Fine Wine Source Wine


August 2019

Le Siepi di San Giovani: The Estate of Le Siepi di San Giovanni is located in the Northern Appennines, in the picturesque Santerno River Valley near the ancient city of Bologna in the Emilia-Romagna region. The Estate, owned by the Zuffa family was started in 1960. The second and third generation family members are now gearing up for the third-millennium wine making era, founded on the strength of a long tradition based on consistently using natural products and many years of industry-specific experience. The property is about 40
hectares and comprises about 11 hectares of vineyards. The grape production is located in the heart of the
property on the slopes of the gentle rolling hills that surround the property and are an integral part of the lush
landscape. The elevation of the vineyards is around 550 to 650 feet.

Le Siepi di San Giovani Sangiovese Superiore: Entirely manual harvesting in late September/early October, followed by a short trip to the grape pressing area for immediate crushing, fermentation for 10/12 days at 27/28 °C (80F).

Varietal: 100% Sangiovese

Alcohol: 13.5%

Tasting Notes: Intensely bright ruby red colored wine opening with fresh notes of mulberry & floral notes on
the nose. Slightly tannic but with a suitable level of softness, and a peppery aftertaste on the palate. Perfect for a summer’s evening patio chill session with charcuterie or meats on the BBQ.

Food Pairings: Pairs well with fresh egg pasta dishes, meat sauces, grilled, roasted and stewed red meat, but also with hard to semi-hard mild cheeses.

Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts: Elegant Sangiovese perfectly aged over the past seven years. Earthy mushroom pork flavors makes this great to serve with fowl and oily fish dishes.

Wine Club Member HOT Deal: 2015 Bos Wine Moon Bos Harvest Red…This lovely red blend from Michigan native turned California wine maker David Bos, is a quaffable stunner! Syrah and Mourvedre are complimented with Zinfandel and make this a perfect summer sunset sipper. Wine Club Member Price $34.99.

Fine Wine Source Wine


August 2019

The Underground Wine Project: The Underground Wine Project is a
collaboration between Washington wine makers Mark McNeilly (Mark Ryan
Winery) and Trey Busch (Sleight of Hand Cellars). Mark and Trey are close friends of nearly 14 years and have both have word) with Pearl Jam and Mark has a love (not nearly as strong as Trey’s) for the band as well. The first wine from Underground Wine Project was called ‘Idle Hands’ after a Gutter Twins (Mark Lanegan of Screaming Trees and Greg Dulli of The Afghan Whigs) song of the same name. “My eyes have seen, they have been shown, This is an occupation to stand alone”- Idle Hands by The Gutter Twins.

And Why am I Mr. Pink Rose: Since its debut in 2015, Mr. Pink has captured the hearts and palates of Washingtonians. Its popularity has now gone nationwide with the 2017 vintage taking the #70 spot in 2018’s Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Best Buys. The 2018 vintage was just recently rated by Seattle Magazine as the Top Rose Wine for their Top Washington Wines of 2019. 2018 had one of the coolest Aprils and then one of the warmest Mays on record. Temperatures went from almost two weeks behind to a bit ahead by June. Bloom began in late May and conditions were ideal. July and August were warm with temperatures cooling off resulting in near perfect conditions through harvest. 2018 gave us all the right weather in the right order. We loved the wine so much that we think even Steve Buscemi would be happy with the name, and if he bought a bottle at Vertical he may even leave a tip!!!

Varietals: Undisclosed percentages: Sangiovese & Syrah

Alcohol: 12.5%

Tasting Notes: Packed with flavors full of fresh Rainier cherries, crisp watermelon and pomegranates, with lip smacking acidity that balances out mouth-watering fruit.

Food Pairings: Pork, often referenced as the other white meat, can be a great Rose pairing, as can salmon, white fishes, turkey, or chicken. Think picnic fare on a hot summer’s day: sandwiches and salads, summer vegetables, crab or spinach dips, shrimp, seafood, and even some lightly smoked meats. Always a good option for vegetarian or vegan dishes!

Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts: Rich yet elegant makes this a perfect summer sipper. Great served with charcuterie and cheeses or antipasti.

