Friuli Red Wines

Azienda Agricola Emiro Bortolusso, Carlino, Friuli Following our “sharks teeth” theory of wine (that when producers price themselves out of their segment there are always three more lying in wait behind them), we went looking for a nice full service cantina in Friuli to replace some old friends whose wines we (and you!) can’t afford anymore. Eco la! La Familia Bortolusso are very nice folks making good honest wines at reasonable prices so we cut a deal with them. The estate include 40 hectares of vineyards...

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Toscana Red wine

Our #1 selling Tuscan Red? Santa Vincenza Morellino di Scansano Ventoso 2011, Toscana   Sangiovese (plus a skoonch of Ciliegiolo and Alicante) in a robust, food friendly style with a big fat pig on the label, how can you go wrong?   Our latest find? Campi Nuovi Sangiovese 2009,  Montecucco Toscana  ORGANIC How Old School is this? 1) The producer trained at Soldera, THE most famous and traditional Brunello estate. 2) 100% Organic viticulture and very traditional vinification in large Slovenian oak with...

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Veneto Red Wines

Enzo Vincenzo Valpolicella Ripasso 2009, Veneto   Cure for the Common Pinot? Smooth, warming, comforting like a big hug from your plus size auntie, Ripasso wines are one of our most popular categories: The rich, meaty cherry / plum / spice flavors of the Corvina variety have been enriched by the Ripasso method of refermenting the finished Valpo on the skins and lees of the Amarone from this estate. The results could be an $$ Pinot Noir from an alternate universe…taste and believe!   Domìni Veneti...

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Português Red Wines

Português Grape Primer   Castelão One of the typical Estremadura region varieties and one of the most grown in Portugal (also known as Periquita). With a small bunch and small dark skinned berries, this variety allows the production of fruity wines (showing wild berry aromas), very smooth and well balanced and with good ageing potential.   Preto Martinho This almost extinct and very local variety is characterized by an average, compact bunch with dark coloured berries. Its wines have young and floral...

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Alto Adige Red Wine

Istituto Sperimentale Laimburg, Vadena, Alto Adige The Gambero Rosso once noted that if Istituto Sperimentale Laimburg did not exist it would need to be invented as this full service agricultural research and development station is essential to the local apple, stone fruit, forestry and wine cultures. As a result it produces a broad range of wines (and also fruit and forestry products!) but miniscule amounts of any given one. A unique and surprising factoid: despite its northern location, this cantina has palm...

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Trentino Red Wine

Maso Marco Donati, Mezzocorona, Trentino These vineyards and the 15th century palace housing the winery have changed hands twice since medieval times: passing from the hands of the Cup Bearer to the Counts of Tyrol (a sort of Super Sommelier who served at the Ministerial level) to the house of the Conte Spaur and then, in 1863 to Marco’s great-great-grandfather. The vines are situated on an alluvial plain that, thanks to eons of action by glaciers and rivers, has had rocks and sediments from the Dolomite,...

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Sardegna Red Wine

Got Value? Luca Botter does… After happening on some of his wines in a liquidation a couple of years ago (and you making them into a sensation and demolishing them in weeks), we met Luca Botter that year in Verona (and then he visited us here at the store a week later). He is young, really excited about wine and seems to like what we are doing so we decided to do it together. His company is a third generation family wine business with vineyards and multiple cantine, not just a big negotiant buy and bottling...

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Piemonte Red Wine

Cà Dè Santi, Ghemme Piemonte Read…er…uh…Taste this: “Every bottle of wine is like a book: it has to be read with attention, we must know its author, its setting and when it has been written. From it we will learn an history always different and always having reference to a territory, to the vineyards and to the culture of the men that have produced it.” That is the motto of this classic old school estate nestled in the remains of an 11th century abbey in the Novara hills north and...

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Other Spanish Red Wine

That “Spanish Tinge”… That’s what Jelly Roll Morton insisted was the crucial ingredient in good Jazz (and good Creole cookin’ too!). We’ve just acquired a small but intense selection of Spanish Reds that up the ante considerably in quality, value and packaging: Traditional Riojas have always been been favorites of discerning WINE EXPO-isti and we have seven wonderful bottlings for you but also selections from Ribera del Duero, several amazing “bang for the buck” reds from La Mancha, Penedes,...

