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Region Vintage Name Qty Unit Case Size Format Price Note Rating
Italy 1985 Conterno Fantino Barolo Sori Ginestra 1 Bottle 75cl £175
Italy 1985 Giuseppe Mascarello e Figlio Barbaresco Marcarini 1 Bottle 75cl £385
Italy 1985 Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia 2 Bottle 75cl £1,750
  • Rating

    100

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2017 - 2035

    Reviewed by

     Monica Larner

    Issue Date

    28th Apr 2017

    Source

    230, The Wine Advocate

    Oddly enough, the 1985 Sassicaia was the wine least commented during the conversations that followed this retrospective. Our panel consisted of some two dozen professional wine tasters from around the world, and virtually not a word was uttered with regards to this wine. That's how truly outstanding it is. The soaring beauty of this landmark Sassicaia literally transcends the rather mundane realm of wine critique with its string of adjectives and wearisome descriptors. It hardly deserves to be treated like any of the other gorgeous wines we tasted on this glorious day. In truth, the 1985 Sassicaia does reveal a new perspective onto its perfection each time you have the fortune to taste it. I noticed a layer of bright almond-like sweetness that I don't recall tasting before. The wine seems to be getting younger, not older. Even its appearance is remarkable. Of the various samples presented from the 1980s, this wine exhibited the brightest garnet color and the most youthful personality. It shows stunning volume. The integration is seamless and the wine's many complicated pieces fit together with utmost precision like a jigsaw puzzle that renders a most beautiful Italian masterpiece when admired at completion.

Tasting Notes
100
Italy 1990 Poderi Aldo Conterno Bussia Cicala Barolo 1 Bottle 75cl £195
  • Rating

    (94 - 96)

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    NA

    Reviewed by

    Robert M. Parker, Jr.

    Issue Date

    30th Apr 1994

    Source

    92, The Wine Advocate

    The super-concentrated 1990 Barolo Vigna Cicala Bussia is an outstanding wine. When I tasted it, it appeared more structured, tannic, and backward than the 1989. Perhaps it is just the one year difference in age, but the advantage the 1989 enjoys over the 1990 at present is that its fruit is sweeter and more evolved. Every Italian wine authority, from the late Sheldon Wasserman, to Burton Anderson, to Victor Hazan, to Roberto Parkero, considers Aldo Conterno to be one of the great masters of his craft. The staggering display of wines he produced in 1989 and 1990 confirmed that no one in Piedmont is making greater Barolo than Aldo Conterno and his sons. If you love great wine, these are must purchases; if you love Barolo, a pilgrimage to your favorite Italian wine shop is in order! It is virtually impossible to pick a favorite among Conterno's 1989s and 1990s. However, the 1990s, which are not yet bottled, appear even more massive, structured, and tannic than the flamboyant, super-concentrated, flashy 1989s. Readers should keep in mind that the Barolo-Riserva Gran Bussia is released a year later than the other Barolos, so the 1989 will not appear in the marketplace until spring, 1995, and the 1990 a year later. Wine enthusiasts throughout the world should be beating a path to their retailers to buy the 1989s and to reserve the 1990s when they arrive next year. By the way, Aldo Conterno is one of Piedmont's sweetest people, proving that sometimes nice guys do finish first!

Tasting Notes
96
Italy 1990 Biondi Santi, Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Greppo 1 Bottle 75cl £450
Italy 1990 Solaia 1 Case 6 75cl £1,680
  • Rating

    94

    Release Price

    $75

    Drink Date

    2014

    Reviewed by

    Robert M. Parker, Jr.

    Issue Date

    31st Oct 1994

    Source

    95, The Wine Advocate

    The 1990 Solaia is slightly more concentrated than the 1990 Tignanello, with a saturated purple color, and a classic, international nose of cassis, lead pencil, vanillin, and smoke. It is gorgeously rich, with a fat, unctuous texture, and a long, highly extracted finish. Well-balanced and already delicious, it remains unevolved and is potentially a 12-20 year wine. In the context of recent Solaias, I would rate it a worthy competitor to the other-worldly 1985. It is certainly much more opulent, with sweeter, jammier, richer fruit than the 1988 (most recently rated 88 points).  

Tasting Notes
94
Italy 1995 Umani Ronchi Cumaro 1 Bottle 150cl £100
Italy 1996 Gaja Darmagi Cabernet Sauvignon 1 Case 12 75cl £1,800
  • Rating

    (90 - 91)

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2008 - 2025

    Reviewed by

    Robert M. Parker, Jr.

    Issue Date

    27th Aug 1999

    Source

    124, The Wine Advocate

    The outstanding 1996 Darmaggi Cabernet Sauvignon is a structured, dense, black/purple-colored wine with excellent cassis fruit, and an unevolved, but promising personality. There are copious quantities of tannin, a massive mid-palate, and a sweet, long finish. However, it will require considerable patience. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2025. 

Tasting Notes
91
Italy 1997 Pieve Santa Restituta (Gaja) Sugarille 4 Bottle 75cl £100
  • A well-structured, big red. Lots of spice, cinnamon and ripe fruit. Full-bodied and very silky, with lots of raisin, spice and berry character and toasted oak. Needs time to mellow. Best after 2003. 1,000 cases made.

    Score: 93 James Suckling, Wine Spectator, June 2002

    Mature ruby with brickstone rim. Cough-syrup herb liqueur, fine dried-fruit notes and quite balsamic oak notes. Fully open on the nose. Quite sweet fruit with a good dollop of tannin but not without depth. Very intense and sweet on the finish and perhaps could be a little fresher. 2005 - 2022

    Score: 16.5 Walter Speller, JancisRobinson.com, April 2013

Tasting Notes
93
Italy 1997 Pieve Santa Restituta (Gaja) Sugarille 1 Case 12 75cl £1,200
  • A well-structured, big red. Lots of spice, cinnamon and ripe fruit. Full-bodied and very silky, with lots of raisin, spice and berry character and toasted oak. Needs time to mellow. Best after 2003. 1,000 cases made.

    Score: 93 James Suckling, Wine Spectator, June 2002

    Mature ruby with brickstone rim. Cough-syrup herb liqueur, fine dried-fruit notes and quite balsamic oak notes. Fully open on the nose. Quite sweet fruit with a good dollop of tannin but not without depth. Very intense and sweet on the finish and perhaps could be a little fresher. 2005 - 2022

    Score: 16.5 Walter Speller, JancisRobinson.com, April 2013

Tasting Notes
93
Italy 1998 Roberto Voerzio Brunate, Barolo 6 Bottle 75cl £145
  • Rating

    (91 - 92)

    Release Price

    $150

    Drink Date

    2003 - 2016

    Reviewed by

    Robert M. Parker, Jr.

