Independence Wine & Spirits Cabernet Portfolio 2022

Plenty of trade wine tastings at this time of year. In the three-tier system in New York State, a bar or restaurant has to buy their wines and spirits from a distributor. On March 8th one of those distributors, Independence Wine & Spirits held their annual portfolio tasting.

I wasn’t familiar with this particular distributor, so I was curious to see what was in their portfolio, so I attended the tasting.

I was pleasantly surprised at what they carried. They had a huge French presence with many Burgundy, Cote du Rhone and Bordeaux brands. I even had the opportunity to sample one of the Premier Grand Cru of Bordeaux, the 2017 Chateau Lafite Rothschild which was drinking very nicely.

They also had a very nice portfolio of excellent boutique California Cabernets and I decided to focus my time sampling them.

It was a trade tasting and was held at The Metropolitan Pavillion event space at 125 West 18th Street in Manhattan.

Some of what I sampled:

2019 Adversity Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon “Melanson” (Atlas Peak): Opaque black, closed nose of crushed blueberries, chewy with dark mint chocolate on the fruit, long finish.

2019 Adversity Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon “Sage Ridge” (Napa Valley): Opaque black with a purple rim, chewy and chunky black fruit, mint notes on the fruit ending with a long, dark finish.

2019 Adversity Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon “Erba” (Atlas Peak): Black with a purple rim, chewy and chunky with smoky, damp earth on the black fruit, nice balance.

2018 Anakota Cabernet Sauvignon “Helena Montana” (Knights Valley): Dark red to black in color, dark leather on the nose, tight red fruit with firm tannins.

2016 Cardinale Cabernet Franc “Caladan” (Napa Valley): Opaque dark red to black with silky fruit and tannins, great balance.

2018 La Jota Vineyard Co. Cabernet Sauvignon (Howell Mt): Opaque black with dusty, crushed black fruit on the nose with dense and chewy black fruit ending with silky, firm tannins.

2018 Lokoya Cabernet Sauvignon (Diamond Mt): Opaque dark red, crushed rocks and green herbs on the nose, bright red fruit, crisp acids.

2018 Lokoya Cabernet Sauvignon (Howell Mt): Opaque dark red, closed nose of milk chocolate with chewy and dusty fruit ending with silky tannins.

2018 Staglin Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon “Salus” (Rutherford): Medium red with tobacco and bacon fat on the nose, silky red fruit with some pickle juice notes on the finish.

2018 Staglin Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon “Estate” (Rutherford): Clear medium red, crushed black fruit on the nose, chewy with tobacco note on the fruit, silky tannins.

2017 Taub Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon “Morisoli-Borges” (Rutherford): Clear medium red, dusty dried leaf on the nose, silky black fruit with silky tannins on the long finish.

2017 Taub Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon “Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper” (Napa Valley): Opaque dark red to black, sweet violets on the nose, silky with a great grip on the balanced, long finish.

2018 Mt. Brave Cabernet Sauvignon (Mt Veeder): Opaque dark red, crushed black fruit on the nose, chewy bark fruit ending with big tannins.

2018 Verité Cabernet Sauvignon “La Jolie” (Sonoma County): Dark red to black, closed nose of tar and tobacco with dense, silky and toasty fruit, firm finish.

2018 Verité Merlot “La Muse” (Sonoma County): Clear medium red, toasty nose with silky red fruit, nice balance.

Some Bordeaux 2022

Traditionally at this time of year many of the wine and spirit distributers have their portfolio tastings. These tastings are open to members of the trade who will make buying decisions or for those who need to educate themselves on the products of a particular distributer. They can show up and browse the portfolios for something in particular or to search for something new. Some of the tastings showcase the whole portfolio in which case there may be 100+ wines and spirits available to sample. Sometimes they have smaller, more intimate tastings that showcase a niche category.

