Piedmont/“Piemonte”

“Mecca of Italian Wine”

Piedmont has more DOC zones than any other Italian region, and more history and nuance to its wines than could possible be summed up easily. Its most famous (and rightly so) wines (Barolo and Barberesco) center on the mysterious Nebbiolo Grape. Other key varieties include; (for whites) Arneis, Cortese, Moscato, (for reds) Dolcetto, Barbera, and of course Nebbiolo.

Barbera d’Alba

Barbera is best known outside Italy for being Piedmont’s second best grape, after Nebbiolo. The wine can be young and fruity, or dark and serious. Barbera d’Alba has the most complexity and power, along with a deep colour.

2014 FontanaFredda, "Briccotondo"    $30
2012 Viberti, "La Gemella"    $32
2013 Marcarini, "Ciabot Camerano"    $40
2014 Clerico, Barbera d’Alba “Tre Vigne”    $60
2014 Giacoma Conterno, "Cerretta"    $90
2011  Vietti, "Vigna Vecchia Scarrone"    $150

Barbera d’Asti

Barbera d’Asti is brighter in colour, with elegance and finesse. A more racy style than its counterpart. The grape’s high acidity and low tannins make it a very drinkable wine

2014Michele Chiarlo, "Le Orme"    $32
2015 Damilano, Barbera d'Asti    $35
2014 Marchesi di Gresy, Barbera d' Asti  $40
2012 La Spinetta, Barbera d'Asti "Ca di Pian"    $55
2013 Braida, "Bricco della Bigotta"    $100
2009 Prunotto, "Costamiole"    $100  RP 92

Dolcetto

“The Little Sweet One”
Cherry flavours are typical of Dolcetto: ripe black cherries on the nose and palate, and bitter cherries on the finish, which gives it an exciting twist. The grape Most Piemontese Dolcetto is fruity, easy drinking wine, making it the favoured everyday mealtime wine of the the Region.

2012 Clerico, "Visadi"    $40
2015 E. Pira, Dolcetto d'Alba    $42
2013 Altare, Dolcetto d'Alba    $45
2014 Marcarini, "Boschi di Berri"    $50
2015 Mascarello, Dolcetto d'Alba    $60

Nebbiolo

“The Grape of Piedmont”
The classic description of the scent of Nebbiolo is tar and rose, similar attributes to that of Pinot Noir. The straight Nebbiolo designation here provides a lighter, livelier, and less alcoholic rendition than its relatives (Barbaresco and Barolos) due to its very short (if any) barrel ageing. Mostly a bottle aged wine meant to be drunk young.

2013 La Spinetta, Langhe Nebbiolo (1/2 btl)    $38
2014 Damilano, Langhe Nebbiolo    $40
2015 Marchesi di Gresy, Langhe Nebbiolo    $45
2014 Clerico, “Capisme-e”    $60
2015 Cornarea, Nebbiolo d'Alba    $68
2013 La Spinetta, Langhe Nebbiolo    $70
2011  Altare, Langhe "Arborina"    $165  AG 96

Barbaresco

Made from 100% Nebbiolo. It is capable of lasting for decades. Even though the area is compact, wine styles can differ significantly between vineyards and producers. Required to age a minimum of 21 months, including 9 in oak before release. Not as austere, intense, or muscular as Barolo. Shows great finesse, warmth, and softness.

2013 Produttori, “Torre”    $75
2013 Castello di Neive, Barbaresco    $80
2012 Marchesi di Gresy, "Martinenga"    $100
2013 Cogno, "Bordini"    $100  RP 92
2013 Sottimano, "Pajore"    $110
2012 Bruno Rocca, "Coparossa"    $125
2011 Paitin, "Vecchia Vigne"    $130
2010 Marchesi di Gresy, "Camp Gros" Riserva    $180
2011   La Spinetta, "Starderi"    $255
2010  La Spinetta, "Valeirano"    $275
2012 Angelo Gaja, Barbaresco    $360
2008 Bruno Giacosa, "Asili"    $400  RP 95
2008 Bruno Giacosa, "Santo Stephano"    $400
2008 Angelo Gaja, Barbaresco "Sori Tilden"    $550

Barolo

“The Grand Crus of Barolo” 
Barolo is similar to Burgundy in that single vineyard designations (i.e “Crus”) are defined and prized. This “Cru” type system has evolved due to the varied soil types and exposures across the hill sites present in the area. In general, the hills can be divided into two zones; the “Central Valley” and the “Serralunga “Valley”, which can be further sub-dived into five “Communes”. The physical elements of each of these “Communes” provide each of the five with characteristics individual to themselves. Further, the micro climates vary even within communes. Thus, attributes within specific vineyard plots can vary greatly even though they rest within the same commune.

