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2012 Tenuta di Ghizzano Veneroso (750ml)
Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
B-21 Top Recommendation
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Not far from the Tuscan coast – equidistant from Livorno and Pisa – nestled 1,000 feet above sea level, rests the ancient village of Ghizzano. As economic turmoil in the 1980s all but vanquished its few hundred inhabitants, Pierfrancesco Venerosi Pesciolini remained. Descendant of the original Pesciolinis who established Tenuta Ghizzano in the 14th century, the village itself and its most important wine estate were in his hands. Pierfrancesco partnered with famed agronomist PierMario Meletti Cavallari (Grattamacco), identifying the perfect clone of Sangiovese for these gently rolling hills, later incorporating Cabernet to their estate. Towards producing world-class wines, Pierfrancesco replanted his vineyards from a mere 2,500 plants per hectare (high volume, low quality wines) to an astonishing 6,600 plants per hectare (First Growth Bordeaux, by example, are planted at 10,000). Pierfrancesco then launched Veneroso, in 1985. Named in honor of Ghizzano's historical wine legend, Veneroso Venerosi the inaugural release garnered top honors in Gambero Rosso. And the 2012 is among the finest I've tasted. Deeply, darkly fruited, with all the elegance and minerality of top vintages, this is one of Tuscany's most brilliant wines – one you should know; one I truly adore.


93V

The 2012 Veneroso wraps around the palate with gorgeous depth and resonance. Today the flavors are naturally quite primary, but there is a lot to like in this Sangiovese/Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend. Dark plum, cherry pit, mint, spice and licorice blossom as this succulent, expressive wine shows off its personality. Sweet floral and spice notes add finesse on the silky, perfumed finish. The 2012 could use more time in bottle to develop further complexity, but it is quite delicious, even today.

93 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous (Jul 2015)

$29.99

28 bottles in stock and ready to ship.
1
2013 Domaine des Soulanes Cotes Catalanes Kaya (750ml)
Carignan from Languedoc-Roussillon, France
B-21 Top Recommendation
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Domaine des Soulanes – not to be confused with the similar sounding Domaine la Soumade from Rasteau – is a new discovery for me, one of the glorious benchmark producers of the Roussillon brought to the States by importer extraordinaire Peter Weygandt. Run by Daniel Laffite – no family affiliation to my knowledge – Soulanes is a collection of parcels just outside the now-famous town of Tautavel – home to the remains of the Tautavel Man, whose 450,000 year-old bones were discovered in an ancient cave in this village in 1971. Planted to gently sloping foothills near the Pyrenees Orientales at the border with Spain, Daniel's centenarian plots of gnarled Carignan in the Mas de la Fredas site are utilized in the production of his Cotes Catalanes Kaya cuvee. Miniscule yields and a true hands-off approach to his winemaking style result in one of the most deeply colored, intensely floral, amazingly classic wines of its type that I've encountered – from anywhere. I've tasted Carignan of various vine age and vinification methods for decades, often disappointed, understanding of its standing in the world of Vitis Vinifera. But in the hands of Daniel Laffite – especially for 2013 – this is a magical wine. "Kaya" is the name, one you'll be glad you discovered.


92RAS 91WA

Gorgeous, very old vine Carignan that is so expressive of what seems red/brown slate, which give a serious focus and length to the wine that is very impressive.

92 points, Bob Sprentall, B-21 Proprietor (Nov 2015)

The 2013 Côtes Catalanes Kaya is 100% Carignan that was raised all in concrete tank. It has the firm, edgy quality of the variety to go with classic violets, leather, ground herbs and sweet black raspberry and blackberry fruit. Medium-bodied, fresh, focused and with serious purity of fruit, drink this outstanding red anytime over the coming 5-6 years.

91 points, eRobertParker.com (Issue # 218 - Apr 2015)

$21.99

5 bottles in stock and ready to ship.
1
2013 Domaine Monier Terre Blanche (1.5L)
Syrah from Saint-Joseph, Rhône, France
B-21 Top Recommendation
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High up in the hills, overlooking the Northern Rhône River below, Monsieur Monier is the third generation to farm his family's vineyards in the lieu-dit of Brunieux, a very special spot in Saint Joseph. Now in his early sixties, he recalls the ways of his father, when thoughts of exports and estate bottling were foreign to this town of 700 inhabitants; when trading estate-grown apricots for electrical work was more important than making a living selling wine. In his father's day, grapes were sold to the local co-op, and it wasn't until Jean-Pierre took over that these 30-45 year-old vines began receiving the attention they were due. Following in the steps of Biodynamic professionals in Germany, Monier saw his estate certified Biodynamic by 2006, placing him and his vineyards in an elite, albeit small class of growers. Known as the STGT (Soil to Glass Transfer) group – a category developed by Northern Rhône expert, John Livingstone-Learmonth – these winemakers "survived the onslaught of marketing campaigns, press hype, fashions in winemaking, and wine school orthodoxies" to produce wines vividly true to their origins. You haven't experienced Saint Joseph until Monier's wines have been in your glass. Today, that opportunity has come.


94RAS 92V

Serious, old vines, low yields, from a great vintage, and our pal Kermit Lynch represents this domaine - that says a lot.

