TOP NOTCH REDS
For this special selection we have chosen six outstanding, award winning red wines, some with the benefit of bottle age, and all drinking nicely
Damaschito Aglianico del Vulture Superiore DOCG 2015: Light dried vegetal notes and a hint of tobacco and licorice on the nose, predominantly ripe cherry, tart nutty notes. Firm, tart, juicy, ripe fruit on the palate, very fine, fairly prominent tannins, good substance and persistence, some depth, still undeveloped, hint of bacon on a very good, tart finish. Enjoy now or age 10-15 years 91 Points James Suckling ORGANIC – VEGAN
Montepulciano D’Abruzzo DOC Harimann 2005: A sumptuous, rich Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. A Montepulciano d’Abruzzo from low yield, high altitude vines. Late harvest, special vineyard. Natural fermentation in stainless steel but then 24 months in small barriques, then bottle. The Harimann matches perfectly with rich and complex dishes like heavy read meats, game and very seasoned cheeses. VEGAN
Poggiassai IGT Toscana 2004: A wine with great personality, intense ruby red in colour. The nose opens with a bouquet of red fruits, mushroom, tobacco, pepper and chocolate. Soft on the palate, its texture is lavish and well-structured, rich in well-balanced tannins, never too exuberant in alcohol and freshness. Excellent with grilled and roast red meat and medium to mature cheeses. THREE GLASSES AWARD by Gambero Rosso
Le Gonnare Bolgheri Superiore 2016: Le Gonnare is a super rich and densely concentrated Tuscan blended wine from this classic vintage. A racy style, with vivid acidity driving the black cherry, blackberry and violet flavors . The blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Syrah is soft and velvety. A remarkable wine in terms of the supple and soft nature of the mouthfeel and tannins. AWARDS Robert Parker/Wine Advocate 95/100, Wine Spectator 93, Gambero Rosso THREE GLASSES AWARD. ORGANIC – VEGAN
Amarone Monte Ca’ Bianca Begali 2012: Garnet red colour. The aroma is intense with a myriad of spicy notes and elegant ethereal scents. The taste is immense, yet soft and enveloping, with a warm, long-lasting finish. This is a spectacular powerful wine. Tight tannins provide excellent texture to the wine. The Monte Ca Bianca is a classical interpretation of Amarone with delicious notes of eucalyptus and menthol. This is a seriously powerful wine, with lots of blackberry and dark spice aromas. Tight tannins give an excellent texture to the wine. As any Amarone, it is made from air-dried grapes, but it is aged in French oak for a longer time than the basic Amarone from Begali. This process gives it a close resemblance to some top Bordeaux wines. THREE GLASSES AWARD Gambero Rosso – 5 bunches Bibenda Wine Guide. VEGAN
Barolo Cerretta 2016: Beautiful balance of power and finesse. Red and dark fruit, leather, tobacco and a streak of minerality, mouth puckering tannins but not overpowering the concentration of flavours. A very serious Barolo, showing all its aging potential. A standout vintage, 2016 Barolo is among the greatest vintages of recent decades, potentially the finest vintage ever in Piedmont’s “Golden Age”.
For this special selection we have chosen six outstanding, award winning red wines, some with the benefit of bottle age, and all drinking nicely.From a powerful Amarone and standout vintage Barolo, to a "black as ink" Montepulciano d'Abruzzo and a memorable single vineyard Aglianico del Vulture, to the excellent Tuscan blend Poggiassai and fantastic Bolgheri Superiore, these are wines that will be a pleasure to open and enjoy now, or for the younger vintages, to keep to drink later.
The Grifalco company was founded in 2004 by the desire of Fabrizio Piccin and Cecilia Naldoni (Bianca’s sister) to start a new path after having produced Nobile di Montepulciano for 20 years, focusing on what is considered the most important grape variety in southern Italy; the project is currently carried out by their sons Lorenzo and Andrea.
The company has a surface of 16 hectares with age of the vineyards ranging from 10 years up to 80 years, divided into several municipalities of the Vulture, this because being able to work with different land allows you to have greater complexity in the wines that are produced.
To date, the vineyards are located in the municipalities of Maschito, Forenza, Ginestra and Venosa, where the cellar also resides.
Lorenzo, 30, studied Viticulture and Oenology in Alba and takes care of all the company’s production, from the management of the certified organic vines to everything that follows, once the grapes are brought to the cellar to turn them into wine.
Andrea, 26, takes care of the commercial, the image of the company, the relationship with the press and the support abroad of our importers.
To date, about 70 thousand bottles of only Aglianico del Vulture are produced, a precise choice that allows you to focus on just one vine and work on its nuances.
Pasetti history is rooted in “Borboni” era, when Silvestro Pasetti – Mimmo’s ancestor – bought several pieces of land from Farina marquis: and started to plant some vineyards. Silvestro’s dream was carried on by his son Rocco who never gave up, especially when he had to face and defeat the fillossera plague.
Nowadays Mimmo, a few generations down the line, runs the winery: he got the deep love for his place from the father and in the same way, he got an utmost discretion from him. Although hailing from a place hostile towards outward interferences, Mimmo’s attitude is divided between the will to thoroughly safeguard the heritage of the beloved Abruzzo and his natural tendency for innovation.
Francesca, Mimmo’s first daughter, had red hair, exactly as the beautiful Madame Rachele – Franco’s mother had. Franco bottled the “Testarossa” wine, to pay homage to those two charming women, which represent the symbol of the past and the future of the family. Today, Testarossa is the most representative brand of Pasetti winery.