Barolo; “The Central Valley”
The Central Valley is comprised mostly of Tortonian soil. This soil tends to be fresher, more fertile, and rich in magnesium. These soil attributes create wines that more approachable with more fragrance, softness, and elegance. The Central Valley is further divided into its two sub-zones; the communes of Barolo, and La Morra.


Commune of “Barolo”
This village is the namesake of this appellation. Some of the most open sites are located in this commune, resulting in the broadest, most open, & youthful Barolos available.

2012Damilano, Barolo "Le Cinque Vigne"    $75
2011 Viberti, "Buon Padre"    $100
2011  Vajra, "Bricco Viole"    $110
2010 Michele Chiarlo, "Cannubi"    $180
2000 Fontanafredda, "La Villa"    $205
2011   Rinaldi, "Tre Tine"    $250
2006 Sandrone, Barolo "Le Vigne"    $270
2008 Sandrone, "Cannubi Boschis"    $285
2008 Damilano, "Cannubi Riserva 1752"    $455  RP 95

Commune of “La Morra”.
This area is considered to be the one where the most supple, seductive, and Pomerol like Barolos are produced. La Morra’s Barolos are the most velvety-textured and richly scented.

2011 Revello, "La Morra" (1/2 btl)    $38
2012 Pertinace, "La Morra"    $90
2012 Burlotto, (Verduno)    $95
2011 Aurelio Settimo, Rocche dell Annunziata"    $100
2012 Revello, "Giachini"    $105
2011  Marcarini, "Brunate"    $110  RP 91
2012Renato Ratti, "Marcenasco"    $100  RP 92
2011  Damilano, "Brunate"    $150
2012 Michele Chiarlo, "Cerequio"    $160
2011  Altare, "Arborina"    $180
2011  Vietti, "Brunate"    $265
2011  Rinaldi, "Brunate"    $265
2007 Roberto Voerzio, “La Serra”     $450   RP 95
 

Barolo; “The Serralunga Valley”
The Serralunga Valley is comprised predominately of Helvetian soil. This soil type tends to be less fertile, looser, and have high levels of iron and phosphorous. The result on the wines is more color (brick), body and aging potential. They tend to be Barolos that are more intense, higher in tannins, more structured with long aging potential. The zone is further divided into its three Communes; Serralunga, Monforte, and Castiglione Faletto.
 

Commune of “Serralunga”
More limestone is found in this hillside village’s vineyards than elsewhere, and for that reason the wines are often the most mineral dominated Barolos. These wines seem to combine the power and richness of Monforte, with some of the more seductive characteristics found in La Morra.

2010 Villadoria, Barolo     $80  WS 92
2011   Fontanafredda, Barolo     $100
2012Pio Cesare, Barolo di Serralunga    $125  RP 93
2010 Pio Cesare, Barolo di Serralunga "Ornato"    $180
2010  Massolino, "Margheria"    $175  RP 94
2008 Domenico Clerico, "Aeroplan Servaj"    $195
2008 Fontanafredda, Barolo "La Rosa"    $190  RP 92
2011  Vietti, "Lazzarito"    $265
2009 Giacomo Conterno, "Cascina Francia"    $325
2011  Giacomo Conterno, "Cerretta"    $370
2005 Giacomo Conterno, "Monfortino Riserva"    $740

Commune of “Monforte d’Alba”
Many Piedmont producers claim the longest-lived, big, bold, dark, and rich Barolos emerge from Monforte d’Alba

2011  Seghesio, “Monforte d’Alba”     $75
2011  Parusso, Monforte/Castiglione    $90
2012 Domenico Clerico, Monforte d'Alba    $105
2011  Pecchenino, "San Giussepe"    $100  RP 91
2008 Prunotto, "Bussia"    $135
2013 Elio Grasso, "Casa Mate"    $135
2009 Domenico Clerico, “Ciabot Mentin”    $160  RP 94
2010 Domenico Clerico, “Pajana”    $165
2011 Vietti, "Ravera" (Novello)    $265

Commune of “Castiglione”
The wines of Castiglione often show an intriguing combination of the floral qualities
that are the hallmarks of La Morra and the greater structure, power and age-worthiness that are typical of the Barolos of Monforte and Serralunga


2011  Vietti, "Castiglione" (1/2 btl)    $48  RP 94
2012 Paolo Scavino, Barolo    $75
2011  Vietti, "Rocche Castiglione"    $265
2008 La Spinetta, “Campe”     $270
2006 La Spinetta, "Campe"    $280
 

Langhe/Monferrato Rosso

A Classification developed to allow producers greater latitude in making a wine. It is used for anything that might not meet the criteria for a classic denomination (e.g. a Nebbiolo-Barbera blend). As in Tuscany, such a “SuperPiemontese” would probably be aged in French barrique rather than in the traditional botte.