On March 2nd one of those distributors, Fredrick Wildman & Sons held an invite only small tasting of some of their upper tier Bordeaux from their portfolio. It was a mix of current releases (2018) with some older vintages that were available for sale. When Bordeaux is drinking well, it’s a nice experience.

The tasting was held at Benoit restaurant located at 66 West 55th Street in Midtown Manhattan.

Some of what I sampled:

2014 Chateau Carbonnieux (Pessac-Leognan): Dark red with a purple rim, tobacco and crushed red fruit on the nose, silky and chewy red fruit, beautifully balanced with a long finish.

2018 Chateau Haut-Bailly (Pessac-Leognan): Black with a purple rim, nose of sweet tobacco, chewy black fruit, silky tannins with a great balance.

2015 Chateau Troplong Mondot (St.-Emilion): Black with a purple rim, toasty crushed black fruit on the nose, silky and chewy with a long finish.

2018 Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere (St.-Emilion): Dark red to black with a purple rim, dark chocolate and sweet tobacco on the nose, silky red fruit with crisp tannins at the end, long finish.

2018 Chateau Clos de L’Oratoire (St.-Emilion): Black with a purple rim, sweet strawberry on the nose, dense and tight with a tight finish.

2016 Chateau Gazin (Pomerol): Black with a purple rim, toasted oak on the nose, chewy and tight with silky tannins.

2016 Chateau Jardin de Petit Village (Pomerol): Black with a purple rim, toasty red fruit on the nose, chunky black fruit ending with a good dusty grip.

2010 Chateau Lascombes (Margaux): Dark red to black with an amber rim, perfume of tar and dark leather, silky dark fruit with a beautiful long and balanced finish.

2015 Chateau Cantenac Brown (Margaux): Dark red with a purple rim, smoky nose, tight with green olive notes on the firm finish.

2016 Brio de Cantenac Brown (Margaux): Dark red with a purple rim, big nose of cigar smoke, tight with bell pepper notes on the firm finish.

2014 Chateau Lagrange (St. Julien): Dark red to black with a purple rim, nose of sweet tar, black leather and cigar smoke, dense and tight with wet slate notes, tight acids at the end.

2014 Chateau Leoville Poyferre (St. Julien): Dark red to black, sweet perfume of tobacco, mint and crushed black fruit, chunky with silky tannins with dark chocolate, black fruit and bitter bark on the finish.

2015 Chateau Talbot (St. Julien): Dark purple, brambly nose, chewy with dried leaf notes, balanced with a long finish.

2018 Chateau Leoville Barton (St. Julien): Dark red to black, crushed strawberry on the nose, chewy and dusty green fruit ending with moderate tannins and acids.

2018 Chateau Gloria (St. Julien): Black with a purple rim, stinky nose of crushed black fruit, chewy black fruit with a good grip and long finish.

2018 Chateau Branaire Ducru (St. Julien): Dark red to black, sweet nose of pixe stick and green fruit, silky, dusty black fruit ending with moderate to low tannins and acids.

2016 Chateau Lynch Bages (Pauillac): Black with a purple rim, mint, tobacco and some barnyard on the nose, tight with silky tannins and crushed rock notes on the fruit.

2014 Chateau Phelan Segur (St. Estephe): Black with a purple rim, crushed black fruit and mint on the nose, tight fruit that lighten ups at the end.

2015 Chateau La Croix Bonis (St. Estephe): Dark red, nose of sweet spice and tree bark, dusty, silky tannins with a good grip.

Benvenuto Brunello NY 2022

The Consortium of the Brunello di Montalcino was founded in 1967 and is an organization of large and small winemaking firms that keep an eye on quality control for the wines of the region. They also are active in promoting the wines of Montalcino both in Italy and abroad.

Brunello is produced in the same region of Italy, (Tuscany) as its famous cousin Chianti. Though the town of Montalcino is old, Brunello didn’t become the wine we know today until the mid 1800’s while Chianti as a wine has been around for centuries.

