Wine Tasting with Two Italian Winemakers!

WINE TASTING @ VINTAGES  Friday, Feb. 3, 5-7pm

Featuring two long-time favorite winemakers:

Matilde Poggi, LE FRAGHE

fraghe Matilde Poggi bottleOwner/winemaker of Le Fraghe in the Bardolino region, Veneto, Italy. Matilde makes fresh and complex wines from indigenous grapes, farmed biodynamically.

Stefano Pizzamiglio, LA TOSALa Tosa Stefano airport

Owner/winemaker at La Tosa, located in the Colli Piacentini appellation, in Emilia Romagna, Italy. Stefano’s wines are characterized by their gorgeous purity of fruit.

 Two of our long-time, favorite wineries — together! These independent wineries exemplify all that is wonderful about independent, family-run wineries from lesser-known regions. Bursting with personality, character, sense of place, and good ol’ VALUE, these wines have it all!

Don’t miss meeting these dedicated and accomplished winemakers at VINTAGES!

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Guide to Wine Enjoyment 2017

WINE RESOLUTION: Enjoy Better Wine, while Saving Time & Money
For those of you wine-loving disrupters not following the “dryuary” crowd, here are the most delicious resolutions you’ll ever follow…

1. Buy in quantity and save.

The easiest and smartest way to improve your wine enjoyment is to buy in quantity. Just six bottles earns you an easy 10% off; a case of 12 nets you 15% off! Buying wine by the bunch lets you mix and match type and price, so you can try different wines for different occasions. You’ll save money, and you’ll have something on hand when you need it.

2. Get out of your wine rut–Explore!
Resolve to branch out and explore something new— try a different region or a new grape. Let the crackerjack staff at VINTAGES ease you into some new selections – or shake up your palate if that’s what you’re after.  Just mention how or when you drink wine; some wines are brilliant with a meal, but aren’t the best for stand-alone sipping. Our wine consultant will make just the right recommendation.

3. Follow your favorite wines every vintage!

One of the best and most enjoyable ways to learn what good, authentic wine is all about – find some favorites and buy them EVERY YEAR! By drinking wine from the same producer every year, you will gain a greater appreciation of “terroir” –how a particular place and the unfolding drama of the growing season affect the wine’s character. A few guidelines: first, choose a quality producer–someone who goes the extra mile in both vineyard and cellar to make the best possible wine with whatever nature gives them. Next, choose a region that experiences vintage variation and producers that are not afraid to show it: best bets are the traditional regions of France, Italy, and Spain and cooler climates in Oregon and northern California.

Don’t be dissuaded by a less than great vintage –have the confidence of your convictions and buy your favorites year in and year out. If you’ve selected skilled, artisan winemakers with good land, you will have enjoyable wine EVERY year.  Your superior wine savvy will win you friends and influence—trust your palate more than points.

4. Start a wine cellar

The logical corollary to the resolutions above. If you begin to buy wine in quantity, and you’re diversifying your selections, and purchasing a case of your favorite wines (a couple selections per season is a good idea), then a place to keep the wine in some kind of order makes a lot of sense. Start small; a corner or closet with cool, consistent temperature is ideal. Short of that, consistent temperature is better than swings of hot and cold. (The top of your fridge is not a good place!) Making selections from your own cellar is very satisfying — and you can keep your favorites maturing for 3, 5, 10 years or more and dip in from time to time to see how they’re doing. It’s well worth any amount of effort and you’re on your way to being your own cellar master!

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Titans of Northern Italy: Giuseppe RINALDI & Josko GRAVNER

JOSKO GRAVNER: Uncompromising Visionaryrinaldi-gravner-glass
Venezia-Giulia, Italy

“Josko Gravner continues to push the outer boundaries of viticulture and winemaking.These remain some of the most uncompromising and compelling wines being made anywhere, and the work of a true visionary not afraid to follow his convictions.” – Vinous

2007 GRAVNER Bianco “Breg” $85; Spec. $72.25
“Breg” is Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Riesling Italico. A textbook example of the Gravner approach: long maceration, wild yeasts, no temperature control; after the extended cuvaison and additional five months in amphorae, the wine has been aged for six years in large oak barrels.

