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Spezieri

2015 Italy Tuscany
88 Points

This blend—mostly sangiovese and ciliegiolo— undergoes a brief maceration to produce a lively wine that’s ready to drink. The pliant tannins give shape to the wild blueberry and black cherry flavors without impeding them, while notes of sage and bitter chocolate add interest. It’s a match for juicy char-grilled burgers.

Wine & Spirits April 2017
Col d'Orcia Spezieri bottle

Brunello di Montalcino DOCG

2011 Italy Tuscany
92 Points

Notes of smoke and black licorice lend a brooding character to this wine’s red plum and black cherry flavors. Its tannins feel firm yet polished, giving a cool structure to the rich fruit core that take on accents of tarragon and black spice. Match its herbal richness to braised lamb.

Wine & Spirits April 2017
Col d'Orcia Brunello di Montalcino DOCG bottle Platinum

Poggio al Vento Brunello di Montalcino Riserva

2008 Italy Tuscany
94 Points

A hailstorm in August reduced yields for the 2008 vintage at Col d’Orcia, but dry conditions followed, which concentrated flavors in the remaining fruit. That concentration is evident in this riserva from Poggio al Vento, a vineyard planted in 1974 on a south-facing slope at nearly 1,150 feet above sea level. Pleasantly abrasive tannins shroud a tight nugget of dark cherry and bitter almond flavor at the wine’s center. Those flavors gain volume gradually, adding soft notes of tarragon and gentian along with earthy mushroom tones. The wine is dense and tight, yet manages to maintain a translucent, lifted feeling. It aged for four years in large Slavonian casks and another two in bottle, and will continue to improve over the next decade.

Wine & Spirits April 2017
Col d'Orcia Poggio al Vento Brunello di Montalcino Riserva  bottle Platinum

La Segreta Il Rosso

2015 Italy Sicily
86 Points

This fresh red is light- to medium-bodied and tangy, with an herbaceous profile of mulberry, orange zest and ground pink peppercorn flavors. Nero d'Avola, Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Franc. Drink now. 

Wine Spectator May 31, 2017
La Segreta Il Rosso Platinum

Merlot

2012 Italy Sicily
90 Points

Dried fig and black olive notes are framed by creamy tannins in this medium-bodied Merlot, with a savory overtone of cured tobacco. Accents of spice and citrus linger on the fresh finish. Drink now through 2022. 

Wine Spectator May 31, 2017
Planeta Merlot bottle Platinum

Burdese

2011 Italy Sicily
91 Points

Ripe fruit notes of baked raspberry and currant are layered with hints of espresso, cured tobacco and mineral in this finely balanced, medium- to full-bodied red. Creamy tannins firm the spicy finish. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Drink now through 2022.

Wine Spectator May 31, 2017
Planeta Burdese bottle Platinum

Chardonnay

2015 Italy Sicily
91 Points

Bright and expressive, this elegant white is finely knit, with rich accents of oak spice and toast underscoring flavors of lemon parfait, Gala apple and lime blossom. Fine and creamy, presenting a lingering, minerally finish. Drink now through 2025. 

Wine Spectator May 31, 2017
Planeta Chardonnay bottle Platinum

Yasmin Red Mevushal

2015 Israel Jezreel Valley
89 Points

Aromas of blackberry, aniseed and nutmeg make way for flavors of black cherry, pomegranate, espresso and cocoa powder with a touch of green bell pepper. It is bright and fruity on entry, with tannins that sneak up and then linger into the bright pomegranate-laced finish.

Wine Enthusiast May 2017
Recanati Yasmin Red Mevushal bottle Best Buy

Shiraz

2015 Israel Upper Galilee
92 Points

Aromas of blackberry, aniseed and nutmeg make way for flavors of black cherry, pomegranate, espresso and cocoa powder with a touch of green bell pepper. It is bright and fruity on entry, with tannins that sneak up and then linger into the bright pomegranate-laced finish.

Wine Enthusiast May 2017
Recanati Shiraz Bottle Platinum

Merlot

2015 Israel Upper Galilee
90 Points

Inky red-violet in the glass, this wine has aromas of black cherry and chocolate. It is pleasing on the palate, with fruit-dominated flavors of cherry, raspberry, pomegranate, vanilla and espresso. Smooth soft tannins linger a moment past a finish marked by a splash of cranberry with a touch of freshly ground coffee.

