The Cellar of a True Wine Devotée - Part Three

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Italy, Spain, Musar!

This is a fine opportunity to try some of our favorites with a few years of age (or more) - Occhipinti, Biondi, COS, Felsina, Dettori, Cappellano, Ferrando, the Mascarellos, Lopez - and lots of other intriguing and very fairly-priced bottles.

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Bea, Paolo 2004 Montefalco Vigneto Pagliaro Sagrantino Secco

Bea's 2004 Sagrantino is a blast of acid and minerality. A deeply layered wine that combines crisp herbal flavors and a fresh stony finish. Also lurking is dark rustic Sagrantino fruit of dark cherries and plum. A brilliant example of natural wine that appeals to all sorts of enthusiasts. JR

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Bea, Paolo 2005 Montefalco Vigneto Pagliaro Sagrantino Secco

In 2005 Bea's Vigneto Pagliaro achieved a balance and richness of fruit that Sagrantino enthusiasts should take notice of. Bea works over the tannic quality of the variety by harvesting at a very high phenological ripeness, and allowing for a long fermentation. The results are an inviting scent of cherry liquor, and a complex textured mouth-feel with mature svelte structure. A detailed wine that is a blast to drink now, but will need some time in the cellar to show its full depth. JR

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Bea, Paolo 2006 Umbria IGT Santa Chiara Bianco

This tiny estate has a very small parcel of land dedicated to white grapes for the Santa Chiara (Grechetto, Malvasia, Chardonnay, Sauvignon, and Garganega). The wine is fermented in small stainless steel vats for 16 days with the juice in contact with the skins and after fermentation the wine remains on the lees in the steel casks (without temperature control) for an additional 8 months before being bottled without filtration. If you want to try something a little different for your Thanksgiving dinner and you are having all the trimmings (turkey, cranberries, sweet potatoes) this wine is the perfect match and definitely worth a try. This is a unique medium to full bodied white wine with a deep yellow/light orange color – it's rich, but is balanced with a juicy acidity. What's really great about this wine though is the orange marmalade/grapefruit flavors that are exuded along with some smokiness. It even has some tannins that will match perfectly with the dark meat of the Turkey. Give this wine a try and you won't be disappointed. NCB

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De Conciliis 2004 Paestum IGT Antece

This is a bold Fiano from Campania with a delicious richness. The wine appears a deep gold-ish orange in the glass and aromatically is reminiscent of dried fruit with a touch of saltiness. “Antece” refers to the fact that this white is raised the ancient way with prolonged skin contact. Not for everyone, but fans of “orange” wine from Northern Italy should check how things are done in the South. JR

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Cotar 2006 Malvasia

Several days of skin maceration gives this Malvasia a sunny golden hue and a bit of tannic structure. Aromatically the wine has great orange and coconut notes, and a very pure floral streak. At the cellar we tried some older vintages and were very impressed with how the wine evolves. This is a white that I would only slightly chill, and would be a stellar partner for hard cheeses. JR

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Cotar 2009 Teran

Teran is the local Slavic word for the Refosco variety. After a stemless fermentation with native yeasts the wine is aged in old barrels for two years before bottling. Teran definitely leans more to the herbal savory camp than the juicy fruit bomb, but there is a very pleasant fresh cherry note to this wine. We definitely recommend decanting or plenty of aeration as the wine does have an initial reductive note. JR

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Dettori, A 2007 Romangia Chimbanta Bianco

On Dettori’s web site there is a very interesting argument stating that Vermentino originated in Sardinia as opposed to Liguria. Whether or not Vermentino was born in Sardinia, this bottle is a strong case for its continued cultivation. Dettori subscribes to a very hands off approach in the cellar with no material contacting the wine besides cement and glass, and only a minimal amount of sulphur and manure added in the vineyard. The Vermentino comes out bold and roasted with both nutty and herbaceous flavors. Bottles do tend to be cloudy and have sediment. JR

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Felsina 2004 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia

Rancia is a south-facing vineyard on quartz and sandstone rocky soil. It produces a full-bodied expression of Sangiovese. It has lush blackberry and black cherry fruit with cinnamon, tobacco and fig with long sweet tannins. TB

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Foradori 2010 Vignetti delle Dolomiti Fontanasanta, Nosiola

*This wine is in the warehouse and will not be available for pick-up or delivery until after Labor Day.* This full-bodied white wine based on Nosiola — a native specialty of Trentino — shows honey, orange, peach, white and yellow fruits on the nose. The grapes are grown on poor, calcareous soil, which may account for its length and minerality. There's no shortage of lemon-y acidity on the palate. The bottle may conjure to mind a seafood risotto...