Most of the wines at this tasting were the non Riservas from the 2017 vintage since they just have been released this past January. Most were the regular Brunello with a handful of single vineyard wines from that vintage thrown in. There were also a few Riservas from other years as well.

This was a trade only event and was held at Midtown Loft & Terrace located at 267 5th Avenue in midtown Manhattan.

I thought that most of the wines had elegant fruit but at this point the tannins are a little hard edged which is not surprising for these young wines. I would like to revisit them after a couple of more years in the bottle.

2017 Vintage

Campgiovani: Medium brick, pretty nose of violet, tar and graphite, silky bright fruit ending in firm tannins.

Camigiano: Medium brick, closed nose of plum, silky, earthy fruit ending with silky, firm tannins.

Capanna: Clear medium brick with an amber rim, Asian spices on the nose, bright red leather fruit notes ending with crisp acids.

Carpazo “Vigna La Casa”: Clear medium red, closed nose, bright red fruit ending with firm, teeth coating tannins at the end.

Factoria dei Barbi “Vigna del Fiore”: Clear medium red sweet nose of red leather and tar, dusty red fruit with firm tannins.

Il Poggione: Medium to light red, slate and leather on the nose, crushed red fruit with tight tannins and some tart notes on the finish.

La Fiorita: Medium brick, red leather on the nose, silky fruit with teeth coating tannins.

Palazzo: Clear medium red, perfume of tar and cinamon spice, silky red fruit with some earth notes and firm tannins.

Pian Delle Vigne: Clear medium brick with an amber rim, closed nose of crushed raspberry, chewy fruit with fresh herbs on the finish with a nice balance.

Pinino: Medium brick in color, burnt bacon on the nose, cherry red fruit, drinking nicely.

San Polo “Vignavecchia”: Clear medium red, brick rim, funky earth on the nose, chewy dark chocolate fruit with silky tannins.

Tenuta Fanti “Vallocchio”: Medium red, ripe fruit notes on the nose, chewy and ending tannic.

Tenute Silvano Nardi: Opaque medium red, bright red berries and bacon fat on the nose, silky red fruit ending with firm tannins.

Val Di Suga: Light brick, crushed rocks on the nose, silky, earthy with crunchy tannins, nice balance with a touch of heat at the end.

Verbena “Le Pope”: Medium to dark red, pretty nose of graphite, tar and dark chocolate, dark red fruit with tart cherry notes on the firm finish.

Other Vintages:

2015 Col D’Orca Riserva “Poggio Al Vento”: Clear medium brick, perfume of violets and roast meat, silky, earth notes on the fruit and balanced tannins.

2016 Col D’Orca “Vigna Nastagio”: Clear medium red, tar, graphite and some barnyard on the nose, chewy with crunchy tannins.

2016 Corte Pavone Riserva “Poggio Molino Al Vento”: Clear medium red, tar, black cherry and dark chocolate on the nose, dense, silky red fruit with firm acids and a long finish.

2015 La Rasina Riserva “Il Divasco”: Medium red brick, nice perfume of sweet tar and roasted nuts, silky fruit with toasted notes ending with firm tannins.

Wine & Spirits Top 100 N.Y. 2022

On February 23rd, Wine & Spirits magazine held their 2nd annual Top 100 wine festival which featured the 100 best wines of 2021 from their list.

It was a benefit for the New York and New Jersey Baykeeper, an organization “dedicated to maintaining the health and integrity of the waterways that feed New York’s and New Jersey’s food and wine industry”.

The event was held at the popular event space The Metropolitan Pavilion located at 125 West 18th Street in Manhattan.

It was open to both trade and consumer and had a very nice selection of wines from all the major wine producing countries.

Some of the wines I sampled:

2019 Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyards HJW Bio Riesling: One of a trio of Riesling they poured, this one was medium yellow, with ripe stone on the nose, oily fruit with good acidity.

2018 Ashes & Diamond Mt Veeder Napa Valley “Saffron Vineyard” Cabernet Sauvignon: From a small producer, light clear red, dusty, woody red fruit on the nose, medium fruit with earth notes on the fruit long finish.

