• Giovanna's Chianti: 2018 Le Boncie Toscana Rosso

    Giovanna's Chianti: 2018 Le Boncie Toscana Rosso

    "Giovanna's wines are pure, bright, fresh and juicy, with bracing acidity and lingering flavors of red fruit and flowers." — Eric Asimov, NYT

    When I have the opportunity to prove that Chianti Classico can show grace and pristine fruit quality akin to Red Burgundy, I use Giovanna Morganti's Le Trame as my first example. I implore you to trust this will be your moment of clarity for Sangiovese. Importer Neal Rosenthal's Montevertine is a benchmark for the region, but his other discovery, Le Boncie, better illustrates Sangiovese's sometimes elusive, fruit-forward profile and silken tannins. Earlier this year, Eric Asimov of the New York Times included Le Trame in his top ten list of Chianti Classicos. Giovanna farms her fives hectares using organic and biodynamic principles. I could go down the rabbit hole on farming, fermentation, and aging specifics, but I'd like to cut this one short and say: This is a profound wine that's a joy to drink. I've lost count of the number of times I've used this bottling to convince friends that Sangiovese can be fun, approachable, and deadly serious.

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    Posted by Max Kogod
  • Baby Brunello: 2019 La Gerla Rosso di Montalcino

    Baby Brunello: 2019 La Gerla Rosso di Montalcino

    One of the highlights of my summer trip to Tuscany in 2017 was the in-depth visit atop Montalcino with Alberto Passeri of La Gerla. These vines originally belonged to Franco Biondi-Santi—creator of the first Brunello di Montalcino—though Franco's disgruntled sister sold a small slice of their land to Sergio Rossi in 1976.

    Named after the small wooden picking bins worn on one's back, La Gerla is an homage to the vineyard workers who worked tirelessly to bring in the best raw materials. Today, the estate encompasses 12 hectares of vines, all farmed organically. Once in botti, the wines showing more approachability in their youth are bottled as Rosso di Montalcino. This is one of the best deals in traditional Montalcino!

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    Posted by Max Kogod
  • Startlingly Good Super Tuscan

    Startlingly Good Super Tuscan

    My great fondness for the traditional wines of Tuscany is no secret, but generally, I've kept Super Tuscans at arm's length. Dominated by Bordeaux variety blends, the category has overwhelmingly spoken less about place and more about a global-capitulating, one-size-fits-all model. Finding examples I'm truly passionate about that don't start at $200-plus upon release has been a challenge, but that all changed with Tenuta di Trinoro's Le Cupole.

    Andrea Franchetti's property sits in a remote southeast corner of Tuscany. Le Cupole, the second label of Tenuta di Trinoro, is all about open accessibility with the same sophistication as their top-end, single-vineyard wines. Cupole's blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot is planted on clay and limestone, mirroring Bordeaux's right bank.

    Cupole succeeds in grasping my attention due to a remarkable sense of balance, freshness, and crazy deliciousness still rooted in the variety's tell-tale characteristics. Antonio Galloni of Vinous wrote, "The 2018 Le Cupole is a delicious entry-level offering from Trinoro. Freshly cut flowers, sweet red berry, mint, and blood orange all run through the 2018." The finish persists with the sort of lingering minerality that is commonly achieved in Bordeaux but that Super Tuscans often fall short of.

    Click here to shop Tenuta di Trinoro wines

    Posted by Max Kogod
  • Sangiovese's Royal Order:  2010 Castell'in Villa Chianti Classico Riserva

    Sangiovese's Royal Order: 2010 Castell'in Villa Chianti Classico Riserva

    During my Summer 2017 trip to Tuscany no estate garnered the same respect from winemakers and sommeliers quite like Castell'in Villa. From Rome through Florence, top restaurant wine lists all find a space for these age-worthy Chianti Classicos from vintages stretching back to the early 70's. This is where the longevity and transformative capabilities of Sangiovese is best illustrated. 

    Today, I'm happy to offer the 2010 Castell'in Villa Chianti Classico Riserva for $59 per bottle, and down to $55/btl for any order of 6 bottles or more! Also featured today are late releases direct from the estate: 1971 and 1993.

    Castell'in Villa doesn't fall into any easy category, outside of being staunchly traditional in their vinification and aging. The estate's soil in Castelnuovo Berardenga has an unusual makeup of fossilized fragments that conjure Chablis more so than Tuscany (see pictures below). The limestone-based soil is still the mother rock here as it is throughout Chianti Classico, but the ancient artifacts point to a time long ago when this specific vineyard was under a small sea.

    As you can imagine, the mineral component endowed to this wine is profound. Met with the structure from these choice old vines dedicated to the Riserva we have a magical combo that's made this arguably the most sought-after aged wine in all of Tuscany. At $59 per bottle from one of greatest vintages of the last 50 years it's no wonder why this disappeared from their importer in a flash. 

    The Greek Princess, Coralia Pignatelli della Leonessa has overseen the property here for many years, residing in the 13th century tower above the winery. She keeps a healthy stock of back vintages, namely the epic 1971 Chianti Classico Riserva that's still found on top Michelin starred wine lists in Italy and offered here today.

    The 2010's from Tuscany have come and gone. Being able to source a late release like this from the most timeless estate in the original Chianti zone was an unexpected surprise. There's no doubt, in 40 years we'll be looking back on the 2010 vintage much like we are now on the revered 1971, but pricing will surely have gone up six-fold.


    Posted by Alexander Rosen
  • Sangiovese Sweet Spot:  Montevertine Le Pergole Torte

    Sangiovese Sweet Spot: Montevertine Le Pergole Torte

    If I had to pick one wine to make a case for Sangiovese's greatness it would be Montevertine's Le Pergole Torte. Today, I'm happy to offer the 2015 Le Pergole Torte in 750ml, 1.5L, and 3L formats, along with a deep collection of back-vintages.

    2015 at Montevertine, as Antonio Galloni illustrates below, is a very exciting vintage. A warmer year for Tuscany, and in Radda's northern and higher altitude setting the wines have a definition and focus that marries perfectly to the riper crop. When I visited the region for 2 weeks of tastings in July 2017, the 2015's in cask had producers from every corner of Tuscany powerless in containing their child-like enthusiasm. It was, and is, a vintage that gave the opportunity to showcase the very best of their sites. 

    "Montevertine is one of the most privileged spots for wine anywhere in the world. If I had to choose only one Sangiovese to cellar, it might very well be Montevertine's Le Pergole Torte."
     
    "The 2015 Le Pergole Torte is explosive and powerful while showing a remarkable level of precision. Pliant and beautifully resonant, it captures all the best qualities of the year. The oak still needs time to fully assimilate. Even so, the wine's pedigree and potential are very much in evidence today. In a word: superb." (01/18)
    - Antonio Galloni of Vinous
    Posted by Alexander Rosen