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Foradori 2010 Vigneti delle Dolomiti Toreldego Morei

The more structured of the two Foradori Anfora reds, Sgarzon hails from a sandy soiled, pebbly vineyard. The wine rests on the skins in 600 liter, clay Anfora for eight months, after which it spends three months in barrel. We don't actually know from experience how these wines will age because this is only the second year Elisabetta has made wine in Anfora, but we think — based on the tannic structure and intense, brooding black fruit character of the wine — that they will be truly magnificent after some years in the cellar.

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Foradori 2010 Vigneti delle Dolomiti Teroldego Sgarzon

The fresher and lighter of the two Foradori single vineyard Teroldegos, Sgarzon sees the same type of maturation as Morei, eight months in anfora followed by three months in barrel. The wine is dark fruited and high toned with a unique and very present tannic quality that makes it a great partner for richer meat dishes.

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Gulfi 2007 IGT Sicilia Nero D'Avola Rossoibleo

It's medium-bodied and lively with warm plum and figgy fruit and soft tannins; lovely by itself, it will pair well with any pasta, pizza, red sauce or hearty food at a party...

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Le Boncie 2004 Chianti Classico Le Trame

This is hands down the best Chianti I have tasted from the 2004 vintage. Pure Sangiovese with such vigor, cut, purity, ripe tannin and length you really cannot believe it. Amazing structure to this wine. Sometimes Sangiovese tannins can be a bit blocky but they are so refined in this wine without losing its authenticity. Super small production here. Can be drunk now with a serious decant or thrown in the cellar for five years and forgotten about. LF

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Monte Bernardi 2006 Chianti Classico Sa'Etta

This single-vineyard wine is from a small vineyard (2.5 hectares, and undergoing conversion to Biodynamic viticulture) tucked into the hills south of Panzano, in Tuscany — prime Chianti Classico terroir. The wine is medium-bodied, with rich and lush/concentrated notes of red and black currants that intermingle with violets, clay and earth with a moderately long finish. This wine is a value! Available only in NY at Chambers Street! TB

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Nusserhof (Heinrich Mayr) 2006 Vino da Tavola Teroldego

We've always loved Elisabetta Foradori's elegant version of Teroldego Rotaliano, but now Heinrich Mayr's crazy Tyroldego has captured our affections. Teroldego/Tyroldego is a grape that has a lot in common with Syrah (or at least with Syrah as found in Cornas or Crozes-Hermitage): dark, black cherry fruit with an entrancing bitter/amaro finish, lots of smoky and gamey aromas, stony minerality, high acid balanced by richness so you get an intensely flavored wine that's not heavy. Mayr's version is much edgier and more exciting than Foradori — a true mountain wine. J.W. An extremely exciting example of the Teroldego variety. Heinrich planted a small amount in the warm vineyards around the house after being impressed by some of the great wines made slightly south of him. The aromatics immediately please with a combination of plum fruit and a touch of ashy complexity. Heinrich says that when Italians taste this wine they feel that it is too old, but when the French taste it they feel it is much too young. We encourage you to try it and decide for yourself. JR

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Pepe, Emidio 1978 Montepulciano d'Abruzzo

Holy hell this is beautiful wine; exhibiting gorgeous notes of black truffle, sun-dried tomatoes, dried herbs, and soil, all strung together along a core of morello cherry. The palate is broad and alive with lingering tobacco notes in the finish. Exceptional. CB At least as good as the sought-after 1975, maybe better. JW

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Pepe, Emidio 2001 Montepulciano d'Abruzzo

With enough air you might get this to come around for current drinking, but it’s clearly intended to cellar for ages. When opened, the wine is very dense, dark, rich chocolaty fruit, a bit of herbs – thyme, rosemary, grainy ripe tannins, very long. A couple of hours later the structure has intensified, more of everything, very tannic, and higher-toned, with nice berry fruit showing. All in all, a fabulous effort from the brilliant Pepe family, especially if you can put it away for a long time. JW

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Radikon 2003 IGT Friuli Venezia Jakot (Tocai Friulano) 500ml

Jakot = Tokaj, in reverse — the original name no longer being permitted outside of Hungary. Dense aromas of apricot, mint, flowers, spices; the wine is rich and has lively acidity — and a gorgeous orange color. Another unique and beautiful wine from Radikon. JW PS — this is a special price, courtesy of the importer.

