2018 ROSSO DI MONTALCINO
2014 COL DE LA BASITA
In the same way that Brunello drinkers gravitate towards a Rosso di Montalcino, and Barolo fans look to a Langhe Nebbiolo, Amarone aficionados will often pursue Valpolicella Ripasso when seeking value. Amarone and Valpolicella Ripasso are both made with the same grapes, and the key difference is Ripasso, which translates to re-pass, is made with a second pressing of the dried grapes used for Amarone. They’re not quite as extracted as Amarone, but they fall deliciously in-between regular Valpolicella and Amarone, and they’re also a fraction of Amarone’s price…
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Barbaresco is Italy’s other Iconic wine that’s produced from the Nebbiolo grape, and if Barolo is the King, then Barbaresco is the Queen, having a slightly more elegant structure. Oddero’s 95 Point Barbaresco from the Cru Vineyard Rombone is a stunning value and offers a brilliant play between tension and elegance that’s coupled with profound power and freshness.
The Oddero family has been active in Barolo and Barbaresco since the 1800’s, and in 2006 their wines were brought to an entirely new level when they hired Dante Scaglioni, who spent 25 years as the winemaker for legendary producer Bruno Giacosa.
The Rombone vineyard is laden with limestone and veins of clay, and it’s known for producing wines that exhibit freshness, remarkably penetrating fruit, and stunning complexity. The climate in Barbaresco is slightly milder than neighboring Barolo and the wines are noticeably less tannic and exude elegance.
“Black-skinned berry, iris, leather, hazelnut and menthol aromas whiff of forest floor. The smooth, full-bodied palate shows tension and finesse, offering fleshy black cherry, espresso and licorice alongside fine-grained tannins and fresh acidity. Drink 2021-2030” 95 Points
“Sweet berry aromas with hints of flowers and spices. Very perfumed. Full-bodied, firm and chewy with a velvety texture and a flavorful finish. Shows lovely intensity and flavor. Drink from 2022.” 93 Points
Wine can be profound, and deeply meaningful, and sometimes the story behind the wine can be of monumental proportions. Mazzei created their “Philip” Cabernet Sauvignon as an homage to Philip Mazzei, who wrote the beautiful phrase “all men are created equal” which was incorporated in the Declaration of Independence” by his friend Thomas Jefferson. And the wine? The wine is riveting, deeply hedonistic, and highly detailed. It’s also one of the coolest labels that I’ve seen.
Mazzei created Philip from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, coming from two sites, Belguardo and Fonterutoli Estate. The 10-20-year-old vines were grown in limestone and sandstone soils and produce fruit of remarkable power and profound delineation.
This stunning wine emerges from Tuscany’s best vintage in nearly two decades, and one the Wine Spectator rated 97 Points referencing “Long-lived, powerful and concentrated reds, yet the best have purity and elegance…”
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“A dark-fruited red that shows mulberries, blackberries, creme de cassis, vanilla and dark chocolate with a touch of fresh herbs and cedar. Full body, round yet structured tannins and a chewy finish. Drink in 2020.” 94 Points
“The 2015 Philip, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, is powerful and rich in the glass, with copious blackberry jam, chocolate, spice and chocolate notes. Deep, fleshy and bold, the Philip has a lot to offer….” 92 Points
“Now with a few months in bottle, Alessandria’s 2014 Barolo is a real powerhouse. Smoke, scorched earth, tobacco, menthol, licorice and wild cherry all convey an impression of gravitas, as this potent, muscular Barolo shows off its personality. The 2014 has quite a bit of density and richness at this level. I won’t be surprised if it turns out even better than this note suggests. There is so much going on here.”
91 + Points
“The Fratelli Alessandria 2014 Barolo is a streamlined and elegant wine that imparts delicate tones of wild berry, spice, licorice, rosemary twig and candied orange peel. This is a classic expression and an absolute embodiment of Barolo tradition. The finish is long and silky with lingering tones of smoke and crushed mineral. This wine is very nicely done. It ages slowly in large Slavonian oak casks for three years...”