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The very concept of Italian wine is so vast and varied and distinctive, it’s like a world unto itself within the world of wine. And, given its vast array of unique indigenous varieties, the appreciation of fine Italian wine is an undertaking that could well keep one occupied for a lifetime.

 
Quick-links to featured wines:
2015 Bolgheri Sassicaia Tenuta San Guido   2012 Chianti Classico Riserva Grosso Sanese Podere Il Palazzino   2013 Brunello di Montalcino Il Poggione   2012 Brunello di Montalcino Il Poggione   2015 Rosso di Montalcino Il Poggione   2010 Brunello di Montalcino Conti Costanti   2016 Dogliani Superiore Vigna Tecc Poderi Luigi Einaudi   2015 Aia Vecchia Lagone Toscana Rosso   2016 Etna Rosso Tenuta della Terre Nere   2016 Orvieto Classico Terre Vineate Palazzone  
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2015 Bolgheri Sassicaia Tenuta San Guido

Rich and concentrated, this red features black currant, blackberry, violet, mineral and spice flavors. Dense yet lively, structured yet impeccably balanced, with vibrant acidity driving the long, fruit-filled aftertaste. The oak is beautifully integrated. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2023 through 2042. 17,200 cases made. Rated 97. -  Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator July 31, 2018

Having followed this wine's evolution in barrel for the past few years, it is an honor to evaluate the final product. This Sassicaia has blossomed since my previous encounters with it as a young, awkward adolescent. The long-awaited 2015 Bolgheri Sassicaia represents a tremendous effort that comes together with seamless precision and focus. This is a confident and proud red wine from Tuscany. Starting with the primary material at hand, you sense the quality of fruit thanks to the wine's beautifully dark appearance and the rich texture it offers to the palate. The acidity is integrated, but more freshness still would have been welcomed in my view (and would also contribute to its longevity). The bouquet is amplified both in terms of volume and length. Its playlist includes dark berry fruit, spice, leather, licorice and roasted coffee bean. Yet, the mouthfeel is extremely graceful and silky. The wine's undisputed pedigree is showcased on the palate. It should also be noted that this edition of Sassicaia feels more ready and open to me. It will age and evolve beautifully, but the 2015 Sassicaia can also be enjoyed in the medium-term. This wine is all about the here and now. Drink 2020-2045. Rated 97. - Monica Larner, The Wine Advocate Issue 235, February, 2018

The first Cabernet grapes were picked on September 10th under perfect conditions, with yields a little lower than average. As is usual at Tenuta San Guido, the fruit for Sassicaia was gently crushed and fermented in stainless steel using natural yeasts. After the malolactic fermentation, the wine spent two years in French oak prior to bottling. This is certainly an exceptional Sassicaia, with a sumptuous nose of ripe, creamy black and red fruit with cedar and spice notes. The colour is by no means dark (as is often the case with Sassicaia), and the impression on the palate is one of controlled power underpinned by gorgeous sweetness and flowing elegance. This is a very confident wine with real authority and presence, beginning with a magnificent attack of rich cassis and ripe griotte cherry followed by cigar box and leather notes, and a long finish of savoury bay leaf and minerals. It's deceptively structured, the tannins wonderfully ripe, creamy and finely textured, while the juicy acidity also suggests that this wine has a very long life ahead of it. This 2015 exhibits everything that you’d want from Sassicaia - and more - because of its winning combination of winemaking savoir-faire, world-class terroir, old vine fruit, and an outstanding vintage. It is unarguably stunning. Drink 2022-2050. Rated 98. - John Stimpfig, decanter.com, 30 Jan 2018

Medium ruby in color, beguiling ripe Cabernet aromas suggest dark berries, plum, spice, a sun-parched vineyard floor and a notion of Tyrrhenian Sea salinity; full throttle rich, concentrated and structured with gentle ripe tannins, but with a notable elegance all the while, then warm and fully engaging to the long, flavorful finish. One might turn the air-conditioning down low and get after a bottle of this even now along with a nice Bistecca alla Fiorentina. - JR, August 1, 2018

$195.00 the bottle  $994.50 the case (while supplies last)