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Trabucchi 2002 Amarone della Valpolicella Cereolo

We don't usually use (borrow? steal?) tasting notes from other writers, but Greg Dal Piaz has taken the words out of my mouth, so to speak. Besides, we think he's one of the very best tasters we know. "The nose here starts off with a wickedly floral edge that is joined by notes of crushed raspberries, cocoa powder, mineral flecked earth and aromatic wood smoke. In the mouth this is full yet remains transparent with a fine spine of acidity and super fine tannins all draped in ruby red velvet. The fruit is intense, spicy like wild raspberries, and yet remarkably fresh and juicy. While rich this is rather elegant for Amarone and so well balanced that it’s the rare Amarone that is perfect for the dinner tale, at least the winter table. This is still showing a very youthful side, and I expect it can age read more...well for many years but I would opt to drink it over the near term to enjoy this incredible fruit. Drink 2010-2016 93pts "

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Burlotto 1996 Barolo Neirane

This is a classic Barolo; it still has some primary fruit, and isn't excessively structured or tannic. A real treat and a great gift for a Barolo lover at a reasonable price.! JW

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Canonica, Giovanni 2006 Barolo Paiagallo

Initially this is closed and reticent, only hinting at the depth of the 2005. After a couple of hours the nose is rich with cocoa and fruit; good acidity matched by ripe tannin; after 24 hours the wine shows even more promise, richness and complexity — great promise for the future. JW Whew, that's a nose! Darker color (ever so slightly), more intensely fruited with a deep black cherry note. More acid and lift. I prefer the 05 right now. This is more youthful & forward although still quite tannic. Not quite as well integrated but there's a lot of substance that I think is really going to come together with time. On day 2, however, this really coalesces, still young and powerful with powdery tannins, but the fruit is dark-toned, long and delicious. JRitchie

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Cappellano 2004 Barolo Gabutti Rupestris

Classic Nebbiolo nose — earthy, mineral, wild red fruit — raspberry — strawberry, a little violet; this is actually delicate and refined; old fashioned wine but clean and pure; very fine tannins, medium bodied, plenty of fruit and LONG.

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Conterno, Giacomo 2003 Barolo Cascina Francia

There's no '03 Monfortino, so all of the fruit went to the Cascina Francia — and it's a wine that transcends the vintage. When you have a wine that will age for 20+ years, who needs Monfortino? The wine is rich, dark, concentrated, but shows none of the aggressive tannin and tomato-y fruit that's so common in 2003. I think it's a classic in the making — but it needs a lot of time in your cellar. JW

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Sella 2005 Lessona

A really elegant wine, this appears a bit austere at first, but given some hours open / in a decanter it really sings. From 75+ year-old vines, the 2005 is 80% Nebbiolo and 20% Vespolina. The nose is full of red fruit, spice / pepper, stone dust, and flowers. In the mouth the wine is suave and shows great clarity of flavor — cherry fruit and orange peel balanced by intense minerality, great transparency and acidity and excellent length. A fascinating expression of Nebbiolo and a really interesting change for Barolo lovers. JW

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Bermejo 2007 Lanzarote Malvasia

A brilliant example of Malvasia from the volcanic ash soils of Lanzarote (part of the Canary Islands); pretty aromatics of fresh cut yellow apple, chamomile, and smoke lead to a medium to full bodied palate that has real texture and cut. The finish is lip smacking-ly saline, leaving my mouth watering and my belly rumbling for a fresh fish preparation... haddock and chips perhaps... but really this wine would be magical with crudo or sushi. cb

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D. Ventura 2009 Ribeira Sacra Do Burato

This is a great vintage for Do Burato. The fruit is well-rounded with fresh raspberry/blackberry character complemented by edgy notes of game, licorice, and violets. There are more dark brooding mineral elements here, as well as more mid-palate stuffing, and a silky tannin structure. This wine will surely evolve in the near term. cb

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Recaredo 2005 Penedès Els Raustals Cabernet Sauvignon + Ull de Ll

An intense, massively structured Mediterranean expression with ample dried fruits, flowers, herbs, mineral snap and length — reminiscent of Priorat in style. Drink with large grilled or roasted meats. cb

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Equipo Navazos NV Montilla La Bota de Fino Amontillado No. 24

A Fino Amontillado is definitely a rarity. This is the point where a Fino begins to oxidize and begins to turn into an Amontillado. The wine is bottled before oxidative aging takes hold and masks the Fino qualities. The wine for this bottling from Equipo Navazos was sourced from Perez Barquero's oldest Fino Solera. They chose to bottle 13 out of 63 butts that they considered the most fascinating and singular. The alcohol here is just above 15% which shows that this wine is still in line with other Finos. The no. 24 is an intense and balanced expression of the Pedro Ximenez grape and the chalky soils of Montilla-Moriles. The wines are unfortified here due to good natural ripeness. The aromatics have a lovely sweet to savory balance with notes of sweet tobacco, caramel, salt, and a not so pertinent toasted almond tone to the nuttiness. The body of the wine is full with a harmonious and silky texture. The wine finishes clean/dry/salty/sweet with fantastic resonance. Amazingly lovely...

