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Sometimes, the best things come from tough experiences. Our Black Label Reserve Portteus Syrah embodies this ideal. In one of the tougher growing seasons in recent memory, I was not sure what would come of the vintage. Within 6 months after harvest, I knew I had something special with this wine. Month after month, it evolved highlighting what these almost 20 year old Syrah vines could produce. The color is an incredibly deep and glass coating purple, the nose erupts with aromas of bacon fat and a subtle bouquet of wisteria . lilac. Viscous and dense, you will get mouth-filling notes of swiss chocolate and white pepper. Sit back and savor each velvety sip with a coffee-cocoa spiced rack of lamb and chocolate cheesecake. Decant for at least an hour to release its aromatics and enjoy this Syrah easily through the next decade.
Another stunning effort is the 2012 Portteus Vineyard, which is located in the Rattlesnake Hills AVA. Exhibiting layers of smoked plums, liquid smoke and serious minerality, this full-bodied, layered and rich Syrah has notable underlying structure and tannin, with a firm, compact and focused feel. Fermented with 33% whole cluster and aged 16 months in 50% new French oak barrels, it comes from the second oldest Syrah vines planted in the state. Give it 2-3 years in the cellar and enjoy bottles through 2025. This Walla Walla estate is owned and run by Justin Wylie. He excelled with his 2011 and 2012s. -Wine Advocate Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
Chi va piano, va sano e va lontano. He who goes slowly, goes safely and goes far. This old Italian saying sums up Va Piano Vineyards approach to winemaking, and to life.
The inspiration for a Tuscan-themed winery and tasting room came about after owner/winemaker Justin Wylie spent his senior year at Gonzaga University studying in Florence, Italy. He fell in love with the art, rustic architecture, culture, history, and warm hospitality he encountered there. Upon his return to the Walla Walla Valley (Justin is a fourth-generation native), his passion for wine making (and wine!) soon matched his passion for Tuscany and the seeds for Va Piano Vineyards were planted.
The Va Piano Vineyards winery and tasting room share a custom built 7,500 square foot facility built in Tuscan style: timber beamed ceilings, wrought iron railings, clay tile roof, traditional earthen stucco, eight-foot-tall distressed alder doors, and tumbled granite door and window accents create a timeless impression of quality.
Va Piano Vineyards is inspired by Tuscany, but the wine is quintessential Walla Walla. Take your time, enjoy yourself, and participate fully in the beautiful journey.
Complex and compelling, this estate-grown Syrah sends up smoky notes of cured meat, nougat and caramel. Black cherry fruit anchors the barrel notes, and it just gets more and more delicious as it winds its way across the palate. This demonstrates classy winemaking and perfect balance.
The fruit for this wine is grown at an elevation of 1310 feet on the grounds of the Winery. The higher elevation and the proximity to the Blue Mountains, gives this vineyard a longer, cooler ripening season than most other areas of the Walla Walla Appellation. The cooler site results in a style much like that of a classic Northern Rhone with complexity and balance without the concentration and higher alcohol levels of Syrah produced in warmer areas.
"(from the estate's Mill Creek Upland vineyard): Bright full ruby. Lively butt but subdued scents of cassis, blackberry, minerals, brown spices, violet and licorice; showing a distinctly dark side of Syrah. Intensely flavored, firm and juicy; not a particularly fleshy or pliant style but offers lovely inner-mouth violet lift and a dense weave to the flavors of dark berries and minerals. This serious Syrah boasts a firm spine of acids and tannins and finishes with sneaky persistence. Dry, laid-back and rather classic wine, in need of time in bottle to expand and gain in complexity. (14.7% alcohol) - Stephen Tanzer"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2018), 92 pts
A ruby red garnet color, ripe fruit aromas, dried fruits, hints of licorice and scents of vanilla. Robust and harmonious in the mouth, a rich texture. The wine is only produced in the best vintages.
The grapes are coming from a vineyard planted at 400 meters above sea level. The soil is mainly marl and limestone.
The density of vines per hectare is 5,000 plants, which is equivalent to 2,000 vines per acre.
The pruning technique used is cordon
The grapes used are 100% Sangiovese grosso
Alcoholic fermentation was done in tank, while the Malo-Lactic fermentation was carried in oak barrels.
Wine was then aged for one year in big French oak barrels and 3 years in Slavonian oak barrels.
"With only 1,000 bottles produced, the 2012 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is a precious wine that might prove difficult to locate. This is a dark and syrupy expression with black fruit aromas of blackberry preserves and prune. You definitely taste the warmth and sunshine in this hot-vintage Sangiovese. The bouquet is intense and rich, but the wine is not as long-lived in terms of mouthfeel. This is a wine of immediate power and volume. - Monica Larner"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #235, February 2018), 92 points
"Medium dark red. High-pitched red berry and floral aromas, plus a hint of underbrush and smoked beef adding weight. Shows good depth and spicy red fruit character in the mouth, featuring a creamy texture and flourishes of cinnamon and mocha. The finish showcases lingering red fruit and savory elements. Much deeper and more interesting than Poggio Nardone’s disappointing 2013 Brunello. - Ian D'Agata"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (April 2018), 91 points
"Deep cherry flavors darken into tones of tobacco and damp leaves as this robust Brunello is exposed to air. Layers of black spice and grilled meat add dimension, the flavors warmed by ample alcohol.”