2014 Braida, "Il Baciale" (Barbera, Pinot, Cab, Merlot)    $40
2012  Ferrando, “Canavese Rosso”  (Nebbiolo, Barbera)    $45
2009 Travaglini, Gattinara "Tre Vigne"    $85
2013 Domenico Clerico, "Arte"    $95
2010  Peliserro, "Long Now" (50/50 Blend)    $100
2011  Altare, "La Villa" (60% Barbera, 40% Nebbiolo)    $165  AG 96


Lombardy/“Lombardia”

2011   Nino Negri, Sfursat    $95
2005 Nino Negri, Sfursat 5 Stelle    $140


Veneto

Valpolicella

“Valley of Many Cellars”
A Basic Valpolicella (the non “Ripasso” or “Appasimento” styles) has a lighter style with crisp acidity and spicy cherry flavors. In the””Ripasso/Appassimento” style the light and fruity Valpolicella is made more complex by either being passed over the lees of just-fermented Amarone (“Ripasso”) or by the inclusion of a small amount of Amarone wine into the blend (“Appasimento”)

2013 Masi, "Bonacosta" Valpolicella Classico    $28
2013 Roncolato, "Santa Barbara" Valpolicella    $30
2011  Masi, “Campofiorin”    $32
2013 Le Salette, "I Progni" (Ripasso)    $60
2007 Zenato, Cresasso" (100% Corvina)    $100
2009 Dal Forno Romano, Valpolicella (“Appasimento”)     $160 RP 93

Amarone

“The Bitter, Sweet One”
The grapes are the same as Valpolicella, but only the most choice (i.e. ripest) bunches are used. These “choice” grapes are then dried on racks for a few months to concentrate, a process developed by the Romans called “appassimento”. The result of nature and man is a full, fruity, jammy wine with a slightly bitter twist on the end.

2011  Masi, "Costasera"    $100
2011  Roncolato, Amarone    $100
2007Masi, "Campolongo di Torbe"    $265
1967  Bertani, Amarone Classico    $500
2002 Dal Forno Romano, Amarone     $600  RP 94


Friulia

While it has enjoyed particular success with the Bordeaux varietals, its indigenous varietals—Refosco, Pignolo, and Schioppettino—seem to have international aspirations as well. While many regard Refosco as the leader of the trio, all three have been making their way back into the Friulian landscape. Schioppettino—Ribolla Gialla’s black counterpart—may be translated into a powerful wine of black fruit and spice that reflects kinship with a syrah from the Rhône.

2007 Villa Angoris, Refosco     $30
2010  Bastianich, “Vespa Rosso” (Refosco, Cab, Merlot)     $62  RP 91
2007 Jermann, “Blau & Blau” (Blaufankisch, Blauburgunder)    $85
2003 Petrussa, Schiopettino     $85
2006 Sant Elena, "Quantum" (Pignolo)    $90  AG 94
2005 Le Due Terre, Sacrisassi (Refosco, Schiopettino)    $115


Trentino/Alto-Adige

Trentino–Alto Adige’s extensive white varietal roster somewhat obscures its fairly long-standing commitment to reds—one that’s always been serious. Both are fairly active on the international front, with the Bordeaux triumvirate—Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot—receiving more attention. On the indigenous front, the rare Teroldego is quite prized, given its enticing profile of plush berried notes and a savory quality. Also interesting is Alto Adiges indigenous grape Lagrein.which is reknowed for its balance of the sweet and savory, Lagrein often delivers a rather pronounced and tannic character.

2014 Muri-Gries, Lagrein    $30
2011 San Leonardo, "Terre" (Cabernet, Merlot)    $40
2014 Abazzia Novacella, Pinot Nero    $48
2013 Foradori, Teroldego    $50


Tuscany/“Toscana”

Brunello di Montalcino

A rich, powerful, tannic, concentrated, and heady, with a huge, spicy bouquet of tobacco, meat, and dried red fruits. Made from 100% Sangiovese Grosso, This powerful wine is matured in oak casks for 2 years and 6 months in the bottle before release. Altitude is a crucial factor in the wines character.