    Issue Date

    30th Oct 2001

    Source

    137, The Wine Advocate

    Dense, masculine, and muscular, the 1998 Barolo Brunate displays abundant quantities of blackberry and cherry liqueur aromas intertwined with vanilla, licorice, tobacco, and rose petals. The new oak is brilliantly absorbed by this medium to full-bodied, sweet, expansively-flavored Barolo. Anticipated maturity: 2003-2016.   

Tasting Notes
92
Italy 1998 Dal Forno Romano Amarone della Valpolicella 1 Bottle 75cl £325
Italy 1999 Gaja Barbaresco Sori Tildin 1 Case 3 150cl £1,320
  • The 1999 Sorì Tildìn is a pretty wine, even if many of the site-specific notes aren't quite as evident in this vintage. This decidedly mid-weight Sorì Tildìn is notable for its balance and harmony, but otherwise today it is a bit flat and lacking the excitement of the very best vintages. I have seen Sorì Tildìn blossom in bottle though, so I am inclined to think I found the 1999 at a particularly closed stage of its life. (Magnum tasted Drink 2014-2024)

    Score: 93+ Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, August 2012

    The 1999 Sori Tildin, is notably more powerful on the nose and more complex as well, with balsamic and resin sensations to accompany the mocha and vanilla. Rounder and ampler than Costa Russi, it is concentrated, sumptuous, and sensual as well as long and fresh on the development and finish. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2018.

    Score: 93 Daniel Thomases, Wine Advocate (149), October 2003

Tasting Notes
93
Italy 2001 Pieve Santa Restituta (Gaja) Sugarille 7 Bottle 75cl £90
  • Rating

    94

    Release Price

    $142

    Drink Date

    2009 - 2021

    Reviewed by

    Antonio Galloni

    Issue Date

    26th Dec 2006

    Source

    168, The Wine Advocate

    The 2001 Brunellos show the pedigree of the superior vintage. Gaja’s 2001 Brunello di Montalcino Sugarille is the more potent of the Brunellos. It displays a darker color along with notes of tar, smoke, spices, toasted oak and dark fruit on a full-bodied frame with terrific expansiveness and length on the palate. A lingering note of licorice frames the finish of this beautiful, deeply expressive Brunello. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2021.  

Tasting Notes
94
Italy 2001 Bibi Graetz Testamatta 2 Bottle 300cl £480
  • Rating 93

    Reviewed by Daniel Thomases

    Issue Date 26th Apr 2004

    Source 152, The Wine Advocate

    The 2001 Testamatta, a blend of Sangiovese, Canaiolo, and Colorino, is a very full and firm ruby, and its expansive nose of red currant and plum fruit, underbrush, Mediterranean herbs, and sweet oak, is matched by rich, round flavors of ripe red fruit, vanilla, and seared oak. Already quite approachable, it has the stuffing to last for another decade and a half. 

Tasting Notes
93
Italy 2003 Pira & Figli Barolo Cannubi Chiara Boschis - 5 Bottle 75cl £60
93
Italy 2003 Quintarelli Valpolicella Classico Superiore 3 Bottle 150cl £130
Italy 2005 Cappellano Barolo Otin Fiorin Pie Rupestris 2 Case 6 75cl £895
Italy 2006 Casanova di Neri Cerretalto Brunello di Montalcino 1 Bottle 75cl £215
  • Rating

    99

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2020 - 2040

    Reviewed by

     Monica Larner

    Issue Date

    28th Feb 2018

    Source

    235, The Wine Advocate

    Holy gorgeousness! The 2006 Brunello di Montalcino Cerretalto is a knock-out beauty. This wine far surpassed my expectations and the memory I have of it from when I first tasted it on release six years back. This vintage has gained in precision, length and focus. It has shed a lot of its baby fat to reveal a muscular and beautifully balanced body. Its core is composed of wild berry, spice, leather and balsam herb—that latter aroma is something of a signature touch for Casanova di Neri. Despite all that enormous complexity and depth, this 2006 vintage still tastes young and tonic. The tannins are youthful, and this wine still has more potential for a slow-aging evolution ahead.

Tasting Notes
99
Italy 2006 Tua Rita Syrah 1 Case 3 75cl £295
  • I was blown away by the 2006 Syrah. This fresh, vibrant wine possesses endless layers of perfumed dark fruit, mint, minerals and sweet toasted oak. Despite its extroverted personality, the wine reveals superb clarity and detail in a rich, massive style. The tannins build mightily on the finish, suggesting a minimum of a few years of cellaring is warranted. It is impossible not to admire this wine's exceptional pedigree.

Tasting Notes
97
Italy 2006 Casanova di Neri Cerretalto Brunello di Montalcino 2 Case 3 75cl £650
  • Rating

    99

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2020 - 2040

    Reviewed by

     Monica Larner

    Issue Date

    28th Feb 2018

    Source

    235, The Wine Advocate

    Holy gorgeousness! The 2006 Brunello di Montalcino Cerretalto is a knock-out beauty. This wine far surpassed my expectations and the memory I have of it from when I first tasted it on release six years back. This vintage has gained in precision, length and focus. It has shed a lot of its baby fat to reveal a muscular and beautifully balanced body. Its core is composed of wild berry, spice, leather and balsam herb—that latter aroma is something of a signature touch for Casanova di Neri. Despite all that enormous complexity and depth, this 2006 vintage still tastes young and tonic. The tannins are youthful, and this wine still has more potential for a slow-aging evolution ahead.

Tasting Notes
99
Italy 2006 Roagna Barbaresco Crichet Paje 1 Case 6 75cl £3,600
  • The 2006 Barbaresco Crichët Pajé is one of the most open, accessible vintages of this wine I can remember tasting. But it's still Roagna, which means the wine is powerful and structured, but less so than is typically the case. Iron, smoke, incense, tobacco, autumn leaves and a host of ferrous, savory notes are some of the signatures. As is sometimes the case here, extended time in barrel has dried out the fruit a bit. This is a style that personally gives me less pleasure, although, as the saying goes, your mileage may vary.

    -- Antonio Galloni

Tasting Notes
93
Italy 2007 Ornellaia 1 Bottle 150cl £320
  • The 2007 Ornellaia is remarkably open and accessible, very much in keeping with the personality of the vintage. Clean, minerally notes frame a core of silky, perfumed dark fruit, mocha, spices, licorice, grilled herbs and leather that impresses for its exceptional length. Tasted next to the 2007 Le Serre Nuove, the 2007 Ornellaia shows more muscle (from the higher percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon), but in terms of pure quality the wines are very close. The 2007 is not a big, massive Ornellaia, but rather a wine built on elegance and finesse, both of which are on full display. The 2007 should drink well with a minimum of cellaring, but whether it will make old bones remains a question mark at this point. The 2007 Ornellaia is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot.