- Wine & Spirits Magazine (April 2019), 91 pts
Notes of meyer lemon and white flower petals carry over to prange blossom and ripe melon.
The late heat in August and September really pushed the Chardonnay to develop into a fruit forward wine. Hand picked, chilled and pressed whole cluster. 10 -20 years old vines.
Antica Vigna Amarone della Valpolicella Riserva is made from 65% Corvina, 20% Rondinella, 10% Corvinone, 5% Merlot.
Amarone DOCG has maintained unchanged its typicality, so that “the essence of the territory” of Valle di Mezzane and Cazzano di Tramigna powerfully emerges. Rich in color, firmly structured but with fresh notes.
WINEMAKING AND AGING:
Manual harvest early October with selection of the best bunches.
Drying: natural drying in fruit cellar for 3/4 months with a sharp drop in weight of around 30%.
Vinification: soft crushing of destemmed grapes in the months of January and February.
Fermentation: at a controlled temperature of 18/21°C. Fermentation time: about 30 days
Aging:· 80% in oak barrels for 30 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
Geographical location: Tenuta di Mezzane, Tenuta di Cazzano di Tramigna
Height: 350/400 meters asl
Soil type: limestone
Vineyard training system: guyot and pergola
Vine planting year: from 1972 to 2009
Vine density: 4,000 to 5,400 vines per hectare Vineyard management: sustainable agriculture and great attention to natural
Pairs well with grilled and roasted meats, as well as cheese.
Rich in color, firmly structured but with fresh notes. Complex with depth and elegance on the palate,. Balanced notes of currant and wild berries that blend well with the complexity of the wine. Touches of tobacco and leather notes merge with ripe fruit flavors that linger on long strain tannin. This one is drinking now, but can handle more time in the cellar with ease.
Betz Family La Serenne Syrah is 100% Syrah
La Serenne is the most reflective of the site/vintage dynamic of our three single-site 2012 Syrahs. Lovers of this wine know that its source, the Boushey Vineyard, is the highest altitude of the three vineyards and is typically the latest harvested. This cool site was accentuated by the cooler season and the results reflect the seriousness of this vineyard and its care.
An extraordinary, nearly impenetrable black purple color leads to a concentrated, inky aromatic impression: smoky black cherry and wild blackberry dominate, but a litany of supporting aromas is already emerging: smoke, violet, mushroom, roasted meat, Chinese 5 spice and minerals. It has a full attack on entry and a big, rich mouthfeel that goes on and on.
2012 is our 13th harvest from this site and these rows. We continue to be impressed with the chameleon nature of this vineyard, in cool years and hot, in heat spikes and cool springs: it provides us with surprises and opportunities at every harvest. While the themes of deep black fruits and pliant structure always surface, the nuance of this vineyard and its care (thank you, Dick Boushey) make it some of the most satisfying fruit we work with every harvest.
All from Dick Boushey’s vineyard in Yakima Valley, the 2015 Syrah La Serenne was also all destemmed and brought up in barrel. It’s a more elegant, complex and nuanced Syrah compared to the Cote Rousse and offers classic notes of blackberries, peppery herbs, lavender and spring flowers. Full-bodied, fresh and lively, drink it anytime over the coming 10-15 years. Robert Parker 94 Points
"This has terrific plum and boysenberry aromas with attractive wet earth and deep plums, violets, hard brown spices and dark stones. The palate has bright yet precise dark-plum and blackberry fruits, spiced dark chocolate, stony elements and a long, succulent finish. Brilliant wine in a very early stage of its life. Drink 2020 through a decade or more."
- James Suckling (December 2018), 96 pts - #88 - TOP 100 AMERICAN WINES OF 2018
Boxwood Estate Topiary is made from 71% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot.
The Topiary is a dark garnet color. A delicate floral nose of violet and lilac lingers through to the palate, blooming into plush dark flavors of blueberry, blackberry and plum. A strong fruit character leads into woody tannin and subtle hints of graphite, challenging the norms of Merlot-based Bordeaux blends with its lively fruitiness and a lengthy and full-bodied finish.
Hand harvested, triple sorted, destemmed, gravity fed into open-top stainless steel fermenters
• 15% bleed, whole berry fermentation separate by varietal
• Pump over, 100% manual punch down, 8 day fermentation 14 day post fermentation maceration
• Pumped into barrel, free run separated from press wine (1st press only)
• Malolactic fermentation in barrel
• Aging in French oak barrels for 12 months, 33% new / 33% 1 year / 33% 2 year
"A ripe and polished Bordeaux blend showing ripe redcurrants and blackberries, plus savory and herbal notes. At once creamy and dry with a long, even finish. A blend of 71 per cent merlot, 23 per cent cabernet franc and six per cent petit verdot. Drink or hold."
- James Suckling (October 2018), 91 pts
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Collemattoni Adone Rosso Toscano is made from 95% Sangiovese and 5% Merlot
ruby red in color, bouquet of violet, cherry and blackberry, pleasant, dry and well balanced mouthfeel.
Coming from a parcel with 5-8 year old vines planted in sandy clay and marl soils.
Harvest is 100% destemmed with a soft pressing, fermentation in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperature of 28-30°C, maceration for 10 days.
Malolactic fermentation completed.
Wine is slightly filtered before bottling.