The Central Zone
This central zone(also known also Montalcino) along with LaCroce just below it and Tavernelle to the west, forms the traditional heartland of the Brunello di Montalcino DOCG. These are among the most elevated zones, where the altitudes provide the perfect habitat for more perfumed and elegant wines of structure and longevity.

2011  Castiglion del Bosco, Brunello di Montalcino     $75
2011  Camigliano, Brunello di Montalcino    $95
2011  Barbi, Brunello di Montalcino     $100
2011  La Fuga, Brunello di Montalcino    $105
2011  Poggio Antico, Brunello di Montalcino    $135
2011  Poggio Antico, "Altero"    $135
2006 Camigliano, Brunello di Montalcino “Gualto”    $160  WS 94
2007 Costanti, "Riserva"    $220
2007 Fuligni, Brunello di Montalcino "Riserva"    $230
2010  Salvioni, Brunello di Montalcino    300
2008 Cerbaiona, Brunello di Montalcino    $340
2007 Biondi Santi, Brunello di Montalcino    $350

Northern Zone
“Where Ripeness Meets Structure”

This sub-zone has a moderated share in the warm, dry Mediterranean climate and high altitude of their neighbors to the south, and the slight differences in temperature, humidity, and elevation breed wines of both ripeness and structure.


2011 Siro Pacenti, "Pelagrilli"    $100
2010 Silvio Nardi, Brunello di Montalcino    $100
2010 Il Greppone Mazzi, Brunello di Montalcino    $105
2011  Frescobaldi, Brunello di Montalcino    $105
2006 Capanna, Brunello di Montalcino "Riserva"    $120
2010 Caparzo, Brunello di Montalcino "La Casa"    $145
2011  Casanova di Neri, “Tenuta Nuova”    $150
2010  Siro Pacenti, Brunello di Montalcino    $175
2003 Silvio Nardi, Brunello di Montalcino "Manachiara"    $175
2010  Altesino, Brunello di Montalcino "Montesoli"    $200
2006 Frescobaldi, Brunello di Montalcino “Riserva”    $215  RP 94
2010 Canalicchio di Sopra, Brunello di Montalcino "Riserva"    $250
2010 Valdicava, Brunello di Montalcino    $240  WS 96
2006 Valdicava, “Madonna del Paino Riserva”    $425  RP 96

Southern Zone
“Approachability on the Lower Slopes”

These vineyards are exposed to a more full-on Mediterranean climate that the rest of Montalcino, with sandier soils, less wind, and lower altitude. These factors contribute to a denser, less acidic, fruitier style of Brunello.

2012Piccolomini, Brunello di Montalcino    $100
2011  La Poderina, Brunello di Montalcino    $115
2012 Il Poggione, Brunello di Montalcino    $140
2012 Antinori, Brunello "Pian della Vigne"    $140
2011 La Ragnaie, Brunello di Montalcino    $140
2010 Castello Banfi, Brunello "Poggio alle Mura"    $160
2007 Fossacolle, Brunello di Montalcino "Riserva"    $160
2011 Giodo, Brunello di Montalcino  $165
1999 Castello Banfi, Brunello ‘Poggio alle Oro”    $290  WS 96
2010 Poggio di Soto, Brunello di Montalcino    $435

Chianti

Ever since the Iron Baron, Bettino Ricasoli, created the official "recipe" for Chianti back in the mid-1860s, the wine has undergone many changes. It can be a very bright, simple red (as served in a straw-covered flask, appropriately named a "fiasco or a massive, medium to full-bodied wine with earthy, spicy and violet notes. Composed mainly of Sangiovese and Canaiolo and/or Cabernet with occasional traces of the white grapes Trebbiano and Malvasia, each producer dictates a proprietary style. The Best Chianti Classicos are about grace. In comparison to other wines of the world they’re still angular and firm, rather than fat or muscle bound.

A Note on the Communes of Chianti-
As a general rule, the central sections of Chianti Classico zone (Panzano), the hills north of Greve, and the upper slopes of Radda, Castellina and Giole bring forth wine of relatively greater perfume and elegance, while the communes with lower average altitudes, like Barendega and Castellina produce wine of richer fruit and more depth.


