2017 Villa Sant’Anna Chianti Colli Senesi
Fifth-generation Simona Ruggeri and her two daughters Anna and Margharita helm this ten-hectare estate in the heart of the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano zone. Their Chianti Colli Senesi is always an elegant, classic rendering of Sangiovese (plus tiny splashes of Canaiolo and Colorino)—harvested by hand, fermented spontaneously in cement, and aged in large old Slavonian botti for a year. The 2017 wonderfully balances ripe, earth-tinged red fruits, vibrant acidity, and gently extracted tannins.
2018 Domaine Fenouillet Ventoux Rouge
The Soard brothers broke away from their local co-operative in 1989 to bottle their own wines, and we have been with them every step of the way since then. They have always produced wines of almost shocking value, and that they have kept prices so low even after obtaining organic certification several years back is truly remarkable. Their Ventoux Rouge blends 75% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 5% Carignan, from parcels of silex and clay-limestone. The Soards have a real knack for preserving freshness in their wines, which always display the juicy generosity of the southern Rhône without heaviness or flab.
2018 Le Puy “Rose-Marie”
Bordeaux superstar Le Puy’s miniscule-production “Rose-Marie” is the bleed-off of a single vat of “Barthelemy”—their most singular red wine, from their greatest and highest-altitude vineyard. It spends a solid year aging in well-used small barrels, and is bottled without any additions whatsoever, including sulfur dioxide. Comprising 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2018 possesses an arresting clarity of fruit, and gives the taster the distinct impression of biting into freshly plucked berries. A mere fifty cases were allocated to the US market.
2018 Celler Credo (Recaredo) “Miranius”—plus new Recaredo vintages
Recent years have seen the venerable Recaredo estate increasing production of their still white wines, and these lovely renderings of Xarel-lo clearly display the class and minerality the variety can achieve in the limestone soils of the Alt-Penedès. The 2018 “Miranius” is pure Xarel-lo vinified and aged in steel on its fine lees, and given a minute amount of sulfur dioxide just prior to bottling. Scintillating acidity and forceful minerality drive this exhilarating little wine, which delivers significant density and length for its modest 11% alcohol. We will also be receiving new vintages of Recaredo’s singular Cavas, including the “Intens” Rosat and the ultra-rare “Turo d’en Mota”—widely regarded as the greatest Cava in existence.
2018s from Bisson in Liguria
We eagerly await new vintages of “Marea” (from the Cinque Terre), Bianchetta Genovese, and Pigato (both from Portofino) from our stalwart Ligurian partner Pierluigi Lugano of Bisson. These wines, from steep terraced limestone vineyards that hug the absurdly gorgeous Mediterranean coastline, display a briny minerality that clearly evokes their seaside origins, and their combination of plump, succulent fruit and ripping acidity makes them among Italy’s most distinctive and versatile white wines.