2018 Ashes & Diamond Santa Cruz Mts “Bates Ranch” Cabernet Sauvignon: Opaque medium red, red leather on the nose, silky, dusty red fruit with good balance.

2015 Beringer Vineyards “Private Reserve” Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: Clear medium red with a perfume of plum, bacon fat, black pepper and bell pepper, silky dark chocolate fruit and finish.

2016 Beringer Vineyards “Eighth Maker” Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: Medium clear red, aromatic nose of earth and dark leather, chewy and silky with cocoa notes with the nice grip, long finish.

2017 Diamond Creek Vineyards Diamond Mt District “Volcanic Hill” Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: Opaque dark red, great perfume of crushed black fruit and dried herbs, chewy, silky dark fruit with great balance on the long finish.

2018 Diamond Creek Vineyards Diamond Mt District “Volcanic Hill” Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: Opaque dark red, closed nose of ripe red fruit, tight and silky with some nice bitter cherry notes on the finish.

2018 Donkey & Goat El Dorado “The Bear” Counoise Blend Fenaughty & Lightner: Clear light brick, light red cherry candy nose, chewy with earth notes on the fruit, easy drinking.

2018 Duckhorn Vineyard Napa Valley Merlot: Clear medium red with a tight bell pepper fruit.

2018 The Eyre Dundee Hills “Roland Green” Pinot Noir: Light clear red, toasty earth on the nose, silky green fruit with good balance.

2017 Calera Mt Harlan “Ryan Vineyard” Pinot Noir: Clear light red, crushed ripe cherry on the nose with tight, ripe red fruit.

2018 Delas Freres Crozes-Hermatage “Les Clos”: Opaque dark red, roast meat on the nose, chewy, ends with a good grip and green herbs on the finish.

2018 Louis Jadot Nuits-St-Georges: Clear light red, warm red cherry and forest floor on the nose, tight and silky.

2016 Paolo Scavino Barolo “Bric del Fiasc”: Clear red brick, tarry red cherry nose, chewy, silky fruit with great balance.

2016 Paolo Scavino Barolo “Bricco Ambrogio”: Light brick in color, tar and fresh herbs on the nose, silky fruit with good structure and balance.

2016 Bodegas Muga Rioja Muga Aro: Clear red, crushed red cherry on the nose with tight red fruit.

Puligny-Montrachet Tasting

Pressoir.wine is run by the team behind La Paulée and La Fête Du Champagne. In addition to running those events they also host (very expensive) Burgundy dinners and about once a month a Burgundy “happy hour”. At the happy hour they pick a village in Burgundy and showcase about a dozen, mostly premier cru wines from that village.

On February 10th it was the appellation of Puligny-Montrachet which has 17 premier crus of mostly white wines made from Chardonnay.

The tasting was open to the consumer and was a casual, walk around tasting held at their tasting room and clubhouse located at 285 West Broadway in lower Manhattan. Most of the wines were from the 2017 vintage which is considered a good vintage. I found a lot of lemon, tart notes on the finish. There were also a sprinkling of other vintages as well.

As usual, knowledgeable staff were on hand with information on what they poured and to answer any Burgundy related questions.

White wines I sampled:

2018 Domaine Bachelet-Monnot “Les Folatieres”: Light gold, toasty nose, nice fruit with firm acids.

2017 Domaine Genot-Boulanger “Les Folatieres”: Light gold, closed nose, tight with some oak notes on the back end, firm acids.

2017 Domaine de Montille “Les Folatieres”: Light gold, dried herbs and white flower on the nose, middle fruit with lemon tart on the finish.

2017 Domaine Leflaive “Les Folatieres”: Light gold, honey, ripe kumquat and toast on the nose, tight with citrus notes on the finish.