2015 Certosa, Chiant DOCG  $36
2014 Gagliole, "Rubiolo" (Castellina)    $45
2013 Verrazzano, (Greve)    $48
2014 Antinori, "Peppoli"    $48
2014 San Giusto Rentennano, (Gaiole)   $60
2013 Fontodi, (Panzano)     $70
2013 Rampolla, (Panzano)    $75
2013 Querciabella, (Greve)    $75
 

Chianti Riserva

“Riservas” by law mean that the wine has been ages a minimum of 2 years and only the best grapes have been selected


2012 Monsanto, (Barberino)    $55
2013 Verrazzano, (Greve)    $75
2011  Felsina, “Rancia” (Berendenga)     $90
2012 Frescobaldi, "Montesodi"    $90
2010 Vicchiomaggio, "La Prima" (Greve)    $95
2008 Antinori, "Badia a Passignano"    $100
2011   Nozzole, "La Forra"    $100
2010  Castello di Fonterutoli, "Gran Selezione" (Castellina)    $110
2010 Nittardi, (Castellina)    $110  RP 92
2011  Fontodi, "Vigna del Sorbo" (Panzano)    $120  RP 95

Vino Nobile

100 % Sangiovese (Prugnolo Gentile Clone)
Vino Nobiles tend to have softer tannins than Brunellos and broader, less acidic profiles than Chianti Classicos- while maintaining the appealing aromas of the Sangiovese Grape. Vino Nobile strikes a balance between the more extreme Chiantis (to the North) and Brunellos (to the South).

2012 Poliziano Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (1/2 btl)    $32
2012 Del Cerro, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano     $40  RP 90
2013 Boscarelli, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano    $75
2011  Avignonesi, Vino Nobile "Grandi Annate"    $160

Rosso di Montalcino

100% Sangiovese (the Sangiovese Grosso or Brunello Clone)
“The lighter-styled (in comparison to Brunello) Rosso di Montalcino, sort of a younger, declassified Brunello (and usually a great value), was created so people could drink a more immediately accessible Montalcino wine while they waited for their Brunellos to age.”

2014 Silvio Nardi, Rosso di Montalcino    $45
2014 Fuligni, Rosso di Montalcino     $65
2013 Fossacolle, Rosso di Montalcino     $75
2014 Valdicava, Rosso di Montalcino    $85
2013 Costanti, Rosso di Montalcino    $90
2014 Salvioni, Rosso di Montalcino    $95

“SuperTuscan”

100 % Sangiovese
It is actually more traditional in Tuscany (specifically Chianti) to see Sangiovese blended with something else; Canaiolo, Cabernet, Syrah, Merlot, and many more. In fact, the original “recipe” of a Chianti required blending. The reason behind the blending was that on its own Sangiovese tended to be lacking in color with harsh acidity. With the advent of the “Italian Wine Renaissance”, quality oriented producers such as Felsina, Fontodi, Montervetine, and Isole e Olena began an exhaustive study of their Sangiovese, finding the best clones, techniques, and equipment for making quality “pure” Sangiovese wines. The wines below are the fruits of their labor, the proof of the nobility of the Sangiovese grape.

The most traditional styles emphasize the herb and bitter cherry flavours we have always associated with Chianti and other Sangiovese-based reds. The more modern (international) styles stress plum and mulberry flavours, rounder and richer wines principally through the use French “Barrique” casks.

2013 Le Pupille, Morellino di Scansano    $34
2008 La Spinetta, “Il Gentile”    $65  
2013 Giodo, Toscana IGT    $95
2011  Coltibuono, "Sangioveto"    $100
2010 Mazzei, "Mix 36"    $145
2010 Castellare, "I Sodi San Niccolo"    $150
2010 San Guisto a Rentennano, "Percarlo"    $175
2012 Fontodi, “Flaccianello Della Pieve”    $205
2004 Fontodi, “Flaccianello Della Pieve”    $280
2006 Fontodi, “Flaccianello Della Pieve”    $280
2006 Montevertine, "Le Pergole Torte"    $230

Sangiovese/Cabernet Blends
One of the original “Supertuscan” blends, behind only San Guido’s “Sassicaia”, the Sangiovese/Cabernet Blend seems to be a match made in heaven. Cabernet is the perfect grape to balance the high acidity and thinner nature of Sangiovese from the hills of Chianti, and in doing so adds perfume and complexity.

Sassicaia may have ignited the revolution, but Antinori's Tignanello set its course. Created in 1971, Tignanello was the first wine to combine Sangiovese with Cabernet. A controversial and risky move at the time, Antinori declassified their Chianti from his Tignanello estate in order to include Cabernet in the blend and to introduce the use of French Barrique Casks in Tuscan winemaking. Since its debut Tignanello has been joined by endless amount of Sangiovese/Cabernet Blends, from many different producers and in every possible percentage. Many are some of the most sought after wines of the World, the Antinori Solaia being considered by most to be the greatest (1997 earned the WineSpectators prestigious #1 wine of the year award!!

