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Schramsberg Vineyards
Mirabelle Brut, California – Non Vintage

Wine Enthusiast
93 Points

This elegant and plush wine is compelling from the first whiff of brioche through creamy, baking-spice flavors to a lingering delicate finish. A luxurious mouthfeel, good balance between crispness and ripeness and a profusion of flavor make it rival the quality of the parent brand, Schramsberg.

Jim Gordon, November 1, 2019
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Biondi-Santi
Rosso di Montalcino DOC – 2015

Vinous
94 Points

Il Greppo's 2015 Rosso di Montalcino is absolutely gorgeous. Sweet tobacco, dried red cherry, cedar, rosemary, mint and anise give the Rosso lovely aromatic complexity, but it is the wine's body and resonance that stand out most. A wine of real stature and depth, Biondi-Santi's 2015 Rosso is all class, not to mention a real overachiever in my tastings and a rare Rosso that delivers the goods big time. Sadly, it won't come cheaply.

Antonio Galloni, October 1, 2019
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Clau de Nell
Cuvée Violette, Cabernet Franc-Cabernet Sauvignon, Anjou AOC – 2016

Wine Spectator
91 Points

This shows cassis, cedar and black pepper notes, fueled by vibrant acidity and imparting lovely freshness. A very elegant red, with lots of character, this is well-crafted and harmonious. The finish shows a bit of a grip. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2020 through 2026.

Aleks Zecevic, November 15, 2019
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Clau de Nell
Cabernet Franc, Anjou AOC – 2016

Wine Spectator
90 Points

A very charming version, with tobacco leaf and oregano notes framing the core of dark cherry and mulberry, while spice details glide along the edges. Well-integrated tannins provide support, creating good balance overall. Drink now through 2024.

Aleks Zecevic, November 15, 2019
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Pierre Sparr
Alsace One, AOC Alsace – 2017

Wine Enthusiast
#76, Top 100 Best Buy's of 2019

Spicy grape and honeysuckle notes give this wine an aromatic bouquet. The light-bodied palate presents balanced freshness. It ends dry and with a sense of ease.

Anne Krebiehl, April 1, 2019
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Buglioni
Il Bugiardo Valpolicella Classico Superiore DOC Ripasso – 2015

The Wine Advocate
92+ Points

The 2015 Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso Il Bugiardo is a very exuberant, very full and fruit-forward wine. Showing ripe, sweet and dark fruit with sweet spice at the end, this would spread holiday cheer with a pumpkin ravioli. The wine has a silky-smooth texture, with a nice entry into the mouth, all framed by soft tannins. This Valpolicella sees only a light appassimento and a partial ripasso in small barrels.

Monica Larner, September 30, 2019
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Buglioni
Valpolicella Classico Superiore DOC l’Imperfetto – 2015

The Wine Advocate
91 Points

The 2013 vintage was good, but this was a really great year. The 2015 Valpolicella Classico Superiore L'Imperfetto is a ripe, full and generous expression with red cherry, blueberry and blackberry aromas. There is both bright fruit and dried fruit here, with fresh berries on the close. I'd serve it with a meat-and-mushroom pie. The blend is 50% Corvina, 20% Corvinone, 25% Rondinella and 5% Croatina. There is also a tiny bit of fruit from a five-hectare parcel of Oseleta, all aged in 500-liter barrels.

Monica Larner, September 30, 2019
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Buglioni
Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva DOCG “Teste Dure” – 2010

The Wine Advocate
91 Points

The 2010 Amarene della Valpolicella Classico Riserva Teste Dure is extracted, inky and soft. The wine is showing some maturity and evolution, with licorice and tar behind primary notes of dried blackberry, plum and raisin. I would suggest a slightly reduced drinking window as a result, maybe pairing it alongside lamb with balsamic reduction. The next time this Riserva was made was 2015, and the folks at Buglioni have been experimenting with whole-cluster fermentations and amphorae aging too. So far, they are happy with the results, so we will surely see these methods used in upcoming releases.

Monica Larner, September 30, 2019
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Castello di Volpaia
Coltassala, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG – 2016

The Wine Advocate
94 Points

The 2016 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Coltassala (made from a blend of 95% Sangiovese and 5% Mammolo) is a beautifully primed and enriched red wine that offers all the basics—and does so in impeccable style. The bouquet shows black fruit, spice and tilled earth. All the aromas are on the dark and savory side, however the wine remains, fresh, tight and buoyant and very linear. It makes you want to try out a local tripe recipe: trippa alla Fiorentina or even the slow-cooked lampredotto alla Fiorentina. Some 12,000 bottles were made.

Monica Larner, September 19, 2019
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Castello di Volpaia
Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG – 2016

The Wine Advocate
92 Points

The 2016 Chianti Classico Riserva (made with 100% Sangiovese) offers up a pretty layer of tar or crushed stone upon first nose. These tones, rather tight at the beginning, then relax and cede to plum, blackberry, spice and cured tobacco. The wine is direct and impactful in the mouth with sharp precision and a linear, fresh finish. Pair it with a steak au poivre. Some 60,000 bottles were made.