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La Mancha Red Wine

Señorio de Guadianeja Gran Reserva Tempranillo 1995 La Mancha Another reason we LOVE Spain: there are many bodegas with MILLIONS of bottles buried in their caves as they are so long established that they are not under financial pressure to release wines before they are truly ready. These is a classic claret styled wine with seventeen years of mellowing that gives it that slight bricking on the rim of your glass, an ultra soft mouthfeel that is NOT due to excess glycerine or alcohol plus a nearly infinite array of...

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Utiel-Requena Red Wine

Bodegas Utelanas, Utiel Extreme contrast in temperatures make for great wines. Utiel is extreme in the extreme: Torrid Summers. Freezing Winters. Long seasons of relentless sunlight and high temperatures in the day followed by cool, windy nights. Utiel-Requena has been a viticultural center for over 2000 years for this very reason. The jewel in the crown here is Bobal (very probably the same as our beloved Tintillia in Molise, Italy), a dark, thick skinned variety that until recently was always over-cropped and...

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Bierzo Red Wine

La Cava del Bierzo, Valtuille de Abajo For decades this bodega was a small, traditional family winery owned by the Martínez Fuente family who made wines for the local market. In 2008 a partnership of three wine professionals bought and modernized the actual winery and began making wines from the 15 hectares of old vines (averaging 60 years) retained and tended by the Fuentes with the goal of both higher quality and reaching export markets. The vineyards are located in the heart of the Bierzo zona which has been...

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Jumilla Red Wine

That “Spanish Tinge”… That’s what Jelly Roll Morton insisted was the crucial ingredient in good Jazz (and good Creole cookin’ too!). We’ve just acquired a small but intense selection of Spanish Reds that up the ante considerably in quality, value and packaging: Traditional Riojas have always been been favorites of discerning WINE EXPO-isti and we have seven wonderful bottlings for you but also selections from Ribera del Duero, several amazing “bang for the buck” reds from La Mancha, Penedes,...

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Ribera Del Duero Red Wine

That “Spanish Tinge”… That’s what Jelly Roll Morton insisted was the crucial ingredient in good Jazz (and good Creole cookin’ too!). We’ve just acquired a small but intense selection of Spanish Reds that up the ante considerably in quality, value and packaging: Traditional Riojas have always been been favorites of discerning WINE EXPO-isti and we have seven wonderful bottlings for you but also selections from Ribera del Duero, several amazing “bang for the buck” reds from La Mancha, Penedes,...

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Rioja Red Wine

That “Spanish Tinge”… That’s what Jelly Roll Morton insisted was the crucial ingredient in good Jazz (and good Creole cookin’ too!). We’ve just acquired a small but intense selection of Spanish Reds that up the ante considerably in quality, value and packaging: Traditional Riojas have always been been favorites of discerning WINE EXPO-isti and we have seven wonderful bottlings for you but also selections from Ribera del Duero, several amazing “bang for the buck” reds from La Mancha, Penedes,...

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Sicilia Red Wine

Nero d’Avola is the primary variety on Sicilia and, depending on yields, vine age and elevation, yields wines ranging from light and quaffable like Valpolicella or Pinot to deeeply meaty, aromatic and complex reds worthy of serious food. Frappato fills the role of Grenache or Malvasia Nera when blended with Sicilia’s more famous Nero d’Avola: it brings lift, perfume and higher toned fruit to our beloved Cerasuolo di Vittoria. On it’s own it is a zesty little scamp that can stand up to all manner of...

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Puglia Red Wine

Negroamaro is the principal grape of Puglia, the heel of the boot, and produces wines with the soft, silky texture of fine Pinots but with a bit more rustic / earthy / meaty bouquet and dark fruit on the palate leaning more towards plums than cherries. From Salento to Squinzano to Brindisi, we’ve got one for every need and they are ALL under $40. Primitivo is the grape that eventually came to California and became Zinfandel. Most Pugliese versions are earthier, meatier and less jammy than Cali bottlings and are...

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