Aromas recall scorched earth, underbrush, stewed prune and coconut. Oak spices, vanilla and coffee dominate the warm palate. It lacks fruit richness and can’t stand up to the assertive tannins or the heat of evident alcohol.
"The 2009 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is the nicest wine presented by Tenuta Vitanza this year. This expression definitely shows its oaky side but that new oak style (French tonneaux primarily) is characteristic of this estate located in the Torrenieri subzone that makes some of the darkest and most extracted expressions of Brunello regardless. Dark fruit, prune, plum, cherry, spice, cedar, cardamon and grilled herb all compete for your attention. The ensemble is bold, opulent and rich in a way that most other Brunello wines are not. There is a note of sourness on the tannins. Every once in a while you need a supersized Brunello to pair with that T-bone steak you crave. — Monica Larner"
- Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate (Issue 217, February 2015), 90 pts
Collemattoni Brunello di Montalcino is made from 100 percent Sangiovese.
Color: brilliant red with burgundy reflects; Bouquet: penetrating with memories of wild black fruits, black cherry and noble wood; Taste: warm, dry and persistent
Coming from a parcel with 10-15 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, pumping over for the first week of maceration followed by skin-contact maceration for 20-25 days with rack and return technique (delestage).
Malolactic fermentation completed.
Wine is slightly filtered before bottling.
"Good full red. Perfumed aromas of red cherry, kirsch, mocha and herbs on the inviting nose. Despite its size, this is graceful and impeccably built, with very precise flavors of red plum, blueberry, milk chocolate and minerals that expand and broaden on the long, seductive finish. Outstanding Brunello that offers both size and refinement. In my opinion, Collemattoni is a very underrated, off the radar Brunello estate but its wines deserve to be better known. - Ian D’Agata."
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (April 2020), 95 pts
Collemattoni Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is made from 100 percent Sangiovese.
Intense ruby red with brilliant burgundy reflects in color. Reminiscent of wild black fruits, vanilla and spices on the nose and dry, warm, slightly austere but velvety in the palate.
This wine comes from the oldest vineyard of Collemattoni: Fontelontano. Less than half hectare. It's one of the few Single Vineyard Brunello di Montalcino riserva.
Coming from a parcel with 15-18 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, pumping over for the first week of maceration following by skin-contact maceration for 20-25 days with rack and return technique (delestage).
Malolactic fermentation completed. The delestage and the pumping over are then spaced out along the process.
Wine is slightly filtered before bottling.
"Moderately saturated red. Deep rich aromas of redcurrant, smoky dark chocolate-covered plum, vanilla, mocha and grilled meat. Silky-sweet on entry, then fine-grained and creamy in the middle. Boasts outstanding density and an exhilarating acid/tannin/fruit balance. Closes long and suave with a strong note of vanilla and other oaky spices. You can tell this was aged in smaller oak barrels (500 liter tonneaux). - Ian D'Agata" - - Antonio Galloni's Vinous (March 2019), 94 pts
Pinino Brunello di Montalcino is made from 100 percent Sangiovese.
Full, round and silky, with lots of aromas of blackberry and plum. Full bodied elegance with fine tannins and spicy oak notes on the finish.
Avereage age of the vines is 20 years.
Aged 30 months in Solvanian Oak barrels
Wine went through malolactic fermetation. It was slightly filtered before bottling.
Pairs well with pasta with meat sauce, red meats and game.
- Wine & Spirits Magazine (April 2020), 91 pts & Best buy
Pinone Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is made from 100% Sangiovese.
Deep ruby-red with garnet hues. Intense fresh aromas of cherries and raspberry. Full, round and silky with aromas of blackberry and plum. Full-bodied and elegant with fine tannins and spicy oak notes in the finish.
Average age of the vines is 20 years.
Wine went through malolactic fermetation.
It was slightly filtered before bottling.
Pasta with meat sauce, red meats and game.
"This shows wonderful precision and focus on the nose with dried flowers, crushed stones and dark-berry character. Full body, firm and chewy tannins and a long and intense finish. Some pine needles and dried spices on the finish. Needs time to soften. Try in 2021."
- James Suckling (April 2018), 94 pts
"Pinino dates back to 1874, when it was established by Tito Costani beneath the Montosoli hill. Today it is co-owned by an Austrian couple and a Spanish couple, working with consulting oenologist Paolo Vagaggini. Touches of flint and incense counter more overt notes of balsamic herbs and dark cherry. Silky, layered tannins build on the palate to become surprisingly powerful. This will need a couple of years before approaching. Drinking Window 2020 - 2032."
- Decanter (February 2018), 91 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
The Brunello di Montalcino is a very sensual and appealing wine. It boasts a ripe and upfront style: What it gives up in typicity, it makes up for in approachability. It shows a brooding dark color, thick extraction and meaty consistency. Dusty mineral notes of terracotta and crushed granite offer a brief prelude to thicker aromas of cured meat, leather and dark fruit. There's a good degree of succulent sweetness thanks to the abundant tones of prune and plum. The plate is richly layered and velvety.
