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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
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
Chakana Estate Malbec is made from 100 percent Malbec.
hakana 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.
The "yaguarete" (jaguar) on the label was known by the ancient Andean people as the "lord of the starred night"; the wildest known animal.
Chakana Estate Malbec is from Chakana's Altamira (3,200 ft elevation) and Gualtallary (5,500 ft elevation) vineyards.
The color is deep purple, very intense, typical of Malbec. Plum, brambly berries, spices and an iris/violet note are apparent on the nose. Intense, fruity flavors with velvety tannins.
Dominated by grapes from Gualtallary and Los Chacayes, with 15% from Paraje Altamira, this is like a version of the Uco Valley’s greatest hits. Effortlessly combined by Gabriel Bloise, it’s a classic expression of a very smart vintage, with just 10% new wood and layers of fresh, bright, chalky blackberry and blueberry fruit. 2021-25
- Tim Atkin (March 2020),93 pts
Le Jade Viognier is made from 100 percent Viognier
A refreshing treat laced up with snappy food-friendly acidity.
Picpoul Le Jade makes a classic match with oysters on the half shell and goes very well with exotic food in general. Picpoul means lip-smacking good.
Babylons Peak Pinotage is made from 100 percent Pinotage.
Babylon's Peak winery, situated on the highest weathered granite slopes of the Paardeberg Mountain, is privately owned by the Basson family who has passed down the tradition, passion and art of winemaking over four generations. Predominantly low-yield dryland bushvines are selected to produce these excellent wines with distinctive character.
Dark red color, with ripe plums and mocha on the nose. Dark fruit followed by spice on the palate. A well balanced wine with smooth integrated tannins.
The Pinotage is dryland bushvines, planted on the highest south-east facing granite slopes on the farm. Due to its unique terroir, this vineyard ripens slowly over a very long period. This results in very dark color, soft tannins and good flavor compounds. The baboons normally harvest their quantity first and we pick the rest.
The grapes were harvested by hand at 25,6°B.and destalked only. No crushing was done. Cold maceration was done before fermentation started in open fermenters. The grapes fermented between 24-26°C for 5-7 days, after which the wine was taken to barrels where it went through malolactic fermentation. After malolactic fermentation was completed, the wine spent 12 months in 225 liter French oak barrels until bottling.
Pairs with lamb, bobotie and braaied red meat.
"Semi-opaque. An outstanding value in South African Pinotage, the 2017 vintage shows an effusive nose of dark cherry, chocolate and tobacco. It’s big and rich in the mouth with flavors that evoke black raspberry and dark cocoa powder. Quite ripe in style with a long finish. At 14.5° alcohol, it’s a big wine. - Don Winkler" - i-winereview.com (The Wines of Babylon’s Peak in South Africa’s Swartland, September 30th 2019), 90+ pts
MCV Red Wine is made from Petite Sirah, Syrah, Grenache, Tannat, Petit Verdot, Mourvedre & Zinfandel .
This is a fantastic everyday wine. It pairs with a wide variety of foods and is great all by itself.
Aromas of blackberry, vanilla, white pepper, granite, rainier cherry and mocha. Flavors of cherry cola, dark chocolate, graphite, black coffee and pink peppercorn.
Grapes were processed on the same day they arrived at the winery. Sorting table juice was discarded. Post de-stemmer juice was used for the Rosé. Lots were fermented in 2 ton macrobins. A variety of yeasts were used, including some wild fermentations. Lots were cold soaked between 3 -7 days. Fermentation took an average of 12 days. Some lots received extended maceration. Some lots were pressed directly into barrel and some into tank to settle. High press was separated out. The wine was aged in oak barrels for 15 months.
Pair with Grilled New York with sautéed mushrooms. Stuffed portabella mushrooms. Pasta Carbonara. Pork chops coated with coffee and rosemary. Herb crusted lamb chops.
"Very dark in the glass, this bottling by Matt Villard pops on the nose with blackberry sorbet, wet slate, seared oak and a hint of mint. Earth and fruit converge on the palate, offering berries, sagebrush and a touch of smoke. It's a hearty yet balanced glass of wine. MATT KETTMANN"
- Wine Enthusiast (November 2019), 91 pts
This wine is Kosher (Mevushal).
Vignac Bordeaux Kosher is made from 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot.
Red and dark fruits, peppery aromas. Elegante structure. Full bodie
Traditionnal vinification. Long maceration to extract colors and structure. 10% of the wine was aged in French Oak barrel in order to bring a little complexity and spice.
Calcareous gravels deposited by the Tunuyan river in the South of Valle de Uco and by the Las Tunas river in the North of Valle de Uco have created the two most promising growing areas of Mendoza, which are only now being developed and explored, bringing a new dimension to the wines of Argentina.
