- Item #: i_302189Bottle Size: 750mlPRACTICING ORGANIC
ANTONIO GALLONI; VINOUS 96+ POINTS - "The 2016 Barolo Gavarini Chiniera is a vibrant, massively tannic, austere wine, the likes of which I have never tasted here before. Vertical and explosive in the glass with tons of pure power, the 2016 Gavarini Chiniera is a gorgeous Barolo that is going to need a number of years to be at its best. Swaths of tannin wrap around a core of sweet red cherry fruit. White pepper, mint, orange peel and floral notes develop a bit later, but the 2016 remains reticent and inward, with brilliant acids and tannins that dominate today. The 2016 is a striking wine, but it is going to require considerable patience."
- Item #: i_301926Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 96Wine Spectator: 96WINE ADVOCATE 96 POINTS - "I tasted this wine over two sittings, one at the winery and one at my home office a few weeks later. Although I can't claim any extraordinary differences between the two sessions, I noticed a few minimal shifts that are essential to understanding the wine's future aging ability. The 2016 Barbaresco starts off slow at first, showing a small margin of aromatic evolution in the glass. But come back two hours later, and you can almost hear the soft sounds of the symphony playing just below the surface. The 2016 vintage is characterized by the solid intensity and firmness of its aromas, which transcend fruit and veer toward balsamic herb, licorice, tar and smoke instead. The tannins offer a moment of sweetness and softness, before you are aware of their undeniable firmness. In all, there is a certain glossiness or satiny quality to the mouthfeel that underlines the wine's carefully crafted integration. I would describe this as a classic and also a somewhat austere Barbaresco that fully deserves extra cellar time to stretch those tight muscles and grow in volume. This wine will award those who wait."
WINE SPECTATOR 96 POINTS - "This gorgeous red evokes rose, strawberry, raspberry and cherry fruit, shaded by tobacco, tar and wild thyme notes. Pure, sleek and intense, with a firm base of tannins and vibrant acidity for support. This should evolve beautifully. Be patient.
- Item #: i_301822Bottle Size: 750mlWINERY NOTES - "The olfactory sensations are very delicate including blackberry and plum in the beginning and warmly vinous in the end. Savory minerality and acidity are in the foreground of this wine that does not hide its flavor intensity."
Aged for 8-9 months in a mix of barrique and large older oak casks.
- Item #: i_301104Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 98The Antinori family of Florence needs little introduction and is one of the world's oldest and most distinguished wine producers. The Antinori’s respect traditions yet possess a dynamic and innovative spirit. Guado al Tasso is the flagship wine of the estate, showcasing amazing power, elegance, and balance, which make it one of the most sought after wines in the world.
WINE ADVOCATE 98 POINTS - "This stunning vintage of this landmark wine marks a slight adjustment to the blend. The 2016 Bolgheri Superiore Guado Al Tasso is no longer made with Petit Verdot. The blend is now 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and now 20% Cabernet Franc. This small change does not go unnoticed, as this wine is absolutely seamless now—like the finest Asian silk fabric. That profound textural softness and suppleness changes the way the wine smells and tastes, with hints of momentary sweetness that are more tactile than anything else. Generally speaking, the 2016 vintage offers more elegance (slightly less concentration) and a hair more freshness compared to the 2015 edition. When I tasted this wine, the bouquet was still timid, but it will no doubt become more expressive and open as this beautiful wine continues forward along its aging trajectory. Some 120,000 bottles were made, a remarkable feat considering the extreme quality on offer."
- Item #: i_301557Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 94James Suckling: 9490% Sangiovese, 10% Canaiolo & Colorino
WINE SPECTATOR 94 POINTS - "This is packed with black currant, black cherry, floral and juniper aromas and flavors. The tannins are assertive, matched to bracing acidity and a touch of heat. A bit boisterous today, but this should settle down nicely over time."