Wine Enthusiast May 2017
Recanati Merlot Bottle Platinum

Poggio al Vento Brunello di Montalcino Riserva

2010 Italy Tuscany
90 Points

You'll find aromas suggesting underbrush, scorched earth, truffle, grilled herb and a balsamic note on this robust red. The brawny palate evokes dried black cherry, prune, licorice and tobacco alongside chewy tannins and the heat of evident alcohol. Let the muscular tannins unwind for a few more years then drink sooner rather than later to capture the remaining fruit.

Wine Enthusiast May 2017
Col d'Orcia Poggio al Vento Brunello di Montalcino Riserva  bottle Platinum

Brunello di Montalcino DOCG

2012 Italy Tuscany
90 Points

Inviting aromas of dark berry, fragrant blue flower and a whiff of baking spice lead the nose. The chewy medium-bodied palate offers ripe red cherry, black raspberry, tobacco and a hint of espresso framed in tight fine-grained tannins. A hint of star anise closes the firm finish. Drink 2018–2023.

Wine Enthusiast May 2017
Val di Suga Brunello di Montalcino DOCG bottle Platinum

Tequila Bribón

NV/MV Mexico Jalisco
93 Points

Look for a delicate mix of floral and tropical fruit aromas, which are echoed on the palate. Pineapple and coconut sweetness segues into a long coconut-vanilla finish accented with cinnamon, plus just a mild floral hint on the finish.

Wine Enthusiast May 2017
Tequila Bribon Bottle Platinum

Blanco

NV/MV Mexico Tequila
94 Points

This is a raw, visceral, sexy Tequila. The savory, almost meaty nose and palate are reminiscent of pechuga mezcals (which are actually made with meat). All that umami is softened by a rounded, waxy honey note on the midpalate, finishing with an herbaceous lilt on the peppery exhale.

Wine Enthusiast May 2017
Chamucos Tequila Blanco bottle Platinum

Saint-Peray "La Belle de Mai"

2015 France Rhone Valley
91 Points

Saint-Péray is an tiny and underappreciated source of northern Rhône whites, mainly Marsanne, with some Roussanne in the mix. This barrel-fermented version is rich and full-bodied, boasting melon and pineapple fruit flavors that take on hints of creamed corn and citrus on the finish. Drink now.

Wine Enthusiast May 2017
Jean-Luc Colombo Saint-Peray "La Belle de Mai" bottle Platinum

Reserve Merlot

2013 Israel Upper Galilee
93 Points

A bouquet of cherry, apple and cranberry primes the taste buds for flavors of blackberry, red plum, butterscotch, mint and coffee. There is a good balance of slightly grippy tannins and bold acidity, wrapping up in a bright, lasting cherry finish. One or two years of aging should mellow the tannins to perfection, so try after 2017.

Editors' Choice Award
Wine Enthusiast May 2017
Recanati Reserva Merlot Bottle Platinum

Reserve Petite Sirah

2014 Israel Upper Galilee
92 Points

An enticing nose of cherry pie and vanilla sets the stage for flavors of ripe cherry, blueberry, white chocolate and lilac. Grippy tannins hold their own against a strong vein of acidity, and the finish is notable for its light floral lift.

Editors' Choice Award
Wine Enthusiast May 2017
Recanati Reserve Petite Sirah bottle Platinum

Cabernet Sauvignon

2015 Israel Upper Galilee
92 Points

Red-violet in the glass, this wine has a nose of black cherry, cocoa and freshly ground coffee. It is soft on entry, but velvety tannins and flavors of blackberry, vanilla, espresso bean and a soft hint of cocoa powder render it a more sophisticated quaff than first sip would suggest.

Editors' Choice Award
Wine Enthusiast May 2017
Recanati Cabernet Sauvignon bottle Platinum

Cornas "La Louvée"

2014 France Rhone Valley
93 Points

My favorite 2014 Cornas from Jean-Luc Colombo, this boasts an intoxicating perfume of peppery spice, anise and blackberry-plum liqueur. It's elegant on the palate despite the ripe fruit, with silky tannins that belie the wine's intensity and length. Drink now–2030.

Wine Enthusiast May 2017
Cornas "La Louvée" Platinum

Frappato DOC Vittoria

2015 Italy Sicily
90 Points

Fresh and aromatic, this red is light- to medium-bodied, exhibiting crushed raspberry and citrus fruit that's accented by lots of spice, floral and thyme notes. Ends with a bright, lingering finish. Drink now through 2020. 