Aromas of black fruit and spices blended with mineral, graphite notes and freshness typical of calcareous soils. The palate demonstrates the power of Gualtallary combined with the structure of Cabernet Sauvignon. A fine finessed texture, which is tight and refreshing.
Vineyard: This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon from the two outstanding subregions of Valle de Uco - the power and structure of Gualtallary with the elegance and freshness of Paraje Altamira. 20-year old vines.
Soil: Sandy with calcium carbonate-coated fine gravel up to 45 cm deep
Vinification techniques are performed in the most gentle way, avoiding the use of enzymes and must amendments. Fermentation is performed with native yeast only.
Superb with grilled red meat and grilled vegetable (Argentinean Asado).
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
Abeja Chardonnay Washington State 2013 is 100 percent Chardonnay
This Chardonnay has the essence of a freshly baked lemon meringue pie, green apple, and Bartlett pear. It is both dense and bright, with a hint of vanilla and cinnamon coming from its time in barrel. Aromas are so much related to experiences. It is a wine that is in the traditional Abeja style, with superb polish, complexity, and balance, yet with a light touch at 13.5 percent alcohol.
"Supple, ripe and complex, with layers of pear, floral, tangerine and a note reminiscent of freshly ironed clothing. Fine acidity carries this through to a refreshing finish. Drink now through 2020. 919 cases made. –HS"
- Wine Spectator (November 15th, 2015), 91 pts
"Abeja’s 2013 Chardonnay offers clean, crisp notes of apple blossom, white flowers, citrus and brioche. Fermented and aged in barrel (40% new), it has a solid mix of richness and freshness, is beautifully balanced, and will drink nicely for 2-3 years. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- The Wine Advocate (erobertparker.com, June 2015), 91 pts
"A blend of top sites Celilo and Conner Lee, this appealing wine displays aromas of candy corn, corn silk and chamomile. The stone-fruit flavors are elegantly styled, showing a sense of restraint and balance that carries through the lingering finish."
- Wine Enthusiast (September 1st 2015), 91 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.
Betz Family Clos de Betz is 67 % Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot
"The only other 2013 reviewed on this go around (most were reviewed last year), the 2013 Clos de Betz checks in as a blend of 63% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 22% Petit Verdot, mostly from Red Mountain and Yakima Valley, that spent 19 months in French oak. Sexy, supple, perfumed and beautifully complex, with notes of currants, dried flowers and an almost garrigue like perfume, this full-bodied beauty is already impossible to resist, yet will absolutely cruise for another 10-15 years. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Wine Advocate (Issue #225, June 2016), 94 pts
Cantina di Verona Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore Vallis Dei is made from 70% Corvina Veronese, 25% Rondinella, 5% Molinara
Color: intense red ruby
Nose: winey, fruity with hints of oak. Some spice and vanilla.
Mouth: It is well balanced with round tannins.
Yield: 10000 kg of grapes per hectar – after which the grapes are dried “appassimento”
A dense and tight white with a compressed palate and super refined texture. Full body plus bright apple and pear with hints of vanilla cream. Goes on for a long, long time. Tiny production, about half of normal. Better in 2017.
-James Suckling 95 Points
(from a blend of parcels picked during the first five days of October): Pale bright yellow. Peach, pear, tangerine peel and stony, iodiney minerality on the captivating nose. Dense, extremely young and penetrating, with a touch of youthful austerity and strong acidity to the peach and stony mineral flavors. More floral, elegant and fine-grained than the Batard. Best today on the long, stony, rising finish. Drouhin farms these vines and chooses the harvest dates.
-Tanzer 92-95 Points
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
Hommage Blanc is made with 75% Roussanne and 25% Viognier. 2019 was the first vintage with 20% of the fruits coming from the Estate, the rest comes from James Berry, Glenrose and Adelaida. You will love this wine because of its perfume and its mouthfeel. Aged in oak for 6 months, it is elegant with a nice texture.
The wine has a refined bouquet of honeysuckle and some tropical notes. Nicely balanced, it has a great texture, a lingering finish with a beautiful minerality. To describe it I would use the word elegance. A beautifull white wine that can be aged for 8 years with an optimum drinking window between 3 to 6 years and ideal temperature to serve at 52F.
"The flagship white, the 2018 Hommage Blanc is a deeper, richer white based on 75% Roussanne and 25% Viognier that was brought up in 30% new French oak. Lots of white peach, honeysuckle, orange blossom, and hints of citrus all emerge from the glass, and it offers medium to full body, hints of spice and brioche, a rounded, supple texture, and outstanding length. It's going to shine on the dinner table. I expect it to put on weight with a year in bottle and keep for over a decade."
- Jeb DUNNUCK (October 31st 2019), 93+pts