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Marchese Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva Tignanello 2016 1.5L
Rich, expressive, and multi-layered, the ’16 Chianti Classico Riserva Tignanello radiates its excellent vintage in its transparency, energy and complexity. Peppery spices, melted chocolate, crushed river rocks, pressed violet petals, and a touch of espresso frame this wine’s sappy blue and snappy red fruits. On the palate, this ruby hued wine is a delectable confluence of contrasts--savory underpinnings complement sweet fruits, nervy acidity balances copious dry extracts, while fine-grained tannins cling to the cheeks and provide elegant structure. Chianti Classico doesn’t get much better than this Antinori bottling! A blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, the grapes derive from Antinori’s Tenuta Tignanello estate in the Chianti Classico production zone. The grapes for this wine ferment in temperature-controlled stainless steel for about ten days; the wine undergoes malolactic fermentation in French oak, and it ages for 14 months in a combination of French and Hungarian oak, followed by a year in bottle.
Tenute Silvio Nardi Brunello di Montalcino 2012 1.5L
A terrific choice for Brunello fans who love the wine’s trademark bright acidity, this ’12 bottling from Silvio Nardi layers its tart red and blue fruits on a foundation of leather, spices, crushed violet petals and cedar-strewn earth. This wine whooshes across the palate, scattering chewy tannins that stud the cheeks and building to a resonant finish. Structured and balanced, this ’12 Brunello could use a couple of years in the cellar before true enjoyment. A cuvée of grapes grown in Silvio Nardi’s vineyards, the grapes for this Bruenllo ferment in temperature-controlled tanks for about twenty days; the wine in a combination of French oak barriques, both new and used, as well as in botti, and it finishes with six months in bottle before release.
Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve NV 1.5L
Sunny stone fruits, sappy orchard fruits, and vibrant lemon zest dance against a backdrop of smoky minerals, crushed flower petals, buttered brioche, almond paste and exotic spices in this caressing, energetic Champagne Brut Réserve. Fine, elegant perlage tickles the cheeks as this wine gathers power, moving from succulent richness to chalky energy. This balanced Champagne marries its open-knit generosity with almost kinetic energy, offering a drinking experience that’s food-friendly and expansive. A blend of mostly Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with 20% Pinot Meunier, this Champagne derives from 60 different crus with a focus on Oger (for opulence), Ambonnay (for structure), and Verneuil, for texture. Individual crus ferment in stainless steel, and the wines are racked to separate the lees and to undergo malolactic fermentation; each non-vintage cuvée contains at least 40% reserve wine that averages ten years of age, and after assembling the blend, the Champagne ages for about five years in the estate’s 2,000-year-old chalk cellars before disgorgement.
La Castellada Chardonnay Collio 2000 1.5L
Friuli's answer to a White Burgundy, a firmly-textured Chardonnay revealing a hint of minerality and a forward-leaning helping of ripe fruit on the palate.
Roger Coulon Brut Reserve de l'Hommee 1er Cru NV 1.5L
Bright cherries and berries, buttered brioche, baking spices, and vanilla cavort in the nose of Roger Coulon’s fine Brut Réserve de l'Hommée; the wine’s precise palate echoes these notes, adding citrus and orchard fruits, along with a penetrating minerality. Perfect, fine perlage transmits texture and a bright skein of acidity propels this elegant Champagne as it builds to a balanced, complex, and mineral-laden finish. This wine, a blend of Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay that derives from the estate’s old-vine vineyards in Vrigny and Pargny, gets its name from the traditional term for the vineyard work a person could do in a single day. Tradition dictates the creation of this wine; it ferments with only natural yeasts and ages for at least five years before disgorgement.