2007 GRAVNER Ribolla Gialla $90; Spec. $76.50
100% ribolla fermented in Georgian amphorae buried underground; long maceration with wild yeasts and no temperature control; after fermentation, the wine rests again in amphorae for five more months and then is aged in large oak barrels for an additional six years.

GIUSEPPE RINALDI: Unyielding TraditionRinaldi
Barolo, Italy

Presenting 2012 RINALDI Barolos: VINTAGES MA Exclusive!
“Barolo is generally thought of as a wine informed by an artisan spirit to viticulture and winemaking, which it is. But Barolo is also deeply rooted in nobility. Those two seemingly disparate worlds collide in this small cellar in the town of Barolo, where exquisite, captivating wines will bring readers to their knees. At their best, Rinaldi’s Barolos speak to both the intellect and the heart, yet another of the contrasts that makes these wines so profound.” – Vinous

RINALDI Barolo Brunate 94 pts. Reg. $225; Spec. $191.25
“Powerful and dense in the glass, but also quite expressive for such a young wine. Dark, and brooding, with fabulous mid-palate richness and depth, the 2012 packs a serious punch. 94 pts.” Drink 2020-2037. — A. Galloni

RINALDI Barolo Tre Tine 94 pts. Reg. $195; Spec. $165.75
“Lifted, precise and gracious; …tasted next to the Brunate, the Tre Tine is distinctly more aromatic, delicate and feminine in style, with plenty of bright red fruit and floral overtones. 94 pts.”  Drink 2020-2037. — A. Galloni

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SAN FEREOLO: Force of Nature in Dogliani

Exceeding Expectations of Grape & Place

Nicoletta Bocca

Nicoletta Bocca

It is a privilege to present the wines of San Fereolo from Dogliani in Piedmont, Italy. Nicoletta Bocca is a dear friend, superb winemaker and intellectual force of nature.  In her viticulture and winemaking, Nicoletta exemplifies the drive to exceed expectations for grape and place, while adopting the patience of the ancients, and the strictures of biodynamic practice.

These wines made from the varieties Dolcetto, Barbera and Nebbiolo, are exceptionally long-aging, and offer pleasures both immediate and long-awaited. Bring an open mind and an open palate to these wines, and you will be well-rewarded.

2012 SAN FEREOLO Coste di Riavolo Langhe Bianco $30
This distinctively delicious Fall and Thanksgiving favorite is an unusual blend of 70% Riesling and 30% Gewurztraminer, aged to perfection in large barrels.  Terrific sappy texture, with a marvelous combination of lychee and petrol aromas, opulence and freshness on the palate that is truly the best of both worlds. Your turkey, and your sides, will thank you.

2004 SAN FEREOLO Austri Langhe Rosso $36san-fereolo-tasting-bottles
A deeply stunning expression of Barbera, “Austri” is blended with a touch of Nebbiolo, then patiently aged for 3+ years in large barrel and 3 more years in bottle!  A little patience goes a long way.

2010 SAN FEREOLO Il Provinciale Langhe Rosso $35
100% nebbiolo, half from the San Fereolo estate, half from Serralunga d’Alba in Barolo. After a long hot summer, this noble grape wants nothing except years in large barrel, and decades in bottle. A deep and powerful expression of one of the world’s most expressive, long-aging grapes.

2001 SAN FEREOLO Dogliani Superiore DOCG $40
100% Dolcetto from Dogliani. It only takes seven years for San Fereolo’s flagship wine to be deemed ready to leave the estate. Dense, warm fruit, strong minerality, mint, licorice and savory notes. This 2001 was harvested one year after we opened our shop in Concord; not sure we have held up as well as this wine.

2013 SAN FEREOLO Dolcetto Valdiba DOCG $19.99
A classical, youthful expression of Dolcetto from Dogliani. Juicy cherry fruit, almond notes on the finish, and immediacy of enjoyment are the simple joys of Valdiba!

