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Giuseppe Cortese Barbaresco is made from 100 percent Nebbiolo.
The wines of Giuseppe Cortese are every Piedmont aficionado’s dream. Located in the heart of the famous Rabajà zone, this small, family-owned winery, known for producing exquisitely balanced wines from the Barbaresco zone, is run by those who possess an intimate knowledge of the Nebbiolo grape. With profound respect and knowledge of the Barbaresco terroir, and long-held family traditions, Giuseppe Cortese is able to craft some of Piedmont’s most exceptional wines.
A native of Barbaresco, Giuseppe Cortese began a lifelong passion for winemaking by working with his father Giacomo in the family business. After several years of experience, he realized the future of high-quality Barbaresco wines was in developing the potential of the terroir. With this in mind, Giuseppe began re-orienting the family’s wine business and remodeling the winery, improving vinification techniques, and purchasing new land among the famous Rabajà vineyards. Giuseppe’s son Piercarlo joined him in the 1990s, after graduating from the highly regarded Enological School of Alba. Today, Cortese is the typical small, family-run winery, with Giuseppe’s wife Rosella and daughter Tiziana playing active roles in commercial aspects and public relations.
The Cortese winery is located in the hamlet of Rabajà, within the prestigious commune of Barbaresco. Just a mile from the ancient town of Barbaresco, along the Via Rabajà, the Cortese winery and family home sit atop the bowl that cradles the Rabajà cru vineyard, one of Barbaresco’s finest single vineyards. On the other side of Cortese’s 20 acres of vines, in the adjacent village of Trifolera, sits its beautiful, newly finished bed & breakfast, with idyllic views of row after row of Nebbiolo stretching below.
Attentive, rigorous care of the estate’s vineyards, strict selection of the best clusters, a traditional approach to vinification, and a gentle hand with modern techniques are the ingredients that define the unmistakable personality and unique flavors of Cortese’s wines. Before running his own winery, Giuseppe Cortese served as cellar master and vineyard manager for some of Piedmont’s most prestigious wineries. During this time, he gained invaluable knowledge of the Nebbiolo grape and how to maximize its potential in and around the Barbaresco zone.
The winery is located in an underground cellar nestled in the upper hillside of the Rabajà vineyard and houses various sizes of the larger traditional botti (large barrels) used for the vinification of Nebbiolo. Cortese believes that each lot needs to be treated individually and thus requires several different sizes of aging vessels. All this attention to detail yields wines of incredible depth and balance, with a finesse that rewards the patient consumer.
Guillemot-Michel Vire Clesse is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Beautifully expressive, with yellow fruits, orange blossom, smoke & flint. Thick and saline on entry, then seriously deep in the mid-palate, with suggestions of exotic fruits perfectly countered by strong minerality. This wine strikes a perfect balance between sweet and salty elements, and it shows vibrant acidity. It boasts a thickness that few other northern Mâconnais can match.
Enjoy with fish (such as sole meuniere), seafood, roasted chicken, goat cheese.
Xavier Vignon Chateauneuf du Pape XV Rouge is made from 50% Grenache, 45% Mourvèdre and 5% Syrah. From 100 year old vines.
It shows a bit of toasty oak up front but balances that with ample black cherry fruit and soft, dusty tannins. Long and harmonious on the finish, it should drink well on release in 2019 and for a decade or more after that.
Pairs with beef with mustard sauce - Pork tenderloin with winter vegetables - Roasted duck - Malaysian pork chop and spice tea.
Checking in as equal parts Syrah and Mourvèdre, the 2018 Châteauneuf Du Pape XV will certainly be an outstanding wine. It sports a deep purple color as well as lots of black and blue fruits, leafy herbs, cracked pepper, and a touch of minerality. Medium to full-bodied, it has good balance, terrific purity, and outstanding length.
-Jeb Dunnuck 90-93 Points
Flaunt Pinot Noir Peake Ranch Vineyard Santa Rita Hills is made from 100% Pinot Noir.
"A light shade of ruby in the glass, this single-vineyard expression pops on the nose with fresh Bing cherry, strawberry, curry leaf and carnation aromas. The palate is very zesty as well, with a taut texture that presents flavors of smashed currant, melon rind, crunchy sage and wild thyme. - MATT KETTMANN"
- Wine Enthusiast (April 2022), 94 pts
Domaine Drouhin Laurene Pinot Noir Dundee Hills is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
In the flush of its youth, the 2019 Laurène sparkles like a bright ruby. Cherry, mulberry, blackcurrant, and spices all harmonize into a beautifully aromatic bouquet. An overall graceful character is balanced by a firm structure and velvety tannins. This Laurène is a shining example of everything we’ve come to know and cherish from our vineyards in the Dundee Hills.
The 2019 Pinot Noir Laurène is youthfully coiled at this stage and will take more time in bottle to unwind. It opens with flinty, rocky notes, fleshing out to blackberry, red cherry and dark, spicy undertones. The palate is silky, intense and long, with a plethora of savory accents hinting at more to come.