Tasting Notes
93
Italy 2007 Ornellaia 1 Bottle 300cl £750
  • The 2007 Ornellaia is remarkably open and accessible, very much in keeping with the personality of the vintage. Clean, minerally notes frame a core of silky, perfumed dark fruit, mocha, spices, licorice, grilled herbs and leather that impresses for its exceptional length. Tasted next to the 2007 Le Serre Nuove, the 2007 Ornellaia shows more muscle (from the higher percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon), but in terms of pure quality the wines are very close. The 2007 is not a big, massive Ornellaia, but rather a wine built on elegance and finesse, both of which are on full display. The 2007 should drink well with a minimum of cellaring, but whether it will make old bones remains a question mark at this point. The 2007 Ornellaia is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot.

Tasting Notes
93
Italy 2007 Felsina Chianti Classico Riserva 2 Case 6 75cl £225
  • The 2007 Chianti Classico Riserva emerges with hints of smoke, underbrush, licorice, leather and wild cherries. The wine gains volume and depth in the glass as its sheer pedigree emerges over time. There is plenty of muscle to back up the delicate aromatics in a striking balance of elegance and power, all in an essentially classic, mid-weight style. The round, deeply satisfying finish makes it hard to put the glass down.

Tasting Notes
91
Italy 2007 Gaja Barbaresco Sori San Lorenzo 1 Case 6 75cl £1,675
  • Rating

    98

    Release Price

    $420

    Drink Date

    2027 - 2047

    Reviewed by

    Antonio Galloni

    Issue Date

    27th Feb 2010

    Source

    187, The Wine Advocate

    The 2007 Langhe Sori San Lorenzo is perhaps the most massive, virile wine in this lineup, and accordingly it will require the most time. Tannic and austere at the outset, the wine gradually opens to reveal staggering richness and depth in its dark fruit. The wine turns more elegant in the glass, revealing a myriad of black fruit, tar, licorice, spices and scorched earth in a dazzling display of class and elegance. This is one for the ages. Anticipated maturity: 2027-2047. My most recent visit to Gaja was quite an experience, as I tasted all of the estate’s 1989s, 1990s and 2007s. The 1989s and 1990s are reviewed in this issue’s What About Now feature. Angelo Gaja, always loquacious on a wide range of subjects, says virtually nothing about his wines, an approach I have increasingly come to appreciate in an era where so many producers are constantly in pitch mode. Then again, Gaja doesn’t really need to say anything, the wines speak for themselves. I tasted the 2007s at the winery in November 2009 and then again in New York in January 2010. Both times they were spectacular. Stylistically the 2007s remind me of the 1997s in terms of their opulence. Gaja’s wines are often immensely appealing when young – which is certainly the case with the 2007s – but then close down in bottle for a number of years, sometimes many years. My impression is that the Costa Russi and Conteisa are the most likely of these 2007s to offer the widest drinking windows throughout their lives with a minimum of cellaring. Fermentation and malolactic fermentation take place in steel. The wines then spend approximately one year in French oak and a second year in cask prior to being bottled. As has been the case for a number of years now, Gaja’s Langhe wines incorporate a small percentage of Barbera. On a final note, it’s great to see Gaja’s daughters Gaia and Rossana increasingly involved in the winery. They, and their younger brother Giovanni, have big shoes to fill, but couldn’t have asked for better teachers than Angelo and Lucia Gaja. 

Tasting Notes
98
Italy 2008 Jermann, Vintage Tunina 1 Bottle 150cl £60
  • Rating

    92

    Release Price

    $74

    Drink Date

    2012 - 2018

    Reviewed by

    Antonio Galloni

    Issue Date

    28th Feb 2011

    Source

    193, The Wine Advocate

    The 2008 Vintage Tunina is terrific. The wine’s trademark expansive bouquet and generous fruit are beautifully balanced by a vein of minerality that is the hallmark of this cool year. All of the elements come together beautifully in the glass as the 2008 Vintage Tunina shows off layers of succulent peaches, pears, apricots, flowers and mint, along with hints of sweetness from the late-harvested fruit that is such a big component of the wine’s signature style. Vintage Tunina is Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Ribolla Gialla, Malvasia Istriana and Picolit. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2018. These new releases from Silvio Jermann include a number of fabulous bottles. In particular, I was impressed with the top 2008s, a vintage where the cool minerality of the year prevails over the house’s typically lush style, an approach I tend to find less interesting. Jermann has a new red on the horizon, the Pignolo Vigna Truss, from recently purchased hillside vineyards in Dolegna, the home of his massive, new cellar. Previously, Jermann’s Pignolo had mostly come from the flats of Villanova, a far less prestigious village in Isonzo, rather than the Collio. I tasted all of the 2009 entry-level whites from screwcaps. Readers should be aware that Jermann is owned by my wife’s uncle. I have always viewed education as an important component of wine criticism. An article on Friuli without these wines would have been incomplete and ultimately the consumer would have been poorer for their exclusion. For those reasons I have chosen to include the wines in this report. Neither my wife nor I have any financial or other interest, direct or indirect, in this property.

     

Tasting Notes
92
Italy 2008 Gaja Barbaresco Costa Russi 1 Bottle 150cl £395
  • Rating

    94

    Release Price

    $440

    Drink Date

    2016 - 2028

    Reviewed by

    Antonio Galloni

    Issue Date

    31st Oct 2011

    Source

    197, The Wine Advocate

    The 2008 Costa Russi is absolutely gorgeous. Sweet dark cherries, tar, licorice and new leather are some of the aromas and flavors that take shape in the glass. The 2008 is a firm Costa Russi, with less of the seductiveness of most years, but equally fine balance. Ideally it needs a few more years in bottle, but it is striking. The finish shows terrific intensity. The typical juiciness of the site is framed by the firm tannins of the year. Everything that makes Costa Russi such an engaging wine is here, but in a slightly smaller-scaled package than in the very finest years. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2028. This is a stunning set of wines from Angelo Gaja and his team in Barbaresco. Those who think 2008 is a truly great year for Nebbiolo must have tasted these wines. In a vintage that is inconsistent across the villages of Barbaresco, Gaja has produced not one but four stellar wines. As fabulous as these wines are, they aren’t especially true to type, as I explain in these notes. The 2008s I tasted in the US showed far better than the bottles I tasted in Barbaresco during the summer. Perhaps the onset of the cool fall weather gave these wines a little more spine than they had during the sweltering heat of August. Readers who want to learn more about the 2011 harvest at Gaja may want to take a look at my video interview with Gaia Gaja and vineyard manager Giorgio Culasso.  

Tasting Notes
94
Italy 2008 Gaja Barbaresco Sori San Lorenzo 1 Bottle 150cl £395
  • Gaja's 2008 Sori San Lorenzo is impeccable from start to finish. The 2008 is a round, seamless San Lorenzo with seemingly no hard edges and terrific overall balance. The signature aromas and flavors are there, as is the wine's typical gravitas, yet the 2008 has an extra level of sweetness, its size notwithstanding. The wine possesses striking inner perfume and fabulous overall balance. The sheer excitement of the very finest years isn't quite there, but this is a fine bottle just the same. An explosive, juicy finish rounds things out in style. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2033.

