Velette Orvieto Amabile is made from 30% Trebbiano, 30% Grechetto, 20% Malvasia, 15% Verdello and 5% Drupeggio.A brilliant and pale straw color with golden reflections. The bouquet is complex and filled with ripe fruit and subtle spiciness. The palate is rich in flavor with a beguiling roundness and a subtle hint of spiciness. The finish is refreshingly fruity and not sweet or cloying.
Origin of the name: The first evidence of a society given to cultivating the grape on these hills is of Etruscan origin and the wine produced was most likely sweet. Hence a method and a tradition which have made the fortune of these lands for centuries. The word the Etruscans used for their people was precisely "Rasenna".
Pairs with seafood, fresh and aged cheeses, spicy dishes such as Thai or Shezchuan. Soft and semi-matured cheeses. Very good as a dessert wine especially with fruit tarts and the traditional crunchy biscuits and cakes.
The Tenuta Le Velette Estate
The hill on which the Le Velette estate is situated, to the east of the rock on which stands Orvieto, has always been a point of great agricultural and strategic interest in the course of its three thousand year history. The position, controlling a good part of the valley of Orvieto, the volcanic terrain exposed to the sun from dawn till dusk, and the special microclimate with significant thermal swings between night and day have always been its good fortune.
The first to see its great wine-growing potential were the Etruscans, the people who had already in the 7th century B.C. imported the vine from the Greeks. They certainly used the hill as a rural settlement for its cultivation and dug grottoes in the tufo rock, (just as we still do today), which offered excellent conditions for wine conservation. During Roman times, the hillside kept its wine-making role but developed significantly also as a strategic check point: right in the middle of the present estate, where Villa Felici stands today, a control tower was built and a resting-place for travellers, which led to significant development in the area.
After a difficult period of barbarian and Longobard invasions, the area regained great importance as papal state land. In this period the Etruscan grottoes were extended and became a safe refuge and place of worship for the first monks who settled there soon after.
With the advent of feudalism, the area passed into the hands of the Negroni counts, feudal lords of a nearby village, preserving its wine-making function for centuries before being given in endowment to a monastic order by a descendent who had become an abbot.
At the unification of Italy everything went to the city of Orvieto, which sold the estate to the Felici family. And so began the first experimentations in the vineyard and the cellar which led in very few years to the production of excellent wines, as is testified by the medals won in that period in Roman oenological competitions. The estate's wine went into commerce in the new-born Italy.
The fundamental step towards modern viticulture and oenology was taken in the 1950s when the brilliant Tuscan agronomist, Marcello Bottai, and his wife Giulia, a descendent of the Felici family, chose to make the estate their home and life project. This was the start of a period of development geared to a proper appreciation of the full potential not only of the firm but also of the whole district. The production of high quality wines was established along with the setting up of systems for the development and protection of Orvieto viticulture. A fundamental move was the foundation with other producers of what would become the present consortium for the safeguard of Orvieto wines. An absolutely innovative vision for the times that the young couple not only had had the wit to conceive but which they also had the courage and determination to bring into existence.
The Tenuta Le Velette Vineyard
They carefully and selectively harvest from their own 90 hectares (222 acres) of vineyards. The excellent exposure provides all day sun and the rich tufaceous soil is of volcanic origin.
Palacio del Burgo Tinto is made from 85% Tempranillo, 10% Garnacha & 5% Mazuelo.
Very bright, deep and clean violet color; blackberry and licorice aromas in the nose; long-lasting, powerful and smooth taste in mouth.
Enjoy it with cheese and red meat.Very bright, deep and clean violet color; blackberry and licorice aromas in the nose; long-lasting, powerful and smooth taste in mouth.
"A fruity and plummy wine with just a hint of strawberry jam. Full body. Velvety tannins and a flavorful finish. Dense and layered. Some may find it a little heavy, but it’s lively. Drink now." - James Suckling (July 2019), 90 pts
Pale Yellow color with fresh green tones.
Very aromatic, with citrus, tropical fruit, tangerine, lemongrass and lemon thyme. Fruity notes with anise and minerals, typical of the Verdejo grape. Fresh in the mouth, the wine is slightly fizzy, with an excellent balance between acidity and sweetness.
100% Verdejo from the Rueda region.
Vine density: 2,222 vines per hectares
Yield: 9,000 kilos per hectares
Fermentation lasts between 6 and 8 days.
Total Acidity: 6.8 g/liter
Pairs with appetizers, dessert or light meal.
Romariz Latina Tawny Reserve is a carefully selected blend of seven to nine year old Tawny Ports are used for "Reserva Latina". The port was created for the Tawny loving Brazilian markets, Reserve of the Latin hence the name "Reserva Latina". This tawny port makes an ideal after dinner offering and a lovely companion to coffee and sweets. Nutty, raisin character, great length and finesse.
Argot Bastard Tongue Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Sonoma Pinot Noir.
Inheriting an unbroken string of success, the “Bastard Tongue” arrives fully-formed and ready to impress. Always a blend from multiple Pinot Noir vineyards, this iteration of “BT” was selected from three distinct sites, each making their own unique contribution of Sonoma County terroir to the wine’s character.