[These wines] are faithful companions, reflecting an impression of old Piedmont as a land of treasures hidden by modesty, self-restraint and obstinacy. Values no longer desired and almost lost to memory.” — Nicoletta Bocca, San Fereolo

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Rare & Artisanal from MT. ETNA, Sicily


Organic wine from an active Volcano!

AYUNTA is a family owned, small grape farm & winery, with 2.8 hectares of very old vineyards at almost 700m altitude on the northern slopes of the Mount Etna in Sicily, close to the village of Randazzo. After distilling the wisdom of ancestral methods, their approach uses natural, hands-on artisan farming methods to achieve the depth and complexity of this intriguing terroir. 

2013 AYUNTA Rosso Etna Rosso “Navigabile” $30 (organic)
Traditional blend of old-vine Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio, fermented in open vats using wild yeasts. Aged in large cherry & oak barrels for 14 mos. “Navigabile” is an 18th c. reference to wines that were of high enough quality to be “shipped by sail” to distant ports. Ayunta draws upon indigenous traditions to re-create an age-worthy red expressing the intriguing personality of Sicily’s Mt. Etna. Total production: 175 cases

2014 AYUNTA Bianco Etna Bianco “Piante-Sparse” $30 (organic)
Blend of 90% Carricante and Catarratto, made with wild yeasts in stainless steel. The name translates as “stray vines,” with white grape vines scattered among the predominant red grapes. Made only in the best vintages, the white grapes are harvested separately, aiming for the peak of ripeness for each variety, keeping everything in balance to produce a classy white of great acidity, minerality, and freshness. “Piante-Sparse” is a rare white wine of surprising charm, complexity, and character. Total production: 165 cases.

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MONTEVERTINE: The Epitome of Tuscan soul


MONTEVERTINE: Innovation & Tradition in Tuscany
How can a wine without a rooster around the neck be the ultimate expression of traditional Chianti Classico? The requirements for Tuscany’s “Chianti Classico” designation have been in flux for several decades while wineries tried to figure out if they were aiming for large production, high quality, or international popularity. Sergio Manetti, founder of Montevertine, was not subject to any such doubts. He left the Rooster and the DOC behind in pursuit of quality and purity of expression for the noble Sangiovese grape. No “international” grapes were needed to prove the transcendent greatness inherent in authentic tradition married to rigorous work and selection. His son Martino Manetti has carried the vision even further: Montevertinerepresents the most pure and soulful expression of the noble Sangiovese grape from the heart of the Chianti Classico appellation, an estate that stands almost alone in its dedication to authentic tradition, rigor, purity and quality.

Who needs roosters and DOCGs when you’ve got some of the best land in Tuscany? We trust in Martino Manetti and so should you.

2014 MONTEVERTINE Pian del Ciampolo $35
This impressively lively wine finishes fine-grained and juicy, with a lingering violet nuance. Insiders know that there are few better wine buys in Italy than this consistently outstanding wine.

2013 MONTEVERTINE Rosso di Toscana 94 pts. $55

“2013 is shaping up to be a magnificent, perhaps even epic, vintage at Montevertine. The 2013s are sublime. Warm days and cool nights were ideal for the gradual ripening of Sangiovese that can produce truly magical wines at this small property in Radda. The 2013 Montevertine is pliant and expressive, with lovely mid-palate resonance and gorgeous depth. 94 pts.” — Vinous

2012 MONTEVERTINE Le Pergole Torte 94 pts. $115  

“Although there are many pedigreed wines in the world, some rise above that level and move into thestratosphere of the truly iconic. Montevertine’s Le Pergole Torte is one of those wines.” – A. Galloni
The 2012 Le Pergole Torte is brilliant. In fact, this is one of the best showings of the 2012 that I can recall. The flavors are bright, focused and pulsing with energy. Because of its mid-weight structure, the 2012 looks like it will start drinking well sooner rather than later. Even today, the 2012 is extremely beautiful. This is a terrific showing for the 2012. 94 pts.” — A. Galloni, Vinous

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