Hospitality industry professional Leo Bortolotto has worked in the realm of fine wine and food for more than a decade. He spent several years in Europe learning the finer points of pairing European cuisine with the ideal complement of wine. He shared his passion for the culture by leading rafts of tourists in exploring renown and rare Italian wineries. Leo’s decision to relocate to his adopted home of Denver, Colorado was with the intention of realizing his vision for an eclectic and customer-focused wine boutique. This venture, a retail wine shop in the Lower Highland community of downtown Denver, is a journey every wine lover must make.
Website URL: http://www.amendment21wines.com
The most noble of Tuscany's wines, Brunello di Montalcino is produced from vineyard sites surrounding the medieval hill-top town of Montalcino located about 75 miles south of Florence. Sangiovese is the only grape allowed in the vinification of Brunello.
The 2006 Uccelliera Brunello di Montalcino is superbly crafted, striking balance between intense floral aromatics, structure, and power. "The 2006... is a striking wine blessed with gorgeous clarity and precision in an effortless, weightless style. Dark cherries, tobacco, incense, dried flowers and minerals come together beautifully in the glass in this sensual, understated wine. Tobacco, licorice, menthol and an assortment of other balsamic aromas and flavors add complexity and character to the vivid, textured finish.” – Wine Advocate
The acidity keeps everything in balance and the ripe tannins assert themselves on the very finish. Give this one 3-5 years in the cellar and it will be even more expressive.
96 Points – Wine Advocate
Sipping on this wine will whisk you away to a sun-kissed Tuscan villa! 2008 would have been a good year to enjoy the villa as it was a very good vintage for later ripening varietals, like this Sangiovese. The wines are ripe and expressive if lighter structured than the 2007 vintage. The Vino Nobile has a bright ruby color, intense fragrances of ripe cherries and plums while to the taste it is dry, well-balanced and persistent. Not yet ready for prime-time, so decant in your glass for a minute or two. This wine shows excellent promise to get even better with time, so stock up and drink through 2020.
"The 2008 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano opens with a blast of sweet, perfumed fruit. It reveals gorgeous vibrancy in its dark berries in a cool, inward style that will require a measure of patience. Still, it is impossible not to admire the wine’s length and pure, chiseled finish."
91 Points - The Wine Advocate
Malbec is another French grape variety that has found a very comfortable and prosperous home in the new world. Although Argentina is often known as the Malbec capital of the world, this humble grape was historically used in the classic Bordeaux blend to balance those noble grapes.
As it rests in your glass, the Malbec from Mendoza's Valentin Bianchi offers a very dark, opaque purple color. The nose delivers hints of blueberries, blackberry pastry, coffee, and fall spice. On the palate you'll notice a firmly structured wine with enough tannin to hold up to hearty fare. Flavors of blackberry, oak, and espresso round out the finish.
88 points – The Wine Advocate
Malbec may not be the most popular red grape varietal, but it is surely gaining popularity due to its drinkability and quality to price ratio. Malbec came to Argentina in the late nineteenth century, before the Phylloxera epidemic punished European vineyards, necessitating grafting of fruiting wood onto rootstocks that aren't native to Europe. In Argentina, which was never subject to the epidemic, most of these vines are not grafted. Instead, vines grow on their own roots. But if escaping the blight of Phylloxera provided a start, the key reasons for the recent emergence of the grape are improvements both to viticulture and vinification.
This Malbec, by famed Argentine producer Hector Durigutti, opens with a dark and luscious shade of deep purple. Blunt legs form slowly on the side of your glass indicating intense extraction. Your nose may sense concentrated aromas of dark purple fruits, plums, and macerated blackberries. A hint of fall spice sneaks through. On the palate, the wine delivers soft tannins with flavors of strawberry and notes of fresh Mediterranean herbs.
89 pts. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.