-Wine Advocate 96+ Points
Begude Bandol Rouge is made from 90% Mourvèdre, 10% Grenache.
Eye: dark ruby colored
Nose: Intense, aromatic, fresh and elegant
Mouth: Structured on black fruits flavors, lightly woody , tanins are strong an firm in their early days (<5years) Good acidity give freshness backbone and great fruit/alcoholic balance . Delicate final on spices.
Opening: Decant 4-6 hours before serving
Soil: Clay-limestone Culture: Organic without pesticides nor chemicals additives Yield: 20 hectoliters/hectare Harvest: Manual in small cases Winemaking: Double sorting, 100% destemming, skin contact, with daily sticking in order to optimize color and aromatic extraction Alcoholic fermentation 15 days followed by malo lactic fermentation. Aging: 18 months in oak cask Bottling:
Grilled lamb, meat cooked with sauce, southern French cuisine and tasty dishes (tajines, couscous, paellas).
"Inviting spicy oak, malt and blackberry cream scents. Powerfully structured tannins, spicy liquorice and clove flavours as well as bramble fruit; very long finish. Its best years are far into the future. Terrific stuff."
- Decanter World Wine Awards 2020, 97 pts & Platinum Medal
DAOU Vineyards Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Petit Verdot.
The 2021 DAOU Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is emblematic of Paso Robles as a world-class region for Bordeaux-style wines. Intense purple-red hues foreshadow deep aromas of black fruit, pomegranate, tobacco, mocha, and bay leaf. Trailing notes of clove, nutmeg, and vanilla emerge as the wine opens up in the glass. Opulent textures expand across the palate with flavors of red fruit, blueberry, and chocolate-covered raspberry. The overall experience is fresh and rich, concluding with velvety tannins and impressive length.
The 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is blended with 23% Petit Verdot, made entirely with free-run juice, and it will be matured for 16 months in 50% new French oak. Opaque ruby, it offers pure aromas of cassis, violet, grilled meats, desert sage and bell pepper. The full-bodied palate is powdery, energetic and detailed with a long, layered finish.
-Wine Advocate 94-96 Points
Pierinvaletta Barbaresco is made from 100% Nebbiolo
Rich, Full bodied, Intense.
Pierin Valetta is one of the ancestor of the Family and these wines are dedicated to him as we would like to thank him for giving us vineyards that reach up to 70 years old.
Made from 70 years old vines planted on clay soils.
Aged 30 months in French and Slovanian Oak barrels.
Wine wasn't filtered before bottling.
Xavier Vignon Lirac Rouge is made from 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah.
Ripe fruit, ranging from raspberries and cherries to hints of stone fruit. Yet, it's not over the top or simply fruity. This full-bodied wine adds hints of leather, garrigue and licorice along the way, evolving from creamy to velvety on the palate and through the lasting finish.
Pairs with lamb Tagine with dry fruits - Duck breast fillet with green pepper sauce - BBQ Prime rib of beef.
"An 80-20 blend of Grenache and Syrah, Vignon's 2019 Lirac is drawn from multiple parcels with galets roulés over clay soils. Roughly one-third went into oak, while the rest stayed in tank. It may be the most complex of the various Vignon "Signature" offerings, marrying hints of garrigue and licorice with mixed berries and hints of oak. It's medium to full-bodied, silky and forward, with the same lip-smacking drinkability factor that marks all of Vignon's wines on the finish. - Joe Czerwinski"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (September 2020) 92 pts
Aalto P.S. Pagos Seleccionados Tinto is made from 100 percent Tempranillo.
The farming year began with a mild autumn and little precipitation. A very dry winter started with -9ºC reaching at the end higher temperatures than normal for that time of the year. Spring and summer characterized by little rain, only some rain showers in July and late August avoided the hydric stress of the vines. The vegetative cycle of the vine developed with big variations of temperatures, alternating warm and atypical low temperatures of 4ºC for mid-June. The ripening of the grapes happened under very good conditions and the harvest started on 24th September 2019.
100% Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) primarily from very old vines – 60 to 90 years old – from selected plots in La Horra and La Aguilera. The harvest was done by hand, in small boxes of 15 kilos that are thoroughly inspected, bunch by bunch, on the selection table.
Color: dark cherry, Aroma: toasty, spicy, fine cocoa, black fruit, Mouth: tasty, toasty, fine bitterness, ripe tannins
Guia Penin 94 Points
This wine reveals a complex and elegant bouquet that combines ripe fruit, leather and a fine woodiness. Round and warm on the attack, the palate is supported by solid tannins and a pleasant freshness in this harmonious and well textured wine.
The Merlot bring fruity notes and minerality from the clay-limestone terroir, enhanced by the incredibly expressive and spicy Cabernet Franc.