    Score: 95

Tasting Notes
95
Italy 2008 Gaja Barbaresco Sori Tildin 1 Bottle 150cl £420
  • The 2008 Sori Tildin is impressive. I confess I wasn't quite prepared for the assault of fruit and tannins here. Sori Tildin is so often a graceful, elegant wine, but that is not the case in 2008. That's not to say elegance is missing, but this is a big, big wine with tons of intensity and richness, all woven together beautifully. It's tough to find a comparison with a previous vintage, as this is a singular Tildin. The flavors are familiar if a touch on the dark side, but the structure is closer than that of Sori San Lorenzo. Flowers, tar, leather and licorice wrap around the palate. This is a fabulous showing and a great wine in the making. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2033.

    Score: 96

Tasting Notes
96
Italy 2008 Isole e Olena, Cabernet Sauvignon, Collezione 2 Case 6 75cl £240
Italy 2010 Giuseppe Mascarello Barolo Monprivato 3 Bottle 75cl £130
  • Mascarello's 2010 Barolo Monprivato shows good depth and volume in the glass, but the flavors are also a touch forward, which is a bit unusual for the year. Sweet red cherry, raspberry, mint, white pepper and orange peel linger on the delicate finish, all supported by silky, polished tannins. The 2010 is a bit more fully formed than it was a few months ago, but I don't find the pedigree of the best years, and I say that after having had the 1989, 2004 and 2008 in the days leading up to this visit.

Tasting Notes
89
Italy 2010 Pian Orino Brunello di Montalcino Bassolino Sopra 1 Bottle 150cl £625
  • Rating

    100

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2018 - 2045

    Reviewed by

     Monica Larner

    Issue Date

    4th Mar 2016

    Source

    223, The Wine Advocate

    The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Bassolino di Sopra is the equivalent of the estate's Riserva. Only 3,000 bottles were made and the wine was not produced in 2009 or 2008. Nor will it be made in 2011 or 2013. Future editions are 2012 and 2015. Bassolino di Sopra is silky and smooth, but it also has a fine textural fabric that gives the wine an enormous sense of tactile intensity in terms of mouthfeel. This is a magnificent achievement with an extreme sense of purity and freshness that is elegant and streamlined. The bouquet reveals slight and miniature shifts in its evolution that keep your curiosity as you contemplate the wine in the glass. Wild berry is followed by a steady stream of balsam herb, cola, crushed oyster shell and delicate floral tones. The vineyards are located between 330 and 370 meters above sea level with limestone deposits and red soils. Farming is biodynamic.

Tasting Notes
100
Italy 2010 Gaja Barbaresco Sori Tildin 1 Bottle 300cl £1,150
  • 96+

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2018 - 2040

    Reviewed by

    Monica Larner

    Issue Date

    28th Jun 2013

    Source

    207, The Wine Advocate

    Gaia Gaja uses the word “salty” to describe this next wine, and I see her point. The 2010 Sori Tildin shows a dry, firmly structured quality that enhances those extraordinary, breezy overtones of lead pencil and brimstone that so fittingly frame the Nebbiolo grape. The lingering end-notes of rose petal, ginger and cedar are striking. You immediately feel the tannic structure and power of the wine. The jump is very sharp next to the Costa Russi, and that’s why this is one of Gaja’s best cellar-agers. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2040.  

Tasting Notes
96
Italy 2010 Altesino Brunello di Montalcino 1 Case 6 75cl £185
  • Rating

    93

    Release Price

    $65

    Drink Date

    2017 - 2028

    Reviewed by

     Monica Larner

    Issue Date

    28th Feb 2017

    Source

    229, The Wine Advocate

    Altesino is now celebrating the release of its 40th harvest. In fact, the 2012 Brunello di Montalcino is inscribed with the words "our 40th Harvest" in gold letters on its front label. This is a truly delicious wine that exceeds my expectations. I love the way it takes full command of the slightly bolder and more opulent dark fruit aromas produced in this hot vintage. Black cherry, plum and crème de cassis converge on the bouquet. Grilled herb, forest floor, licorice and exotic spice play supporting roles. The finish offers moderate acidity on the Sangiovese scale. This means the wine is mush fresher and more tonic than most Tuscan reds. The finish is long and silky.

Tasting Notes
93
Italy 2010 Gianni Brunelli Brunello di Montalcino 1 Case 6 75cl £290
  • Rating

    93+

    Release Price

    $67

    Drink Date

    2016 - 2024

    Reviewed by

     Monica Larner

    Issue Date

    28th Feb 2015

    Source

    217, The Wine Advocate

    The beautiful 2010 Brunello di Montalcino delivers an impressive level of balance, elegance and intensity. All those qualities work harmoniously together to form the well-toned personality of this territory-driven wine. The wine walks with light footprints and nothing about it is too powerful or overdone. In fact, Gianni Brunelli Le Chiuse di Sotto has crafted the kind of wine that caresses the palate with impressive complexity, but that also makes a good companion to a large range of oven-rosted or grilled dishes. The mouthfeel is compact and extremely focused.

Tasting Notes
93
Italy 2010 Costanti Brunello di Montalcino 1 Case 6 75cl £345
  • The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is fabulous. Dark cherry, lavender, mint, hard candy and a host of balsamic-inflected notes soar from the glass as this towering, structured Rivera shows off its personality. This is one of the more tannic, backward Riserva of the vintage. As such, demands patience. Just as extraordinary as it was last year, the Riserva once again shows just how magical this vintage was for Andrea Costanti.

    -- Antonio Galloni 98 Antonio Galloni 2022 - 2040 $230.00 Feb 2016

Tasting Notes
98
Italy 2010 Romano Dal Forno Amarone della Valpolicella 1 Case 6 75cl £1,200
  • Rating

    95

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2018 - 2035

    Reviewed by

     Monica Larner

    Issue Date

    19th Sep 2019

    Source

    September 2019 Week 3, The Wine Advocate

    This was an excellent vintage in much of Italy, but unfortunately the weather was not as pleasant in this specific area of the Valpolicella. The season saw a lot of rain, and a good amount of fruit was cut and left on the ground because it could not be used. Considering these difficulties, Michele Dal Forno tells me he is "more than happy with the results." I tasted the 2010 Amarone della Valpolicella Monte Lodoletta next to the 2009 vintage, and having these two wines side by side reinforces just how different they are. The 2010 vintages is sharper, more pointed and direct in comparison, and there is a tiny point of sourness on the close. This wine does not reach the same threshold for fullness, density or richness. It does come close. The wine's residual sugar measures between 5 and 6 grams per liter, which is normal for this wine, and the bouquet is redolent of familiar black fruit, raisin and spice. However, the wine feels a bit stuck in its tracks at the moment and is evidently experiencing a shy phase in its evolution. It has retreated.