94 points, Bob Sprentall, B-21 Proprietor (Jun 2016)

Inky ruby. Highly aromatic scents of raspberry, Asian spices and violet, with a bright mineral element contributing precision. Spicy and penetrating, showing excellent clarity to its lively flavors of red berries, floral pastilles and spicecake. This graceful, mineral-driven wine displays potent floral and spice character on the long, sappy, gently tannic finish.

90-92 points, Josh Raynolds, Vinous (Dec 2014)

$89.99

3 bottles in stock and ready to ship.
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2015 Cantina del Taburno Greco (750ml)
Greco from Campania, Italy
B-21 Top Recommendation
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When it comes to the very best in Italian whites, my friends at Vias, coupled with the irresistible bottlings from Leonardo LoCascio's Winebow Group, along with the man himself, Marc de Grazia, deliver uncompromised quality in their classic offerings. Take Broglia, singular in nature in the Gavi territory, their estate was once the ancient Tenuta La Meirana, birthplace of Gavi dating to 972. These hillside plantings return yields of less than one third those allowed by the DOCG regulations, the resulting wines incredibly structured, perfumed, palate pleasing like none other. Or the inimitable Argiolas, who bottles one of my favorite versions of Vermentino; 100% varietal, slightly later harvested for a fuller flavor and aged sur lees for a finish that captivates – undeniable benchmark. There's my friend, Piero Mastroberardino, his family's estate vineyards planted to the most important sites throughout Avellino, with their Falanghina vineyards (within the Sannio appellation) returning an absolutely gushing wine for 2015. Finally, de Grazia's Cantina Taburno, originally established at the turn of the 20th century, their high elevation Greco a dazzling example of what's possible in the hands of such gifted winemakers. A thrilling collection, deserving of the true enthusiast.


91V

Bright, golden-tinged yellow. Mint, tropical fruits and a strong note of anise on the nose. Densely packed but at the same time racy, showing terrific energy and clarity to the flavors of fresh herbs, lime and mango. Finishes lively and with a strong herbal note on the long back end.

91 points, Ian D'Agata, Vinous (Sep 2016)

$16.99

55 bottles in stock and ready to ship.
1
2014 Le Casematte Peloro Rosso (750ml)
Nerello Mascalese from Terre Siciliane, Sicily, Italy
B-21 Top Recommendation
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What better way to begin a collection of the best values in Italian drinkers than with a Montepulciano/Aglianico blend from the maestro himself, Riccardo Cotarella? From a single vineyard called Ramitello, planted 50 years ago on the historic estate of the Marquis Norante of Santa Cristina in Molise, Ramitello Rosso justifies this estate's cult-like following. Perfectly complementing Cotarella's gem is another cult classic, Tua Rita. Rita Tua and her husband, Virgilio Bisti, secured 40 acres of land in 1984, in medieval Suvereto, the Tuscan province of Livorno. Luca d'Attoma joined as winemaker; the rest is history. Rosso dei Notri – half Sangiovese, the balance equal parts Cab, Merlot and Syrah – does double duty as a smokin' value as well as ambassador for the thrilling 2015 vintage. Quietly gaining superstar status in Apulia, Sebastiano de Corato bottles a jaw dropping Aglianico, dubbed Rivera. Marco Bernabei brings his magic to Sebastiano's old-vine site; the duo unmatched anywhere in the zone. Finally, Le Casematte Peloro Terre Siciliane, a 70% Nerello Mascalese, 30% Nocera blend from 30 year old vines planted high above the Strait of Messina in the northeast corner of Sicily. Brambly, black fruited and spices for days, this is why we love the Island, oh so much.


91WA

The 2014 Peloro is a blend of 70% Nerello Mascalese and 30% Nocera, the two principal red grapes that define the province of Messina. This is a wine of great personality that reflects the good cheer of its maker, Gianfranco Sabbatino. Grapes are harvested at a high plateau overlooking the Straights of Messina on the Peloro Cape (the northern-most point of the three-sided island). The bouquet opens to a slight touch of rusticity with some bramble and sharp forest fruit backed by light shadings of rosemary and crushed black pepper. You can't beat that affordable price point.

91+ points, Wine Advocate (Issue # 226 - Aug 2016)

$19.99

12 bottles in stock and ready to ship.
1
2014 Pujanza Hado (750ml)
Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
B-21 Top Recommendation
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Tasting these estate-owned single vineyard beauties of Bodegas Pujanza – from 99 acres of historic sites dating to the 1920s, newer parcels planted in the 1970s – the breathtaking Sierra de Cantabria Mountains in the distance, I began to understand the importance of these sites in Laguardia; Rioja Alavesa's most beautiful village. Planted to 100% old vine Tempranillo (save for one parcel of 50+ year old Viura), heights reaching elevations above 2,100 feet, clay-limestone soils naturally curtailing yields and returning fruit of purity, precision, freshness and unmatched elegance, these are among my most treasured discoveries of recent trips to the region. Carlos San Pedro's family has been here for many years, launching Pujanza was the next, logical step towards producing their vision of the perfect wine – marrying place, time, man and history in their single vineyard expressions. Finca Valdepoleo is their most iconic single vineyard, the family pride; it represents Carlos' pursuit of the ultimate Laguardia expression. While Hado is for the newly initiated; an opportunity to explore Pujanza's great terroirs in a younger drinking wine. Both are singular expressions, terroir focused; very, very proud wines. Striking, DO NOT miss selections!