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Tasca d'Almerita Tenuta Tascante 'Contrada Sciaranuova' Etna Rosso is made from 100% Nerello Mascalese.
Mt Etna, Europe's largest active volcano, is situated on the eastern side of Sicily and is home of some of Italy's most dramatic wine landscapes. The Etna DOC is divided into 132 Contrade, or wine districts, that are distinguished by different volcanic soil formations. The Tasca family works in four Contrade all located on the north side of Mt. Etna. Contrada Sciaranuova is located between Montelaguardia and Passopisciaro and is home to 12 acres of vineyards, planted in 2008, and more than 17 acres of chestnut groves. It is marked by its steep grade of 8.5% with volcanic formations with origins between 4,000 and 40,000 years ago. Tenuta Tascante Contrada Sciaranuova is 100% Nerello Mascalese fermented in stainless steel and aged partly in large Slavonian oak cask and part in French oak barrique.
Red flowers, red plums and cherries are the main aromas of this wine. Ground almonds and coffee beans are the secondary notes that enrich the matrix. Extremely silky on the palate thanks to the ripe and sweet tannins, it shows a solid and compact center of the palate and a wide and long finish. Delicious will now be in its best shape from 2020 to 2025 and beyond.
-Winecritics.com 97 Points
Sicily’s star is ascendant in the wine community, and it seems that when anyone looks at Sicily these days, their eyes are immediately drawn to the island’s most prominent topographic feature, the great volcano Mount Etna. Etna wines are almost as hot as the lava inside that peak, metaphorically speaking. Sicily has been well known as a major source of Italian wine forever, but until relatively recently it was viewed as a producer of bulk wines for export or cheap everyday wines. With the revolution in quality that has taken place on the island in the past decade, though, that reputation has been turned on its head, and Sicilian wines are being sought out by wine buyers and consumers—none more so than the wines of Etna.
The Tasca d'Almerita family, one of Sicily's oldest and most esteemed wine families, is now led by seventh generation Alberto Tasca. The family, who has been making wine across Sicily for over 200 years, is a leading producer of Etna wines at its Tenuta Tascante estate (the name is a portmanteau of Tasca and Etna). The estate was founded in 2007 with the purchase of two vineyards in the communes of Castiglione di Sicilia and Randazzo on the north face of the volcano. The northern exposure is a cool-climate area, due to the combination of elevation and less direct sun, which helps to retain acidity in the wines.
The Tasca family currently owns four parcels, located in the contrade of Pianodario and Sciaranova in Randazzo, and Rampante and Grasà in Castiglione. (A contrada is a small subdivision of a commune, based on various defining criteria such as elevation, cultural/historical significance, or the age of past lava flows.) The vineyards are mostly at elevations of 2,450 to 2,600 feet (750–800 meters) on the 11,000-foot mountain. All are certified as sustainable under SOStain, a Sicilian-based program that rates wineries and vineyards based on their impact on the environment, in conjunction with the Italian Ministry of the Environment’s VIVA indicators of sustainability.
For the first several years, Tascante wines were unable to print "Etna DOC" on the wine labels, even though that was the source of all the grapes, because denomination rules require that wines be vinified and bottled within the DOC—and Tasca did not have a facility on the volcano. Thus, the early vintages were labeled simply "Sicilia." However, that issue was rectified in 2016 with the acquisition of an existing winery in Castiglione, so going forward, Tascante’s wines can be properly identified as products of Mount Etna.
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
Tenuta di Arceno Arcanum is made from 74% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot.
The dark and intense fruit aromas jump out of the glass with ripe plums, blackberries on the vine, and tones of sweet mint. The mouthfeel is full, balanced by gentle acids and rich tannins. Flavors are reminiscent of dark chocolate covered cherries and spicy black pepper. The long finish shows cigar box and cedar spice. A vintage that will age well into the next decade.