His dreams were coming true. A remote 45 years old vineyard was hiding in the middle of the above-said land: wildly neglected, that precious vineyard came back to life thanks to Mimmo’s efforts and love. Finally, in 2000, the old vineyard gave delicious fruits away. Those fruits will become the top wine of Pasetti winery: Harimann. This dry red wine is both majestic and fine, with soft and persuasive tannins. The word “Harimann” derives from “Harimanni”: northerner soldiers that in medieval time moved to Abruzzo. Strong and brave warriors, like Mimmo is.
All the wines that Pasetti makes are coming from the Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga National Park. These wines represent the will to remain connected both to local places and native grapes. Harimann and red Testarossa are made with Montepulciano d’Abruzzo grapes, some other wines are obtained from Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, Pecorino and Passerina white grape varieties, instead. Pasetti also makes a wonderful sweet white wine made with Moscatello di Castiglione grapes, an ancient vine variety that has almost disappeared.
A property that was sought after by some of the most important Sienese families, Poggio Bonelli has belonged to numerous different families throughout the centuries. It was first owned by the Spennali family during the Middle Ages, and passed into the hands of the Piccolomini family in the second half of the 16th century. In the following century, probably for dynastic reasons, it became the property of the Landucci family; and at the beginning of the 21st century it came to belong to the Banca Monte Paschi di Siena, the most ancient Italian bank in the territory of Siena.
Today the wine estate is owned by the Banca Monte Paschi di Siena, which acts as shareholder, while the management is carried out by a team of professionals with long-standing experience in wine-making. The end result is a human, dynamic, and solid business.
Among the warm, typically Mediterranean Chianti hills and Crete Senesi plains, Castelnuovo Berardenga, site of the Poggio Bonelli Estate, is a place that guarantees its vines excellent breezes and the circulation of air that limits the risk of water stagnation and humidity. Here, the soil is very particular, so particular that it justifies the enormous heterogeneity of expression of grapes of the same variety on relatively close estates: a land of “transition’ between clayey, sandy soils (sea bottoms that rose to the surface during the Pliocene age) and non-typical Chianti ones (originated with the breakdown of rock).
We met Fabio Motta a few years ago on one of the regular Vinitaly trips, he had just started making wines and we were intrigued. His first Pievi was a hit with us and our customers. This year was high time to import his wines again.
From the producer’s website:
Driven by a great passion for wine and for the work of the artisan “vignaiolo” and with a degree in agriculture and five years of experience working at Michele Satta’s winery, I embarked on my own journey into the world of winemaking. My first vineyard, Le Pievi, is nearly twenty years old and is perfectly situated in the foothills of Castagneto Carducci.
The vines stretch over about 4 hectares of land with excellent soil. Shortly after beginning I purchased another two-hectare vineyard that produces top-quality white grapes, (mostly Vermentino) in the “Le Fornacelle” area.
In 2012, I also purchased the vineyard Le Gonnare, whose name means “washerwomen“ (because it is located at the foot of an ancient waterway where women used to wash clothes). Le Gonnare, a north-oriented vineyard, is composed of torrential deposits, full of ancient fossils and deep and rich in clay. It is a cool spot, which allows for a very late ripening of the grapes.
In total I work with about 7 hectares- this small scale allows me to handle every little step of the cultivation and winemaking myself.
We have worked with the lovely Begali family for a very long time. Lorenzo and Adriana, followed on from Lorenzo’s father who began making wine after the second world war. They started selling their first bottles in 1986, and have since involved their son Giordano and daughter Tiliana. They produce their wines on an estate of 12 hectares between Lake Garda and Verona, in the classic area for Valpolicella. This family run winery in the small borgo of Cengia, is nonetheless a top Valpolicella estate, having won plenty of Tre Bicchieri awards in the famous Gambero Rosso guide, Slow Food and Wine Spectator.
Begali are also part of the consorzio of historic Amarone families, an association founded in 2009, dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of this famed style, whereby the wine is made from selected bunches of grapes dried in the autumn on straw to concentrate the sugars and dry extract. As such it’s high in alcohol but not fortified.
“The philosophy behind the production of our wines starts with the assumption that a great wine is made in the vineyard.
This is why we personally devote meticulous care and attention to our vineyards, with constant respect for nature, as a sign of gratitude for the gifts it gives us.
For years now, we have been practising sustainable viticulture, carrying out just a few targeted treatments, mainly using sulphur and copper-based products and abandoning the use of pesticides and herbicides.
To produce high quality grapes and consequently high quality wine, we carry out two separate green harvests in summer, leaving about 50-60% of the bunches on the vine. This allows us to have a higher concentration of sugars and polyphenols inside the berries.
We take a “modern” approach to vinification, with maceration in temperature-controlled roto-fermenters at a constant temperature of approximately 28-30°C, using only native yeasts.
Alcoholic fermentation is completed in stainless steel vertical tanks, after removing skins and seed.
Malolactic fermentation, for wines that are going to age, takes place in wood.
We use mainly French oak barriques to age our wines, with a percentage of new wood that has gradually been reduced over the years.
We have chosen not to fine or filter our wines, so that every individual nuance is left intact.
Our approach to vinification aims to produce Barolo which is perfect for long bottle-ageing, but which can also be appreciate and understood when still young.”