Tasting Notes
95
Italy 2010 Giuseppe Mascarello Barolo Monprivato Riserva 1 Case 6 75cl £3,150
  • Rating

    98

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2022 - 2050

    Reviewed by

     Monica Larner

    Issue Date

    29th Jun 2018

    Source

    237, The Wine Advocate

    The 2010 Barolo Riserva Monprivato Cà d'Morissio is one of the defining wines of this iconic vintage. This important wine was not made in 2009 or 2011. There will be releases in 2012 and 2013. However, the Mascarello family is not yet sure about 2014. If they do release the wine in that vintage, bottle production will be very small. Generally speaking, 4,000 bottles is the normal production target. This wine should be released more or less as this report is published in late spring 2018. There is a lot to say here, starting with the bouquet that is precisely defined and layered. You get tones of forest fruit, crushed mineral, wild sage and balsam herb. There are renderings of iodine, anise seed and licorice as well. What stands out most is the wine's seamless integration. The tannins are firm and dry, with just enough latitude to offer future development. This wine ages in bottle for two and a half years before its commercial release. It should not be touched for at least 5 more years, or preferably more.

Tasting Notes
98
Italy 2010 Bartolo Mascarello Barolo 1 Case 6 150cl £5,850
  • Rating

    96+

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2017 - 2038

    Reviewed by

     Monica Larner

    Issue Date

    26th Jun 2014

    Source

    213, The Wine Advocate

    The 2010 Barolo is a singularly elegant expression that benefits from extremely long maceration time (up to 54 days) and a non-interventionists’ winemaking philosophy. The wine is superb in its elegance and finesse that caresses the palate in the most delicate and ethereal manner imaginable. Small fruit tones are enhanced by ash, crushed mineral, licorice and dried mint. Because of changes in how Barolo can be labeled, the wine no longer carries the names of the four single-vineyards that make up the traditional blend for this wine (Canubbi, San Lorenzo, Rue and Rocche di La Morra). Instead, this historic wine is now labeled straightforward “Barolo.” Drink: 2017-2038.

     

Tasting Notes
96
Italy 2011 Montevertine Pergole Torte 3 Bottle 150cl £235
  • Rating 94

    Release Price NA

    Drink Date 2019 - 2029

    Reviewed by  Monica Larner

    Issue Date 29th Mar 2018

    Source Interim End of March 2018, The Wine Advocate

    The 2011 Le Pergole Torte was born in a hot vintage, borderline too hot. On the one hand, you could deduce that the wine's performance is less nuanced and profound as a result. You might also want to consider a shorter drinking window. On the other hand, however, this warm-vintage expression of Sangiovese, from the cooler Radda in Chianti subzone, possesses gorgeous intensity and a super attractive, fruit-driven flavor profile. You get so much more exuberance and texture here. The bouquet offers dark fruit aromas backed by scorched earth, cured tobacco and a touch of savory black truffle. It's simply delicious right now.

Tasting Notes
94
Italy 2011 Masseto 3 Bottle 150cl £1,100
  • JAMES SUCKLING: 100

    MONICA LARNER: 95

    ANTONIO GALLONI: 94

    Wow. Fabulous aromas of currants, rosemary, mint and orange peel. Perfect nose. Full body with perfectly integrated tannins. It's long and incredible with tangerine, toasted-oak, berry, terracotta and chocolate flavors. It lasts for minutes on the palate. This needs at least five years to soften but so spellbinding now. Oct 2014, www.jamessuckling.com

Tasting Notes
100
Italy 2011 Salicutti Brunello di Montalcino 1 Case 6 75cl £215
Italy 2011 Giacosa Barolo Falletto 1 Case 3 150cl £600
  • Rating

    94

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2017 - 2035

    Reviewed by

    Monica Larner

    Issue Date

    29th Jun 2015

    Source

    219, The Wine Advocate

    The 2011 Barolo Falletto is a beautifully balanced and determined wine. It spends 30 months in oak and this warm vintage is already showing a quick bottle evolution. This was an early vintage: Fruit was harvested on September 23, which is ten days before average. It shows soft, luscious lines and ripe fruit favors that are both generous and opulent. Yet, there is a healthy crunchiness and crackle in the mouth that makes for a long aging future ahead. Barolo Falletto closes with pretty aromas of dark fruit, spice and shaved truffle.

Tasting Notes
94
Italy 2011 Ornellaia 1 Case 6 75cl £725
  • Rating 94

    Drink Date 2016 - 2030

    Reviewed by Monica Larner

    Issue Date 31st Oct 2014

    Source 215, The Wine Advocate

    The 2011 Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia lives up to the legacy of this important wine, thanks to its extreme intensity and its skillfully crafted bouquet. The excellent quality of fruit stands clear, despite the heat of the vintage, with pristine notes of dark cherry, exotic spice and chocolate. This expression of Ornellaia is composed of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc and 6% Petit Verdot. The results are nothing short of exuberant and this vintage will reward both those who decided to drink it early, as well as those who have the patience to wait. The only slight ruffle in this otherwise gorgeous presentation is the 2011 tannin that feels a touch aggressive. For that reason, its probably better to put the wine aside in your cellar.

Tasting Notes
94
Italy 2012 Isole e Olena Cepparello 2 Bottle 150cl £115
  • The 2012 Cepparello is just as compelling as it has always been. Sweet, ample and generous from the outset, the 2012 shows all of its pedigree, even at this early stage. Radiant fruit and exquisite aromatics make a strong opening statement as the wine fleshes out in the glass. Ample, creamy and super-expressive, the 2012 is shaping up to be a superb Cepparello. The only thing the 2012 needs is time. An up and down year with hot temperatures in July and early August, followed by rain in September forced DeMarchi to be especially selective and bottle only the best lots. Production is down to 30,000 bottles from 36,000 in 2013 and 32,400 in 2011.

Tasting Notes
97
Italy 2012 Isole e Olena Cepparello 2 Bottle 300cl £250
  • The 2012 Cepparello is just as compelling as it has always been. Sweet, ample and generous from the outset, the 2012 shows all of its pedigree, even at this early stage. Radiant fruit and exquisite aromatics make a strong opening statement as the wine fleshes out in the glass. Ample, creamy and super-expressive, the 2012 is shaping up to be a superb Cepparello. The only thing the 2012 needs is time. An up and down year with hot temperatures in July and early August, followed by rain in September forced DeMarchi to be especially selective and bottle only the best lots. Production is down to 30,000 bottles from 36,000 in 2013 and 32,400 in 2011.