Exploding forth on a tidal wave of high-toned, intense red and black fruits, this is a Pinot Noir that no stemware can contain. The palate’s profound depth is balanced by an inherent freshness, allowing the wine to crackle with brambly energy, while sustained by bass notes of underbrush, black tea, pie spice and baker’s chocolate. A formidable rendition of “Bastard Tongue”, and a deserving successor to its line.
Night harvested by hand throughout September, cluster and berry sorted by hand, de-stemmed, no crushing. 7-day cold soaks, followed by native fermentation in open-top bins. Average time on the skins, 14 days. Aging 20 months in French oak, 100% new. Never racked prior to bottling. Bottled unfined, unfiltered.
Very versatile for pairing. Goes well with grilled meat, vegetable, fish, poultry and cheese.
Pale to medium ruby-purple in color, the 2020 Pinot Noir Bastard Tongue comes bounding out with energetic notes of black cherry compote, black raspberries, and pomegranate with a beautiful undercurrent of violets and dark chocolate. The full-bodied palate is vibrant and pure, with fine-grained tannins and a lively backbone, finishing very long and perfumed. This is perhaps the best 2020 Pinot I've tasted!
-Wine Independent 96 Points
Avennia Sestina Red Blend is made from 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc.
The Sestina is a poetic form from Medieval France. Just as a contemporary poet can use an old form like the Sestina to express modern ideas, we use the traditional Bordeaux blend to make modern wines that express Washington fruit. Sestina is our vision for an old vine blend where the focus is on structure, balance, and complexity. This wine is designed for the cellar, but is enjoyable now.
Sestina: This wine is a blockbuster, with black currant, black raspberry, saddle leather, freshly tilled earth, vanilla, and violet on the nose. Exceedingly rich and balanced on the palate, with great poise and structure for long aging. The finish echoes with fresh black fruits, minerally touches, and floral notes.
The 2020 Sestina showed beautifully, with lots of ripe black fruits, tobacco, and spring flower notes in a medium to full-bodied, fresh, focused, elegant style. It has fine tannins and a great finish and should drink nicely right out of the gate. The tannins here are terrific.
Jeb Dunnuck 94-96 Points
Bressia Monteagrelo Malbec is made from 100 percent Malbec.
Aged in French oak barrels for 12 months. No filtration and no fining.
Bressia Monteagrelo combines the soul of each varietal, its intimate relationship with the origin and its deep roots with a unique terroir in the world...Monteagrelo is our family of wines and, as in any family, each one expresses their own identity and varietal personality that makes them unforgettable and unrepeatable." - Walter Bressia
Monteagrelo Malbec is sourced from vineyards in Tupungato, La Consulta & Agrelo. Planted 6,500 plants per hectare.
Attractive and intense red-colored wine with purple tones. It exhibits ripe red and black fruit aromas, mixed with vanilla, chocolate and coffee nuances. Good concentration, great structure, delicate tannins and a long, harmonious finish.
"The 2020 Malbec Monteagrelo was aged for 12 months in French oak. Purple in the glass. The intense aromas feature plum liqueur, cassis and hints of blackberry in an oaky, cigar box frame. The palate is broad and full-bodied with a channeled but voluminous, grippy flow. - Joaquín Hidalgo"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (January 2023), 92 pts
Cazaux Vacqueyras Rouge Grenat Noble 100% Grenache.
This wine is the result of extraordinary weather conditions. The first cuvée was produced in 1992 when violent storms and floods affected the region (especially Vaison la Romaine). The following days were radiant and accompanied by Mistral winds. We could then continue to harvest or more precisely harvest what remained of a rotten crop - but a noble rotten crop!
Following our first involuntary test of 1992, we wanted to reproduce this wine but we had to wait until 1995 to isolate the parcels that were capable of producing this noble rot. Unfortunately, the "noble" phenomenon does not occur every year despite late harvests (October 15).
The resulting wine is offers aromas of small red berries (cherries, raspberries), liquorice, fig, honey, fruit brandy and plum. It is elegant, supple and smooth on the palate with a firm, generous and suave structure. A beautiful length on spices and cherry.
This Grenache nectar marries will with dishes such as pan-fried foie gras in honey and fig preserve, leg of lamb with preserved fruits accompanied by local cereal "epautre" or other sweet and sour dishes.
"Not yet bottled, the 2020 Vacqueyras Grenat Noble should also be outstanding. Based mostly on Grenache, but with a small amount of Mourvèdre, it has a Provençal bouquet of red and black fruits, dried garrigue, toasted nuts, and spice. Rich, medium-bodied, and nicely textured, with a great finish, I'd be thrilled to have a bottle on the dinner table. It will keep through 2032."
- Jeb Dunnuck (March 2023), 91-93 pts
Chakana Cabernet Franc is made from 100 percent Cabernet Franc.
Chakana is the name of the Southern Cross constellation. Its rotation in the sky throughout the year made it an effective agricultural calendar for the ancient Andean people.
Expressive and ripe nose, juicy texture and intense fruit. Excellent balance, well integrated tannins and stunning minerality.