2018 Jean-Luc & Paul “Champ Gain”: Medium gold, oily, toasty nose, light lemon fruit.

2017 Domaine Faiveley “La Garenne”: Very light in color, ripe fruit on the nose, moderate fruit followed by crisp acids on the finish.

2017 Etienne Sauzet “Les Perrieres”: Medium gold with a floral nose, tight fruit with tongue coating acidity.

2015 Domaine Bachelet-Monnot “Les Referts”: Light gold, honey on the nose, nice balance of tropical fruit notes with good acidity.

2017 Etienne Sauzet “Les Combettes”: Medium gold, toasty nose, juicy with dried herbs on the finish with good acidity.

2015 Etienne Sauzet “Les Combettes”: Medium gold, closed nose, light with moderate acidity.

2015 Etienne Sauzet “Champ Canet”: Medium gold, honeyed nose ending with some tart notes.

Slow Wine Festival at Eataly

Eataly is on a roll with consecutive wine events at both their locations so far this year. On February 2nd they held the Slow Wine Festival New York at Eataly downtown which is located at 101 Liberty Street in lower Manhattan.

Slow Wine is part of the Slow Food concept. It’s an Italian wine organization with a commitment to sustainable agriculture and whose mission is “good, clean and fair” wines.

The trade portion of the event was held in the afternoon with a consumer tasting later that evening, I attended in the afternoon which I was told was a larger event with more wines than the late consumer tasting.

It was a huge event with over 100 wines poured. The majority were Italian with all the regions from North to South represented with wines in keeping with the Slow Wine concept.

Along with the Barolos, Chiantis, Brunellos, Amarones and other world-famous Italian varietals, I made a point to sample wines made from unusual or rarely seen varietals such as Freisa, Colorino, Ciliegiolo, Grignolino and even an Italian Tempranillo.

There were a few tables of New World wine from California, Oregon and Long Island where I sampled some nice wines from Adamus Winery, Burgess Vineyards, Domum Vineyards and Left Coast Winery to name a few.

Brunello Camp Eataly

During the last week of January, Eataly Flatiron held Brunello Camp which were a series of Brunello themed events. On Thursday January 28th I attended their walk-around tasting of Brunello wines. Eataly Flatiron is located at 200 5th Avenue in Manhattan.

Brunello is a red wine produced in the Piedmont region of Italy along with its famous cousin Chianti though Brunello came into being much later, courtesy of Clemente Santi in the mid 1800’s. The differences between the two is that for Brunello, it must be 100% exclusively from the Sangiovese Grosso variety which is a large berry form of Sangiovese and the aging requirements. Regular Brunello must be aged for five years before release while the Riservas for six years. In the meantime, to have some income flowing into the wineries, they produce a younger version of their Brunello, Rosso di Montalcino which are available after one year of aging.

It was a snowy evening this Thursday, a perfect time to spend indoors drinking wine. The event was open to the consumer and featured over 50 wines. Most were from the 2016’s and 2017’s vintages which were back to back blockbuster vintages. There were also a few older vintages poured. There was a table in the seperate wine shop that poured a handful of extra older wines (20+years).

Most of the wine tastings have been held at Eataly dowtown and this was the Flatiron stores first wine event in a couple of years. I don’t think that they weren’t expecting the size of the crowd that showed up as we were jammed into a space literally cheek to cheek at the tasting tables. Still, I didn’t have to wait too long for a pour and Management promised to use a larger space next time around.

Coming from a couple of great vintages there were some very nice, elegant wines with good acidity being poured. The only disappointment I had that evening was at the table in the wine shop. Brunella has a reputation as age worthy wines, but I found most of them tasting old.

