Dolcetto D’Alba, Bruno Giacosa 2016

Stumbling upon any of the late Barbaresco genius Signor Giacosa’s bottlings for under  30 at a wine shop should get a whole bunch of neurons firing in the brain of any wine lover. This beauty of a Dolcetto lives up to all the hype that comes with the name on the label. Deep ruby color with bright reflections. Blue and black frutti del bosco meet woodsy aromas of underbrush, mulch and drying violets. Medium-bodied, very dry but lush with fresh berry fruit, velvety tannins and a mouthwatering acidity. The finish is long and slightly bitter, making this an ideal food wine. Pair with churrasco-style hangar steak, sausage and peppers, firm cheeses and cassoulet. W.M.

Chablis Domaine Vocoret

Vintage 2014, four-generation winemaking family in Chablis. This is as classic as it gets; high-toned and racy with bracing acidity and long, lip-smacking mineral finish. Developing a medium-lemon color in its adolescence. You can definitely feel the cool ’14 vintage’s effects with lean fruit and green apple freshness, but there is plenty of weight and leesy texture to provide some tension on the palate. The nose offers orchard fruit, flint and shells, with the subtlest hint of baked bread. This one will age well for at least 7-8 years. A real winner for $21 at the shop. Enjoy with almost any food: raw bar items, broiled lobster, bouillabaisse, braised pork shoulder with apples, as well as anything rich, fried or cheesy. W.M.

Les Dionnieres Hermitage 2015

Decant this one for an hour or two before drinking; at this point in its development it needs time. Complex bouquet of blueberry/blackberry jam, cured meat, violets and dark chocolate. New oak is evident. Medium-full-bodied, velvety and spice-laden. Dark, brooding and tightly knit on the palate. Drinks great in its youth but will cellar very nicely. W.M.

Villa Rosa Barbaresco 2013

Bright, pale cherry red in the glass. Pretty yet intense aromatics of brambly red berry fruit, mushroom, rose and underbrush. Full bodied and structured with classic Nebbiolo acidity and length. Perfect use of oak; softens the texture and frames the fruit nicely without masking its purity with vanilla and clove aromas. Long finish. Gorgeous. Pair with white truffle pasta. 🙂 W.M

Barbaresco Moccagatta 2011

Medium-concentrated garnet color with long, slow-forming legs. This is as “modern” as it gets in stately Barbaresco. Intense aromatics, dominated by sweet oak, coffee and cedar, but also showcasing raspberry jam, morello cherry, anise and moss. Big, rich and mouth-coating, with grainy tannins and a long warming finish remeniscent of mint and bitter herbs. This is wine meant for slow-roasted meats and cream sauce pasta. This definitely puts the lie to the myth that Barolo is always the bolder of the two famous Piedmont Nebbiolo appellations. W.M

Chablis Villes Vignes 2016, Domaine George

The Estate’s Petit Chablis is made from a plot with Portlandian soil of aged limestone that lies in the shadow of the great Montmain vineyard. The Chablis, Vieilles Vignes and Montmains ‘Butteaux’ wines are grown in Kimmeridgian soils comprised of limestone, clay and marine fossils (from the area’s history as a sea floor). 
VARIETAL: 100% Chardonnay
VINEYARD: 50 year old vines; in Courgis, considered one of the most mineral areas of Chablis, with Kimmeridgian soil (Jurassic period)
WINEMAKING: Traditional fermentation with native yeast in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks
AGING: 12-18 months in stainless steel
TASTING NOTES: Pale yellow color with green reflections. Clear and pure nose that develops as the wine ages. The mouth is well balanced with the typical minerality of Chablis well represented. 

Chateau Haut Brion 2003

The Bordeaux wine region is located in the southwest of France, with the city of Bordeaux as its business center. The success of Bordeaux are its geological foundation of limestone with a lot of calcium, the soil is composed of Gravel (left bank), sandy stone and clay (right bank) and the affluence of the Gironde river and its tributaries, the Garonne and the Dordogne rivers bringing with their waters an Oceanic influence.

