Castello Banfi Poggio all'Oro Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG is made from 100% Sangiovese.
Forest floor, grilled herb and pipe-tobacco aromas lead the way on this firmly structured wine. The full-bodied palate offers dried cherry, steeped prune, orange zest and licorice set against tightly knit close-grained tannins. Drink 2022–2032.
-Wine Enthusiast 94 points
Gaja Costa Russi Nebbiolo is made from 100 percent Nebbiolo.
Costa (Italian for the side of the hill facing the sun) Russi (the nickname of the former owner) is ruby red in color, with a captivating aroma of blackberries, violets and roasted coffee beans. The purity of the palate is layered with dark fruit flavors and complex tannins.
STYLE: Complex, Elegant
FLAVOR: Blackberry, Violet, Roasted Coffee Beans
The 2016 Barbaresco Costa Russi is a more floral, sappy Barbaresco, offering textbook notes of black cherries, rose petals, sappy herbs, and violets. It's one of the more vibrant, juicy, and perfumed wines in the lineup and has medium to full body, bright yet integrated acidity, and the same incredibly polished yet certainly present tannins found in all these 2016s. This is another elegant 2016 that never puts a foot wrong.
-Jeb Dunnuck 98+ Points
The 2016 Barbaresco Costa Russi is ripe, creamy and enveloping, as it so often is, and yet also preserves the super classic sense of structure that runs through all these wines. In 2016, Costa Russi has an extra touch of mid-palate sweetness that gives the wine its sense of immediacy. Succulent red cherry, rosewater, kirsch, mint and dried flowers meld together in the glass. Soft and sensual, with tons of allure, Costa Russi is another winner from Gaja. Time in the glass brings out the wine's density and tannins, both of which it has in spades.
- Antonio Galloni 98
This delicate red features floral, strawberry, cherry, currant and loamy earth aromas and flavors, showing terrific balance. A line of firm tannins adds support, and the finish is long and expansive. Best from 2023 through 2045. 175 cases imported.
-Wine Spectator 97 Points
Inglenook Rubicon is made from 93% Cabernet Sauvignon 7% Cabernet Franc.
Since its inaugural vintage in 1978, Rubicon has been the Estate's premier red wine, reflecting the soul of the property and expressing Francis Coppola's wish to create a Bordeaux-styled grand wine, that is, "a wine that can please contemporary taste, but with a historical aspect [that defines] our vineyards at their zenith."
Rubicon was named after the small river crossed by Julius Caesar in 49 B.C., declaring his intention to gain control of Rome, thereby launching a civil war among opposing factions. Over time the phrase "crossing the Rubicon" has come to signify any irreversible action with revolutionary intent or the outcome of which holds great risk. True to its uncommon depth, Inglenook's Rubicon continues to be a testament to the finely tuned rendering of a risk well-taken.
After four years of drought, a winter with average rainfall was welcome, as it provided ample soil moisture for a strong start to the 2016 growing season. Average late-spring temperatures and limited precipitation minimized the risk of frost during mid-May bloom, ensuring average yields. June closed with a heat spell, slowing vine canopy growth at the ideal time. Harvest of the blocks contributing to the 2016 Inglenook Rubicon blend occurred under optimum conditions from September 6th through September 27th.
Ideal harvest conditions endowed the 2016 Rubicon with the three elements associated with a truly great wine from the Rutherford appellation: complexity, balance, and elegance. The aromas are intense and focused with top notes of creamy, sweet vanilla, and black licorice wound around a core of exquisitely ripe black cherry and crème de cassis. This refinement extends directly to the palate, where the wine is both broad and deep with sensuous, silky tannins. Supremely balanced in terms of both opulence and complexity, ripe black fruits and an ultra-smooth texture provide an impressive crescendo to a very long finish.
The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Rubicon is a wine of total precision and class. Translucent and energetic, with distinctly mid-weight structure, the 2016 is a wine of reserve, tension and breeding. Shy at first, the 2016 has a lot to offer, but it needs a number of years in bottle to be at its most expressive. Cedar, tobacco, licorice and wild cherry add the closing nuances.