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  • $19.99

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  • $14.99

Gorrondona, Doniene 2008 Bizkaiko Txakolina Tinto

This wine shows pretty red berry and spice aromatics, is noticeably softer on the palate this vintage, with a lovely balanced intermingling of sweet fruit, smoke and herbal flavors finishing very long and pure with good acidity. Just a super pretty wine. Looking forward to see how this evolves over the next year. I had the 2007 recently and it was just fantastic, much broader on the palate than when released. Not to sound hyperbolic, but this is one of my favorite reds from Spain period. cb

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  • $19.99

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  • white flor
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  • $49.99

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  • $179.99

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  • red
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  • $159.99

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  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $199.99

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  • $199.99

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  • white
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  • $99.99

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  • $119.99

Lopez de Heredia 1987 Rioja Tondonia Gran Reserva Blanco

From a fairly warm and dry year, this wine was aged for nine and a half years in barrels with racking happening twice a year. The wine was then aged a further few years in the bottle. Harvest was on October 13th. Alcohol is 12% abv. The wine shows notes of nut-skin, beeswax, quince, and citrus skin with crystalline acidity. A stellar Gran Reserva once again. cb

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $79.99

Lopez de Heredia 1990 Rioja Tondonia Reserva Blanco

A beautifully fresh and precise wine. Another winner in an extraordinary line of Reservas. cb

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  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $41.99

Lopez de Heredia 1991 Rioja Tondonia Gran Reserva

This is my favorite of the current release Gran Reservas. It has gorgeous, delicate aromatics of cherry, strawberry, tobacco, light smoke and subtle soil notes. The palate is impeccably balanced, harmonious and silky with good tang to sweetness. The finish is long, pretty, and aromatic. cb

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  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $99.99

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  • rosé
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  • $24.99

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  • red
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  • $44.99

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  • $44.99

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  • $44.99

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  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $29.99

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  • white
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  • $24.99

López de Heredia 2000 Rioja Tondonia Reserva

This is a very good vintage for Tondonia. It's no 1998 in terms of complexity but much better than the 1999. This shows a lot of pretty plummy fruit, subtle cherry and tobacco notes, very good structure, and good delineanation of flavors while maintaining harmony and balance. This wine is drinking so well it warrants a half bottle as well as a magnum. cb

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  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $59.99

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  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $34.99

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  • 0 in stock
  • $34.99

Muga 2000 Rioja Gran Reserva Prado Enea

The Rioja Alta vineyard that gives us Prado Enea wraps around the town of Sajazarra. This is Muga's coolest site and Prado Enea is only made in certain vintages. For instance, none was made in 2002 and 2003. The wine shows tangy dark fruits, leather, iron, and incense. It's quite broad on the palate and fully-resolved in the tannin department. The finish resonates with coffee grounds and minerals. I enjoyed this with Fejoada. P.S. Everybody over-looked this vintage to get to the 2001. Too bad. As much as I love '01's. 2000's can sneak up on you. This is great wine! cb

  • Out of Stock
  • red
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  • $59.99

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  • $24.99

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  • $29.99

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  • $34.99

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  • red sweet
  • 0 in stock
  • $59.99

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  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $19.99

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  • $69.99

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  • $99.99

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  • $34.99

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  • $74.99

  • Out of Stock
  • red
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  • $64.99

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  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $74.99

Rodriguez, Luis 2008 Ribeiro A Torna Dos Pasas Tinto

This old-vine cuvée of Caiño, Brancellao, and Ferrol comes from beautiful steeply terraced vineyards (see the Jose Pastor Selections website) that are a mixture of sand and granite soils. The result is a gorgeous mix of broad dark fruits, country aromas of wild flowers and herbs, complemented by tangy minerals. There is good structure here with impeccably balanced acidity and fine yet layered tannins making this, I think, age-worthy at least in the near to middle term and one of the great expressions of terruño that Spain (specifically Galicia) has to offer today. cb

  • Out of Stock
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  • $29.99

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  • $14.99

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  • $74.99

  • Out of Stock
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  • $129.99

  • Out of Stock
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  • $119.99

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  • $119.99

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  • $119.99

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  • $99.99

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  • Out of Stock
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  • $64.99

  • Out of Stock
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  • 0 in stock
  • $69.99