close-up-wines
Querceto di Castellina
This family run estate from winemaking to cooking classes and agriturismo provides a full Tuscan experience. From the Laura Chianti Classico to one of the most surprising white wines from this area you will fall in love. Livia is a blend of 50% Viognier, 50% Roussanne and is an elegant white wine that will happily surprise your palette. Visit Mamma Laura and learn to cook while drinking and relaxing at their estate.
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Nozzole
Tenuta di Nozzole is one of the estates that the Folonari family bring us. Each location in Tuscany with 100% Sangiovese wine from Rosso to Gran Selezione to Super Tuscan blends of Cabreo. Need a vacation or want to have a lovely wedding visit their estate at Tenuta di Nozzole.
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Contucci
Visit Andrea in Montepulciano or visit me at Primo and taste the first wines to receive DOCG recognition. 40 centuries of traditional style wines of Montepulciano in Tuscany. From Rosso to the Riserva wines are ready to drink and can age as well. Grapes Colorino and Canailo are the typical grapes blended in this party of Tuscany.
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Colle Massari
The Tipa-Bertarelli Family now own 3 vineyards in Tuscany. Each having their own expressions from Vermentino, to the bordeaux style Grattamacco of Bolgheri to it's newest additon of Poggio di Sotto you can't go wrong with any of their wines. Visit each locations agriturismo too!
lolea
SANGRÍA LOLEA
This is the perfect start to a dinner party. It is light, fruity and refreshing. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Tempranillo. Strawberry, sour cherry, orange peel, lemon drops and cinnamon along with a slight effervescence will put a smile on your face. Add some fresh fruit and you have made Sangria! Easy to drink and easy to find. Avg. Retail: $12
morgadio-albarino
MORGADÍO, ALBARIÑO, RÍAS BAIXAS, 2015
This 100% Albariño aromatic grape from the NW of Spain has an elegant nose of tropical fruit and kiwi complimenting a granitic minerality. It is fresh, crisp with high acid and a delighfully long finish. Drink alone or pair with seafood. Avg. Retail: $20
priorat
PASANAU CEPS NOUS, PRIORAT 2012
Priorat derives its name from a Carthusian monestary and today the rural landscape, slopes and gravel are home to the vines. As they struggle to grow they produce low yields. A blend of 70% Garnacha, Syrah, Cabernet, Merlot, expresses ripe baked fruits and spice. Modest acid and a silky finish. If you like Châteauneuf you will love this. Decant if you wish and pair with slow cooked meat, braised short ribs, lamb. Avg. Retail: $18
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MARQUES DE VARGAS, RIOJA CRIANZA, 2011
This indigenous 100% Tempranillo young "crianza" from Rioja was officially rated 'Excellent' from the Control Board. Well structured with pronounced intensity of ripe fruit, spice and undertones of cocao. Well balanced with integrated tannins and an elegant finish. Pair with lasagna, meat, whole fishes, even great with Mexican food. Avg. Retail: $20
ugarte-reserva
DOMINIO DE UGARTE, RIOJA RESERVA 2008
This wine is the big daddy from my Spanish wine tasting and lineup. 95% Tempranillo 5% Graciano which helps structure this wine. It is intense and complex with notes of ripe black fruit and a spicy background. Great palate with a long aftertaste of aromatic black fruit, toast and cocoa. It aged 12 to 15 months in new French and American oak with 24 months in bottle. Decant this wine for at least an hour and you will experience the range and power this wine has to offer. Pair this with grilled meats, roasts, stews, cheeses and any hearty dish. Avg. Retail: #25
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Chardonnay, LAFOND, STA. Rita Hills, CA, 2014
Santa Rita Hills in the Santa Ynez Valley is best known for Chardonnay, Pinto Noir and Syrah. The Pacific Ocean has a cooling effect which allows the growing season to be longer in this area of California allowing the grapes to develop full phenolic ripeness. This Chardonnay has a great balance with notes of pear, apple and an oak finish. A great California style Chardonnay. Avg. Retail: $20
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Chablis, William Fevre, Champs Royaux, Burgandy, France, 2013
Combining fruitiness with a freshness and minerality this is a fine wine. The tasting notes showcase a very elegant bouquet, developing citrus, white-fleshed fruit and floral notes. Fresh and supple, the wine is marked by mineral notes that are typical of the appellation. Rated 90 points by Wine Spectator this Chablis can be enjoyed with oysters, seafood, grilled fish, light-to-medium-flavored courses. Avg. Retail: $23
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"Versace" Nero d'avola, Sicilia IGT, Feudi del Pisciotto, Sicilia, Italia 2012
Nero d'Avola is the grape variety that best represents Sicily's winemaking identity. It has a deep ruby red hue with complex notes of red fruit, currants, blueberries and cherries, together with the dark spicy and toasty sensations coming from the French aging oak. It is a rich structured and velvety wine with a finish of fruit and sweet spice. This is a great wine to pair with roasted and braised meats, game and aged cheeses. Average retail: $25
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"Valentino" Merlot, Sicilia IGT, Feudi Del Pisciotto, Sicilia, Italia 2012
This Merlot is born from one of the oldest winery vineyards and achieves the fantastic expression of the Sicilian "terroir". A deep ruby red hue, with earthy vegetal notes of black olive with black fruit and spices underneath. The notes on the nose immediately take you to the "old world". It has an elegant character with a fuity and spicy lingering finish. This wine pairs well with roasted white or red meats and aged cheeses.
Average Retail: $25
contucci
Rosso, Contucci, Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano DOCG, 2009
This Chianti blend from Contucci is one of the most classic red wines of Italy. The Contuccis revered classic Vino Nobile di Montepulciano reds have ensured Tuscany retains its privileged place on the world wine map. The Contuccis have been harvesting great wines since Etruscan times from the hillside vineyards surrounding Montepulciano, 25 miles southeast of Siena in southeastern Tuscany.
With Sangiovese being the prominent grape in this blend and oak barrel aging this wine expresses notes of violet, rose petal, cassis and nutmeg. The palate delivers an intense wild-cherry flavor layered with white pepper and cinnamon, all impeccably balanced by firm tannins and vibrant acidity. Enjoy this wine with the "Boar"ognese recipe in my blog post and explore the Italian countryside as you are transported to noble times.
93 points Wine Enthusiast, 2010 Vintage
lighthorse
CHARDONNAY, LIGHT HORSE, JAMIESON RANCH 2012
This Chardonnay from Napa , CA expresses notes of a warmer climate Chardonnay. It features wafting aromas of lime, pear, peachy , apricot, pineapple and green apple. The palate has a bright entry with citrus and stone fruit on the finish. A delectable acidity with a round rich mouthfeel. Great paired with mild fish like sole, scallops and clams.
This wine also gives back! A portion of the profits from this brand goes to support the Light Horse Foundation charity where they help at risk individuals, particularly those with autism, and supporting other humanitarian causes.
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MOSCATO D'ASTI, BRICCO QUAGLIA, LA SPINETTA, 2013
This Moscato from Piemonte, Italy from the city of Asti is a wine traditionally known as a sweet dessert wine, but can be enjoyed as an aperitif, afternoon refreshment or with Sunday brunch. With a bouquet of crisp green apples, flowers, pears and spices it offers a lovely balance and has a remarkable freshness on the palate.