Wine Spectator April 30, 2017
Planeta Frappato DOC Vittoria bottle Platinum

Eruzione 1614 Carricante

2015 Italy Sicily
90 Points

A vibrant white that bursts with kiwifruit, white peach, blood orange zest and grated ginger flavors, accented by floral, saline and spice details. Light-bodied and sleek, this is graceful through to the creamy finish. Drink now through 2022. 

Wine Spectator April 30, 2017
Planeta Eruzione 1614 Carricante bottle Platinum

Cometa

2015 Italy Sicily
91 Points

This creamy white is medium-bodied and finely knit, offering a fresh, floral overtone and flavors of melon, apricot, stone and spice. Lightly juicy, with an elegant, lingering finish. Fiano. Drink now through 2022. 

Wine Spectator April 30, 2017
Planeta Cometa bottle Platinum

Chardonnay

2014 Italy Sicily
91 Points

An elegant, medium-bodied white, featuring rich flavors of glazed apricot and salted butter, with hints of crushed hazelnut, lime blossom and lemon curd. This is reined in by sleek, focusing acidity and a subtle streak of smoky minerality. Drink now through 2024. 

Wine Spectator April 30, 2017
Planeta Chardonnay bottle Platinum

Brunello di Montalcino DOCG

2012 Italy Tuscany
93 Points

New leather, truffle, sun-baked soil, menthol and grilled herb aromas practically jump out of the glass. The big, chewy palate delivers mature wild cherry, black raspberry, licorice and tobacco notes, set against a backdrop of firm, fine-grained tannins. 

Wine Enthusiast April 2017
Col d'Orcia Brunello di Montalcino DOCG bottle Platinum

V Reserva

2011 Spain Rioja
89 Points

Berry and plum aromas are so ripe that raisin enters the picture. This feels medium to full, with soft acidity. Flavors of chocolate and wood spice share space with ripe berry fruit, while a full, long finish deals mocha and raisin notes.

Wine Enthusiast April 2017

José de Sousa

2014 Portugal Alentejo
92 Points

Domingos Soares Franco began experimenting with fermentation in amphorae after his family’s company bought the Casa Agricola José de Sousa Rosado Fernandes in 1986. Locals were using their massive, century-old clay pots as planters at the time; he bought up as many intact vessels as he could and filled the winery, adding more when they exploded in the middle of fermentation, in the middle of the night. The technique and style of this wine has shifted over the years, and this is the first vintage in recent memory that has found such a remarkable balance. A blend of grand noir (50 percent) with trincadeira and aragones, most of it fermented cool in stainless steel. A small portion fermented in clay pots charges the wine with complexity, creating a rainbow of color in the flavors, from strawberry to cassis, orange and blackberry. It’s volatile when first opened, but air allows the wine to integrate, firmly shaped by the tannins. Decant it for a glimpse into the Alentejo’s past.

Wine & Spirits March 2017
J.M. da Fonseca Jose de Sousa bottle Platinum

Poggio al Vento Brunello di Montalcino Riserva

2010 Italy Tuscany
97 Points

Released seven years after the harvest, the 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Poggio al Vento is a stunning wine. It soars to the highest altitudes in terms of elegance and power. These opposite forces—muscle versus grace—are what distinguish this classic vintage. Col d'Orcia has effortlessly captured and immortalized both sides of the continuum. The bouquet produces a long succession of aromas including dried cherry fruit, licorice, cola, lavender flower, cured meat and black truffle. The velvety finish is supple and long in persistence. This is a gorgeous creation.

Wine Advocate February 28, 2017
Col d'Orcia Poggio al Vento Brunello di Montalcino Riserva  bottle Platinum

Brunello di Montalcino DOCG

2012 Italy Tuscany
90 Points

The 2012 Brunello di Montalcino offers an authentic interpretation of this celebrated appellation in southern Tuscany. The bouquet is rich and sophisticated with candied cherry, dried currant and spice. I tasted this wine very soon after its commercial release and it took a little while open. It showed a point of reduction well. Give the glass a few vigorous swirls and the wine begins to peel back. Varietal aromas of moist earth, button mushroom, grilled herb and blue flower ultimately add to the wine's timid complexity. Give this wine two or three years to flesh out.