2012 Chianti Classico Riserva Grosso Sanese Podere Il Palazzino

Podere Il Palazzino is owned by Alessandro and Andrea Sderci and is located in Monti in Chianti, 20km northeast of Siena in the southern part of Chianti Classico. The estate has a total of about 20 hectares (roughly 50 acres), the greater part of which is dedicated to viticulture and a small part to olive groves. Given the small dimensions of the estate working procedures are strictly manual and the soil is cultivated using organic methods. Grosso Sanese originates from a vineyard covering about 2 hectares just below the casa and cantina of the estate. The fairly compact clay/calcareous soils here are composed mainly of alberese and galestro. The vines are pruned in the spurred cordon method, leaving a maximum of six buds per plant. Production is limited to 5,000 to 6,000 liters per hectare (about 2½ acres), for a total production of about 10,000 bottles per year. Fermentation takes place in 5,000-liter oak barrels. The wine is refined in barriques made of Alliers oak, thirty percent of which are replaced each year. Here it stays for eighteen months, before the final blending and bottling. The wine then ages for another six months in bottle before being released for sale. Produce of 100% Sangiovese, the 2012 Grosso Sanese is intense ruby red in color with classy, complex aromas suggestive of tanned leather, taut red and blue berry fruits transformed, spices, ginestra, the macchia mediterranea and more; poised, ample and well-rounded on the tongue, then revealing its potency, brilliant intensity and persistence of flavor; warming, satisfying, with fine silky tannins carrying flavor long, long on the finish. In our humble estimation, there may be no finer example of the world-class table worthiness of fine Chianti Classico.

$35.00 the bottle  $357.00 the case

2013 Brunello di Montalcino Il Poggione

Bright red. Pure, refined red cherry and wild strawberry aromas and flavors complicated by sweet spices and aromatic herbs. Deep and multilayered, the wine boasts polished tannins and a harmonious acid spine that lifts and extends the red fruit on the long, suave finish. An essence of Sant’Angelo in Colle with bigger body and palate weight than, for example, the Brunellos of Montosoli, but still sleek and refined as the best wines of Sant’Angelo in Colle can be. The cool-climate-styled 2013 vintage is precisely the type of year in which Il Poggione excels: this lovely, focused wine is the best classico Brunello from Il Poggione in years. Superb. Drink: 2022-2035. Rated 95. - Ian D'Agata, vinous.com April, 2018

$75.00 the bottle  $382.50 the case of six

2012 Brunello di Montalcino Il Poggione

Good full red. Medicinal red cherry, raspberry, sweet spices and mint on the fresh, precise nose. Bright and sweet, with a penetrating, austere quality to its flavors of red fruits, minerals and medicinal herbs. Harmonious acidity nicely frames the pure, long, youthfully tight finish. Lovely young Brunello that will repay cellaring. Drink: 2025-2038. Rated 93+. - Ian D'Agata, vinous.com, March, 2017

Il Poggione is a Brunello superstar and a vintage like this reveals every reason why that affirmation is true. From the second the 2012 Brunello di Montalcino pours into the glass, you know you are in for something special. The wine is darkly saturated and rich in appearance. Absent are those slightly amber or browning hues you often get with Sangiovese in a hot vintage. Nor does the wine show flat or tired characteristics. Instead, the quality of fruit is vibrant and rich. This is a healthy, generous and exuberant Brunello with dark density and succulent fruit flavors that are followed by integrated spice and tobacco. The balance is impressive and one thing you get here is fresh acidity. This is not to be underestimated, because the acidity quota in the 2012 vintage across the appellation is not as high or evident as usual. This is one of the year's best Brunellos. Drink: 2017-2030. Rated 95+. - Monica Larner, The Wine Advocate Issue 229, February, 2017

$70.00 the bottle  $357.00 the case of six $400.00 the 3-litre double magnum bottle

2010 Brunello di Montalcino Conti Costanti

Costanti's 2010 Brunello di Montalcino is stunning. Dark, powerful and mysterious in the glass, the 2010 captivates all the senses with its breathtaking beauty and layered, multi-dimensional personality. Lavender, violets, savory herbs, smoke, plums and graphite flow through to the rich, explosive finish. There is a prism-like sense of transparency allied to pure power in the 2010 that is impossible miss. Readers who can find the 2010 should not hesitate; it is a must-have. While many 2010s are approachable today, the Costanti's 2010 is not; it is a wine for the cellar. Drink 2018-2035. Rated 97. - Antonio Galloni, vinous.com February, 2015