Tasting Notes
97
Italy 2012 Isole e Olena Chardonnay Privata 1 Case 6 75cl £150
  • Rating 89

    Drink Date 2015 - 2022

    Reviewed by Monica Larner

    Issue Date 30th Oct 2015

    Source 221, The Wine Advocate

    The 2012 Chardonnay Collezione Privata was slightly reduced when I first tasted it, so I asked Paolo De Marchi if I could take the open bottle back to my hotel to taste it a few hours later. When I did, I found that the wine had opened considerably and those flinty, volcanic tones had blown off. The bouquet shows apricot, cantaloupe melon and white almond paste. There is a natural creaminess to the wine that makes it very attractive once it gets revved up. Make sure you give this wine ample time to breathe.

    There is no way not to be totally overwhelmed by the stunning beauty of the tiny twin hamlets of Isole and Olena that straddle either side of this historic property. Paolo De Marchi's enthusiastic and engaging personality defines the landmark set of wines before you.

Tasting Notes
89
Italy 2012 Le Pupille Saffredi 1 Case 6 75cl £290
  • 95

    The excellent 2012 Saffredi is one of the best wines I have tasted from Fattoria le Pupille. This is an exuberant and expressive blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and a smaller part Petit Verdot from the gorgeous hills of Maremma near Grosseto, Tuscany. The wine is rich and penetrating with a stunning sense of balance and inner poise. Dark cherry, blackberry, spice, leather, tobacco and grilled herb flow freely from the bouquet. The wine is softly textured with full body appeal. This fabulous Saffredi should age forward ten years or more. The Cabernet component of the wine shows perfect ripeness. (Monica Larner)

Tasting Notes
95
Italy 2012 Molinari Brunello di Montalcino, Cerbaiona 2 Case 6 75cl £565
  • Cerbaiona's 2012 Brunello di Montalcino is a nuanced and delicate wine that offers ample power, intensity and length. What the wine does best is paint a portrait of the grape in its most pure and naked state. It offers crisp outlines with loads of wild berry, blue flower and moist earth on the inside. That balanced ensemble of flavors adds to the long and polished persistence you feel in the mouth. Give this wine another 10 years of aging to best appreciate its slow evolution and budding complexity.

    Score: 95Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (235), February 2018

Tasting Notes
95
Italy 2012 Masseto 1 Case 3 75cl £1,330
  • Rating

    95

    Release Price

    $550

    Drink Date

    2017 - 2037

    Reviewed by

     Monica Larner

    Issue Date

    30th Oct 2015

    Source

    221, The Wine Advocate

    The 2012 Masseto is seductive from the first sip. The 2011 edition of this wine was very successful, and not too different in character from this wine. What the 2012 vintage offers instead is a level of textural richness and creaminess that is absolutely outstanding. The very nature of the fruit feels velvety and silky smooth, without a single ripple. The bouquet reveals upfront aromas of dark cherry and spice that are contrasted perfectly against one another. Classic vintages of Masseto include 2001 and 2006. The 2012 vintage doesn't offer the same backbone firmness as those years, but it offers lots more exuberant richness instead. Some 32,000 bottles were produced. The wine should hold forward for many, many years.

Tasting Notes
95
Italy 2013 Tua Rita Redigaffi 7 3 Bottle 150cl £1,100
  • Rating 99 - There's a lot to say here, so let me start at the beginning. The 2013 Redigaffi 7 Magnum is a special-release wine, produced only in magnum to celebrate the 20th anniversary (which was in 2013) of this iconic expression of Tuscan Merlot. A precious few 420 magnums were produced, and the price tag is nothing to sneeze at. I will also say that I struggled to score this wine, and I nursed my magnum, my single sample, for as long as I could, tasting the wine blind, in a flight of peers, in different glasses and at various intervals after the bottle was open. I spent a lot of time contemplating my thoughts and impressions, and ultimately, that in itself is what convinced me to give it a two-digit score rather than a three-digit one. Awarding the perfect score is often an illumination that requires very little thought at all and if you think about it too long, you nurture a doubt, the original sin of wine tasting. However, if the next critic went with a 100-point score for this wine, I would be in absolute agreement on every intellectual level. I also want to address the hefty price tag here, because in my almost 20 years covering Italian wine, I have never seen a new release hit the market at such an ambitious price point. To this, I say congratulations to Stefano Frascolla and his family. Very few Italian icon wines know their own worth, and I am often shocked by the value you can get from an Italian benchmark compared to one from Bordeaux or Napa. I find myself in agreement with these politics, even though it sadly means only a handful of people will have access to a wine of this magnitude. This special Redigaffi comes from a single plot (that measures under one hectare) planted in 1988. This was Tua Rita's original Merlot vineyard and is where fruit was sourced to make the most successful editions of the wine (including the 100-point 2000 vintage). This wine ages in oak for three years (longer than the 750-milliliter Redigaffi), and the wood sees a higher level of toast. That extra spice and oak astringency is noted. The first commercial vintage of this wine was 1994, but Tua Rita is celebrating the 20th anniversary now because an experimental wine was also produced more than 20 years ago in 1993. My tasting notes are obviously very similar to my review of the 2013 regular Redigaffi, and I am impressed by the wine's generosity and its infinite complexity. The bouquet is packed tight with black fruit, spice, tar and grilled herb. There is also an imperfect point of greenness or tightness buried deep within that adds to the firmness of the tannins, both the fruit and the oak tannins. However, this magnum bottling has a long, long way to go in terms of its evolution, and I am quite sure that its aging trajectory will take it through untold waves of ups and downs. If there is one lesson I came away with as I tasted this wine over and over again, it is this: There is a lifeline here. This is a living, breathing, evolving wine of beauty and potential.

    This is a year of birthdays for Tua Rita. The iconic Redigaffi is celebrating its 20th anniversary (1993-2013) with a special magnum release, the 2013 Redigaffi 7 Magnum. A mere 420 magnums were produced, and the wine is hitting the market at an ambitious $1,600 retail. The 2017 Guisto di Notri is also distinguished by a special label to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Auguri, or congratulations, Tua Rita. 

    Source Issue 244 End of August 2019, The Wine Advocate

     

Tasting Notes
99
Italy 2013 Castello dei Rampolla Sammarco 1 Case 6 75cl £295
  • Rating

    95

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2018 - 2035

    Reviewed by

     Monica Larner

    Issue Date

    31st Oct 2017

    Source

    233, The Wine Advocate

    Wines from the Castello dei Rampolla property show an impressive and especially chiseled quality that gives them a very direct and immediate quality. These are frank and honest wines that stay true to the identity set forth years ago at this historic estate. They stay the course, so to speak. The 2013 Sammarco is Cabernet Sauvignon with Sangiovese and Merlot that tastes nothing like the many blended Bordeaux-inspired reds you find in this part of Italy. Instead, the wine is all-Tuscan in its appeal, with sun-drenched cherry, Mediterranean herb and a pretty balsam note that recalls the thick underbrush and woods of the Chianti Classico countryside. This vintage soars in intensity and beauty.