These rivers define the areas where Bordeaux is made:

  • The Right Bank: is located right of the Dordogne river close to the city of Libourne. The main grape here is Merlot and the most famous communes are St.Emilion and  Pomerol.
  • Entre-Deux-Mers: between two seas (meaning the rivers).
  • The Left Bank: located on the left of the Garonne river and south of Bordeaux can be divided into 2 sub-regions: Graves and Medoc, the main grape is Cabernet Sauvignon and the most famous communes that produce First Growth Chateauxfrom the 1855 Classification are: Margaux, Paulliac, St. Estephe, St. Julien, Haut-Medoc and Pessac-Leognan the latter producing some quality Sauvignon Blanc blended with Semillon. South of Pessac-Leognan is Sauternes, famous for the botrytise wines made with Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscatelle
Haut Brion
This historic first growth Bordeaux (Thomas Jefferson’s favorite) is developing quite nicely, reaching its prime. The wine is nearly black and turbid in appearance. Very musky aromatics; picture drying black fruits being rolled down a dusty gravel road. Surprisingly round and lifted on the palate as the tannins feel mature and considerably soft; dark, brooding midpalate comes to a finish dominated by bitter, damp earth minerality. Probably best to enjoy with a ribeye steak within the next five years.W.M

Domaine Henry Boillot, 1er Cru Les Fremiets 2005

Burgundy’s prized vineyards stretch from the city of Auxerre in the north down to the city of Macon in the south. In Auxerre we find the wines of Chablis, made with the Chardonnaygrapes, moving south we traverse Irancy and its red wines and Saint Bris with Sauvignon Blancs.

While moving south we reach the place where the most sought-after and expensive Pinot Noir and Chardonnay based wines are made, the Cote D’Or, where in fact all of Burgundy Grand Cru vineyards except for Chablis Grand Cru are.

The Cote D’Or is divided in two main sub-regions, Cote de Nuits and Cote de Beaunethat stretch south for about 70 kilometers from Dijon to Dezize-le-Maranges. This is where we find “Village” wine in the lower part of the slopes and “Premier Cru” to “Grand Cru” as we move higher. The Cote de Nuits contains 24 of the 25 red (Pinot Noir) Grand Crus, while the Cote de Beaune has all of the white (Chardonnay) Grand Crus.

Volnay 2005 Henry Boillot

Cooked red fruit, rose petal and rosemary all stand out on the subtly complex nose. Viscous and rounded on the palate with a nice undercurrent of minerality. Some savory bitterness on the finish. The weight and ripeness of fruit here call for a rich mushroom risotto. W.M

Dr.Heger, Pinot Noir, Vorderer Winklerberg, Ihringen, 2014

German wines fall into a classification depending on their quality, from Tafelwein, Landwein, Qualitatswein Bestimmter Anbaugebeite (QbA) to Pradikatswein. QbA and Pradikatswein are then subdivided in Anbaugebiet (wine region), Bereich ( a small area inside the wine region “Anbaugebiet“), Grosslage ( vineyards inside the small area “Bereich“), and finally the Einzellage ( single vineyard, situated inside the “Grosslage”).

Of the 13 major wine regions (Anbaugebiete) the most important that produce most quality wines are: Mosel, Rheingau, Rheinhessen, Pfalz, Nahe, Ahr. These 13 wine regions (Anbaugebiete) are divided into 39 districts (Bereiche) which are also divided into vineyard sites (Großlagen).

Pinot Noir 2014 Dr.Heger

Grosses Gewachs wine of the Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) grape from volcanic soils in Germany’s Baden region. Serious intensity on the nose, remeniscent of red cherries and smoked meat. Rounded, smooth palate is dominated by a mineral undercurrent. This is a real wine of “terroir;” super earthy, persistent and very versatile at the table. W.M

Rosso di Montalcino, Podere del Visciolo, 2016

Located between Sant’ Angelo in Colle and Castenuovo dell’Abate, on a plateau facing Val d’Orcia and Mount Amiata. In 1950, my great grandfather Zefiro fell in love with Montalcino and acquired the rural house dating back to the 1700s and the land surrounding it, and started to plant the first vines. Today, that tradition continues to live through my wife, my daughters and myself.

Life here flows in contact with nature among Brunello vineyards and centuries-old olive groves, and all aspects of cultivation are personally managed by my family. Here is where my family and I want to live: that is why respecting the environment is so important to us and only organic agriculture is practiced.

My aim is to continue to reduce human intervention on the vines, teaching my daughters that we want to live on an environmentally sustainable farm. As such, we are transitioning to farming biodynamically.

Grape fermentation starts spontaneously thanks to indigenous yeasts that are naturally present on the skin of the grapes; it takes place in concrete tanks, and lasts for 20-30 days. The wine then rests for 2-3 years in traditional oak barrels inside our underground cellar.

VARIETAL: 100% Sangiovese

FARMING: Certified organic, biodynamic principles used

WINEMAKING: Spontaneous fermentation with native yeasts; 20-30 days in cement tanks

AGING: 10 months in wood and cement, proportions vary depending on the vintage

TASTING NOTES: Brilliant ruby red color. Aromas of wild berries, licorice, leather, with elegant spicy notes. Continued flavors of berries with a dynamic palate and extended finish.