Some of the producers I sampled:

2004 Tenuta Frigiali2012 Fuligni
2013 Il Palazzone2013 Lisini
2014 Il Paradiso2012 Barbi
2015 Podere Le Ripi “Amore Magia”2015 Le Ragnaie
2016 Col d’Orca2015 Vigna Nastagio
2016 Fanti2017 Argiano
2016 Campogio Vanni2016 Collemattoni
2016 Mastrojanni2016 Castel Giocondo
2016 Pietrosso2016 Antinori Pian delle Vigne
2016 Ferrero2016 Barbi
2015 La Togata2016 Poggia Cerrino
2016 San Polino2016 Molino di Sant Antimo
2016 Collemattioni2015 Fuligni

Chianti Lovers U.S. Tour 2022

On January 11th I attended the Chianti Lovers U. S. tour. This was another wine event promoted by the I.E.E.M. (International Event & Exhibition Management) and showcased member wineries of the Consorzio Vino Chianti, an organization established in 1927 that oversees the regulations for the seven subdistricts of the Chianti region.

The event was for members of the trade and was held at the Eventi Hotel at 851 7th Avenue in midtown Manhattan.

The event consisted of a seminar in which we blind tasted a horizontal of 2017 Riserva Chianti from each of the seven subdistricts. That was followed by a walk-around tasting.

Since it’s the job of the I.E.E.M. to promote the wines and winereis, the wineries pouring today are small producers that are looking for exposure and a Distributer so there weren’t any trophy wines but a very good selection of off the radar wines from the various sub districts of the Chianti D.O.C.G.

This was supposed to be the first of two Chianti tasting with a Chianti Classico event for the next week but that event was postponed.

Seminar: Horizontal Tasting of 2017 Chianti D.O.C.G. Riserva (Tasted Blind)

Pietro Becconcini (Colline Pisane)

Medium brick, tar, fennel and crushed rock on the nose, tight with some vegetal notes on the lighter finish.

Cantagallo Il Fondatore (Montalbano)

Dark brick in color, closed nose of tar, tree bark and herbs, medium to light bodied with a tight and dusty finish.

Poggio Del Moro (Colli Senesi)

Opaque dark brick, perfume of violets, tar and vanilla, tight and dusty ending with tongue coating tannins.

Podere Dell’ Moro (Montespertoli)

Dark red in color, camphor and crushed black fruit on the nose, starts juicy with crunchy tannins ending with firm acids and bitter almond notes on the balanced finish.

Torre Acona Badia a Corte (Fiorentini)

Clear medium brick, sweet ripe fruit on the nose, medium fruit with wood notes, bitter cherry, firm tannins ending with mouthwatering acids.

Buca Nerta (Arentini)

Opaque dark red, closed, oily nose with young silky fruit, firm, dusty tannins and firm acids.

Fattoria Selvapiana (Rufina)

Clear medium brick, perfume of sweet fruit, tar and raspberry, silky fruit with bitter cherry notes with firm tannins and acids on the finish.

Some of the producers I sampled wines from at the walk around tasting:

Cantina SorelliColle Adimari
DianellaFattoria l’Arco
Fattoria MontecchioFattoria San Michele a Torri
Fattoria UccellieraIl Palazzo
Podere dell’AnselmoTenuta Coeli Aula
Tenuta di CastelfalfiVal di Botte
ValvirginioGrignano

Paumanok Vineyards

1074 Main Road (Rt 25), Aquebogue

Paumanok Vineyards is one of the original founding fathers of the North Shore Long Island wine industry. It was founded in 1983 by Ursula and Charles Massoud.

It’s the first winery you run into on the North Shore wine route (Main Road) as you are travelling Eastbound.

They are an under the radar winery that have been pumping out drinkable wine for years, they are one of the few wineries growing and bottling a Chenin Blanc.

The sunny tasting room overlooks the vineyard, and not surprisanly, the winery facilities are in a converted barn.

On this visit I decide to sample a couple of red.

2019 Estate Cabernet Franc

100% Cabernet Franc. Opaque black with a purple rim, crushed raspberry and bacon fat on the nose, juicy, silky dark fruit with some black licorice notes on the finish. Moderate tannins and acids, very drinkable.

2019 Estate Petit Verdot

100% Petit Verdot. Opaque black in color with crushed rocks and spicy crushed black fruit on the nose, tart black fruit followed by firm tannins.