"A terrific effort from this large and immaculately maintained property on the clay-limestone slopes of the Côtes de Castillon, the 2019 d'Aiguilhe exhibits aromas of cherries and cassis mingled with notions of burning embers, licorice and warm spices. Medium to full-bodied, layered and concentrated, with lively acids, powdery tannins and a mineral finish, it's intelligently matured in tank and large-format oak as well as small barriques. - William Kelley"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (April 2022), 92 pts
"The 2019 d'Aiguilhe has a really lovely bouquet of ample black cherry, mulberry and light floral scents, very pure and delineated. The palate is medium-bodied with cedar-infused red fruit. While not as exuberant as the aromatics, this is nicely detailed and quite poised on the finish. No, I still cannot pronounce its name, but this Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux is well worth seeking out. - Neal Martin"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (February 2022), 92 pts
Alain Jaume Crozes Hermitage La Butte d'Or is made from 100 percent Syrah.
The wine comes from vineyards planted on well drained soils that are composed of gravels deposited by the Isere and Rhone Rivers. They store heat and bring a beautiful expression of Syrah.
The nose offers intense aromas of violet, blueberry and blackcurrant that mingle with subtle notes of mint and black pepper. In the mouth, the wine is juicy and pleasant with a velvety texture.
Hand-picked grapes, vinification in stainless steel vats. Total destemming. Cold pre-fermentation maceration.
"The 2019 Crozes-Hermitage La Butte D'Or is incredibly spicy and peppery, with a medium-bodied, elegant, nicely balanced style. Delivering silky yet present tannins as well as good acidity, it’s just about as gulpable and delicious as they come. Enjoy bottles over the coming 4-6 years."
- Jeb Dunnuck (November 2020), 89-91 pts
It is hard to imagine with the Lithology range receiving 298 points out of 300 for the three single-vineyard wines, that there could possibly be a wine above them. But there is, and it is our Estate wine. Blended several times very intently by masters of their craft Philippe Melka and Michel Rolland, this is the ultimate expression of our house’s work. Positive, full-bodied, and quite powerful, there’s the expected crème de cassis and blackberry from St. Helena Cabernets, with mineral, herb, subtle tobacco and vanilla, plum skins, and pie crust, purple flowers, forest-conifer notes, and very fine tannic structure. It is a magnificent, and magnificently elegant expression of this house, and when asked recently, Monsieur Rolland stated plainly to me, “oh yes indeed – this is the best one, the best yet…”
Pure perfection in Cabernet, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Alejandro Bulgheroni is all varietal and comes two-thirds from Oakville with the balance from sites in St. Helena and Rutherford. Aged 20 months in 70% new French oak and put together by Philippe Melka and Michel Rolland, it has an incredibly pure, full-bodied, massive yet weightless style that I suspect couldn’t be achieved anywhere outside of Napa Valley. Cassis, blackberries, leafy herbs, lead pencil shavings, and tobacco leaf are just some of the nuances here, and it’s full-bodied, deep, and concentrated on the palate while maintaining an ethereal, seamless, utterly perfect balance between its fruit, alcohol, tannins, and acidity. As good as it gets, it needs just 2-4 years in the cellar and will evolve gracefully for at least 20-25 years.
-Jeb Dunnuck 100 Points
Jubilation is our newest wine in the Colgin Cellars collection. Jubilation is our Cabernet Sauvignon-based wine created with a selection of barrels that display earlier drinking characteristics from our three hillside vineyards. As our vine age has matured and small additions have been made to our original holdings, we had the privilege of increasing our selectivity. Following the blending of our single-vineyard wines, we were fortunate to have a collection of barrels that conveyed the same elegance and complexity for which we are known, yet on a more supple, approachable frame. Jubilation is a wine ready to enjoy now, with the pedigree to age gracefully in the cellar, maintaining the Colgin Cellars’ hallmarks of perfume, freshness, and minerality. The inaugural bottling of Jubilation from the 2016 vintage was released in late 2020. Future vintages are destined for select members of the fine wine trade.
A barrel fermented, old vines Verdejo made in a style different from what we typically see in this white varietal. It has a remarkable complexity, resulting in the smoothness and depth of a high-end white. Very suitable for cellaring.
Golden yellow color with greenish reflections. Complex, toasty aromas of nuts & dried fruit. Large, creamy, spicy, balanced and voluminous.
Rice with fish, cooked seafood, grilled seafood, baked white fish.
"The eponymous 2020 Ossian was produced with Verdejo grapes from old, organically farmed vines around the village of Nieva (Segovia), a zone where phylloxera didn't reach. They consider 2020 their finest vintage to date, with a big change from 2018 and when they have achieved a much better understanding of their vineyards. It has notes of pit fruit and sweet spices, with good weight on the palate, moderate alcohol (13.5%) and ripeness and good freshness and balance. It's serious and with potential to develop in bottle. 80,000 bottles produced. - Luis GUTIERREZ"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (January 31st 2023), 94 pts