Rhone & Sancerre Royalty plus the mighty Montegrossi Toscana Rose

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

Rhone wine enthusiasts take note because Visan and Domaine La Florane probably aren't in your Rhone repertoire. You SHOULD get to know this area, its wines, as well as Domaine La Florane, one of the Rhone’s most exciting growers. Visan was a papal enclave in the 14th century and is a small-enclosed section of the Vaucluse bordered by the Drome, which essentially begins the Northern Rhone. Cotes-du-Rhone Village Visan status was gained in 1966 to separate its special quality from generic Cotes-du-Rhone. Founded in 1982 by Francois Fabre, Domaine La Florane is in the capable, brilliant hands of Adrien Fabre who happens to be married to Claire Michel, Vieux Donjon in Chateauneuf's winemaker and daughter of the legendary Lucien Michel and when all combined makes for Rhone Royalty. The flagship of the estate, the Fleur de Pampre cuvee conveys Visan’s locale, clay and red rocky soils very well. Remember this location is the northernmost of the Southern portion of the Rhone Valley so finesse and sensuality rule the day over sheer power. Do not be suckered into thinking this is light and easy, there is ample concentration and depth.

70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 5% Carignan & 5% Cinsault aged in concrete tanks, this wine is a refined beauty with plenty of spine and attitude. A nose of lavender, thyme, hot rocks, blackberry, black licorice and pronounced rosemary notes leads into a classic yet clean texture that has generous kirsch and blueberry flavors yet maintains its lively aspects. Vintage 2017 brought about depth and class, especially on the brilliantly focused and expansive finish. Enjoy this wine now over the next five-6 years with hearty meals such as grilled rack of lamb. 5 cases available.

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$16.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

Equally adept at white wines, the Domaine La Florane Visan Blanc is quite the wonder wine! This particular offering is an assemblage of classic white Rhone grapes yet being in Visan and based around Marsanne, shows impeccable individuality.

60% Marsanne, 10% Roussanne, 10% Viognier and a 20% blend of Clairette, Bourboulenc and Grenache Blanc, this offering soars with stylish aromas of white peach, ginger, some anise as well as an underlay of lime drop. In the mouth it shows classy rich tones with building acidity from the Marsanne, Clairette and Bourboulenc. Very pure and hints of salinity showing on the well-framed, prototype white Rhone finish. Lots of length, lots of character, enjoy this over the next 2-3 years with summer dinners based around fresh veggies or other white meats/fish, tomatoes, maybe use a hint of exotic flavors.

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$17.99 BTL./$215.88 CASE - LIMITED

Based in Gaiole in Chianti, Marco Ricasoli produces wines from his small estate that are exhilarating from top to bottom. Something really fun for summer (and beyond) is this riveting Tuscan Rose. Honestly, this wine should be called Chianti Classico Rose since the grapes all come from the specific single vineyard of San Marcellino within the Classico zone. Alas, there is no such designation but nonetheless, it is flavorful, distinguished and full of pleasure.

100% Sangiovese for vintage 2019 and consistently hailed as one of Italy's finest pink wines. Alluring strawberry licorice whip and lemon-zest surround subtle mineral and freshly cut herbs. Cool and ethereal texture that takes on all of the nuances that the nose gives and rolls over to the brisk and zingy finish that has complexity and plenty of crunchy grooves. This wine is wonderful over the next 18-24 months. If you think Rose doesn't play well when it cools down, try it with turkey or for effect, turn your furnace up to 84 degrees in November and experience it for yourself.

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$29.99 BTL./$359.88 CASE - LIMITED

Truly one of France's treasures, Domaine Neveu crafts some of the most profound wines in Sancerre, seamlessly integrating traditional methods and the best modern technique to bring out the very essence of the terroir, creating rich, elegant wines that have long been sought after by in-the-know Sancerre fans. This much Sancerre in one bottle is probably illegal in at least 27 states! Le Manoir is a single Cru site is located in the village of Sancerre, just south in an area known as Le Manoir de L’Etang from 50+ year old vines and a special combination of pebbly limestone and sandy soil. Aong with the Mont Damnes Cru that the estate makes, is the most ageworthy in the Neveu lineup.

