiglione is made from a large number of parcels across the Barolo zone, many of which are of a high enough level of quality that they could be bottled separately. This is first-class juice.”

$41.98 750ml [303693] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

 

ANDREA OBERTO 2010 BAROLO

JAMES SUCKLING 95 POINTS - “Crazy aromas of dried berry, cedar, white truffle and handmade paper character. Full body, with perfect tannin texture and length. A wine that shows incredible depth and power.”

$39.99 750ml [301631] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

 

BOSCO AGOSTINO  2010 “NEIRANE” BAROLO

#5 on James Suckling’s Top 50 Barolo 2010
JAMES SUCKLING 96 POINTS - “What gorgeous aromas of sliced strawberries and flowers. Full body, with silky tannins and a fabulous intensity. Such incredible depth and length. Best ever from here. A small producer you should know. Better in 2016.”

$54.98 750ml [382061] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

 

BOSCO AGOSTINO 2010 “LA SERRA” BAROLO

#18 on James Suckling’s Top 50 Barolo 2010
JAMES SUCKLING 95 POINTS - “The perfumes to this wine are amazing with blueberry, cherry and raspberry character. Full body, with chewy tannins and a long and flavorful finish. A juicy and rich wine. Better in 2017.”

$67.98 750ml [382058] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

 

LUIGI PIRA 2010 “MARENCA” BAROLO

ANTONIO GALLONI 92-94 POINTS - “The 2010 Barolo Vigna Marenca bursts from the glass with massive dark red/black fruit, iron, smoke and sweet spices. Intensely ferrous and hugely tannic, the Marenca is endowed with serious Serralunga depth and structure. Even with all of its power, the Marenca always has an extra dimension of fruit, as it does once again in 2010. The Marenca is going to need a good few years to come together, but it is immensely promising."

$64.98 750ml [302807] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

 

RENATO CORINO 2010 “ARBORINA” BAROLO

ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - “Dark red cherries, mocha, licorice, new leather and menthol flesh out in the 2010 Barolo Arborina. Renato Corino has done a fabulous job taming the slightly angular tannins that are typical of the site. Mint, pine and savory herbs all add an attractive aromatic register on the finish. The 2010 is dark, rich, mysterious and totally seductive. Rarely has a young Corino Barolo been so translucent yet deep.”

$59.98 750ml [302817] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

 

MARIO MARENGO 2010 “BRICCO VIOLE” BAROLO

ANTONIO GALLONI 93+ POINTS - “Marengo’s 2010 Barolo Bricco Viole is endowed with stunning depth, energy and tension. A dark, violet-hued Barolo, the 2010 bursts from the glass with lavender, spices, new leather, tobacco, mint and wild flowers. The 2010 is bright and tightly-coiled, which is typical of this high-altitude site in cool vintages. Readers who can be patient will be rewarded with a superb Barolo. As always, the style is airy, lifted and precise.”

$54.98 750ml [302800] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

 

MARIO MARENGO 2010 BRUNATE BAROLO

ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - “Dark red cherries, plums, smoke, licorice and violets burst from the glass in the 2010 Barolo Brunate. Translucent, transparent, yet powerful, the Brunate shows all the signatures of this great site. Here, too, the wine clearly needs time, but the balance is unquestionably quite fine. In particular, the wine’s inner sweetness and pure perfume will thrill readers who like aromatically expressive Barolos.”

$67.98 750ml [302804] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

 

MARCARINI 2010 “LA SERRA”  BAROLO

ANTONIO GALLONI 91-93 POINTS - “Marcarini’s 2010 Barolo La Serra is laced with freshly cut flowers, mint, crushed rocks and red fruit. High-toned floral and spice notes abound in a bright, chiseled Barolo built for the cellar. The vivid, crystalline finish is particularly of note.”

$39.98 750ml [303137] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

 

MARCARINI 2010 “BRUNATE”  BAROLO

ANTONIO GALLONI 92-94 POINTS - “The 2010 Barolo Brunate is initially quite reticent, as young wines from this site often are. Cherry, plum, clove, menthol and pine notes unfold as the 2010 begins to show off its rich, dramatic personality. A rich Barolo bathed in fruit and tannin, the 2010 is going to need quite a bit of time to fully meld together, but all of the raw elements are there for that to happen. The resonant, enveloping finish is impossible to resist.”