- Antonio Galloni 97 Points
Poggio San Polo Podernovi Brunello di Montalcino is made from 100 percent Sangiovese.
Podernovi, San Polo’s new single vineyard Brunello, makes its debut with the extraordinary 2015 vintage. Crafted with Sangiovese grapes grown in the vineyard synonymous with the wine, it is among the most beautiful and archetypal of Montalcino. Podernovi is an elegant and poignant Brunello.
The winter was not particularly cold, and spring arrived slightly earlier than usual, with temperatures slightly above average, giving the vines’ shoots the opportunity to uniformly develop. The following weeks saw frequent rainfall, which allowed the land to build water reserves, alternating with periods of dry weather, enabling the vines to continue growing without any problems. The damp conditions during flowering led to the formation of bunches that were slightly more sparse than usual and with rather small berries, ideal preconditions for reaching harvest time with perfectly ripe and healthy grapes. However, the feature that will make vintage 2016 particularly memorable is the excellent temperature range that characterized the months of July, August and September, with sunny days and cool, breezy nights. We therefore reached the beginning of October with grapes that exhibited a superb combination of maturity, acidity and aromatic potential, perfect conditions for the production of wines with a distinct personality and a great balance of concentration, elegance and longevity; a perfect reflection of the production philosophy of San Polo.
A mix of wild herb, Tuscan scrub, rose, cherry and earth flavors mark this sleek red, which tiptoes between elegance and power, with a layer of chalky tannins underlying it all. With air, the ripe cherry and plum fruit comes forward. Best from 2025 through 2047. 100 cases imported.
-Wine Spectator 95 Points
Aromas of forest floor, grilled herb, camphor and pipe tobacco mingle on the nose of this full-bodied red. The firm, elegantly structured palate offers juicy Marasca cherry, red currant, licorice and coffee bean. Tightly wound, fine-grained tannins and fresh acidity grip the close and lend an ageworthy structure. Drink 2026–2041.
-Wine Enthusiast 95 Points Cellar Selection
Delicately perfumed and finessed, the San Polo 2016 Brunello di Montalcino Podernovi is very floral and lifted in personality. This vintage is very different than the inaugural 2015 vintage. I remember the previous release for its darker and blacker quality of fruit. This cooler vintage is more lithe and lighthearted, with building aromatic intensity that unfolds with caution and care. Once you've had the wine in your glass, it reveals a succession of sour cherry, wild rose and fresh lavender bud. There are light mineral dustings as well, and the wine is ultimately quite solid and structured. This bodes well for its aging evolution. Fruit comes from a two-hectare parcel in a cool and high position some 450 meters above sea level. The soils are clayey with schistous Galestro. Production is 13,000 bottles.
-Wine Advocate 95+ Points
A mix of wild herb, Tuscan scrub, rose, cherry and earth flavors mark this sleek red, which tiptoes between elegance and power, with a layer of chalky tannins underlying it all. With air, the ripe cherry and plum fruit comes forward. Best from 2025 through 2047. 100 cases imported. –BS
-James Suckling 95 Points
This is a phenomenal new red from San Polo with superb depth and intensity with plum, wet earth and black truffle. Full body. Chewy and ripe tannins and a long and flavorful finish. The depth and beautiful is gorgeous. Needs three or four years to come together. Better after 2022.
-Flastaff 95 Points
Ilaria Accordini Amarone Classico 70% corvina - corvinone, 30% rondinella - 20 years old vines. This wine is made by Accordini, the owner married and now put her married name on the label.
Full red color, tending to ruby red. Complex aromatic nuances, that range from black cherry to blueberries, chocolate. A sumptuous expression of ripe fruit, that runs through the mouth with invasive persistence, typical for a great Amarone. The finale closes with sinuous tobacco and new leather notes.
Ideal with boiled, roasted and grilled meat.
Palladino Barolo Ornato is made from 100 percent Nebbiolo.