Giuseppe Quintarelli Primofiore 2014 1.5L
Tart red and succulent blue fruits cavort with savory herbs, sun-warmed loam, pressed wildflowers, and touches of leather, graphite and spice in this restrained, elegant ’14 Primofiore bottling. Crisp and delineated, this muscular wine studs the cheeks with chewy tannins and reveals a sturdy mineral core; a licorice and earth accented finish completes the drinking experience. Primofiore is a blend of Corvina Veronese, Corvinone, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc that come from a 27-acre limestone and basalt vineyard of thirty-year-old vines, and the estate partially dries its Cabernet grapes for added intensity and texture. Primofiore, which means "first flower," is a terrific introduction to the estate style, wedding complexity with an easy-drinking profile.
Livio Sassetti Pertimali Brunello di Montalcino 2015 1.5L
Ripe, rich red and blue berries mingle with savory notes like truffles, tobacco and earth, floral notes of violet petals, and minerally notes like pencil lead in this subtly kaleidoscopic ’15 Brunello from Livio Sassetti Pertimali. 2015 is a benchmark Brunello vintage, and this wine showcases its elegant, chewy tannins, vivid acidity, and sweet fruits with its core of savory minerals and earth. Caressing and textured, this beautifully structured Brunello needs a couple of years in the cellar before true enjoyment, but it will drink for decades to come. Deriving from the estate's southeastern-facing, clay and limestone vineyards on Montosoli hill in Brunello's northern subzone, the biodynamically grown grapes for this Brunello ferment for about two weeks in temperature-controlled stainless steel, and the wine ages for three years in botti, followed by six months in bottle before release.
Tenute Silvio Nardi Brunello di Montalcino Manachiara 2012 1.5L
Cherries and berries roll in freshly turned loam, warm baking spices, new leather, crushed flower petals and fresh-cut herbs in this ’12 Brunello di Montalcino Manachiara. Velvety yet vibrant, this cru Brunello sneaks up on the palate, delivering deceptive power in its muscular, taut body. Though it needs some time in the cellar to mature, this is wine for people who privilege transparent expressions of terroir; it’s dazzling in its purity. Deriving from the southeast-facing Manachiara vineyard that sports 45-year-old vines growing in quartz and clay soils, the grapes for this wine ferment for 22 days in temperature-controlled stainless steel; the wine ages for 18 months in barriques, one year in botti, and two years in bottle before release.
Gravner Ribolla Gialla Anfora 2010 1.5L
2010 saw a wet growing year, but Josko Gravner works wonders in rainy vintages, and this ’10 Ribolla Gialla is stunning. Crushed sage and oregano frame the luscious peaches and crisp apples of this Ribolla Gialla, and these notes are underlain with accents of savory flint, toasted hazelnuts, sun-warmed earth, and honeyed citrus. Intense and powerful, this wine fills the mouth with texture and marries its sweet inner perfume with saline minerals as it glides effortlessly to a lingering, complex finish. This amber wine is best served like a red, decanted and at cellar temperature; enjoy it with hearty fare--its intense palate will stand up to it. Like Gravner’s Breg, a blend of white grapes, this mono-varietal Ribolla Gialla ferments without temperature control and sits on the skins in amphora for about a year; the wine ages for six years in cask before bottling. It’s an age-worthy experience in natural winemaking that could only come from the hand of Josko Gravner.
Gravner Breg Anfora 2010 1.5L
Structured yet lush, filled with honeyed fruits yet laden with savory minerals, and powerful yet nuanced, Gravner’s ’10 Breg mesmerizes with its tensions. Layers and layers of super-ripe tropical and orchard fruits mingle with fresh-pressed wild herbs, sun-warmed river rocks, crushed wildflowers, and tart citrus in this complex wine that suffuses the palate with texture. This massive wine manages to feel nimble, dancing to a savory, sustained finish that lingers for a minute--it’s an astonishing wine! A blend of biodynamically grown Riesling Italico, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon and Chardonnay, Breg’s grapes ferment separately without temperature control, sitting on the skins in amphorae for around a year; after blending, the wine ages in casks for about six years before bottling, without fining or filtration. Unlike some other natural winemakers, Gravner does add small amounts of sulfur, believing that a tiny amount will keep his living, breathing wines from oxidizing.