Beauty of Sancerre personified, the off the charts 2019 reveals compelling, multi-dimensional aspects of seabreeze, lemon, subtle orange-musk and prominent flinty aromas. Nice depth throughout along with an abundance of racy, chalky, mineral-acidity. Old-vine sophistication abound, this wine sprawls energetically from front to back, back to front and so forth then finishes with a hell of a lot of pop and extension. A real wow wine! Break out the salmon and cedar plank and go to town. Very lovable now and will easily age 8-10 years as well.

Amarone in August, Two Special Dry Rosé, Bisci Verdicchio & Rosso Return

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$14.99 BTL./$179.88 CASE

If you love Italian red wines, there has never been a better time to get some of this one to be your versatile dinner red, which can be served for an upscale Italian dinner or with a steaming bowl of spaghetti & meatballs or even Thai beef or pork dishes. Well, what is it? Read on...

A classic blend highlighted by Sangiovese from vines planted in 1978 in the Le Marches region of Italy, Bisci is most notably a great Verdicchio producer and this red shows that they are just a great wine producer, period. As big fans of this estate’s wines, we have it exclusively for the state and have 10 cases to work with. Loaded with scents and flavors of black cherry, blackberry, herbs, and black pepper, it is soft and silky in the mouth. Drink over the next 3-5 years. Versatility thy name is Bisci!

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$14.99 BTL./$179.88 CASE

Located inland and at significantly more elevation gain, what separates the Le Marches regions of Matelica and Castelli di Jesi are their locations and specifically their soils, which are sheer hard limestone and quite unique to the area. Verdicchio is the spiritual white grape of the Le Marches region and like Metallica; we have been devotees of Matelica-based Bisci's wines for over 20 years.

The 2019 is a crisp, zesty and vivid flavored white wine that can best be described as Italian dynamite. Teeming aromas of flint, earth, hints of lemon-peel and smoke lead into a tense, bone-dry texture that is well delineated and firm. If you unoaked, zesty, flavorful white wines you will love it! Perfect foil for freshly shucked oysters, grilled prawns and especially crab.

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$26.99 BTL./$323.88 CASE

The mind behind the wines of E-I-E-I-O is Jay McDonald who originally opened The Tasting Room in Carlton and soon started making wine under the EIEIO label in 1998. Over time, Jay’s focus on wine became increasingly prevalent and the wines continue to impress to this day. I recently had the chance to taste several offerings for the first time in several years and was highly impressed.

This week we start with the 2016 Swine Wine Pinot Noir, which delivers impact of both flavor and aroma. A blend of several Pinot Noir vineyards, Swine Wine reveals sensuous scents of dark berry, touches of marzipan, chocolate licorice and underlying pepper. The flavors have wonderful depth and with some whole cluster fermentation, plenty of elevating, fresh tones of wild strawberry maintain lift on the spicy, sprawling finish. Delicious and a version that punches well above its weight class, it is a joy to drink now and over the next 6-8 years.

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$23.99 BTL./$287.88 CASE

I had read good things about this fast rising Savennieres/Anjou superstar but tasting is believing. The small importer stopped by with this terrific pink wine along with his two top Savennieres (a different wine for a different hotsheet) and of course, I could not control myself in ordering some.

Having trained in Burgundy at Domaine Charlopin in GevreyChambertin then being hired as winemaker at famed Chateau Soucherie in Savennieres, Thibaud Boudignon is one of France’s most exciting addresses. The Rose de Loire is farmed in a Cotesaux du Layon cru called Faye d’Anjou and is a blend of 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Grolleau grown in gray schist and volcanic soils and directly pressed. Very mineral driven, lanolin, solid perfume, and crunchy watermelon/raspberry tones shine on the nose and the wine's texture is rather succulent and electrifying briskness and brace. This is very stereotype-breaking stuff! Drawn-out, linear, very salinous and with a slight hint of spice, pair it with Ceviche or other raw seafood preparations as well as a charcuterie board.

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$22.99 BTL./$275.88 CASE

One of Italy’s most fashionable wine regions is Etna, which runs through the valleys and hills from the sea to Mt. Etna and is often referred to as a Mediterranean Burgundy. The most amazing thing about this Rose, made since 2007, is that the grapes for this wine are specified to be Rose and are from 25 to 60-year-old vines.