Tasting Notes
95
Italy 2013 Castello dei Rampolla Sammarco 2 Case 3 150cl £310
  • Rating

    95

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2018 - 2035

    Reviewed by

     Monica Larner

    Issue Date

    31st Oct 2017

    Source

    233, The Wine Advocate

    Wines from the Castello dei Rampolla property show an impressive and especially chiseled quality that gives them a very direct and immediate quality. These are frank and honest wines that stay true to the identity set forth years ago at this historic estate. They stay the course, so to speak. The 2013 Sammarco is Cabernet Sauvignon with Sangiovese and Merlot that tastes nothing like the many blended Bordeaux-inspired reds you find in this part of Italy. Instead, the wine is all-Tuscan in its appeal, with sun-drenched cherry, Mediterranean herb and a pretty balsam note that recalls the thick underbrush and woods of the Chianti Classico countryside. This vintage soars in intensity and beauty.

Tasting Notes
95
Italy 2013 Querciabella 'Batar' (Chardonnay/Pinot Bianco) 2 Case 6 75cl £320
Italy 2014 Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia 1 Case 6 75cl £850
  • Rating

    93

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2018 - 2030

    Reviewed by

     Monica Larner

    Issue Date

    28th Apr 2017

    Source

    230, The Wine Advocate

    This is my official review of the 2014 Bolgheri Sassicaia after having been graciously invited to the estate for various barrel samples spanning back several years. I have watched the evolution of this wine with a close eye and am impressed by how its real quality is diametrically opposed to the poor expectations of this difficult vintage. The nose is redolent of bright fruit and blackberry. Spice, tar and leather appear subtly at the back. The wine took on considerable weight each year I came back to taste it and this vintage was bottled earlier than average, precisely to give it more time to unwind and relax in the small confines of the bottle. This is a solid effort for sure and the wine is a stunning example of what it takes to make great wine, even when weather conditions are not in your favor.

Tasting Notes
93
Italy 2014 Gaja Barbaresco Costa Russi 3 Case 6 75cl £1,425
  • Rating

    94

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2020 - 2045

    Reviewed by

     Monica Larner

    Issue Date

    29th Dec 2017

    Source

    234, The Wine Advocate

    This is a wine of profound elegance and grace. The 2014 Barbaresco Sorì Tildìn is fine and deeply finessed, with long and polished berry notes that are enhanced by mild spice and smoky mineral notes. The wine starts off slowly and subtly. You can follow its evident progression as it opens and evolves quickly in the glass. In fact, of Gaja's three single-vineyard expressions, this wine is the most fluid and changing. The tannins are fine and nicely integrated to give the wine power, grace and staying power.

Tasting Notes
94
Italy 2014 Gaja Barbaresco Sori Tildin 2 Case 6 75cl £1,450
  • Rating

    94

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2020 - 2045

    Reviewed by

     Monica Larner

    Issue Date

    29th Dec 2017

    Source

    234, The Wine Advocate

    This is a wine of profound elegance and grace. The 2014 Barbaresco Sorì Tildìn is fine and deeply finessed, with long and polished berry notes that are enhanced by mild spice and smoky mineral notes. The wine starts off slowly and subtly. You can follow its evident progression as it opens and evolves quickly in the glass. In fact, of Gaja's three single-vineyard expressions, this wine is the most fluid and changing. The tannins are fine and nicely integrated to give the wine power, grace and staying power.

Tasting Notes
94
Italy 2014 Gaja Barbaresco Sori San Lorenzo 1 Case 6 75cl £1,490
  • Rating

    95

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2022 - 2045

    Reviewed by

     Monica Larner

    Issue Date

    29th Dec 2017

    Source

    234, The Wine Advocate

    Gaja's 2014 Barbaresco Sorì San Lorenzo is clearly at the beginning of a long and promising aging trajectory. At it's core, it shows a pinch of nervous energy and inner tightness that will surely unravel and soften as this beautiful wine continues along its magical journey in time. Angelo Gaja and his family present spectacular results in this controversial 2014 vintage. They have risen far above most of their peers and have shown a keen ability to understand their site and the versatility of their cherished Nebbiolo grape. The variety sings with a loud and exuberant voice, first offering plenty of primary fruit like blackberry and dried cherry. It then follows up with savory earth and spice. This is a bright and youthful wine that is set steady for a long aging future.

Tasting Notes
95
Italy 2015 Guidalberto Tenuta San Guido 2 Case 6 75cl £180
  • Rating

    91

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2017 - 2026

    Reviewed by

     Monica Larner

    Issue Date

    28th Apr 2017

    Source

    230, The Wine Advocate

    The 2015 vintage promises good things in Tuscany and this wine offers an informal sneak peek at what we can expect from the celebrated Tenuta San Guido vineyards in Bolgheri. The 2015 Guidalberto opens to a darkly saturated garnet hue. It shows similar concentration and power in terms of its aromatic delivery. Aromas are shapely and round with dark fruit nuances followed by leather, spice and dark tar. The wine is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with a smaller part Merlot. You feel the lush softness of the second grape as the wine glides smoothly over the palate. It takes on more weight in the glass. This is a solid buy from Bolgheri on the Tuscany Coast.

Tasting Notes
91
Italy 2015 Pieve Santa Restituta (Gaja) Rennina 1 Case 6 75cl £585
  • The 2015 Brunello di Montalcino Rennina is dark and powerful in the glass, slowly opening with a display of crushed stone, cedar, mint, and a dusting of cumin, as its dark red fruits begin to unfurl in a captivating display. On the palate, silky textures offset tart cherry and blackberry fruits, balanced by a core of rounded tannins and lifting acidity, a hints of licorice and sweet herbal tones develope. The finish is medium in length and poised, showing fine-grain tannins beneath a sheen of polished red and black fruits, with hints of lavender lingering on. The 2015 Rennina is a classy wine that’s just begging for a few years in the cellar to fully blossom.

    Eric Guido, Vinous April 2020

Tasting Notes
95
Italy 2015 Giacosa Barbaresco Rabaja 1 Case 6 75cl £760
  • Rating

    95+

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2022 - 2045

    Reviewed by

     Monica Larner

    Issue Date

    28th Jun 2019

    Source

    Issue 243 End of June 2019, The Wine Advocate

    This beautiful wine was released in January and is on the market now. The 2015 Barbaresco Rabajà benefits from one more year in the bottle (compared to its peers) to show expressive and exuberant intensity. The bouquet delivers a special floral note that resembles lady's perfume of fragrant rose potpourri, but these ethereal tones only last for the first minute or two. After that, you get a solid core of dark fruit with blackberry and dried cherry. The wine is nicely contoured by firm tannins and lasting acidity. The Rabajà vineyard site measures only half a hectare, and 3,600 bottles are made each year as a result.