The 2020 Cabernet Franc Estate Selection comes from the Uco Valley and was aged for six months in French, 500-liter barrels. A rich reddish color. The nose offers ripe raspberry and blackberry with hints of mint and herbs that enhance the other flavors. The aging process makes itself felt in the mouth. The flow has a terse, broad texture initially, but then it grows more compact and linear. The mild acidity enlivens the reactive tannins, which establishes a good structure. A balanced take on the year, it will grow milder with more time in the bottle.
-Vinous 91 Points
Chappellet Grower Collection Calesa Vineyard Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
The Calesa Vineyard Chardonnay draws you in with alluring aromas of tropical flowers, summer melon, nectarine, lemon zest and guava, as well as French oak-inspired hints of melted butter and baking spices. On the palate, finely tuned acidity and a creamy, mouth-filling texture add depth and nuance to lush layers of stone fruit, lemon custard, pineapple and passionfruit, all of which culminate in a lingering fruit and spice finish.
The 2020 Chardonnay Grower Collection Calesa Vineyard is floral, with delicate tropical fruit of melon, orange blossom, and sweet baking spice. The palate is medium-bodied, with a silky texture and notes of toasted vanilla bean, ripe pear, and almond. A well-made wine, it cleans up with lingering floral perfume. Drink 2022-2030.
-Jeb Dunnuck 91 Points
Clos Saint-Jean is a 41-hectare estate in Châteauneuf-du-Pape run by brothers Vincent and Pascal Maurel. Considered by many critics and wine-writers as the preeminent estate espousing the modern style of winemaking in Châteauneuf, this cellar is one of the oldest in the region, having been founded in 1900 by the greatgreat-grandfather of Vincent and Pascal, Edmund Tacussel. A short time after its founding and well before the AOP of Chateauneuf-du-Pape was created in 1923, Edmund began bottling estate wines in 1910.
The farming at Clos Saint-Jean is fully sustainable due to the warm and dry climate, which prevents the need for chemical inputs. Instead, Vincent and Pascal employ organic methods for pest control, mainly pheromones, to prevent pests from taking up residence in their vines, a process called amusingly enough in French, confusion sexuelle. The vines tended manually, and harvest is conducted in several passes entirely by hand.
Combe des Fous literally means, the hill of the fool. The hill, in this case, is located in the far southern reach of Le Crau which was left barren for many centuries because the layer of galets was so exceedingly deep that everyone assumed vines could never survive there. The fool in this situation is Edmund Tacussel, the great-great-grandfather of Vincent and Pascal Maruel who planted a Grenache vineyard on this site in 1905. That old-vine Grenache form the heart of this cuvée with a small amount of Syrah, Cinsault and Vaccarèse. La Combe des Fous is only made in the best vintages.
Pumps out heady raspberry, mulberry and blackberry compote notes that keep form and direction, thanks to a roasted apple wood spine and flanking ganache, garrigue and warm earth notes. Seriously grippy finish. Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault and Vaccarèse.
-Wine Spectator 96 Points
The 2020 Châteauneuf Du Pape La Combe Des Fous is a normal blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and the rest Vaccarèse and Cinsault. Beautiful, full-bodied aromas and flavors of ripe black raspberries, violets, ground pepper, lavender, and herbes de Provence all emerge from this gorgeous barrel sample, and it shows the pure, fresh, yet still concentrated style of the vintage brilliantly.
-Jeb Dunnuck 94-97 Points
Keermont Cabernet Sauvignon grows in Keermont's Cottage Lane Vineyard on the mid-slopes of the Helderberg. This vineyard is situated on the crest of a ridge (320m above sea level) so has aspects ranging from East through North to West. It is very exposed resulting in small vines with low yields. This has allowed to make a relatively fine grained Cabernet, but the clay soils translate to a wine with power, tension and fresh acidity. They blend in a couple of barrels of other varieties to add to the complexity of flavor and tannin structure.
All grapes used in producing the wines are grown on Keermont Vineyards. Most of the vineyard parcels grow on deep red clay rich soil derived from sandstone and granite and are surrounded by indigenous ‘fynbos’ vegetation. The vineyards are planted on steep mid-slopes high up in the valley between the Stellenbosch and Helderberg mountain ranges. Aspects vary from North East through North to West facing between 250 and 400 meters above sea level.
Dark ruby red in color, this is quite a serious vintage with a complex bouquet of ripe red berry fruit, cedarwood, and typical ‘fynbos’ flowers. The palate is full bodied, but gentle. Tannin structure is full and dense and coats the palate while the natural acidity keeps the ripe fruit in check. Savory notes of tomato paste and cloves add character to the bright red strawberry and cassis flavors which linger into a long, tight finish. Drink 2020 – 2035.
"Something of a crowd pleaser from Alex Starey, this is a comparatively forward cuvée of Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc. Supple, ripe and perfumed, it combines fynbos and dried herb aromas, fig and mulberry flavours, supple tannins and plenty of body and alcohol. 2023-29"
- Tim Atkin (South Africa 2023 Report), 91 pts