Comparing Italy & Spain

On December 5th, I attended the “Taste the Difference; Quality Wines From The Heart of Europe” wine event.

It was a tasting for members of the Trade that showcased wines from two of the classic wine producing countries of the world, Italy and Spain.

What is interesting about these two wine producing countries is while they grow the classic French varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, etc. they also grow unique varietals that seen to flourish in those two countries such as Sangiovese and Nebbiolo in Italy and Tempranillo and Macabeu in Spain to name just a couple from each country.

The tasting was held at the Altman Building, an event space located at 135 West 18th Street in Manhattan.

It was an interesting tasting and I was able to sample wines from many of the wine districts in each country. I was also able to sample a couple of obscure wine varietals from Italy, Enantio and Albarossa for the first time.

A few that I sampled:

Italy

2015 Tenuta Greppone Mazzi Brunello di Montalcino (Tuscany): Clear medium brick, tar and red leather on the nose, silky red fruit with firm citrus notes on the finish.

2015 Castello di Cacchiano Chianti Classico Riserva (Tuscany): 95% Sangiovese. Dark red with a perfume of tar and roast meat, chewy black fruit with a nice grip on the balanced finish.

2015 Castello di Cacchiano Chianti Classico Gran Selezione “Millenio” (Tuscany): Clear dark red, tar and camphor on the nose, tight, silky fruit ending with smoky tannins.

2016 Ruffino “Alauda” (Tuscany): 47% Cabernet Franc, 43% Merlot, 10% Colorino. Dark red to black, slate and bacon fat on the nose, bright red fruit, nicely balances with a moderate to long finish.

2017 Goretti “L’Arringtore” (Colli Perugini): 60% Sangiovese, 30% Merlot, 10% Ciliegiolo. Cloudy dark red, smoke and earth on the nose, chewy and smoky fruit, tart.

2018 Societa Agricola Roeno “Enantio” (Veneto): Made from the obscure Enantio varietal, opaque dark red to black, smoke, mint and toast on the nose, chewy, chunky and juicy bitter black cherry fruit with a nice grip at the end.

2018 Dezzani “Albarossa” (Piedmont): Obscure Albarossa varietal. Opaque dark red, roast meat and crushed rocks on the nose, juicy dark fruit with a bright citrus finish.

2018 Societa Agricola i Veroni Chianti Rufina Riserva (Tuscany): 100% Sangiovese. Dark purple with a brick rim, earthy notes of crushed red berries, sweet red fruit with bitter cherry notes on the finish with firm tannins.

Spain

2015 Celler Laurona “Pythagora” (Montsant): 100% Garnatxa Negra. Cloudy mediium red, crushed ripe black fruit on the nose with chewy very ripe fruit.

2018 Herencia Altes “La Pilosa” (Terra Alta): 100% Peluda Grenache. Clear medium red, crushed red fruit on the nose with some earth notes, juicy tart red fruit.

2018 Terra Remota “Camino” (Emporda): Red Blend. Black in color, closed nose with some crushed rock notes, thick and chewy with gun metal notes on the fruit, firm grip at the finish.

2019 Castell del Remel “Gotim Bru” (Costers del Segre): 35% Grenache, 35% Temprinillo, 15% Syrah, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. Clear medium red, roast meat and crushed red fruit on the nose with chewy bright red fruit with firm acids.

2019 Clos Pachem “Pachem” (Priorat): 100% Grenache. Clear mediuim red, very closed nose, juicy red fruit with nice acidity.

2020 La Nit de les Garnatxes “Slate” (Montsant): 100% Grenache. Clear medium red, green herbs on the nose, juicy red fruit with crushed rock notes on the firm finish with moderate acidity.

2020 La Nit de les Garnatxes “Limestone” (Montsant): 100% Grenache. Light purple in color with crushed red fruit and green herbs on the nose, juicy, tart.