Monica Larner, September 19, 2019
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Castello di Volpaia
Il Puro, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione – 2015

The Wine Advocate
95+ Points

The 2015 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Casanova Il Puro shows a dense and rich quality of fruit that is indicative of this sunny and warm vintage. It is the best wine I've tasted in this series of samples from Castello di Volpaia. The wine's texture is thick and plush, and there's plenty of dark plummy fruit to maintain momentum. Oak spice, tar and campfire ash appear on the long and enriched finish. Pair it with a braised shank of lamb. This is a pure expression of Sangiovese and only 2,000 bottles were made.

Monica Larner, September 19, 2019
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Clau de Nell
Cuvée Violette, Cabernet Franc-Cabernet Sauvignon, Anjou AOC – 2016

Wine Spectator
91 Points

This shows cassis, cedar and black pepper notes, fueled by vibrant acidity and imparting lovely freshness. A very elegant red, with lots of character, this is well-crafted and harmonious. The finish shows a bit of a grip. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2020 through 2026.

Aleks Zecevic, November 15, 2019
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Clau de Nell
Cabernet Franc, Anjou AOC – 2016

Wine Spectator
90 Points

A very charming version, with tobacco leaf and oregano notes framing the core of dark cherry and mulberry, while spice details glide along the edges. Well-integrated tannins provide support, creating good balance overall. Drink now through 2024.

Aleks Zecevic, November 15, 2019
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Château du Moulin-à-Vent
Couvent des Thorins, Moulin-à-Vent – 2016

Wine Spectator
90 Points

This is light-bodied but backed by focused acidity and streamlined flavors of pure cherry and raspberry that are tangy and spicy, flanked by white pepper, tea and herb details. Drink now through 2024.

Gillian Sciaretta, November 15, 2019
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Château du Moulin-à-Vent
Champ de Cour, Moulin-à-Vent – 2015

Wine Spectator
91 Points

Concentrated ripe cherry and raspberry compote notes are lined with licorice, orange peel, fresh leather and dried herb elements in this broad, light-bodied red, with accents of dried violet, tea and mineral echoing on the lightly tannic finish. Drink now through 2022.

Gillian Sciaretta, November 15, 2019
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Dal Forno Romano
Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG – 2013

The Wine Advocate
98 Points

The 2013 Amarone della Valpolicella Monte Lodoletta is my favorite wine in the retrospective, along with the amazing 2011, 2009 and 1996 vintages. This wine was released at the beginning of this year, and because Dal Forno skipped over the 2014 vintage, this is the only Amarone we will see for a while (until the highly anticipated 2015 is released). The 2013 vintage is characterized by a slightly more streamlined mouthfeel (which isn't saying much given the baseline enormity of these wines) with carefully etched aromas of black cherry, rum cake, dark chocolate and toasted espresso.

Monica Larner, September 19, 2019
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Dal Forno Romano
Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG – 2012

The Wine Advocate
96 Points

The 2012 Amarone della Valpolicella Monte Lodoletta is a beautifully complete wine, even at this young stage in its life. You feel the youth of the wine in the tightness of the tannins and in the finely knit texture of its concentrated flavor profile. The big surprise is the wine's fresh acidity that has been carefully safeguarded despite the heat of the vintage and the drying process so deftly executed at this landmark estate. The wine shows no sign of oxidation or evolution, not yet. There is intricate fruit layering with cherry, blackberry, spice and mesquite delivered with such precision,

Monica Larner, September 19, 2019
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Dal Forno Romano
Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG – 2011

The Wine Advocate
97 Points

The 2011 Amarone della Valpolicella Monte Lodoletta is an incredible wine that has magically managed to maintain the fresh acidity associated with the cooler part of the growing season. It also shows the inky black concentration and ripeness that is reflective of the hottest part of the summer. I am impressed by the tannic management, as the wine is silky and fine at this young stage; however, the underlying structure promises a long aging future, should you chose to put your bottle aside. Overall, this vintage is slightly more accessible and ready to drink if you don't have the patience...

Monica Larner, September 19, 2019
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Dal Forno Romano
Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG – 2010

The Wine Advocate
95 Points

The 2010 vintages is sharper, more pointed and direct in comparison, and there is a tiny point of sourness on the close. This wine does not reach the same threshold for fullness, density or richness. It does come close. The wine's residual sugar measures between 5 and 6 grams per liter, which is normal for this wine, and the bouquet is redolent of familiar black fruit, raisin and spice. However, the wine feels a bit stuck in its tracks at the moment and is evidently experiencing a shy phase in its evolution. It has retreated.

Monica Larner, September 19, 2019
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Dal Forno Romano
Amarone della Valpolicella DOC – 2009

The Wine Advocate
99 Points

I found this monumental wine to be irresistible when I first tasted it five years ago, and I consider it to have improved since then. This is one of the most complete and comprehensive vintages produced at Dal Forno, and it gives us an ample 360-degree view onto the might, brawn and potential of this icon wine from the Veneto. Its evolutionary track shows no sign of slowing down.

Monica Larner, September 19, 2019
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