It would be impossible to exaggerate the grandeur and majesty of the overachieving 2015 Arcanum. The blend is 74% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot. This full-bodied wine is mostly defined by its texture that is exceedingly rich and smooth with significant infusions of blackberry, plum, spice, tobacco and cured leather. The wine achieves beautiful balance, yet it remains intense and powerful all the while.
-Wine Advocate 97 Points
Tenuta di Arceno Valadorna is made from 65% Merlot 19% Cabernet Sauvignon 11% Cabernet Franc 5% Petit Verdot.
This Merlot-led blend is sourced primarily from the Valadorna and Capraia blocks, which produce the estate’s most complex and mineral-based expressions of this variety. The blocks are located within the cooler part of the estate, naturally irrigated by the stream that undulates through it, and feature sandy brown soils and lower yields than typical. These blocks are often the last Merlot blocks to ripen on the estate.
The 2015 vintage was almost perfect for growing wine. The winter was wet, storing vital groundwater for the warmer months ahead. Bud break at the end of March was followed by ideal weather for flowering which produced a perfect crop size. The summer was dry and warm with plenty of sunshine, but not in excess. Necessary rainfall arrived in the first weeks of August without any other rain events until October, creating ideal conditions for harvest. This will be a vintage to remember for its opulence and elegance. In warm years like 2015, Merlot shows its soft, savory and slightly racy character.
The wine exhibits hig-toned aromas of ripe black cherries, vanilla bean and cedar. With bright acidity, the wine expands quickly on the palate. Plush tannins carry through the center with a fine, tingling finish. The palate shows flavors of tart cherry pie, dried red berries and black licorice, with a long finish of white pepper, dusty roses and stony minerality.
The 2015 Valadorna (65% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot) is a dark and thickly endowed red wine that boasts a rich and lasting grip on the palate. The bouquet offers depth and complexity with dark fruit, leather, cured tobacco and spice. There are also softer notes of chocolate and ground espresso beans. The wine's seamless integration of flavors leads to increased momentum and intensity as the wine continues to open in the glass.- Wine Advocate 95 Points
Biondi Santi Tenuta Greppo Annata Brunello di Montalcino is made from 100 percent Sangiovese.
The Biondi-Santi flagship wine, the Brunello di Montalcino embodies the spirit of Tenuta Greppo and the signature style of our winemakers, forged over 150 years of history with its balanced combination of fresh elegance, depth and aristocratic personality.
Underbrush, ripe berry, new leather and Mediterranean herb aromas slowly take shape in the glass. Showing youthful tension, the vibrant palate delivers red cherry, pomegranate, white pepper and pipe tobacco notes framed by bright acidity and taut, refined tannins. It already shows great balance and finesse but is still young and tight. Drink 2022–2035.
-Wine Enthusiast 96 Points
Alain Jaume Rasteau Les Valats is made from 90% Grenache, 10% Syrah, planted on clay and stones based soil.
40 Hectoliters / Hectare
Deep red garnet color. Aromas of fresh red berries. On the palate, the richness of the fruit and tannins harmonizes with the roundness of the wine.
The finish is long, with spicy touches and minerals notes. Complete and authentic.
Grapes planted on clay and stones based soil.
"Notes of wet sandstone, crushed earth and olive lend elegant restraint to crisp black cherry and blackberry here. A blend of 90% Grenache and 10% Syrah, this concentrated wine is marked by savory tones of dried mint and sage. Fine but firm tannins and a mineral freshness accent the finish. It's ready now but should improve through 2030. - ANNA LEE C. IIJIMA"
- Wine Enthusiast (March 2019), 91 pts
"Earth, black olive and plummy fruit combine on the nose of the 2016 Rasteau Les Valats. It's a bit rugged, but in a good way, with savory tannins framing the dark flavors and lingering on the finish. Dark and dusty, it calls out for grilled meat. - Joe Czerwinski"
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #238, August 31st 2018), 90 pts
"The 2016 Rasteau Les Valats is another outstanding wine from this team, offering classic Rasteau earthy black fruits, gravelly minerality, and a touch of spice to go with a full-bodied, concentrated, powerful style on the palate. Based on 80% Grenache and 10% each of Syrah and Mourvèdre, it’s a powerful yet balanced 2016 that will keep for 7-8 years."
