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Vilmart & Cie Champagne Grande Reserve NV 750ml
Creamy and fleshy yet also vibrant and polished, Vilmart & Cie’s Champagne Grande Réserve frames its citrus and orchard fruits with brioche, pressed white flowers, crushed river rocks, and a touch of toasted nuts. This nimble Champagne skips across the palate with a stylish feel, filling the mouth with a fine mousse, and showing a lovely, seamless structure--it’s simply stellar! Deriving from the estate’s Les Hautes Grèves and Les Basses Grèves parcels in Rilly-la-Montagne, the grapes for this wine, 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir, ferment and age in oak; the Champagne spends about 18 months in bottle before disgorgement.
San Giuliano Barbaresco 2008 750ml
The small winery of San Giuliano rests its head on the historic hillside vineyard of the same name but subsumes a total of 7 hectares of vineyards spread throughout the Piemonte zones of Roero, Asti, Neive, and Barbaresco. Owner-enologist Giulio Pastura carries on his grandfathers trade but has turned from bulk sales to high quality bottlings. Giulio and his wife, Mariella Stupino, do both the vineyard and the cellar work themselves, producing a varied line of reliable wines from the regions native Nebbiolo, Moscato, Barbera, Dolcetto, Arneis, and Brachetto. Their lovely, accessible Barbarescos follow the tradition of aging in oak botti for 18 months.
Movia Puro Rose 2003 750ml
Vivacious and elegant, the ’03 Puro Rosé layers its orchard fruits with tropical notes, complements its succulent berry tones with crushed slate, and sprinkles the nose with wildflowers and forest floor. This wine unfurls to reveal a palate that oscillates between juicy fruits and satisfying mushroom notes, and it builds to a resounding, brilliant finish. Relying on natural yeasts, primary fermentation takes place in large tanks, and second fermentation occurs in barriques; the wine is bottled after four years, undisgorged. Movia Puro Rosé derives from biodynamically grown very old-vine Pinot Nero, and Ales Kristancic, Movia's owner, has chosen to ship this sparkler without removing the naturally occurring yeast plug that other winemakers remove after the second fermentation;
to see how to open Puro underwater, or simply leave the naturally occurring yeast in for flavor and enhanced terroir.
Roger Coulon Brut Reserve de l'Hommee 1er Cru NV 750ml
Perfect, fine perlage transmits a balanced, complex palate with a beautifully textured mouth-feel in this cuvée from Roger Coulon. Bright cherries and berries, buttered brioche, baking spices and vanilla cavort in the nose of this Champagne, and the precise palate echoes these notes, adding citrus and orchard fruits as it builds to a polished 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 five years before disgorgement.
Christian Moreau Chablis Vaillon 1er Cru 2016 750ml
Fleshy yet energetic, the ’16 Chablis Vaillon shimmers out of the glass with notes of tropical fruits, grapefruit peel, wet tidal rocks, and a kiss of spice. This is a bewitching, textured wine that allows for early drinking, but its tension between its sweet fruits and acidity, its seamless marrying of crispness and richness, and its structure argue that this Chablis has the stuffing to deliver over the medium haul. Deriving from the famed south-southeast-facing Vaillon vineyard with Kimmeridgian clay soils planted in 1933, this wine ferments in temperature-control stainless steel and ages in a combination of 60% stainless steel vats and 40% oak barrels, most used. Enjoyable now or over the next few years, this terrifically complex Vaillon can accompany a variety of dishes, but it’s also delectable on its own.
Graci Etna Bianco Arcuria 2015 750ml
The ’15 Bianco Arcurìa is an absolute stunner. Tropical and citrus fruits dance with crushed river rocks, wildflower petals, spices, and a touch of petrol in this mesmerizing wine. At once fleshy and vibrant, this Sicilian white unspools on the palate to reveal a bewitching, creamy texture and captivating balnce between sweet fruits and stony minerality. Drinking now, this Bianco Arcurìa will provide mid-term enjoyment. Deriving from Graci’s mineral-rich 6.2-acre volcanic soil Arcurìa vineyard, the Carricante grapes ferment in concrete vats, and the wine ages for a year in a combination of concrete vats and tini, Sicilia’s traditional tall upright oak barrels, before resting in bottle for another year.
Podere Le Boncie Rosso di Toscana IGT Le Trame 2015 750ml
2015 was a low yield, high quality ripe vintage, and the ’15 Le Trame almost leaps from the glass in a profusion of rustic black cherries, wild berries, crushed violets, tarry earth, new saddle leather, cigar wrapper, and a dusting of spices. Chewy, fine tannins cling to the cheeks as this fresh, lively wine glides across the palate. Nicely lifted and complex, this Le Trame builds to a mineral-laden and satisfying finish. While you can drink this wine upon release, it has the stuffing to age beautifully over the medium term. Mostly Sangiovese blended with a 10% mix of Colorino, Mammolo, and Foglia Tonda, this wine ferments in open-topped vats and ages in mid-size barrels for eighteen months, followed by at least six months in bottle before release. About 1,000 cases made each vintage, with around 250 cases coming to the States.
Domaine Louis Jadot Santenay Clos de Malte Rouge 2010 750ml
Santenays are known for their elegance, and this Clos de Malte single-vineyard monopole is no exception. The bright ruby Domaine Louis Jadot Santenay Clos de Malte Rouge 2010 shows a lovely, complex aroma of ripe red fruits of cherries, raspberries strawberries, spice and perfume. On the palate, the red fruit flavors dominate, with a good structure of tannin-acid balance, a beautiful texture and a true “gout de terroir.” The incredible 2010 vintage is one of the best vintages of the new millennium, a must-have for all true Burgheads.
Massolino Barolo 2010 750ml
Quite possibly the cuvée Barolo of the vintage, the ’10 Massolino Barolo is a remarkable mélange of juicy fruit, aromatic rose petals and tar, fresh-cut herbs, baking spices and velvety tannins. Deriving from 14 acres of vineyards in Serralunga d’Alba, this traditional cuvée is made with traditional methods: fermenting for about 15 days in temperature-controlled vats, followed by aging in large barrels for about 30 months, and then in bottle for a year. It’s hard to imagine a more approachable, caressing Barolo than this ’10 from Massolino, but as good as it is now, it’ll be even better years down the road.
Castello della Sala Muffato Della Sala 2008 500ml
Juicy peach nectar blends with orange flower, lemon zest and honey in this mostly Sauvignon Blanc wine (it's blended with Grechetto, Traminer and Riesling), but it's the wine's enchanting creamy mouth-feel, piquant minerality and dusting of exotic spices that make it very special. 2008 offered Orvieto a mild but not overly hot summer, and this bottling reflects the weather's disposition and the perfect harvest in its honey and wildflower aromatics and its palate of fresh citrus and spice. Derived primarily from very ripe, concentrated grapes that have been affected by noble rot, this wine is intense and satisfying, the perfect way to end any decadent meal.