Wine of the Day August 13, 2013

2009MontelenaCS2009 Chateau Montelena, Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate Calistoga, Napa Valley.
A recent visit to Napa Valley included a visit to the famed and historic Chateau Montelena, one of the first wineries I ever went to in the Napa Valley, and I always enjoy going to the place with it’s beautiful location and lovely facade which never fails to make me smile, plus the wines are very pleasing. The lineup this time included the classic Chardonnay, a nice tangy off dry Riesling from Potter Valley, the Napa Cabernet Sauvignon and the famous Estate Cabernet, the 2009 which was a stunner, absolutely gorgeous and full bodied this wine is what Napa Valley Cabernet is all about. This 2009 Calistoga Estate shows a developed nose with floral and fruit tones, hints of cedary oak and a whiff mint leading to a lush and expanding palate of blackberry, plum, creme de cassis and dark cherry fruit, licorice, sage, sweet tobacco and vanilla. Firm ripe tannins frame this Cabernet and give nice structure, but remain supple throughout making for a easy to drink young wine, in fact I may suggest you drink this one sooner versus later. While most Chateau Montelena vintages age decades, this seems to be one you’d rather not wait that long, I’d say drink now through 2020. I loved this Cabernet, it was everything you’d expect and want from this classic winery and I highly recommend a visit next time you get up to the area.
($100 Est.) 94+ Points, grapelive

Wine of the Day August 12, 2013

2010ChidaineML2010 Francois Chidaine, Montlouis Sur Loire, Clos Habert, Loire Valley, France.
This beautiful and detailed Chenin Blanc is really an exceptional wine of quality and style with layered fruit and opulence. Francois Chidaine’s Clos Habert is textured and vivid with fresh peach, lemon/lime, tropical essences and honeycomb as well as hints of saline and nectarine flesh and pit. There is a good sense of place, a nice vibrancy and long finish that add up to a fantastic wine and near perfect example of this region and showcases the passion and artisan touch of the Chidaine team. This is one of my favorite Loire wines, and without question this a wine to search out, and a Chenin Blanc to remember. This balanced and pleasing white has plenty of natural richness, but remains lively and focused, I think there is a good decade ahead for this beauty.
($30 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive


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Wine of the Day August 3, 2013

2012LaSpinettaRose2012 La Spinetta, Il Rose di Casanova, Casanova Della Spinetta Toscano Rosato IGT, Terricciola, Italy.
Giorgio Rivetti’s Tuscan Rose is made from 50% Sangiovese and 50% Prugnolo Gentile (also Sangiovese Grosso) and is a wonderful example of dry rose with dynamic freshness, amazing color, fun and class. The Casanova Della Spinetta label keeps getting better and better with more refined wines each vintage, and this Rose is a treat. Bright red citrus, tart cherries, strawberry, nectarine and watermelon lead the way along with playful herbs and spices plus a touch of cool mineral. The is a hint of rose petal and orange zest as well is this lovely summer wine, if you are looking for a great Italian rose this year, this is your wine, enjoy!
($24 Est.) 91+ Points, grapelive

Wine of the Day August 2, 2013

2009ForadoriGranato2009 Foradori, Granato, Teroldego, Vignetti Delle Dolomiti IGT, Italy.
Elisabetta Foradori is crafting some amazing wines from her tiny estate near Trentino in the Dolomites, close to the Alto Adige region of Italy, her Teroldego reds especially stand out and her Granato is absolutely spectacular. This full bodied red has density, richness and class with loads of unique character imparted on the wine through artisan passion and pure terroir. This flagship bottling from Foradori is all from biodynamic vineyard sites and aged in neutral oak barrels from about two years. The nose is refined with subtle red fruits, wild flowers and soft spiciness leading to a lush palate of dried red currants, raspberry, cherry and plum fruit, pepper and cedar notes and mountain herbs, plus subtle smoke and vanilla. This wine is balanced and well defined with nothing glaring or out of place, it certainly has intensity and vigor, but everything flows smoothly and the finish goes on forever, this is beautiful wine with a deep soulful expression.
($50 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

Wine of the Day August 1, 2013

2012DonnhoffHPTrocken2012 Donnhoff, Riesling Hollenpfad Trocken, Nahe Germany.
Donnhoff’s outrageously good Hollenpfad Trocken is a suave and sexy Riesling that delivers everything on promise and on the palate. While not a Cru, Grosses Gewachs, the Hollenpfad could easily be, this is a dry style marvel with great depth, extract, detail and class no question, and with many happy years ahead of it. The 2012 Hollenpfad Trocken lifts off with lime and tropical essences with a tangy mouth of mango, briny sea salt, chalky mineral, multi-citrus and peach fresh with more stone fruit, melon, apple skin, spice and apricot. The acidity is on vibrant display, but everything is remarkably balanced and elegantly focused, especially for such a young wine, this is pure genius and I can’t wait to try it again down the road, look for this in the states in the late fall of 2013, this we be a real treasure in the cellar.
($43 Est.) 93-94 Points, grapelive