Cabernet Sauvignon fares best in warmer climates, and benefits from a long ripening season. Cabernet Sauvignon takes equally well to Mendoza’s desert climate, lean soils and high altitude. As this bottling shows, in the hands of talented winemakers, the varietal is as intense and complex as Cabernet from anywhere in the world.
Durigutti’s Cabernet opens with classic aromas of dark cassis and blackberry liqueur. Your palate might sense a subtle sweetness, which reflects the structure of the tannins. A velvety texture develops into a long and lingering finish with beautiful touches of blackberries, violets and cherries.
2009 Vintage - 90pt rating from Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar.
"Napa Valley and Carneros had an especially cool 2010, which delayed the start of the growing season. A brief, late-season heat spike pushed ripening the other way, resulting in some areas having both ripe and not-quite-ripe fruit. Wineries that were able to thin out the affected grapes often produced well-made wines; on the other hand, some winery offerings showed a touch of green fruit." - San Francisco Chronicle Starmont used this growing season to make a stellar Chardonnay.
To be champagne, a wine must do more than sparkle. It must come from the Champagne region in Northeast France. The majority of the blend of Piper-Heidsieck is composed of Pinot Noir. Hand selected parcels of Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay also play important roles in making this a well-balanced cuvee. Selected reserve wines from preceding years are incorporated into the blend to ensure consistency of style year after year. The blend is aged for minimum 24 months.
The Piper-Heidieck NV Brut is elegant. It definitely has some bread or yeasty notes on the aromas. A rich and full base notes with flavors of black cherry puree, apple tarte, kumquat and ginger.
- Wine Spectator, Top 100 wines for 2012, 93 PTS
This is a Fourth Growth Bordeaux producer, a ranking that offers distinction, derived from the Napoleanic era. Emperor Napoleon instituted a classification for Bordeaux region wines in 1855. A fourth growth producer is not the only thing to give weight behind this wine; the famed 2009 vintage has produced some amazing wines from the St. Julien region. The esteemed critic, Robert Parker, gave this vintage a 96 pt. rating. This is the highest rating ever received by the St. Julien region.
"Haut couture becomes a wine! This dense purple wine has the telltale notes of flowers and pencil shavings, and its broad aromatics are intense and totally captivating. Powerful, rich, and full, but less tannic than the 2005 and more opulent, this is a dazzling Branaire to drink between 2017-2035."
The Wine Spectator 93 points
On the famed Left Bank, the Margaux region of Bordeaux is considered to make some of the most polished and fragrant reds in Bordeux. Wines in this region can fetch up to $1,000 per bottle. Chateau Deyrem Valentin is a steal for the 2009 vintage. The famed critic Robert Parker gave the 2009 growing season a rating of 97E, the second highest in the last 20 years. Deyrem-Valentin, an estate in the north of the commune run by Jean Sorge with his two daughters, isn't well known. This estate has an annual production of 6,000 cases, while it is nestled between two grand cru classes. 50% Merlot, 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, plus 1% each of Petit Verdot and Carmenère, again into barrels renewed every three years.
Deep and opaque. Scents of brambly fruit with a lead pencil note. Ripe, rounded and supple. Cooked plum core, textured but not heavy at all, with again a hint of graphite. Perfumed finish.
- Wine Spectator, 89pts
Templeton Rye Whiskey is here! Previously unavailable in Colorado, Templeton Rye has been the darling of many of your favorite mixologists. Thanks to some cajoling and pleading, Templeton has finally made it's way into select Colorado drinking establishments and onto retail store shelves, including Amendment XXI. Find out why Templeton was the preferred whiskey of Al Capone.
"When Prohibition outlawed the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages in 1920, many enterprising residents of a small town in Iowa chose to become outlaws – producing a high caliber and much sought-after whiskey known as Templeton Rye, or "The Good Stuff" to those in the know. Produced from the original Prohibition era recipe and aged in charred new oak barrels, Templeton Rye provides a smooth finish and a clean getaway." $44.00