The Italian Bus
Today April 13 from 1:30 - 6:30
We have the Bus Driver hat and uniform on and we’re dealing the wheels. Get it, sit down, shut up, fasten your seatbelt and HOLD ON becuase we are avoiding Tuscany & Piedmont and cruising through four different Italian wine regions highlighted by distinct and flavorful values plus one over-the-top library selection.

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$14.99 BTL./$179.88 CASE

Generally regarded as the producer who made the most impact with the Aglianico grape in Campania, Mastroberardino has been an inspiration to not only this region but to all of Italy. The quality level of what this estate has put forth with both their reds and whites cannot be understated.

Known for their super luxurious Taurasi wine as well as four other top reds, Maastroberardino created the Mastro series as an excellent way to delve into their wines and region, which is located in close proximity to Pompeii. Call it Campania-Aglianico 101 if you will, this red is aged predominately in stainless steel tanks and shows off in its most transparent form.

Very direct, tangy and revealing wild berry aromas are finely enhanced by undertones of tealeaf, sanguine and chocolate licorice. Bold and firm, and a great introduction to the racy Aglianico grape and lets one know that it is a wine for food, not for cocktail-style sipping, which we are doing today ;-). Enjoy over the next 2-3 years with sausage-mushroom pizza, slow-roasted lamb or a spicy-tomato pasta dish.

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$21.99 BTL./$263.88 CASE

"Heroic viticulture" says it all about the Valtellina region, which is a deep gorge, surrounded by the Orobie and the Retiche mountain chains located in Italy's Lombardy region up near the Swiss border. This is one tough region to farm but those adrenaline junkies who do, have the stuff to make some of the most intriguing and pleasurable Nebbiolo in all of Italy.

Aldo Rainoldi is one of the superb growers of this miniscule growing region and his family has been entrenched in wine production in this area since the late 1800s. Inferno is actually the name of the subzone of the Valtellina region and one that has intensely rocky soils. 100% chiavennasca (the local name for nebbiolo) this red is one of the fiercest yet pretty expressions of this noble varietal. Licorice-laden, nice floral tones, chinato-herbs and very steely, it is linear, wiry and textbook with upscale depth and material all without ever being ponderous. True character and finesse shine on the packed, persistent finish - drink it through 2022+. All in all this wine screams purity and pairs well with earthy mushroom dishes or rack of lamb.

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$14.99 BTL./$89.94 - SIX PACK

Pinot Bianco is a lot like Chardonnay in that it is what I refer to as a ‘blank slate’ grape, taking on the tones of where it comes from. In Alto Adige, the vineyards that the grapes come from are high elevation, and the aromas and flavors are very fine and pure. Adding to this, Girlan does very little to tamper with the purity, doing all fermentation and aging in stainless steel tanks.

If you ever wanted to know what we are talking about when we say, pure, clean and crisp, then this would be a good example. Attractive aromas of apple, peach, and white flowers along with prominent flinty, stony aspects. Clean and elegant in the mouth, this has subtle richness, with virtually crunchy fruit and a pristine, mouthwatering finish. One can have this wine on its own as an aperitif but it really shines with grilled prawns or fresh crab. Lately Girlan has been receiving all kinds of love and deservedly so, these wines have soared from being merely solid to being top notch and they don’t break the bank.

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$39.99 BTL./$239.94 - SIX PACK

We are big fans of the prowess of Umbrian genius Filippo Antonelli. This quiet leader of Sagrantino di Montefalco continues to make full wine yet ones that possess remarkable balance. One of the things we are most appreciative of Filippo is his tendency to periodically release a library wine. Like its Tuscan neighbor, Umbria experienced a profound vintage for 2006 and this wine is drinking stupendously.

Sagrantino is the spiritual grape of Umbria's Montefalco region and Antonelli does a magnificent job in bringing out its full expression. Rarely seen outside of this area, this grape that puts forth large-scaled wines that can age for a long time. North African spices all over the place here. Almost rose petal in aromas, still superb red and black plum aspects that reveals youth even at age 11+. Hickory and licorice with strawberry moving in. Umbrian body with virtual Barbaresco skin. Vinous, well honed, very lengthy and drawn out. This is starting to enter its window. However even as drinkable as it is, it will continue development even further. No problem to enjoy over the next decade and beyond.