$49.98 750ml [303138] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button


The Ventisquero Story
A New Star In Chile

Two years ago we discovered the Viña Ventisquero line from Chile.  At the time we wrote, “WOW, what a lineup-- pure, multi-layered wines at unbeatable values,” adding several wines across many price points.  At a recent trade show, we tasted the full line again and knew it was time to buy up, but this time we were most impressed with “the best of the best” selections from the “Grey” Gran Riserva tier and a few prestige bottlings.  Ventisquero owns over 4,000 acres across top growing areas in Chile, from Casablanca, Maipo, Apalta, and more.  The “Grey” wines represent the best blocks in the best vineyard from Ventisquero’s vast holdings.  Winemaker Felipe Tosso is a star in Chile, but for these higher tier wines benefit from the added assistance of consultant John Duval, famed as the man entrusted to make Penfolds Grange for over 20 years.  This collection is impressive and drinks well above their price tags that seem downright modest in the American market.

PLEASE JOIN US AT THE WINE BAR: FRIDAY, JULY 25th! Luciano Fiori Donoso will be visiting from Viña Ventisquero to taste these great wines with you.

 

VENTISQUERO “GREY” 2012  PINOT NOIR

The Leyda Valley is a tiny sub-zone inside the coastal San Antonio Valley that developed a reputation a decade ago as the first truly great spot for Pinot Noir in Chile.  The climate resembles Santa Barbara as the cold Pacific waters are just 5 miles away from this vineyard. Look for firm red currant fruit with raspberry, black plum, and blueberry-- pretty Pinot for sure.

$16.95 750ml [383110] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

 

VENTISQUERO “GREY” 2011 CARMENERE

This is one of a handful of great Carmenere wines from Chile that will turn heads with Cab drinkers.  The Carmenere grape was famously mistaken for Merlot in Chile and planted widely across the country for decades.  This mistake persisted until the 1990s, but Carmenere is tricky and slow to ripen, nothing like Merlot in the vineyard. Ventisquero told us they waited a full month after picking Cabernet to pick their Carmenere.  Their patience with this temperamental grape shows with a bold and fiery wine.  Blackcurrant and blackberry fruit plays off fresh cracked peppercorn, sweet tobacco and black chocolate.

$16.95 750ml [383199] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

 

VENTISQUERO “GREY” 2010 CABERNET SAUVIGNON

Again, the “Grey” Gran Riserva tier from Ventisquero show well above their price point.  It’s rare to say any Cab under $20 requires aging, but this has really benefited from an extra year in bottle.  The 2009 was a huge hit in our store and the 2010 is similarly impressive.  The entry here shows blackcurrant and brambly currant leaf character in a classic Cabernet vein mixed with blueberry, savory herbal spice and warm chocolaty oak.

$16.95 750ml [381544] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

 

VENTISQUERO “GREY” 2012 “GCM” (Garnacha-Cariñena-Mataro)

The Apalta Valley is a small dog-leg valley branching off the much larger Colchagua Valley, but it may be the most glamorous and desirable region in Chile right now.  Ventisquero’s parcel sits on a slope of exposed granite and river stones directly uphill from the famed Clos Apalta vineyard.  This Grenache-based wine shows the varietal’s core prettiness with pomegranate and exuberant red cherry. Zesty, mouth-filling, and purely delicious.

$16.95 750ml [383522] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

 

VENTISQUERO 2008 "VERTICE"

While Ventisquero’s Felipe Tosso and famed winemaker John Duval collaborate on all the Ventisquero wines from the “Grey” label on up, “Vertice” is their special project together.  “Vertice” comes from the steepest, highest two ridges of the Apalta Vineyard and combines equal measure of Carmenere (Felipe’s specialty) & Syrah (John Duval’s signature variety).  The result is a wine that is both inky and immensely full-bodied and graceful with surprisingly pretty notes of violets and boysenberry.  The stony, granite-based soils show most clearly in this wine with a long mineral finish and firm, fine-grained structure.