100% Nerello Mascalese and 100% delicious, this wine from volcanic soils succeeds where so many non-traditional Italian pink wines fail to do, which is to provide pleasure yet provide ample detail with varietal presence. This rose absolutely builds as it unfolds in the glass. Pliant, bright and teeming with cherry pit, blueberries and plenty of smoky and savory aspects from Etna’s volcanic soils. Lovely presence on the palate, this wine stretches out nicely on the palate and bursts into being vivacious and mouthwatering on the home stretch. Flavorful and fun yet with no shortage of sophistication this Rose will pair well with mussels, grilled shrimp, roasted or grilled chicken with Italian herb. Also is quite an enchanting drink on its own.

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$14.99 BTL./$179.88 CASE

The late Jim Barry gained notoriety for producing one of Australia's iconoclast wines, The Armaugh Shiraz and his children have kept the flag flying. There is good news and bad news regarding Jim Barry's wines. The bad news is that The Armaugh will set you back about $200 per bottle if you could find one. The good news is that Jim Barry produces a number of outstanding values including this scrumptious Cabernet from a South Australia blend of Coonawara and Clare Valley fruit.

The smooth and distinct qualities of this flavorful 100% Cabernet jump from the glass immediately. Intense cassis, herbs, vanilla and toffee get it started, but after about 20 minutes of aeration, more peppermint, milk chocolate and cigar box permeate through. Penetrating and dense texture that is ripe and layered along with plenty of freshness, especially on the impressively lengthy and dry finish. Drink this succulent Cabernet over the next 5-6 years.

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$11.99 BTL./$143.88 CASE

The name of the Chateau itself is appropriate due to its mere 12 hectares spread over three villages in the northern Right Bank of Bordeaux. A real joy to drink and classically formed, the 2015 is a rather formidable step up from the delicious 2014.

Poised and personable, and with a tell-tale right bank Bordeaux nose of ironstone, raspberry, espresso and sandalwood, this delicious red delivers so much for so little. Elegant, sophisticated beyond its price tag and chock full of grace, terroir and a dry, austere, spiced-earth finish. An amazing value that can be consumed any day of the week. Drink it with a plethora of cuisine ranging from smoked meats, grilled beef, Vietnamese dishes, roasted chicken, veggies and more.

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$44.99 BTL./$539.88 CASE

One of the only things the threat of tariffs arrivals has brought about is the chance to look back at some things that have been languishing in the distribution pattern. 2015 Rhones have been a prime example. Three vintages in a row has resulted in so many wanting the newest and most current, however, last week one of my reps came out with this wine and it reaffirmed how good the 2015s are and will become. St-Siffrein has been making wines in Chateauneuf since 1860. 65% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre and 5% Cinsault from the NW area of the appellation, the grapes are organically farmed from the Cabrieres and Palestor lieu dits. A mosaic of soils highlighted by clay, limestone and portions of large galets allows this wine to be a velvety beast. Amorous, vivacious and time-honored Chateauneuf aromas prevail from the moment it is poured. Aromatic tea-smoke, rose, cherry-pit, licorice, white pepper and rhubarb shimmer and then follows through to a velvety, well-sculpted, smoothed-out texture that extends and persists. Very lovely at age five and it will continue to drink beautifully for another 8-10 years. MAGNUMS AVAILABLE - $95.00

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$65.99 BTL./$395.94 - SIX PACK

Amarone in August?!?! Why not! Known for its epic Soave wines, Pra only started producing Amarone and Valpolicella in 2001. It certainly hasn’t taken them very long to produce smashing results. 2013 is a superb vintage for the Veneto and particularly for Amarone and only 9000 or so bottles, not cases, are produced from vineyards at 450 meters in Mezzane and Tregnano on the east side of the region.

The classic grapes of Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella and Oseleta make up the blend of this thunderous wine that serves up blackberry, tobacco, raisin, almond, spice, mineral and chinato-like herb aromas. On the palate, it is rich and chewy with depth and a superb aftertaste, which confirms all of the characters of the nose. Plenty of vibrancy due to the elevation and natural acids that are characteristic of the grapes helps cut into the fullness very nicely and bring about a real class for a large wine. Accessible at an early stage, it will age for 15+ years as well. Decant if opening and have it with a heavy risotto dish, maybe an Italian beef stew, or grab some fine Gorgonzola.


Wednesday through Friday – 11:00 – 3:30

> In-Store shopping is temporarily suspended, no one will be admitted into the office but I am glad to make recommendations from our inventory.
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