2014 Capezzana, "Barco Reale"    $36
2012 Capezzana, Carmignano    $65
2011  Antinori, “Tignanello” (1/2 btl)    $100
2012 Cabreo, “Il Borgo”    $105
2013 Gagliole, "Gagliole"    $110
2013 Antinori, “Tignanello” (85% Sangiovese, 10% Cab Sauvignon, 5% Cab Franc)    $170  RP 94
2007 Querciabella, "Camartina"    $255
2005 Antinori, “Solaia” (75% Cab Sauvignon, 20% Sangiovese, 5% Cab Franc)    $500  WS 95
2012 Antinori, "Solaia"    $500

100% Merlot
Pure merlot is a relatively recent phenonomena in Tuscany, however, few can argue with the quality of the results. The best Tuscan merlots seem to hail from the area called “Alta Maremma” which includes the famous sub-zone “Bolgheri”. Due to its maritime location (similar to that of Bordeaux), Merlot and Cabernet perform exceedingly well, making wines that rival and even surpass their Bordeaux counterparts as evidenced by their high ratings among professional tasters.

2012  Avignonesi, "Desiderio"    $100
2012  Antinori, "Cont Ugo"    $100
2007 Frescobaldi, "La Maione"    $130
2007 Argentiera, "Giorgio Bartholomaus"    $220
2011  San Giusto, "La Ricolma"    $235  AG 95
2011  Tua Rita, “Redigaffi”    $420  RP 95 

Sangiovese/Merlot Blends
In terms of blending with Sangiovese (especially Sangiovese from the Chianti zone), Merlot is valued for adding richness without dominating the blend in the way that Cabernet can.

2014 Luce, "Lucente"    $60
2014Sette Ponti, "Crognolo"    $75
2010 Certosa, "Clausura"    $95
2008 Frescobaldi, "Giramonte"    $190
2012 Luce, “Luce”    $200
2003 Fonterutoli, "Siepi"    $205

Cabernet
Aside from a Blending partner for Sangiovese, pure Cabernet based wines have been pivotal in the rebirth of quality Italian winemaking. Cabernet in Tuscany has a beautiful deep black currant and black cherry sweetness, and retains acidity even when alcohol runs high.

2010 Carpineto, "Farnito"    $60
2011   Mazzei, "Phillip"    $100
2013 Isole e Olena, "Collezione Privata"    $125
2013San Guido, "Sassicaia"    $380
2008 Castello di Rampolla, “Vigna d’Alceo” (85% Cab, 15% Petit Verdot)    $400* WS 96
2011 Castello di Rampolla, "Vigna d'Alceo"    $450
 

* Gambero Rosso Tre Bichierri Award

Cabernet/Merlot Blends
As in Bordeaux, the blending of Cabernet and Merlot provide for wines which tend to be relatively soft and seductive when compared to their strongly assertive pure Cabernet counterparts. Cabernet and Merlot perform exceeding well in Tuscany, especially in the Costal Zones (Bolgheri and Maremma) when conditions are almost identical to those of Bordeaux.

2012 Argentiera, “Villa Donoratico” (1/2 btl)    $32
2014 Piccolomini, "Ateo"    $40
2013 Argentiera, Villa Donoratico"    $65
2013 Argentiera, “Superiore”    $95
2014 San Guido, "Guidalberto"    $100
2013 Tua Rita, "Gusto di Notri"    $115
2012 Biserno, "Il Pino"    $120
2012 Frescobaldi, "Mormoreto"    $125
2005 Ornellaia, “Ornellaia” (375 ml)    $160
2004 Ornellaia, "Ornellaia"    $390
2012 Ornellaia, “Ornellaia”    $380

Sangiovese/Cabernet/Merlot Blends
As in Bordeaux, the addition of Merlots to the bigger Cabernet (and Sangiovese) provides more color and finesse. In essence the Merlot is used to soften the harder tannins and acidity present in the Cabernet and Sangiovese, making the wines more approachable in their youth.