- Jeb Dunnuck (March 2019), 90 pts
Antica Vigna Valpolicella Ripasso DOC Superiore is made from 65% Corvina, 20% Rondinella, 10% Corvinone, 5% Merlot
Ripasso Superiore DOC is an elegant and refined wine, showing a beautiful and intense ruby color. Spicy, with cherry hints and wild berries notes, it features great personality and complexity. In the palate it is rich, very fruity, elegant and still young but already very well-orchestrated, with the typical notes of wild berries that blend well with the complexity of the wine.
20% in steel· 80% in wood for 6 months of which 2/3 in American and French barriques, half of which are used for the second and third time 1/3 in large barrels
Fermentation time: about 7/10 days the first and 15 days the second.
Fermentation: at a controlled temperature of 18/20° and second fermentation on the skins of Amarone at 18/20°C.
Vinification: soft crushing of destemmed grapes to obtain Valpolicella.
Drying: the grapes are not dried but vinified fresh.
Harvest: mid-September with manual harvesting of the grapes.
VINIFICATION AND AGENG:
Vineyard management: sustainable agriculture and great attention to natural cycles
Vine density: 4,000 to 5,400 vines per hectare
Vine planting year: from 1972 to 2009
Vineyard training system: guyot and pergola
Soil type: limestone
Height: 350/400 meters asl
Geographical location: Tenuta di Mezzane, Tenuta di Cazzano di Tramigna
Pairs well with grilled and roasted meats, as well as cheese.
62% Sangiovese, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah (percentage may vary). Among Tuscany's oldest and most prestigious wine families, Ambrogio and Giovanni Folonari teamed with Allen Shoup to produce a wine that showcases Washington State's terroir with plenty of Italian character. Saggi (meaning "wisdom") is a stunning blend of two outstanding Washington Sangiovese vineyards. Candy Mountain Sangiovese gives the wine its dark fruit flavors and appealing notes of anise. Dick Boushey's Yakima Valley Sangiovese, planted in 1992, adds vibrancy and liveliness. Because Cabernet Sauvignon has the potential to overtake Sangiovese, the Folonaris work closely with Sagemoor Vineyards to carefully select blocks of Cabernet they know from experience deliver elegant character and refined tannins. Syrah, also from Sagemoor, adds to the wine's dark color and rich mid-palate.
Shows cherries, chocolate and hints of cedar. Medium-bodied, tight and focused with a fine and silky finish. Pretty blend of 62% sangiovese, 28% cabernet sauvignon and 10% syrah. Drink or hold. -James Suckling 95 Points
Crème de cassis, ripe black cherries, licorice, and toasty oak all emerge from the 2015 Saggi Red Wine, which is a blend of 62% Sangiovese, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Syrah. With an inky color, full-bodied richness, fine, polished tannin and a great finish, it's another terrific wine from this estate that's going to evolve beautifully for 10-15 years.- Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
Displaying full-bodied opulence, density, depth, structure, and complex aromas and flavors, our cabernet sauvignon is cultivated from some of the most sought after vineyards in Napa Valley.
The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) is a gorgeous, racy wine that captures all the best the vintage has to offer within its peer group. Juicy red and purplish berry fruit, lavender and mint give the 2017 striking freshness and nuance to match its mid-weight personality. This is such a pretty and accessible wine. I would prefer to drink it over the next decade or so.
-- Antonio Galloni 92 Points
Well-built, with the vintage's warm and forward plum and blackberry preserve profile leading the way, while lush melted licorice and sweet spice accents fill in on the finish. A purely fruit-driven version, but the balance is there. Drink now through 2029. 4,330 cases made.
-Wine Spectator 92 Points