Wine Advocate February 28, 2017
Col d'Orcia Brunello di Montalcino DOCG bottle Platinum

Brunello Vigna Spuntali DOCG

2011 Italy Tuscany
93 Points

Good full ruby-red. Ripe yet elegant aromas of raspberry coulis, bitter chocolate, and smoky flint, complemented by a violet topnote. Silky and suave on entry, then remarkably steely and focused in the middle, if less expressive today than the other 2011 Brunellos from Val di Suga. Powerful yet delicate at once, with noble, polished tannins and repeating violet perfume on the long finish. Spuntali is the best 2011 Brunello from Val di Suga, though it offers less of the candied ripe red fruit aromas and flavors than is usual for this site; the vineyard is located in Montalcino’s south-west sector at about 315 meters above sea level on soils rich in sandy deposits.

Vinous March 2017
Val di Suga Brunello Vigna Spuntali DOCG bottle Platinum

Poggio Al Granchio Brunello DOCG

2011 Italy Tuscany
92 Points

Deep red-ruby.  Subtle perfume of raspberry, underbrush and musky herbs.  Silky on entry, then deep and chewy in the middle, with a enticing savory quality and terrific verve to the tactile spicy red berry and flinty flavors. This compellingly juicy, soil-inflected wine features noble tannins and saturates the entire palate on the long finish. This vineyard is located in Montalcino’s south-eastern sector at about 400 meters above sea level on mainly marly soil.

Vinous March 2017
Val di Suga Poggio Al Granchio Brunello DOCG bottle Platinum

Brunello Vigna Del Lago DOCG

2011 Italy Tuscany
91 Points

Bright, deep red-ruby. Floral and herbal nuances complement red cherry, dark plum, underbrush and spices. Seamless and intense, with sweet dark fruit flavors complicated by hints of dried fruits (hazelnuts, almonds), orange peel and wet earth.  In a distinctly virile, almost austere style, this wine saturates the palate on the long, easygoing finish.  I'd give it five or six years in the cellar. The Vigna del Lago vineyard is located in Montalcino’s north-eastern sector at about 270 meters above sea level on mainly clay soil and usually gives Val di Suga’s daintiest, most rigid and floral wine.

Vinous March 2017
Val di Suga Brunello Vigna Del Lago DOCG bottle Platinum

Brunello di Montalcino DOCG

2012 Italy Tuscany
90 Points

Medium deep ruby-tinged red. Fresh aromas of ripe strawberry, raspberry, and tobacco. Juicy, sweet red berry and red plum flavors show a sappy quality and very good sweetness, with harmonious acidity contributing to the impression of vinosity.  Finishes with polite tannins and medium-long. Probably neither long nor complex enough to warrant an outstanding score, but this is so delicious and irresistible right now I’ll be generous.

Vinous March 2017
Val di Suga Brunello di Montalcino DOCG bottle Platinum

Poggio al Vento Brunello di Montalcino Riserva

2010 Italy Tuscany
93 Points

Medium deep red.  Flinty nuances complicate strawberry, floral and blood orange aromas. Deep, dense and almost brooding on the palate, but with outstanding precision to the spicy red fruit and earth flavors. Finishes with substantial fine-grained tannins and outstanding length. Still quite closed, even imploded, I'd lay this beauty down for six or seven years.

Vinous March 2017
Col d'Orcia Poggio al Vento Brunello di Montalcino Riserva  bottle Platinum

Brunello di Montalcino DOCG

2012 Italy Tuscany
91 Points

Good bright red.  Very pure nose offers raspberry, pomegranate, and licorice.  Fresh and vinous, with scented yet silky flavors of redcurrant, raspberry, flowers and spices perked up by firm acidity and a solid mineral spine. The finish is penetrating and long and long. This is a lovely example of the typical 2012 high acid, perfumed Brunellos, but those weaned on high pH, fleshier wines may find it to be a little leaner.

Vinous March 2017
Col d'Orcia Brunello di Montalcino DOCG bottle Platinum

Pinot Gris

2016 New Zealand Marlborough
88 Points

This plump, dry style Pinot Gris features plenty of fruit, which ranges from apple to pear and through to pineapple. The finish comes with a cool, refreshing note and ample length. 

Wine Enthusiast March 1, 2017
Pinot Gris Bottle