de Bernard Cuvee Prestige Millesimato Prosecco ($13.99)
From the producer:
"Tasting notes: very clear, pale straw-yellow tending to green, with a fine and persistent fizz.
The aroma is intense, persistent and fruity, exceptionally refined, with dominant notes of ripe golden apples and banana.
This medium sweet, fresh wine is pleasantly light and low in alcohol. It is also very soft and balanced with a long fruity finish.
Serving recommendations: best served at a temperature of 5-7°C, pouring immediately after removing the cork.
Recommended with: excellent as an aperitif. Goes well with fruits and delicate salty foods."
This is a bit unusual in that the producer is actually a Grappa specialist who also only makes Prosecco and no other wine. Though it has a little residual sugar, it still drinks fairly dry, and wow, does it go down easily! It's a nice example of a slightly more elegant Prosecco.
Goretti Grechetto ($17.99)
From the producer:
"Goretti cellars have always been at the forefront of environmental protection.
Every business choice is inspired by obtaining the best quality of the grapes without undergoing excessive stress neither the vine plant nor the soil.
The cellars do not produce certified organic products but have always paid attention to the environmental impact that the winemaking production of companies can have, knowing that to make the difference of the products is the protection of their territories from which the vines are born and grow.
Environmental sustainability is therefore intended for Goretti wineries as the best way to transfer to a new generation a company and a territory that is not impoverished and excessively exploited but still rich in natural and human resources.
On 9th July 2013 the Goretti wineries received the Cifo prize “excellent footprints: sustainable agronomic techniques for a valuable viticulture”, dedicated to good environmental practices in the vineyard and in the cellar.
As evidence of the continuous search for innovation in respect of the environment, the cellars continue to invest in renewable energy through a photovoltaic system and operating in the local market with 100% electric means.
light straw-yellow with faint greenish reflections
deep and elegant with fruit notes, in particular,
on the nose, are notes of pineapple, banana, yellow peach, Scotch broom flowers and almonds
fresh and full flavoured. Well-balanced with lingering
HOW TO SERVE, SERVE WITH
as an aperitif, excellent with many dishes, fish and white meat."
This is one of Sage's growing list of wines made from an indigenous varietal. It is fresh with a little body and a distinctly fruity character. The acidity and minerality keep it lifted on the palate and the finish lingers. Sauv Blanc drinkers will especially appreciate this style of wine.
Querciavalle Chianti Classico Riserva ($24.99)
From the producer:
"Since the year of the wine estate establishment in 1954, the Riserva Querciavalle has always been considered as one of the most representative wine of the Losi family’s production. Appreciated also by the most demanding customers for its excellent quality, this wine represents the real authentic expression of Chianti Classico appellation.
Wine making: Fermentation in stainless steel tanks at a controlled temperature lower than 27° for about 15-20 days, which is the average suitable time for extraction from the skin of colour, polyphenols, tannins and other typical features of Chianti Classico. After alcoholic fermentation, the wine is placed in cement-vitrified tanks for the second fermentation, until the malic acid gets totally exhausted. Only at this moment, the wine will be ready for ageing in wood Aging: 24-30 months in 53 hl Slavonian oak casks Refining: an additional rest in bottles for 3-6 months before merchandising further enhances Chianti Classico aromas and flavours.
Bottles produced: 15,000
Colour: brilliant deep ruby red, tending to garnet with aging
Bouquet: intense, fine and charming, recalling ripen fruit, berries and vanilla;
Flavour: warm and harmonious; elegant noble tannins, dry, complex and with long-lasting finish
Serving Suggestions: T-bone steak, lamb, wild boar and wild game"
The first time I tasted this wine, I didn't have strong feelings about it. Chianti is not my favorite, so I struggle a little with choosing which to sell in the shop. The second time I tried it, I was lucky enough to be dining with Francesco and Valeria Losi (daughter of the winemaking family and head of international sales). Over several courses we tried all of the brand's wines, and when I had the Chianti Riserva paired with food (specifically pork osso bucco), it was a revelation. It's no secret that a great pairing will bring out the best of the food and the wine, but this Chianti really demands to be enjoyed with a meal. You can appreciate it on its own, but a hearty, fatty, rich dish will really let it shine.
Bodegas Bleda Pino Doncel 12 Meses ($22.99)
From the producer:
"Made with a selection of Monastrell and Syrah grapes from our vineyards, this wine is aged at least twelve months in select French and American oak barrels. It has great aromatic intensity, complex on the nose and balanced on the palate. It is fruity and fresh, with mature tannins that give it volume and richness, as well as a long finish. A wine that always leaves you wanting more!
Monastrell (red-wine grapes with small, tightly bunched clusters) is the variety that best adapts to the conditions in Jumilla, as it needs a warm climate to ripen properly and tolerates the lack of rain very well. It ripens very well, given the ease with which both sunlight and air can penetrate its scarce foliage. The many hours of sunlight and abrupt temperature changes, with hot summer days and cool nights plus intensely cold winters with temperatures often dropping below freezing at night, give the Monastrell grapes a high concentration of essential components, allowing us to make powerful, deeply coloured wines with great structure and aromatic complexity.
Monastrell vines are not irrigated and require large swaths of land, as it is a low-yield grape that is harvested by hand in a “back-breaking” process.
Monastrell, in general, doesn’t need phytosanitary treatment, as it is highly resistant to cryptogams. The dry, arid climate of the region also helps in this regard. So, we can grow the grapes organically without any of the much-feared infestations vines are prone to in damper areas.
Color: deep cherry. Aroma: Sweet spice, ripe fruit. In mouth: Complex, ripe tannins, long finish."
If you are a California Cab or Old Vine Zin drinker, try this wine. It's big and bold, smooth on the palate, rich, and long-lasting. This wine is more elegant than others that I've had from the area, perhaps due to the addition of the Syrah, which gives it some backbone and keeps it from being a fruit bomb.
Fattoi Brunello di Montalcino 2008 ($69.99)
From the producer:
"A life and a passion devoted to agriculture …A life that has its roots in a strong and generous territory, the territory of Montalcino.
…A life that the Fattoi family has always dedicated with absolute self-denial, enthusiasm and professionalism, to the production of wine and olive oil that have made Montalcino famous world-wide.
Ageing: 4 years total, 2 in oak casks and tonneaux
Bottle ageing: 4 months at least
Average yearly production: 20.000 bottles of 0,750 lt.
The wine is visibly limpid, brilliant, an intense ruby red color, with reflections of garnet.
intense, persistent, full and ethereal, revealing the aromas of spices, forest floor, small red fruit and rich perfumed roses.
The wine is elegant, harmonious, with long aromatic persistence, balanced tannins and well rounded, with a dry and persistent finish
18° C. It is advisable to uncork the bottle at least 2 — 3 hours before serving. The wine benefits from being decanted in order to aerate the wine. Serve in crystal balloon glasses.
Recommended food accompaniment:
Red meats, game, mushroom and truffle dishes, aged cheeses such as Parmigiano Reggiano and Tuscan Pecorino. An excellent wine for meditation."
The pricing on this wine reflects that it is a 2008 (a very good vintage for Montalcino), but at the same time, the age and quality make this a fair bargain. This wine is approachable now, but will drink well over the next five years, though I am partial to opening now and enjoying it! Elegant, soft tannins prevail, but there is enough structure here to balance the dark red fruit and mild baking spices. A subtle earthiness underlies the fruit. This is a beautiful wine.