Winemaker’s Notes: The nose shows notes of leather and tobacco, followed by black berry fruit.$29.99 learn more
Crushed black pepper and meat on the nose, this wine is sumptuous and full with$12.99 learn more
Fun. Extremely vibrant aromas of strawberries and flowers. Delicate and sophisticated bubbly that outperforms for$19.99 learn more
Winemaker’s Note: The cool 2010 vintage resulted in beautiful fruit, with richness and elegance in$49.00 learn more
Montepulciano D’Abruzzo is usually associated with easy-going table reds from the Abruzzo region. In this country we often see them in the magnum 1.5 liter bottles and they’re generally consumed in their youth with any number of Italian dishes. Obviously that’s only a narrow perception if you’ve experienced the many wonderful reserve level offerings that check in at $15 and above. These wines have the ability to age gracefully for at least five years and may even have the endurance to go a decade if you find the right producers.
Though rarely do we find such a powerful manifestation of Montepulciano like Masciarelli’s Marina Cvetic 2007. While still jam packed with the typical leathery red and black fruits you should expect with Abruzzo reds, this wine boasts herculean structure, scale busting weight and a seductive frame of soft vanilla oak accents that would entice even the most dedicated California drinkers. This is a lush, full-bodied crowd pleaser that sticks to its Italian roots yet aims for the stratosphere with its immensity and power.
While the price is well above the jug wine table red from Abruzzo, at $35 it drinks like a classically rated Super Tuscan – or in this case Super Abruzzo. Thirty-six months in French oak may sound like a lot but this wine has the fruit to take it head on. It’s one of those wines that we had to have at the shop and both Aroma Restaurants.
Why break your budget with Champagne when you can just as easily satisfy your appetite for bubbly with a traditional method sparkling rosé from Alsace? That’s what we were thinking when we picked up this Cremant D’Alsace Rosé Brut made from 100% pinot noir grapes.
While most associations with Alsace begin with Gewurztraminer or Riesling and end with Pinot Blanc, that doesn’t mean that the heart break grape doesn’t get a chance to shine here. In this bottle pinot makes for a lively base wine that yields a gorgeous pale pink color, bright aromatics and a delicate feeling of bubbles on the palate which many call “mousse.” Willm’s Cremant D’Alsace Rosé Brut boasts light strawberry aromas, floral notes and some darker berry flavors in an extremely refreshing frame of energetic bubbles.
This is certainly a step up from the simpler expressions you may find from Spain or Northern Italy via Cava or Prosecco yet it isn’t meant to substitute for fine vintage Champagnes. For $20 this wine is straight fun. It’s the perfect spring and summer aperitif and it’s also a great conversation starter.