JAMES SUCKLING 94 POINTS - "A fresh and bright red with sliced-orange and black-cherry aromas and flavors. Medium body. Tight and compact. Long and flavorful finish. Will age beautifully. "
- Item #: i_305799Bottle Size: 1.5LMontevertine is situated in the heart of the Chianti district about halfway between Florence and Siena, specifically 3 kilometers or so south of Radda in Chianti. Documents attest to the fact that the hilltop hamlet of Montevertine was first inhabited in the 11th century as a rural defensive fortress. There are traces of the original construction on the site today. Sergio Manetti acquired Montevertine in 1967 as a vacation home for his family. Once there, Signor Manetti planted two hectares of vineyards and built a small cantina with the idea of producing some wine for family and friends. The first vintage produced and bottled under the supervision of Signor Manetti was 1971 and was received with great praise for its quality. Shortly thereafter, Signor Manetti abandoned his principal activity to devote himself to producing wine at his magnificent estate. Having recognized the importance of the Sangiovese grape, Signor Manetti crafted his wines with an almost exclusive reliance on that grape variety. By 1981, due to Signor Manetti’s refusal to incorporate Trebbiano into the Montevertine blend, Montevertine left the Chianti Classico consortium, thereby forgoing the Chianti Classico denomination. In time the consortium recognized the wisdom of Manetti’s stance but Montevertine remains outside the consortium, simply labeling its wines “Rosso di Toscana”. Because of these circumstances, Montevertine is frequently, but erroneously, included in the category of “super-Tuscan” wine. In fact, Montevertine’s policy of strict reliance on Sangiovese with a small complement of Colorino and Canaiolo is in direct contradiction to the approach of the “super-Tuscan” group of wines which purposely include non-local grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot in their blends. Despite the formal lack of the appellation, Montevertine is one of the rare examples of a true Chianti Classico.
- Item #: i_303984Bottle Size: 750ml70% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, and 5% Cabernet Franc
GAMBERO ROSSO ITALIAN WINES 2019 RED OF THE YEAR!
"The Carmignano Riserva [from Piaggia] is simply the best of the appellation." - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
"If there is one estate that embodies the potential of Carmignano, Piaggia just might be it." - Antonio Galloni; Vinous
Every Fall we look forward to seeing what Italy's most prestigious wine publication, Gambero Rosso, considers to be the top Italian wines available in the coming year. For 2020, one of those wines is the Piaggia 2016 Carmignano Riserva because they honored it with the coveted top red wine award! However, with the limited availability and mere $39.98 price tag, it might not make it far into the year.
It needs to be mentioned that Carmignano is no newcomer; it's one of Tuscany's most historic wine appellations (but also one of its smallest). Tuscan legend has it that when Catherine de' Medici of Florence was to be married to King Henry II of France in 1533, they exchanged gifts-the Medici family gave the French forks (which were already widely used in Italy, but unknown in France); and the French gave the Medicis Cabernet Sauvignon vines, which were subsequently planted in their vineyards at Carmignano! Even at that time, though, the wines of Carmignano were already quite famous-documents going back all the way to the 14th century portray them as the most highly-prized and expensive wines in Florence. And it's no wonder. Protected from the cold of the north by the Apennines, and from the vagaries of coastal weather by the Montalbano hills, it's a perfect growing area for the Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc that contribute to the blends here.
The Carmignano Riserva is the flagship wine of the Piaggia winery, which is a fairly small family-run operation founded by Mauro Vannucci and now run by his daughter Silvia. The grapes are sourced exclusively from the family's 50-year-old vines in the 2.5 hectare Piaggia cru, with the final blend being 70% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc (the Cabernet varieties come from cuttings at Chateau Lafite Rothschild). In line with the French influence, aging occurs in small French oak barrels for 18 months, with the great majority being previously used so as not to dominate the fruit. The wine is neither fined nor filtered, which keeps its complex character intact. The result is a full-bodied wine with velvety, ripe tannin and a beguiling perfume combining ripe fruits like blackcurrant, dried cherry, and raspberries, with notes of orange peel, sweet spices, tobacco, and cocoa
At $39.98, this is another great value, but we were only able to get in 5 cases of this true Italian gem, so get it while you can!