Wine Club Member HOT Deal: 2018 Chateau la Genestiere Tavel Rose. This Grenache & Syrah stunner is from the original Rose region in France’s Southern Rhone Valley. This dark and delicious Rose, that often appeals to the red wine drinker that may be reticent to step outside their comfort zone, is a great addition to any summer patio party!
Wine Club Member Price $19.99

Fine Wine Source Wine


December 2018

Lanciola:

Just a few kilometers outside Florence, on the rolling hills of Impruneta near Pozzolatico, lies Azienda Agrícola Lanciola. It is immersed in the distinctive Tuscan countryside, amidst olive-groves, cypress trees and vineyards. The estate totals around 80 hectares, with 40 hectares covered by vineyards and the remainder devoted to olive groves. The property has a very illustrious past. In Medicean times it belonged to the noble Ricci family, who was also responsible for organizing the estate’s early farming and winemaking activities. The goal of the present owners, the Guarnieri family, has been to maximize the use of the land. The estate’s vineyards – formerly called “Terre dei Ricci” – produce ”Terricci”, an IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica) red table wine which is obtained mainly from large berry Sangiovese Grosso and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes; “Ricciobianco,” a white wine with excellent structure obtained from Chardonnay grapes; a Chianti Colli Fiorentini, a Vinsanto fortified wine; and finally, “Riccionero,” a pure Pinot and top quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil. In Greve, in the heart of the Chianti Classico area, the Azienda Agrícola Lanciola occupies roughly 14 hectares. Ten of those are devoted to specialized vineyards with optimum south-west exposure, on particularly favorable soil, at an altitude of approximately 300 meters. In addition to Sangiovese, the vineyards also contain Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Canaiolo and Colorino grapes.

About:

In Greve, in the heart of the Chianti Classico area the Azienda Agricola Lanciola has around 14 hectares, 10 of which are devoted to specialized vineyards with optimum south-west exposure, on particularly favorable soil, at an altitude of approximately 300 meters. In addition to Sangiovese, the vineyards contain Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot,Syrah, Canaiolo and Colorino grapes. The soil is comprised of shale and loam, and the vineyards are situated at 250 meters with a south-west exposure. The fruit was harvested during the first week of October and aged in stainless steel tanks for a minimum of six months.

Varietal:

90% Sangiovese and 10% Local Grapes (either Colorino, Cab, Merlot, or a blend of the lot)

Alcohol:

13.5%

Tasting Notes:

Deep and slightly violet blood red with a lively ruby rim in the glass. The bouquet is fairly intense and fresh with forest berry fruit, cherry, and black currant that gains definition from hints of earthiness balanced with fruit acidity and slight floral accents. On the palate it is ample and smooth with dark berry fruit flavors supported by fresh acidity and slight tannins leading to a clean berry fruit finish.

Food Pairings:

Grilled meats, light stews, venison, pasta Bolognese , or just to drink by the glass at holiday parties with family and/or friends; essentially, this wine pairs great with family, friends, and a good time!

Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts:

Elegant with a plummy mouthfeel and a long lingering finish; great to serve with something tomato saucy!

Fine Wine Source Wine


November 2018

Podere Ciona:

Franca and Franco Gatteschi were looking for a place in the countryside to retire to, after many years of working in Italy and abroad, when they came across a small, beautiful, albeit run down property: 100 acres of land, mostly wooded with 10 acres set aside for cultivation, of which 2.5 acres already had vineyards; a house from the 18th Century, abandoned for more than 40 years; and, above all, a view without equal on the Chianti hills, with Siena in the distance. They purchased the estate at the beginning of 1990 and they immediately started the reconstruction work on the main house (it took nearly three years). They also set up a small but well equipped wine cellar for making wine. In 1996 they permanently moved to live on the estate and the following year, the great 1997 vintage, saw the birth of the first “official” wine of Podere Ciona: a Chianti Classico DOCG Riserva.Between 2000 and 2003, the Gatteschis decided to replant all the available land with vines, build a new wine cellar that would be needed for the larger production and purchase another small property not far from their residence at Podere Ciona, destined to become their “agriturismo”, today Le Diacce. Today the estate is humming with activity, as the agriturismo is populated with guests throughout the tourist season, and the cooking classes by Franca’s cooking school, Tutti-A-Tavola are always in high demand. Our wine production has grown throughout the years and has been awarded in the United States and Italy. Truly a family owned and operated estate, Franca manages the Agriturismo and Franco manages the vineyards. Son, Lorenzo is the winemaker and daughter-in-law, Jennifer handles all the sales and marketing.

