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Five of Maculan’s Delicious, Affordable Under-the-Radar Gems
October 9, 2019
A Note from Sergio

Located in the Veneto's western hills and valleys, Breganze has been making wine for centuries, with trade records going as far back as medieval times. But no matter how long its history, you probably haven't heard much about Breganze. Its wines are overshadowed by Amarone, Prosecco, Valpolicella, and Soave, the Veneto's famous, lauded wine appellations. But don't let Breganze's relative lack of renown keep you from enjoying the region's wines--Breganze's 725 acres make a dizzying array of great bottlings. From beautiful reds to lush whites, and from zippy sparklers to rich dessert wines, Breganze kind of has it all.

Breganze received its DOC status in 1969, and the family-owned Maculan estate quickly rose to the top of the heap. Over the past sixty years, Maculan expanded its holding to include about sixteen different vineyard parcels; some cling to the sides of hills, while others take advantage of open plains, and still others are terraced, making a happy medium between those two extremes. From these vines, the family crafts an array of wines, though the best might be its Torcolato, a lilting dessert wine made from Vespaiola, whose grapes dry in long, technicolor strands before pressing.

Today, I'm excited to shine a spotlight on Maculan and offer five of the estate's wines, including its ripe Chardonnay, two beautiful big reds (one Cabernet Sauvignon and one Merlot and Cab blend), and a sublime dessert wine duo. All of these bottles clock in between $19 and $48, and each of them is as delightful to the palate as it is easy on the wallet--even the dessert wines! Many wine-drinkers don't fully understand dessert wines, but a really good dessert wine feels like putting a perfect punctuation mark at the end of the meal. And as a side note, these two Maculan dessert bottlings will go wonderfully with your Thanksgiving feast!

Finally, I managed to score a few big bottles of Jaboulet's sensational 2009 Hermitage La Chapelle--don't miss it!

Today's Featured Sections Include:

1. Spotlight on Excellence: Five Must-Have Maculan Wines
2. Time Sensitive Offer: Jaboulet's Superb 2009 Hermitage La Chapelle in Magnum!
3. Wine Events: Upcoming October Wine Tasting Events

My Best,
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Sergio Esposito
Owner/Founder
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Maculan Chardonnay 2018 750ml
Maculan Chardonnay 2018 750ml
Price: $18.99

Lively, juicy, and charming, Maculan’s ’18 Chardonnay spotlights its ripe stone and tropical fruits, which are framed by crushed fresh herbs, exotic spices and white flower petals. This wine feels persistent and energetic as it glides to a lingering, fresh, dry finish--it's a food-friendly, surprising Chardonnay. Deriving from volcanic, limestone-rich soils, grapes ferment with natural yeasts in temperature-controlled stainless steel, and the wine ages on the lees for three months in steel tanks before bottling, where it rests for a few months prior to release. more info
Maculan Brentino 2016 750ml
Maculan Brentino 2016 750ml
Price: $23.99

Balanced, dry, and caressing, the ’16 Brentino leaps from the glass in a profusion of succulent red and blue fruits, warm spices, crushed rocks, cedar wood, and kisses of tobacco and herbs. Rich yet focused, the Brentino wraps its sweet fruits around a sturdy mineral core, while racy acidity propels it to a satisfying, food-friendly finish. A blend of 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, the grapes for this Bordeaux-style wine grow in volcanic, limestone-rich soils; after fermenting in stainless steel for about a week, the wine ages for a year in a combination of stainless steel and barrique, one-third new. more info
Maculan Dindarello Moscato Passito 2017 375ml
Maculan Dindarello Moscato Passito 2017 375ml
Price: $23.99

Acacia honey, orange blossoms, grapefruit spritz, and wax frame the succulent stone and crisp orchard fruits in this delectable ’17 Dindarello. An expressive, lively dessert wine, the Dindarello fills the mouth with texture and energy as it explodes with sweet-tart fruits and sneaky minerality--it’s a perfect accompaniment to cream-based or fruit desserts! Deriving from a six-acre vineyard that sports volcanic, mineral-rich soils, the Moscato grapes partially dry for about a month before fermentation in temperature-controlled stainless steel; the wine rests in bottle for three months before release. more info
Maculan Palazzotto Carbernet Sauvignon 2015 750ml
Maculan Palazzotto Carbernet Sauvignon 2015 750ml
Price: $36.99

Lean, juicy, and complex, the ’15 Palazzotto is a captivating Italian Cabernet. Layers and layers of pure red and blue fruits dance upon a foundation of exotic wood, pipe tobacco, wild roses, warm earth, licorice and leather in this elegant wine. Firm tannins are complemented by pleasing dry extract, while a sweet inner perfume finds its match in kinetic acidity. An ideal wine to pour with roasted meats, the ’15 Palazzatto is food friendly and unique. Deriving from the estate’s volcanic, tuffaceous vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon grapes ferment for about eight days in temperature-controlled stainless steel; the wine ages for a year in barriques before resting in bottle for six months prior to release. more info
Maculan Torcolato Vespaiola Passito 2013 375ml
Maculan Torcolato Vespaiola Passito 2013 375ml
Price: $47.99

Maculan’s Torcolato Vespaiola Passito is a delicious, electric, and nutty-sweet “vino di meditazione,” or wine of meditation, that encourages you to slow down, sip leisurely, and contemplate the sweetness your life has gifted you. Luscious tropical fruits, honeyed citrus, and juicy orchard fruits mingle with ginger, pressed herbs, white flower petals and spicy fruit jam in this full-bodied, mineral-laden ’13 Torcolato. Deep and profound, the Torcolato is nonetheless lively, matching its fruits with nutty minerality, and its lush body with a skein of bright acidity--it’s outstanding. A mono-varietal Vespaiola that derives from Maculan’s limestone-rich, volcanic vineyards, grapes dry for four months to concentrate flavors and sugar before fermentation; the wine ages for a year in barrique, one-third new. more info
Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle 2009 1.5L
Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle 2009 1.5L
Price: $725.00

This dark, inky, almost opaque ‘09 Hermitage La Chapelle oozes across the palate with notes of brambly dark fruit, au jus, exotic spices, smoke, umami and pencil lead. Silky, viscous, rich and opulent in the mouth, this La Chapelle nonetheless has outstanding structure, freshness and balance--simply put, it’s an exquisite Hermitage and it shows that winemaker-owner Caroline Frey is at the top of her game. Deriving primarily from Le Meal and Les Bessards vineyards, with a touch of Les Roucoules fruit, the 2009 vintage clearly makes evident that Jaboulet is back on track with some dramatic changes; selections are stringent and yields have been significantly reduced from their typical 8,000-10,000 case production to a mere 2,000 in 2009. The results are more concentration, purer fruit and more structure--in fact, this may be the greatest La Chapelle since 1978. more info