$34.95 750ml [383113] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

 

VENTISQUERO 2009 "PANGREA" SYRAH

As the former head winemaker for Penfolds, John Duval’s career has been spent making some of the finest Syrahs in the world and “Pangea” is his signature wine at Ventisquero.  The vineyard site is rocky and dramatic, chiseled row by row into the hillside.  The result is another level of winemaking in Chile-- yes, the wine is full and dark; suffused with blueberry, pepper, spice and black olive.  However, the nobility of the Syrah grape is also in notes of dried herbs, dried flowers, delicate red fruit and a haunting prettiness underneath the all that heft.  Some Syrahs miss these subtler notes, but John Duval brings it all together beautifully in this wine.

$54.98 750ml [383377] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button


Wine of the Month 2

GUERRIERI GONZAGA 2009 "TERRE DI SAN LEONARDO"

(Bordeaux-style blend), TRENTINO, ITALY
The history of the San Leonardo estate weaves across the centuries with tales of courtly marriages, knights and noble lords, medieval warfare, monastic seclusion,  trade in exotic silks and more.  In AD 588  the Principessa Teodolinda, daughter of the King of Bavaria married Autari, King of the Lombards within the walls of the property-- one of many such stories.  Winemaking has always been part of San Leonardo from the beginning, but Bordeaux-style wines based on Cabernet Sauvignon have been the obsession of owner Marchese Carlo Geurrieri Gonzaga for the last fifty years. Is there such a thing as an “old-school” Bordeaux-blend from the Italian Alps?  The estate’s flagship, simply called San Leonardo, has made a legendary name for itself in Italy, winning the prestigious Tre Bicchieri award 15 times, nearly every year it has been produced.  The current vintage of the top wine, 2006(!), is available here for $54.95 and enjoys 94WA rating.

The 2006 San Leanardo will age for decades. The lovely 2009 Terre di San Leonardo that we are offering here is a mirror image of that great wine, made in the tradition of Bordeaux’s second wines.  Look for blueberry and black cherry fruit blending smoothly with notes of cedar, forest floor, wild herbs and dried violet.  This is not a wine based on extract or power; the fruit retains a savory quality and never turns jammy or liqueur-like.  Fans of this great Italian estate will be excited to know that all of the best fruit from 2009 is blended into the 2009 Terre di San Leonardo—there is no flagship 2009 San Leonardo, only a better-than-ever 2nd wine.

$15.95 750ml [303611] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button


Republic of Georgia

TELIANI VALLEY 2012 SAPERAVI REPUBLIC OF GEORGIA

This dry red wine from the Republic of Georgia was made from the Saperavi grape variety. It offers aromas of cherry and cassis, followed by full, ripe fruit flavors. This will be a perfect match with various kebabs, lamb or veal chops. The Republic of Georgia is believed to be the place where winemaking first occurred.  It is a small country of about 5 million people on the eastern shore of the Black Sea in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. JSC Teliani Valley was founded in 1997 on the site of a 19th century winery in the village of Tsinandali, 79 km east of Tbilisi. It is currently one of the top producers of quality Georgian wine. While the company honors the long standing Georgian tradition of winemaking, it has been actively engaged in the modernization of its wine production.

$11.95 750ml [372376] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button


Sake

DAISHICHI MASAKURA JUNMAI GINJO 720ml

This Junmai Ginjo has a big boquet of tropical/stone fruits (mango, nectarine, papaya).  The palate is full of fleshy, stone fruit-like flavors, as well. Daishichi really nailed it on this one with a creamy, silky and very soft textured expression.  Layered and complex, this sake finishes medium-dry with lingering notes of rice and dried fruits.  This is very complex sake for the money: absolutely stellar! Masakura will pair with a variety of foods, from sushi to soba. Please imbibe this very special sake with a light chill.  Cheers, people!

$49.95 720ml [475200] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

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