- Item #: i_301972Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 95Wine Enthusiast: 95 PointsWe're excited to announce the arrival of the 2016 Barbaresco from the historic Produttori del Barbaresco, which is a perfect introduction to the beauty of Nebbiolo, the Barbaresco terroir, and the character of this wonderful vintage. The 2016 growing season was another great year for Nebbiolo grapes in the region, creating contrasts with the open, fruit-driven 2015s. There are the powerful aromas and flavors of wild red fruits (think red currant, raspberry, and cherry), the rose and violet, and the spices like anise and white pepper, all to be expected in a classical Nebbiolo. But in 2016, there is a notable finesse in how those flavors come across the palate, and in how they interplay with the wine's structure; the firmness of the fine, enshrouding tannin and the racy spine of acidity make this a serious wine.
Delicious now with an hour decant, the 2016 Produttori del Barbaresco will continue to soften and evolve over 20 years if you choose to put a few in the cellar. This kind of wine is perfect with flavorful, complex and slightly rich dishes like mushroom risotto, ragu' (meat sauce) with polenta or pasta, roast lamb, and moderately aged cheeses (nothing too sharp).
The Produttori del Barbaresco is historically important in Piedmont, but it's also a rare example of a cooperative of growers making superlative wine. Before 1894, the Nebbiolo grapes grown in the village of Barbaresco in the north of Italy were sold to the neighboring village of Barolo. It was then that Domizio Cavazza, of the Royal Enological School of Alba, created the first cooperative with nine Barbaresco vineyards, and made this unique and pure expression of the grape from his native village. He recognized the singularity of the terroir here, and the tradition of Barbaresco was born.
125 years later, the wines from the Produttori del Barbaresco cooperative are recognized as being among the greatest expressions of the Nebbiolo grape on the planet. Fifty families, each with generations of knowledge and passion, work together using their collective 250 acres to make the numerous single vineyard reserve bottlings as well as the wine we're featuring, their flagship "classic" Barbaresco. The key distinction is that the "classic" Barbaresco is made from a selection of younger vines from various sites, and is crafted to reflect the growing season in a balanced and approachable fashion.
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."
- Item #: i_302967Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 95Vinous Media: 93PRACTICING ORGANIC
WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "The Fausoni zone provides sandy and clay soils, and you get more power here than from the other locations. These vines are 35 to 40 years old, and the 2016 Barbaresco Fausoni lets fly those menthol notes that are so characteristic of this vineyard in Neive. Slightly more balsamic in its aromatic profile than the other Barbarescos, this expression of Nebbiolo, sitting sur lies for two years, shows a very different tannic feel in a wine that offers surprising freshness and purity. Those minty Neive notes, its direct and linear nature, plus the very precise and sharply managed tannins make this cru a winner in my book. Some 6,000 bottles were made."
ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "Crushed raspberry, rose petal, orange peel and mint lift from the glass in the 2016 Barbaresco Fausoni. Gracious and exquisitely beautiful, the 2016 is a wine of total class. Perfectly ripe, sweet tannins add to an impression of finesse. The 2016 is vivid, translucent and incredibly expressive, with a slightly darker tonality of fruit than the 2015 tasted alongside it."
- Item #: i_301295Bottle Size: 750mlCERTIFIED BIODYNAMIC/ORGANICALLY FARMED
The estate’s 40 acres of vineyards are certified organic (ICEA) and certified biodynamic (Demeter), surrounded by olive trees and nearly 200 acres of forestland. (The farm produces organic olive oil and organic honey, too.)
Excellent concentration, which is already visible in its deep ruby colour with crimson reflections, an indication of youth. The intense bouquet is reminiscent of spices and ripe fruit. Rich and full bodied on the palate with intense fruity aromas which give the wine its excellent enduring characteristics. The fresh structure is supported by the good content of mature, balanced tannins.
A blend of Sangiovese, Merlot and Syrah