Tasting Notes
95
Italy 2015 Gaja Barolo Langhe Conteisa 1 Case 6 75cl £920
  • The 2015 Barolo Conteisa is a heady, exotic wine, and also one of the most complete, alluring Conteisas I have ever tasted. Conteisa is usually a wine of grace and understatement. The 2015, on the other hand, is a bold, sweeping Barolo that saturates the palate with stunning depth and volume. Even with all of its intensity, the 2015 remains vibrant. This is such a complete, harmonious wine.

    -- Antonio Galloni 97 Antonio Galloni 2023 - 2040 Not Available Nov 2019

Tasting Notes
97
Italy 2015 Gaja Barolo Sperss 1 Case 6 75cl £1,100
  • The 2015 Barolo Sperss shows all of the darkness and muscle that are so typical of Serralunga. Black cherry, plum, licorice, incense, gravel, cured meats and scorched earth infuse this potent, backward wine with tremendous character. My impression is that the extraction and oak are all a bit more pushed here relative to the other wines in the range. 2025-2045

    Score: 98 Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, November 2019

    In the 2015 Barolo Sperss, you can taste the iron rust and minerality that is so specific to the soils of Serralunga d'Alba where this wine is born. It is very bold and represents the more powerful of these two wines from Barolo. Cerequio is always the more floral, while the Sperss has an immediate cherry and some lingering, bold, blackberry aromas that make a strong impact. However, this wine does not have the austerity of a classic Barolo. Instead it shows a richer texture and it casts a wider net of flavors. Serralunga d'Alba fruit is marked by stronger concentration and ripeness, with a very firm and unyielding quality of tannin that should hold the wine steady as it moves through its aging evolution. This is a truly beautiful albeit brawny Nebbiolo.

    Score: 97+ Monica Larner, RobertParker.com, August 2019

Tasting Notes
98
Italy 2015 Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia 2 Case 6 75cl £1,150
  • Rating

    97

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2020 - 2045

    Reviewed by

     Monica Larner

    Issue Date

    28th Feb 2018

    Source

    235, The Wine Advocate

    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.

Tasting Notes
97
Italy 2015 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Cascina Francia 1 Case 6 75cl £1,200
  • Rating

    97

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2023 - 2050

    Reviewed by

     Monica Larner

    Issue Date

    28th Jun 2019

    Source

    Issue 243 End of June 2019, The Wine Advocate

    Next comes 50-hectoliter botte number 88 that houses the upcoming 2015 Barolo Francia. Again, this wine will be bottled by the time you read this, with Conterno's newest vintages hitting the market in October. What impresses most here is the supreme elegance of the wine. It speaks in hushed whispers, enunciating promises of depth, complexity and mysterious intrigue. The wine unfolds slowly, revealing new elements with each swirl of the glass. Together, these aromas build in intensity and stature to become a magnificent Barolo with a capital B. The bouquet exudes elegance and complexity that will carry it through the ages. When I tasted this wine from barrel last year, I described it as demure. One year later, the wine is bursting with confidence, character and moxie.

Tasting Notes
97
Italy 2015 Masseto 1 Case 3 75cl £1,675
  • Rating

    100

    Release Price

    $735

    Drink Date

    2020 - 2050

    Reviewed by

     Monica Larner

    Issue Date

    6th Sep 2018

    Source

    Mid-September New Releases, The Wine Advocate

    The release of this wine comes at a very happy time for the Masseto brand. The stunning 2015 Masseto is hitting the market just as the final touches are being made to the new Masseto winery. I'm told that Masseto might one day see other wines made under that same roof, so we can't exclude a future enlargement of the Masseto portfolio. The Masseto vineyard now covers seven hectares (divided into three plots), and the vines range from 30 to 40 years old. The wine is absolutely teeming with sensorial spirit that is transmitted through the bounty of the bouquet and the solid tannins of the mouthfeel. Nothing about the wine goes unnoticed or unchecked. Its many working pieces fit together with precision like a well-oiled machine. The 2015 vintage is characterized by a level of sheer exuberance that also defined the 2004 and 2007 vintages. Yet, it also reveals similar power, directness and linearity that we saw in the 2010 vintage. The 2015 Masseto takes the best of all those past vintages and confines those qualities to this single, spectacular bottle.

     

    Vinous 

    The 2015 Masseto is simply extraordinary. Soft, silky and seamless, the 2015 possesses remarkable balance and harmony from the very first taste. What surprises me most about the 2015 is how fresh and vibrant the flavors are. Sweet red cherry, pomegranate, mint, and wild flowers are all beautifully lifted in this exquisitely perfumed, gracious Masseto. Despite the warm, drought conditions of the early summer, the 2015 is a wine of mid-weight structure, polish and restraint. In this tasting, it positively dazzles. I can't remember ever tasting a young Masseto with this much pure harmony. Other vintages have been super-impressive upon release. The 2004, 2006, 2010 and 2013 all come to mind. But the 2015 has a level of pure sensuality and allure none of those vintages had when young, with the possible exception of the 2004.

Tasting Notes
100
Italy 2015 Gaja Barbaresco Costa Russi 1 Case 6 75cl £1,740
  • Rating

    93

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2022 - 2040

    Reviewed by

     Monica Larner

    Issue Date

    29th Jun 2018

    Source

    237, The Wine Advocate

    The 2015 Barbaresco Costa Russi was about to be bottled before I tasted it. Like the other wines from this warm vintage, you are treated to extra plushness and roundness with dark berry fruit intensity. This wine also offers unexpected mineral tones that come off as crushed oyster shell and talc powder. These add to the drying, almost nervous, tension you feel in the mouth.

Tasting Notes
93
Italy 2015 Gaja Barbaresco Sori San Lorenzo 1 Case 6 75cl £1,900
  • Rating 95

    Release Price NA

    Drink Date 2022 - 2045

    Reviewed by  Monica Larner

    Issue Date

    29th Jun 2018

    Source

    237, The Wine Advocate

    This celebrated vineyard site has more magnesium in its soils and that may be why you get such a strong mineral note. The 2015 Barbaresco Sorì San Lorenzo offers a complex bouquet with dark fruit, crushed mineral and grilled herb. This wine is very robust in terms of structure and therefore needs extra time in the bottle before it finds its proverbial sweet spot. You need patience to reap those excellent benefits. Drink after 2022.

Tasting Notes
95
Italy 2015 Gaja Barbaresco Sori Tildin 1 Case 6 75cl £1,900
  • Rating 93

    Drink Date 2020 - 2040

    Reviewed by  Monica Larner

    Issue Date 29th Jun 2018

    Source 237, The Wine Advocate

    The 2015 Barbaresco Sorì Tildìn is dense and compact with smoky layers of black fruit, crushed mineral and black truffle. This growing site always produces robust and opulent wines, but these characteristics are hammered home even more so in the hot 2015 vintage. The wine graciously offers enough acidity to achieve balance and remind you of its pedigree. Barbaresco usually opens and evolves faster than Barolo. I think you can count on this wine to reach the start of its drinking window within the next decade.

Tasting Notes
93

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