$80.00 the bottle  $816.00 the case

2015 Rosso di Montalcino Il Poggione

Bright, delicate and vibrant, with berry and floral flavors. Accents of earth, tobacco and spice add interest as they linger on the finish. Well-rounded and long. Drink now through 2023. 16,666 cases made. Rated 91. - Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator September 30, 2017

$22.50 the bottle  $229.56 the case

2016 Dogliani Superiore Vigna Tecc Poderi Luigi Einaudi

"Dogliani" is a new(ish) DOCG which denotes highest quality wines produced from Dolcetto grapes in this cooler, higher elevation growing area in this southern part of Piemonte. Vigna Tecc «pronounced tetch» is produced from 100% Dolcetto fruit from vines planted to the marl/calcareous and clay soils from 2 hectares of favored south facing old hillside vineyards on the estate near the village of Dogliani. If a bit more firm and typical than the 2015, the 2016 is perhaps a more classic example of Dolcetto from this area: deep ruby in color with fermentive aromas of grape pomace and pencil shavings, bitter almond and a waft of liquirizia; at once, ample grapey and firm on the palate, with an almost crunchy fruit character and that telltale hint of bitter almond on the almost mouthwatering finish.

$24.99 the bottle  $254.88 the case

2015 Aia Vecchia Lagone Toscana Rosso

A lovely if modestly modern claret-inspired Tuscan red wine from La California, as it is called there on the Tuscan coast near Bolgheri and Magliano. Produce of 60% Merlot along with an admixture of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, the wine undergoes a temperature-controlled fermentation, manual punch-downs and pump-overs. It is aged one year in barrique and a minimum of six months in bottle before release. Lovely ruby red in color with typical claret aromas suggesting ripe cherries, wild berries, a hint of spice, a scent of vanilla from barrel aging, but with a telltale and toothsome seaside saline quality; medium-bodied on the palate with a gentle richness and structure and long, smooth finish. Superb value, too!

$13.75 the bottle  $140.28 the case

2016 Etna Rosso Tenuta della Terre Nere 2016 Etna Rosso Tenuta della Terre Nere

Etna Rosso is, for us, a most wonderful if somewhat recent discovery of some, um, magnitude. And Tenuta delle Terre Nere have emerged a favorite producer of the wine among our discerning clientèle. Produced from a preponderance of Nerello Mascalese along with a dash of Nerello Cappuccio fruit from the young vines of the estate cropped at low yields of around 35 hectolitres per hectare and growing on the hillsides of the famous volcano on the eastern edge of the island of Sicily, the wine is a limpid ruby red in color; reticent on opening (by all means do give this one a good decanting), quite lovely aromas are coaxed with some aeration, let's say tarry dried cherries, dried Italian herbs, spices and deep dark volcanic earthy/smoky notes; while there has been a good deal of comparison of Etna Rosso to Burgundian Pinot Noir, the aromatic profile is quite different and the silken-textured opening quickly gives way, builds into somewhat more of a southern powerhouse on the tongue, with fine-grained tannins seemingly carrying bursting flavors right on up that hill, potent and long to the finish. Maybe a comparison to a mythical marriage of Chambolle-Musigny and Châteauneuf-du-Pape would be more apt but, then again, no. Etna Rosso is sui generis. One might say it enters on silken slippers, all carefree island hopping light on its feet, but goes out with a firm resolve, as one might reasonably expect of a wine whose vines' waltzing partner is the stuff of an active volcano.

$22.50 the bottle $229.56 the case

2016 Orvieto Classico Terre Vineate Palazzone

"Unquestionably the number one small estate of Orvieto" according to Stephen Tanzer, Palazzone produces delicious white wines from indigenous grape varietals of Umbria, balancing irresistable fruit aromas and flavors with an oh-so stony backdrop and nerve; 50% Procanico, 30% Grechetto and 20% of Verdello, Drupeggio and Malvasia, vinified in stainless steel to keep things fresh; medium-bodied, supremely-balanced white wine with aromas that speak clearly of cool of the morning harvest fresh grapes and notions of floral honey, beeswax and something like hazelnut and elderflower and, yet again, stone; at once, just ample and round, crisp and dusty, citrusy dry and alive with fresh grapey flavor; our Italian wine-loving pal Jerry Reid sez "slap and tickle." C'mon downtown 'n get yourself some of this delicious wine!

$13.75 the bottle  $140.28 the case


512 West Sixth Street Austin, Texas 78701-2806 USA
(an easy right turn between San Antonio and Nueces streets)