Age of the vines: 15 years.
Wine-making: Pre-soaking in a cold temperature for three days; pump-overs following the density and the temperature under computer control. Bottle refinement: 12 Months
"A ripe, velvety Brunello with lots of plum and cherry character. Full body, velvety tannins and a fresh finish. Ends with toasted coconut and berry. Supple young Brunello. Drink now. - James Suckling"
- James Suckling (February 2016), 92 pts
The Tenuta Vitanza Estate
The story of Tenuta Vitanza begins in 1994, when Rosalba Vitanza and her soon-to-be husband, Guido Andretta, spent a romantic weekend in Montalcino.
Rosalba has a PhD in Philosophy, and was teaching at the University of Rome, La Sapienza branch. Guido Anderetta was working as an aerospace engineer, running his own consulting business based in the United Kingdom and the U.S.A.
In 1994, they united their efforts behind the purchase of Podere Rensione, a country home with two acres of vineyards. Their first vintage was 1995 and the couple received 93 points from the Wine Spectator. Today, they own 80 acres of vines (not all in production year), and have a long-term goal of 15,000 cases of production. Since 2002, the couple has been building a modern, gravity flow winery, computer controlled, and wi-fi connected, in the town of Torrenieri. The winery has 13 large stainless steel tanks, each signifying a specific vineyard area. Also, the winery has been designed with total traceability, meaning that each bottle is numbered. In the future, you will be able to access their website, punch in the bottle’s number, and receive the following information:
· bottle type
· cork used
· kind of aging & how much time
· vineyard location & exact parcel
· weather that particular vintage
The Tenuta Vitanza Vineyard
25.8 hectares in production now or 63 acres, broken down as follows:
Size Grape Wine Type
14.4 acres Sangiovese Brunello di Montalcino
3.0 acres Sangiovese Chianti, Colli Senesi
4.0 acres Sangiovese Orcia, DOC
1.4 acres Sangiovese Sant Antimo, DOC
3.0 acres Merlot for Quadrimendo & Chianti
25.8 hectares = 63.73 acres
Mordoree Lirac Rouge Reine des Bois equal parts Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre
Color : deep dark red, with blueish hints.
Aromas : highly fruity ( raspberry, billberry, blackberry ), floral (violet) and intense with a grilled touch ( coffee ).
Palate : melted and concentrated tannins, full bodied, very long fresh finish.
Ageing potential : 8 to 10 years
Grilled meats, sauce meats, game birds, game rabbits and semi-mature cheeses.
"The 2014 Lirac Cuvee de La Reine des Bois is an incredible effort that transcends the vintage and is easily the wine of the vintage from Lirac. Possessing fabulous purity and elegance, with medium to full-bodied richness, classic notes of crème de cassis, caramelized meats, violets and licorice, sweet tannin and a great finish, I doubt it will be the longest lived example of this cuvée, but man, hats off to the team for this killer wine in a difficult vintage! - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue 227, October 28th 2016), 93 pts
Vitanza Quadrimendo is made from 50% Sangiovese Grosso, and 50% Merlot
This wine is flavorful and complex with a good backbone of acid and tannin.
Deep red ruby color. Intense aromas with characteristic peppery notes. Dry, tannic and powerful but with a smooth body.
Total aging time was 12 months in French oak, and 12 months bottle refinement.
"Plenty of spice, chili and berry character with hints of cedar and dried mushrooms. Full body, firm tannins and a fresh finish. A blend of sangiovese and merlot. Drink now or hold."
- Jamessuckling.com (August 2015), 92 pts
Amaren Rioja Crianza is made from 85% Tempranillo and 15% Garnacha
The wine is truly attractive, transmitting the finesse and elegance of the Tempranillo and the fresh, delicate fruitiness of the Garnacha. A balanced combination which is far from an excessive complexity, corpulence or over extraction to achieve the goal set by the bodega: to make a “RICH” wine in capital letters. With a nose in which the fruit character with floral nuances and strawberry toffees will stay with you all through its passage through the mouth, where you can sense its power, but with an elegance, enchanting you with its great balance until the long finish with heady notes of red fruit typical of the best garnachas from the Rioja Alavesa.
Only the perfect grapes are used to produce this wine. Amaren Crianza is the pursuit of perfection in all areas: the vineyard, the selection process, winemaking method and ageing.
Made from 85% tempranillo and 15% garnacha from vines with an average age of 35 years, the grapes are selected on a dual sorting table, first a manual check of the clusters and then individual berries.
Both varieties are harvested, vinified and aged separately to extract their optimum potential and obtain aromatic complexity.