VINEYARD: Nebbiolo 100%. Subvarietal: Lampia, Michet.
SOIL COMPOSITION: Calcareous clay.
MICROCLIMATE: Fairly temperate.
TOTAL SURFACE AREA: 0,30 ha.
YEALD/Ha: 7.000 kg/ha.
COLOUR: Ruby red with purple and garnet reflections.
AROMA: Balsamic, reminiscence of the soil where the grapes grow.
TASTE: Full-bodied with a slightly bitter aftertaste, excellent structure and good predisposition to ageing.
FOOD AFFINITY: Braised or roasted meats, wild game, seasoned and strong cheeses.
Made with grapes from the Ornate vineyard in Serralunga d'Alba, it has the solid structure that is characteristic of the wines of our region.
With an intense aroma, the characteristic nose has notes of cloves, cinnamon, violets and red cherries. In the mouth, the taste is full and mineral with vigorous tannins and a long finish.
Ripe berry, dark-spice and camphor aromas are front and center on this fragrant red along with a whiff of iris. Full bodied and juicy, the savory, enveloping palate delivers succulent morello cherry, crushed raspberry, licorice and hints of tobacco. Firm, velvety tannins and fresh acidity provide great structure and balance. Drink 2026–2041.
- Wine Enthusiast 94 Points
Castello di Neive Santo Stefano Barbaresco is made from 100 percent Nebbiolo.
The Barbaresco Santo Stefano is the result of an ethereal combination of the ideal terroir with the perfectly-suited Nebbiolo grape. This wine shows all the characteristic elegance of Barbaresco with the complexity and richness for which Santo Stefano is known. The Nebbiolo grapes for this wine are grown in the Albesani sub-appellation inside Barbaresco, in the single vineyard of Santo Stefano, which is owned entirely by Castello di Neive.
Deep garnet in color, intoxicating aromas of purple fruits and wild flowers are underscored by notes of cherries, roses, and baking spices. On the palate, it is elegant, with a long spicy finish. This wine manages to be weightless and intoxicating at the same time.
Pairs well with slow-roasted beef, demi-glaces, grilled pork and apples, and Beef Wellington.
This firmly structured, focused red offers aromas of red berry, fragrant blue flowers, menthol, oak and spices. The assertive palate evokes cranberry, sour cherry, star anise, underbrush and orange zest set against tightly knit, close-grained tannins that leave a rather drying finish, while racy acidity lends balance. It's still tight and youthfully austere, so give it ample time to fully open up and develop. Drink 2026–2041.
-Wine Enthusiast 95 Points
Notable for its purity and supple texture, this red exhibits strawberry, cherry, currant and floral aromas and flavors, backed by a precise line of tannins. It feels balanced, if a little pinched by the tannins on the finish now. Best from 2023 through 2040. 1,000 cases made, 200 cases imported.
-Wine Spectator 94 Points
Castello di Neive and the surrounding 150 acre estate are owned by the Stupino family, siblings Anna, Giulio, Italo, and Piera. The Castello di Neive winery began when Giacomo Stupino, the family patriarch, capitalized on his experience as a surveyor and his knowledge of the area to purchase favorable vineyards and land whenever possible. In the small cellars of their family home, the Stupino’s began their first wine production (including Messoirano, Montebertotto, Basarin, Valtorta, and i Cortini) and, over time, their acquired vineyards grew with the family’s production and ambitions. In 1964 the family purchased the castle with its spacious cellars, along with more land and farmsteads in Santo Stefano and Marcorino. This marked a turning point when the Stupino’s were able to renovate the castle cellars and reorganize their vineyards to produce wine according to modern methods. When Giacomo died in 1970, Giulio and Italo oversaw the transition from tenant farming to direct management of the land, initiating production and export of Castello di Neive wines abroad.