About:

This is only the second vintage of the Rose that Lorenzo has produced! The first vintage was blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc, Lorenzo was so happy with the way it turned out that he decided to make it a permanent offering and increase its production. As fate would have it, during the growing season of 2016 a pesky group of local wild boars decided that the Cabernet Franc would be more suited to their dietary needs than for the 2016 Rose. Lorenzo did not let that deter him from producing what we believe is one of the finest Rose wines that we stock on Fine Wine Source’s shelves. The 2016 Ciona Rose is produced from 100% Sangiovese that is grown from vineyards that sit on a mixture of quartz arenite (aka sandstone) clay, schist, and marl soil at an altitude of 535-625 Meters above sea level. The vines are horizontal and double-spurred cordon trained and have an age of 6 to 16 years with an average yield of 1.1 Kilograms per plant. Lorenzo and his father Franco produced only 1,200 cases (100 cases) and we at FWS have worked out an exclusive deal to be the ONLY US location to offer it for purchase! Lorenzo will be joining us for the Post-Thanksgiving days and regaling us with stories from the 2018 Harvest and Wine Production. Please mark November 28th through December 1st on your calendars so you don’t miss this opportunity to speak and sip with Lorenzo Gatteschi!!!

Varietal:

100% Sangiovese

Alcohol:

13.44%

Tasting Notes:

Dark Salmon Pink in color with a fresh fragrance of fruits and slightly herbal & earthy tones. Well-balanced on the palate with lovely notes of strawberry, watermelon, and red licorice.

Food Pairings:

We believe that a good Rose is a great wine pairing for Turkey Day; however, this Rose is GREAT and therefore a Great Pairing for all the Thanksgiving traditions! Salute!!!

Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts:

Red licorice on the nose and the palate…WOW!!! Loaded with flavor and fruit burst on the finish and best served with Turkey, Chicken, or Salmon, Cheers!

Fine Wine Source Wine


October 2018

Cantina Cardeto:

On August 30th of 1949, the Wine Cooperative of the Orvieto community in Umbria was founded. It is one of the oldest wine cooperatives of central Italy. The winery, which was born with the articles of incorporation signed by the Farmer’s Association together with 13 wine producers, was initially set up in lower Orvieto and was expanded several times over the years that followed. On August 7th 1971, the DOC of Orvieto white wine was recognized by a decree issued by the president of the Italian Republic. During the same year, the production regulations of this wine were determined; subsequently, they were subject to some modifications. Currently the typologies of the Orvieto DOC include: dry, semi-dry, slightly sweet, sweet, and late harvest. In 2002, “Rosso Orvietano” (“Orvieto Red”) is given its DOCG. These red wines, with particularly excellent organoleptic characteristics, have been produced on the lands surrounding the cliff since medieval times, especially on the properties belonging to the powerful Della Greca family. We dedicated one of our top wines, our “Nero della Greca” to them. It is made from Sangiovese grapes and is aged in French oak barriques for 14 months. This wine is always rated one of the best in international competitions and has won acclaim in journalist Luca Maroni’s annual wine review as being the third best red wine from Italy. Today, Cardeto has 150 members who cultivate 820 hectares of vineyards and provide an average of 80-90 thousand quintals (quintal = 100kgs or 112lbs) of grapes. Cardeto has always followed the objective of reducing the sale of the wine of Orvieto in bulk form, in order to improve the wine’s image and to contribute to the region’s economy.