2011 Castello di Rampolla, "Sammarco"    $150
2014 Sette Ponti, "Oreno"    $180
2001 Sette Ponti, “Oreno”    $230

Other Blends
2014 Argentiera, “Poggio ai Ginepri” ( Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah)    $48
2014 Argiano, “Non Confuditor”    $45
2015 Ornellaia, "Le Volte"    $60
2010 Querciabella, "Turpino" (Cab Franc, Syrah, Merlot)    $100
2013 Ornellaia, "Le Serre Nuove" (Cab, Merl;ot, Cab Franc, Petit Verdot)    $125
2012 Argiano "Solengo"    $135
2010 Nittardi, "Nectar Dei" (Cab, Merlot, Syrah, Petit Verdot)    $135
2013 Le Pupille, "Saffredi"    $150  RP 95
2009 Le Pupille, “Saffredi”    $175 

Other Grapes
2014 Piccolomini, "Fabius" (Syrah)    $55
2010  San Felice, "Pugnitello"    $100
2008 Poggiopiano, "Taffe Ta" (Colorino)    $230  RP 94
2006 Tua Rita, Syrah    $350


Umbria Lazio

Generally overshadowed by its Northern Boarder, Tuscany, Umbria’s winemaking production has begun in recent years to assert itself. Considered an area of great potential among Italian winemaking regions, significant investment has begun to sprout. Eventhough landlocked, Umbria receives the moderating effects of the sea (Due to the Tiber River creating a funnel effect that carries warm currents up form the Mediterranean). On the other hand, cool breezes flow down from the Apennines giving the area the critical push/pull of air critical in ripening grapes. Key wines include Sangiovese based wines, Sagrantino di Montefalco, and the white Orivieto.

Sagrantino di Montefalco

2010 Colpetrone, Sagrantino di Montefalco    $55
2010 Arnaldo Caprai, Sagratino di Montefalco    $105
2007 Arnaldo Caprai, Sagrantino di Montefalco “25th Anni”    $175

Other Varietals

2014 Trappolini, "Canereto" (Sangiovese, Montepulciano)    $30
2012 Principe Pallavicini, Syrah    $40
2007 Caprai, Anima Rosso (Sangiovese, Canaiolo)    $40
2010 Corte dei Papi, “Colle Ticchio” (100% Cesanese)    $40
2009 Salviano, "Solideo" (80% Cabernet, 20% Merlot)    $85
2013 Antinori, Pinot Nero (Pinot Noir)    $105
1997 Falesco, “Montiano” (100% Merlot)    $180  RP 91


Puglia · Puglia · Puglia

“Italy’s Value Play”

Always one of Italy’s biggest wine producing regions, Puglia has recently experienced a massive explosion of quality oriented wines. The primary catalyst for this quality movement has been an investment by Northern Italian producers attracted by the infinite potential of the region. While it continues to develop and realize its inherent potential, it is currently thriving in the high quality-to-value genre. Blessed with ample sun and excellent soils, it is home to an interesting array of indigenous Italian grape varieties; Primitivo, Negroamaro, Uva di Troia, Aglianico.

Primitivo

A forward meaty wine from Puglia. The ancestor to Zinfandel. Can have a taste and aroma profile as wide as Merlot. Generally a full, fruity wine with hints of pepper.

2013 Tormaresca, “Torcicoda” Primitivo    $45
2013 Castello Monaci, “Artas”   $70
2013 Gianfranco Fino, "Es"    $125

Other

2013 Cantele, Salice Salentino Riserva    $35
2011  Sule, "Susumaniello"    $45
2006 Tormaresca, “Maime” (100% Negroamaro)    $75*
2010 Cantele, “Amativo” (60% Primativo, 40% Negroamaro)    $80  RP 91
2013  Gianfranco Fino, "Jo" (100% Negroamaro)    $125

* Gambero Rosso Tre Bichierri Award


Campania

Campania’s volcanic soils yield wines of uncommon elegance and personality as expressed through the voice of an array of compelling indigenous varieties. Red production is dominated by the Aglianico grape with the Taurasi wine (often referred to as the “Barolo of the South) being the supreme expression of the late-ripening Aglianico. Over the last few decades much work has gone into reclaiming the ancient pre-phylloxera clones of Aglianico and the results have been striking. More recent efforts to fully understand the potential of Casavecchia and Pallagrello Nero point to significant potential as growers learn how to get the most out of these indigenous red varieties. In short, Campania offers one of the broadest palettes of wines around. At their finest, these are among the most extraordinary wines being made anywhere.