Location of Vineyard
The cellars of Castello di Neive are extremely large, clearly demonstrating the designers’ optimism that the winery’s quality would be easily recognized. Castello di Neive comprises a 150 acre (60 hectares) estate, all in the Neive town council, in the Langhe area of the Piedmont region. Sixty-two acres (25 hectares) of the property are devoted to grape growing and all the production (approximately 12,000 cases a year) is obtained from Castello di Neive’s own vines in the following vineyards: Basarin, Cortini, Gallina, Marcorino, Messoirano-Montebertotto, Santo Stefano and Valtorta.
Tradition, research, and creativity make up the philosophy of the Castello di Neive winery. Recently released photographs from the winery’s library show that, as early as 1904, Pinot Nero was being bottled at the castle, and that by 1925 Nebbiolo was recognized as a fine wine grape with varietal labeling. Now, roughly one century later, the Stupino family continues tradition of cultivating and vinifying these noble varieties as well as the often overlooked Barbera and Dolcetto and the local favorite, Grignolino. The Stupinos’ winemaking philosophy is to respect a centuries-old heritage of winemaking while embracing new technologies and research activities—both in the vineyard and in the cellars.
Niner Wine Estates Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Jespersen Ranch’s foggy mornings and coastal breezes create perfect growing conditions for Pinot Noir. After hand-harvesting the grapes, we fermented them in small, stainless steel, open-top tanks. About ¼ of the fermentations included a whole-cluster component, which adds a delicate tannin structure, spice and length to the wine. The 2020 vintage includes only the highest quality, free-run juice aged for 10 months in French Oak barrels. The wine is full of red fruit flavors, with a bright and juicy palate underscored by warming potpourri, spice and clay flavors.
VINEYARD Jespersen Ranch is located four miles from the ocean, tucked into the hillsides in the western corner of the Edna Valley. We farm seven different clones of Pinot Noir at this coastal site and it produces wines full of layered flavors, rich color and ample acidity. The 2020 vintage was unforgettable. In the early days of the pandemic the vineyard was a fantastic respite, with mild weather and lucky March rainfall that produced large vine canopies. Moderate Summer weather was then followed up by heat spikes and the California wildfires in early Fall. Thankfully, the vine’s large canopies helped shield the grapes from the heat, and our vineyard escaped the effects of smoke taint and we hand-harvested all of our Pinot Noir in September.
WINEMAKING We have a second winery situated behind our tasting room that is dedicated to our Pinot Noir program. After hand-harvesting the grapes, we ferment them in small, stainless steel, open-top tanks. About ¼ of the fermentations included a whole-cluster component, which adds a delicate tannin structure, spice and length to the wine. The 2020 vintage was comprised of the highest quality, free-run juice and we aged the wine for 10 months in French Oak barrels. The result is a wine full of red fruit flavors, with a bright and juicy palate underscored by warming potpourri, spice and clay flavors.
Bourdieu Blaye Cotes de Bordeaux is made from 87% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Cabernet Franc.
Chateau Bourdieu Blaye Cotes de Bordeaux offers a beautiful red ruby color deep and intense. It exhales red fruits and blackcurrant aromas, completed by notes of redcurrant. The mouthfeel is round and juicy, with a smooth, well integrated tannins that offers a nice structure and a long finish.
Perfect with a magret de canard (duck breast) or a filet of beef.
"Flamboyant and deep, with ample, lush and fresh forest fruits, bramble and cassis, with cascading sweet spice swifty following. A super, brooding wine which will shine brighter with time"
Decanter, (November 2020), Platinum Medal - 97 points
Bindella Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is made from 85% Sangiovese, 15% Colorino del Valdarno, Canaiolo nero and Mammolo.
Elegant, with typical hints of iris, rose and red berries together with balsamic notes after several years of ageing in the bottle. Balanced, pleasantly tannic and well-bodied on the palate.
A wine of great authenticity to accompany pasta with elaborate sauces, red meat, truffles and soft or mature cheeses.
Trefethen Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 85 percent Cabernet Sauvignon; 10% Petit Verdot; 3% Merlot; 2% Malbec; 1% Cabernet Franc.