About:

The characteristic landscape of volcanic origins, the impressive cliffs of tuff, the rolling hills, and the intense greenery of the Orvieto countryside are very striking both to the mind and to the eye. It is an uncontaminated panorama where the dense woods convey the feeling of a maternal and generous nature, who every year offers us the gifts of her precious fruits. In this rich and thriving land, man’s efforts have skillfully and patiently cultivated the soil year after year, showing off one of Orvieto’s symbolic talents: wine growing. The vineyards for the Rosso contain Guyot and Spurred Cordon trained vines concentrated at 3,300 vines per hectare and have a predominantly southeastern exposure. The volcanic soils are comprised of Pliocene and Sand with the average age of the vines being 15 years. Yields of 12,000 kilograms per hectare are typically harvested at the end of September, sorted, macerated in stainless steel tanks, and fermented for two weeks at a controlled temperature of twenty-five degrees Celsius; finally, aged two months in bottle.

Varietal:

90% Merlot & 10% Sangiovese

Alcohol:

14%

Tasting Notes:

A deep ruby red color is displayed in the glass, with an intense fruit-forward aroma of sour cherry, blackberry, and black currant on the nose. The flavor is smooth and elegant, with nice balanced tannins and acidity.

Food Pairings:

Perfect with red grilled meats, but smooth and elegant enough to not overpower pork or lamb. Great with chili or stews, and pastas with marinara or vodka sauce.

Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts:

Purple in color with rich fruit, an elegant mid-palate feel, and a long lingering finish. Best served with tomato sauce based dishes and pastas!

September Imported Wine: 2011 Casa Brindisi Riserva, Molise, ITALY

Located in the most obscure Italian region of all, Molise, Casa Contini is from the Eastern coast of Central Italy, in a place so remote, that in a country the size of California, only 1 in 100 Italians have been there. Casa Contini is a spectacular vineyard site (with a small house) owned for three generations by Botter family. Luca is in the wine bottling business, and is one of the most successful in the country, but he also owns this quirky patch of land that produces amazing, varietally classic fruit. Moreover, he ages the wines in large oak barrels for several years, gently and patiently imparting soft tannic structure into the wines.

The result? They are Riservas that are immensely pleasing, ready to drink immediately, and a remarkable value. Thus, we found them too good to pass up. The wines do not meet the criteria for Small Vineyards, because the Botter family business is a true corporation, and the vineyard site is not in the smallest 10% in the region. So, with great enthusiasm, Small Vineyards imports the wines under their Largo brand. The quality is stupendous, and sometimes exceptions such as these, best prove the rule.

Pronunciation: Casa Contini (ka-ZAH cone-TEE-nee)

Varietals: 80% Negroamaro, 10% Malvasia Nera di Brindisi, 10 % Sangiovese

Alcohol: 12.5% by volume

More about the wine: This wine has a very long tradition in Italy. The town of Brindisi was the Roman gateway port to the East, and thus provided its own wine to Rome along with salt and olive oil imported from other Mediterranean provinces of the Roman Empire.

The vineyards are planted at short distance from the most southern part of the Adriatic Sea, and they benefit from the climate influence of the sea. With cooling breezes during summer evenings and nights, warm temperatures are reduced in the grapes and the acidity increases, making a great wine!

Food Pairings: Pair this fun wine with almost anything! Enjoy with Italian cuisine, such as sausage, pizza and pasta. A great match with grilled meats and savory cheeses as well.

Jim Lutfy’s thoughts: “This wine is savory and really good! A very decadent blend of indigenous Italian varietals from a remote area. It is definitely a pizza or pasta night wine. You may need a second bottle…mark my words!”-JL

July Imported Wine: 2012 Perazzeta ‘Sara’ Rosato I.G.T., Tuscany, ITALY

Alessandro Bocci is truly passionate about making wine according to traditional methods, capturing a sense of place in each bottle, and sharing with the world his love for his land. His wines speak of the terroir and exude layers of flavor obtained from the deep root system he so lovingly tends. Spreading his arms wide to display the 200º view of the valley below, he grins, “I have to come work here every day.” And how beautiful it is. Driving up the dusty road to the estate, one is surrounded by olive trees, yellow Scotch Broom, and the occasional animal. Across the silent valley, Montalcino seems at once close, and a world away. Once a one-man show, Alessandro is now joined by his daughter, Sara, in the fields, and is joined by fifteen friends and family members to help during harvest. The density and complexity of his wines he attributes both to the unusually rich soils of the Montecucco zone, and to the family’s incredible selection standards. “Every year,” says Bocci, “we throw away approximately twice as many grapes as we press.”