2012 Terredora, Aglianico    $32
2012 Ma Terr, Aglianico del Vulture (Basilicata)    $34
2010 Terredora di Paolo, Taurasi    $60
2007 Bisceglia, Riserva "Gudarra"    $65
2011  Sorrentino, "Don Paolo Aglianico"    $75
2010 Montevetrano, "Montevetrano" (Cabernet, Merlot, Aglianico)    $100 RP 92
2011  Galardi, "Terre di Lavoro"    $110
1998 Mastroberardino, Taurasi "Radici Riserva"    $135
2008 Feudi di Sangregorio, “Serpico” (Aglianico)   $160
 


Le Marche

Red wine production in Le Marche is almost exclusively dominated by the Montepulciano Grape. In fact its two main Appelations, Rosso Conero and Rosso Piceno major difference lies in the amounts of Montepulicano. Rosso Conero is predominately Montepulicano (and in fact can be 100%), whereas Rosso Piceno must include Sangiovese in the wine. Not to be outdone by its Tuscan counterparts the region has its “Super-Marche” bottlings again using the Montepulciano grape as its base with the likes of Cabernet and Merlot as partners. Umani Rochi’s “Pelago” being the one of the regions most celebrated blends.

2004 Le Terrazze, Rosso Conero Riserva “Sassi Neri” (100% Montepulciano)    $85


Abruzzo

The wines of Abrruzo are not only delicious, but in many cases remain reasonably priced as well. As in Marche, red wine production is dominated by the Montepulciano grape. The grape proves to be extremely versatile. When raised in large, neutral oak the flavor profile resembles that of Sangiovese, with plenty of red cherries, tobacco and earthiness, but with perhaps a touch more plumpness. Montepulciano can handle French oak as well, and the best of the more modern-styled wines are incredibly appealing. Best of all, Montepulciano is a great food wine. Abruzzo is home to Cerasuolo, which is possibly Italy’s most consistently outstanding appellation for superb, pedigreed rosés.

2012 Cerulli Spinozzi, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo    $38
2014 Cataldi Madonna, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo "Malandrino"    $45
2011 Caldora, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo "Yume"    $60


Calabria

 


Sardinia/”Sardegna”

2012 Santadi, Grotta Rossa (Carignano)    $30
2013 Sella e Mosca, Cannonau "Riserva"    $34
2014 Punica, "Montessu" (60% Carignano, Syrah, Cabernet, Merlot)    $60
2013 Punica, “Barrua” (85% Carignano, Merlot, Cabernet)    $100
2013 Santadi, "Terre Brune" (Carignano)    $130
2011 Argiolas, “Turriga” (Cannonau)    $120 RP 93


Sicily/”Sicilia”

Referred to by many as the “California/Australia” of Italy, Sicily has burst on the scene as one of the hottest new frontiers in Italian winemaking. Until quite recently, there was really no history (not for reasons of terroir, but rather politics) of quality production. But things have changed quickly, and dramatically. There has been a huge surge in private investment attracted by the inherent potential of the land. Accordingly, there is unrivaled experimentation, winemakers not bound by tradition, but rather on innovation.

Nero d’Avola

2015 Cassara, "Cannitu"    $32
2013 Gorghi Tondi, "Coste a Preola"    $38
2013 Riofavara, "Eloro"    $40
2014 Feudi Maccari, "Saia"    $60
2009 Donnafugata, "Mille una Notte"    $140

 

Native Varietals

2013 Terre Nere, “Etna Rosso” (Nerello Mascalese)    $38
2015 Planeta, Cerasuolo di Vittoria    $38
2011  Giovi, "Etna Rosso" (Nerello Mascalese)    $75
2009 Cottanera, Etna Rosso  $80

International Varietals/Blends

2010  Ceuso, Sicilia "IGT" (Nero d'Avola, Cabernet, Merlot)    $70
2007 Feudi Maccari, "Maharis" (Syrah)    $100  RP 92


Reserve List

(Limited Quantities)

Piedmont

2009 Vietti, Barolo "Lazzarito"    $265
2004 Paolo Scavino, Barolo “Carobric”    $280
2005 La Spinetta, Barbaresco "Valeirano"    $295
1998 Paolo Scavino, "Bric del Fiasc"    $350
2005 Roberto Voerzio, "La Serra"    $400
2004 Bruno Giacosa, Barolo "Faletto di Serralunga"    $450
2000  Roberto Voerzio, "Brunate"    $450
2005 Giacoma Conterno, "Monfortino Riserva"    $740

Tuscany

1997 Falesco, "Montiano" (Lazio)    $180
2000 Fattoi, Brunello    $210
2001 Siro Pacenti, Brunello    $250
1999 Banfi, Brunello "Poggio alle Oro"    $290
1990 Banfi, Brunello "Poggio alle Oro"    $275
2004 Fontodi, "Flaccianello"    $300
1997 Livio Sassetti (Pertimali), Brunello    $300
2006 San Guido, "Sassicaia"    $525
2001  Tua Rita, "Redigaffi"    $600
1997 Rampolla, "Vigna D'Alceo    $680
1997 Ornellaia, "Masseto"    $1500