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“If you can still find them, 2001 is a mythical vintage in many Spanish viticultural areas.”

Robert Parker wrote this over a decade ago and based on my recent tasting of Rotllan Torra’s 2001 Tirant, it still holds true.

According to the Catalunya website, Jordi Rotllan Torra and his family founded the Torroja del Priorat winery in the early ‘80s. Supposedly the small mountain village was a popular vacation destination for the wine distribution family from Penedes when Jordi was young. When they realized the amazing potential of the region, they purchased the vineyards and the facility built in t...

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From picking fruit in Bordeaux during the 70s to producing music videos that earned him a Grammy nomination, Scott Palazzo clearly has the “midas touch”. He’s now the rock-and-roll winemaker who’s crafting world-class wines in Napa Valley. He produces three cuvees, all well-known among wine insiders, but probably not getting the notice that they merit! Thomas Keller, owner of The French Laundry, was so impressed by Palazzo’s wines that he asked Scott to create an exclusive wine to serve in all his restaurants.

Last night, I was happy to be pulling the cork on his 2010 Palazzo Wine Proprietary R...

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When I saw the 98 point score that James Suckling awarded the 2013 Le Pupille Saffredi, I knew I had to experience it for myself. My excitement led to an unexpected tasting with a few family members who shared my level of eagerness to try this well-known Super Tuscan.  As we were not planning to open the bottle that evening, we were not prepared to pair it with a fitting meal. Instead, the 2013 Le Pupille Saffredi was paired with laughs and conversation.

The nose was rich with dark fruits, leather, tobacco and spices. The 2013 Saffredi is full bodied with smooth yet firm tannins.  Dark cherry, ...

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The Lisini estate, situated on the southern side of Montalcino very near Sant’Angelo in Colle, dates back to the 16th century and some buildings are over 700 years old. To say that this is a property and family steeped in history and tradition would be an understatement! Their more recent past includes charter membership in the Brunello Consorzio, one of only 25 producers at the time, and the family matriarch, Elina is a past president. She was a fixture in Montalcino her entire life and with her family, was dedicated to the production of the highest quality Sangiovese Grosso.

Lisini is known t...

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In terms of Valpolicella, one tends to think of the wine as simple. That is until you talk about the Valpolicella that is produced by Dal Forno. His wines are anything but simple. Antonio Galloni even goes on to say that because “the Valpolicella is made from 100% dried fruit, it makes it more of a second wine of the flagship Amarone than a true Valpolicella.” 

Valpolicella wines have different distinctions and are usually produced with a blend of grapes, mainly being Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara. The regular DOC Valpolicella can be simple and thin, and really not be anything special. Then ...

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“What’s new & exciting at Sokolin?!”  Is a question I get asked quite frequently, so I thought I’d share with you what’s hot right now. The 2014 Burgs are just starting to roll in, and the White Burgs in particular happen to be the hot wines at the moment. One reason, obviously, is that we’re in prime time season for drinking white wines, but also because they’re ridiculously good. Antonio Galloni said they’re in “..the same quality league as 2012 and 2010”,  which were both knockout vintages for White Burgundy.

One of my favorite producers and also one that absolutely crushed it in the ’14 vin...

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Featured Wine: 2014 Jean Paul Droin Chablis ‘Les Clos’

$69.99 – 95VM

In many circles, Burgundy is considered one of the most challenging regions to master by even the most proficient wine connoisseurs. When I came into the business I vividly remember my mentors telling me “don’t worry, one day Burgundy will just ‘click’ but until then, keep studying.” They were right and eventually it did “click” and now, like countless others, I am completely head over heels in love with Burgundy. My passion for Burgundy does not end with the wine itself, but extends to encompass all that goes into Burgundy: th...

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Chablis is a wine for oysters…

…born from their shells

A well worded quote from Chablis: Bernard Ginestet’s Guide to the Vineyards of France, particularly in reference to the Grand Cru vineyards which are planted primarily on Kimmeridgean soil, a blend of limestone, clay and fossilized oyster shells. These soils of the Grand Cru slopes, along with a south-south-west exposure allowing for maximum sunshine in this northernmost “cool climate” region of Burgundy, allow for one of the purest and unique expressions of Chardonnay in the world. 

According to domain’s website, William Fevre descended from...

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The Bachelet brothers, Alec and Marc, are a bit new to the winemaking scene having started their endeavor in 2005. They cut their teeth working for other winemakers until, with the help of their father and uncle, they purchased 10 hectares and rented another few, all of which they farm with no insecticides.  

They are known for terroir driven Chardonnay with great acidity and minerality. They choose to pick fairly early and use 350 liter barrels to maintain the freshness of the wine. It remains in the barrel for a year before it is racked into stainless steel on the lees where it remains for an...

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Domaine Ott has been making a prominent name for itself in the rosé business since production began in 1912. Now owned by Louis Roederer, the Domaine Ott level of class and sophistication has only increased, making any of their rosés a must-have for summer sipping. 

BY.OTT is a new production from Domaine Ott’s 4th generation of wine makers, cousins Jean-Francois Ott and Christian Ott. It contains all that one would expect from the vineyards in Cotes de Provence, and maybe even more. BY.OTT is a blend from a few different vineyards, the most well known being Chateau de Selle and Clos Mireille. ...

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