History of Rosato and its Relation to Perazzeta: In the fulfillment of a dream, Alessandro Bocci from Perazzeta was able to procure a small plot of prime vineyard land just across the road from his estate, in Montalcino. The vines are too young to make Brunello, but are already producing wonderful fruit–absolutely perfect for a world-class Rosé.

A Rosé (from French: rosé also known as rosado in Portugal and Spanish-speaking countries or rosato in Italy) is a type of wine that incorporates some of the color from the grape skins, but not enough to qualify it as a red wine. It may be the oldest known type of wine, as it is the most straightforward to make with the skin contact method. The  pink color can range from a pale “onion”-skin orange to a vivid near-purple, depending on the grape varieties used and winemaking techniques. There are three major ways to produce rosé wine: skin contact, saignée and blending. Rosé wines can be made still, semi-sparkling or sparkling and with a wide range of sweetness levels from bone-dry Provencal Rosé to sweet White Zinfandels and blushes. Rosé can be made from a wide variety of grapes and can be found all across the globe.

Varietals: 100% Sangiovese

Alcohol: 13.5% by volume

Tasting Notes: Made by Alessandro and his daughter, Sara, this beautiful Rosato delivers unexpected power and delineation. Yes, it has richness. Yes, it is bold. But it is flinty and beautiful, and never heavy in the mouth.

Food Pairings: The Rosato is a perfect accompaniment to fresh heirloom tomatoes, scampi, ricotta ravioli, and calamari.

April Domestic Wine: 2009 Pietra Santa ‘Sassolino’ Red Blend, Cienega Valley, CALIFORNIA

Pietra Santa is a family-run estate producing artisanal wines and olive oils in California’s Central Coast. The site was planted to wine grapes in the 1850s by Frenchman Theophile Vache who chose the location because of the maritime climate and unique soils.

Pietra Santa is 25 miles from Monterey Bay and benefits from cool coastal breezes that allow for a long growing season. The estate’s location on the San Andreas Fault creates soils rich with granite and limestone that naturally lower yields and add distinctive flavors to the wines. The winery was named PIETRA SANTA, Italian for SACRED STONE, in honor of these exceptional soils.

History of Sangiovese and its Relation to Pietra Santa: Sangiovese is a red Italian wine grape variety whose name derives from the Latin sanguis Jovis, “the blood of Jove“. The most accredited theory about the origin of Sangiovese is in Romagna, in the Town of Santarcangelo, where the Romans would store the wine in Grotte Tufacee (caves) inside the Mons Jovis. Though it is the grape of most of central Italy from Romagna down to Lazio, the wine is grown in Campania and in Sicily as well. Sangiovese is most famous as the main component of the blend Chianti, Carmignano, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Morellino di Scansano, although it can also be used to make varietal wines such as Brunello di Montalcino, Rosso di Montalcino or Sangiovese di Romagna, as well as modern “Super Tuscan” wines like Tignanello.

Sangiovese has now been planted throughout the world, with many Californian wineries planting the varietal. Pietra Santa has planted Sangiovese, and are making many great wines with Sangiovese as the focus. Young Sangiovese has fresh fruity flavors of strawberry and a little spiciness, but it readily takes on oaky, even tarry, flavors when aged in barrels.

Varietals: 86% Sangiovese and 14% Merlot

Alcohol: 14.7% by volume

Tasting Notes: The name Sassolino means “little stone” in honor of the terroir of our estate. The wine has robust fruit and tastes of black cherry with hints of chocolate and oak, finished with soft tannins. The balanced acidity of this wine makes it ideal for pairing with a wide variety of food.

Food Pairings: Try it with your favorite Italian dishes including pasta Bolognese, pizza, and salty cheeses.

Jim Lutfy’s thoughts: “A wine with Tuscan flair and substance. Rich and elegant, yet subtle. The wine has many layers of complexity and tremendous texture. The Sassolino is a wine that will leave you begging for more.”- JL