Ample rainfall in the spring recharged the soil profile and provided a strong start to the growing season. The weather during the summer featured consistent warmth and sunshine without any major heat spells. Cooler than average temperatures in August and September slowed the ripening process, providing long hang time and leading to complex flavor development. October was mostly dry and warmer than usual allowing us to pick each block at optimal ripeness. The harvest was complete before November and the start of an epic rainy season.
Rich, deep red garnet color with aromas and flavors of black currant, ripe plum, and blackberry. Notes of lavender, cocoa, and leather are layered with black pepper and vanilla bean. Full-bodied and intense, this wine is balanced and well-structured with seamless acidity and firm tannins. This powerful wine is approachable and enjoyable now and will continue to evolve and show its personality over the next decade.
Winery Chef Chris Kennedy loves to pair this wine with black pepper or thyme to bring out the layered notes of this Cabernet Sauvignon. These spices soften the tannins allowing the fruit notes of the wine to be more noticeable and enjoyable. He suggests pairing it with our Ahi Tuna au Poivre recipe.
“For the second year running, it’s an Oak Knoll Cabernet which has carried the Best In Show torch for the Napa, underlining the fact that this spot in the Valley seems to be ideal for mingling Napa’s diagnostic generosity and depth with an expressive finesse and an approachability which both appeals to our judges and chimes with the wine world’s zeitgeist. The wine is still dark black-purple, and the aromatic currant and berry fruits are blue, tender and enticing, with skilled and seamless oak integration. On the palate, the wine has weight and depth — but what you really notice in this 2018 vintage is its purity and inner energy; the weight and depth follow on after, but don’t overwhelm from the start. The seamless integration of acidity and brisk tannin, too, is another mouthwatering hallmark — of skilled winemaking, or the place? Who’s to say?” – July 2021
- BEST IN SHOW
Decanter World Wine Awards 97 Points
Wolfberger Alsace Pinot Gris is made from 100 percent Pinot Gris.
Powerful and well structured wine. Round, rich, offering fruity aromas, toasty and spicy notes.
Excellent as an aperitif, it also pairs well with poultry, game and numerous cheeses.
Opus One 2014 is made from 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Malbec.
Of the great European wine families, the Rothschilds are perhaps the best known. And Baron Philippe de Rothschild is perhaps the best known of this great family. At the age of 20, Baron Philippe took on the management of Château Mouton Rothschild from his father Baron Henri. Philippe’s vision changed the world of wine: he invented Château bottling, commissioned great artists to illustrate his wine labels – and, in partnership with Robert Mondavi in 1979, created Opus One.In the 1980s, after her father’s death, Baroness Philippine de Rothschild left a stage career that included the Comédie Française and the Renault-Barrault Theatre Company, bringing her own exquisite style and creativity to the design, construction, and operation of Opus One.Among great New World wine pioneers, Robert Mondavi is an international icon. Bringing a passion for excellence to everything he did, Robert Mondavi led a renaissance in California fine wine for over six decades. Among other accomplishments, he introduced temperature-controlled fermentation, French oak barrel aging, and high-density viticulture to a fledgling American wine industry. But life was not only wine for Robert Mondavi: he broadened the American cultural palate by marrying fine wine to food, music, and the arts. One of few Americans to have received the French medal of the Legion of Honor, Robert Mondavi showed extraordinary vision as co-founder of Opus One.
The 2014 Opus One is not as showy or obvious as some of the other surrounding vintages, but it will have its day. Stylistically, the 2014 is bright and also a touch linear, with a construction built more on focus rather than opulence. Readers should plan on giving the 2014 another few years in bottle at a minimum. The mid-weight style is a bit Old World-leaning in this striking, super-classic Opus One. -- Antonio Galloni 96 Points
Blended of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Malbec, the Opus One 2014 Proprietary Red Wine sports an inky purple color and nose of crushed black and red currants, black cherries and mulberries with touches of underbrush, sautéed herbs and pencil shavings plus a waft of spice box. Medium-bodied, finely crafted and with an energetic line lifting the red and black fruits, it has a bold frame of grainy tannins and a very long, earth and spice-layered finish. -Robert Parker 96 Points