After vinification the wine is cask aged for 12 months in 50% new, American-oak barrels and 50% in French-oak barrels used for a second vintage.
Tempranillo brings to the wine typical finesse, elegance and true expression of the characteristics of the best soils of Rioja Alavesa. Garnacha is the ideal complement that brings notes of red fruits, freshness and delicacy.
"Deep ruby. Oak-spiced cherry and blackberry aromas and flavors are complemented by a suggestion of mocha that gains strength as the wine opens up. Plush and seamless in style and showing no rough edges. Rich yet lively; a peppery note adds a spicy kick on the back half. Gentle tannins shape the impressively persistent finish, which leaves a hint of bitter chocolate behind. - Josh Raynolds"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (May 2017), 91 pts
Colline Saint Jean Vacqueyras Rouge is made from 70% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 5% Mourvèdre.
Dense ruby/purple color as well as an impressive bouquet of red and black fruits (cherry, raspberry, black currant), licorice, garrigue and pepper.
The wine is dense, full-bodied, opulent and impressively endowed with sweet, well-integrated tannins.
Harvested by hand. Traditional vinification. Skin-contact maceration for 20 days in cement vats. Ageing: 70% in cement vats and 30% in oak barrels.
Pairs well with red meat, white meat, game dishes in macerate sauce and cheese.
(raised for a year in 80% concrete tanks and usedbarriques): Full ruby. Lively aromas of ripe red and blue fruit, licorice and lavender are complemented by a suggestion of white pepper. Supple and broad on entry, then tighter in the midpalate, offering juicy black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and a subtle touch of spicecake. Shows very good depth as well as vivacity, finishing with slow-building tannins and minerally persistence.
-- Josh Raynolds Vinous 90 Points
Siegel Pinot Noir Reserve is made with 100% Pinot Noir
Viña Siegel is a family operated winery with a well-established tradition and long history. For generations we have been dedicated to the art of crafting wines with strong identities.
Our Special Reserve wines represent the union of tradition and innovation in two generations. The grapes are sourced through careful selection of our best vineyards. Their ripe and round tannins clearly express the terroir of Colchagua. Siegel Special Reserve Pinot Noir is Casablanca Valley.
This Pinot Noir is characterized by its deep cherry red color with notes of ruby red and aromas of roses and fresh fruit such as strawberry and cherry.
12 months in French oak barrels.
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.
"The pure, elegant and textured 2014 Syrah la Serenne offers that classic violet and floral characteristics of the cuvee, as well as medium to full-bodied richness, lots of black raspberry fruit, fine, sweet tannin and a great finish. It’s not as powerful or concentrated as the La Cote Rousse, yet it’s a joy to drink and will cruise for a decade or more on its balance and purity. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #225, June 2016), 93 pts
Vintners Dennis O’Neil and Steph Martin began development of Checkerboard Vineyards in 1999 and retained winemaker Martha McClellan to create a portfolio of wines reflecting the mountainside. The estate includes four vineyard sites of different elevation, exposure and soil composition, providing the foundation for a portfolio that includes Checkerboard Aurora Vineyard, Checkerboard Coyote Ridge Vineyard, Checkerboard Nash Creek Vineyard, Checkerboard Kings Row, Checkerboard Sauvignon Blanc, and Checkerboard Rose. Grapes are harvested at dawn in micro-lots and delivered steps away to the winery where clusters are sorted, discarding any blemished ones. Individual berries are hand-selected for vinification and transferred for fermentation, by hand, to Taransaud wooden tanks, stainless tanks, and individual wooden barrels.
Farming is based on long-term sustainability and includes water conservation and monitoring, permanent cover crops planted in alternating rows, and the use of entomology for pest control and the development of soils with good organic matter and microbiology. Checkerboard Vineyards is a member of Fish Friendly Farming which promotes environmentally-friendly land practices and water quality management. Aurora Vineyard is located in a small valley midway up Diamond Mountain and on a large knoll at an elevation of 1,200 feet. The knoll bulges outward, giving the vineyard full Southern exposure and open light from the East and West and protection from Napa Valley’s summer fog. Six acres are planted in the knoll’s rich, volcanic soils that are riddled with basalt cobble in a loamy red clay. The remaining six acres are planted in a deep gravely mix of volcanic ash and chips of decomposed Rhyolite that were washed down from the steep, rocky crags of Diamond Mountain above.
There's a fresh, sweet aroma to the 2016 Checkerboard Aurora Vineyard that builds excitement and anticipation for what's to come. On approach, the palate is juicy and expansive and explodes with flavors of blackberry, mulberry, dark cherry, caramel, leaf tobacco and green olive. The wine continues with a voluptuousness that's linear and constant yet lifted by natural acidity. The finish is showy, long and lingering with finely polished tannins. An exceptional vintage.