"Wine is an integral part of Joe Bastianich's complex life... father, restaurateur, author, TV personality, musician and marathoner. With partners Lidia Bastianich and Mario Batali, Joe operates eighteen successful restaurants across the country, including Babbo and Del Posto in NYC, and Carnevino in Las Vegas."
The Bastianich winery, founded in 1997, strives to understand the history and culture of Friuli-Venezia Giulia in northern Italy and take it to a new level. This includes a limited production of Calabrone - an estate reserve released only when an excellent vintage is followed by a dry and mild September and October, when a precentage of the Refosco and all of the Schioppettino undergo appassimento (drying).
"The nose is filled with chocolate, coffee, spices and mature red fruit. The palate has considerable power and grip while maintaining elegance. Calabrone will surely benefit from additional cellar time, at least 5 years."
Calabrone is consistently awarded 89 points and above by Robert Parker's Wine Advocate.
The Antinori family has been making wine in Italy for 26 generations. The family's first encounter with wine dates back to 1385, when Giovanni di Piero Antinori joined the Guild of Wine Merchants to make the best use of the family's country properties in Valdarno, around Florence.
Antinori's flagship wine, Tignanello, aided in the creation of the monicker "Supertuscan" in reference to red wines made in Tuscany of non-native grape varieties. Tignanello is made with a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc grown on a very small single vineyard of 47 hectares (120 acres) in the heart of Tuscany.
The 2008 Tignanello is characterized by "its intense ruby red color, its important aromatic concentration, its notes of ripe red fruit and jam accompanied by spice, vanilla, and liquorice. The palate is distinguished by a dense and elegant texture sustained by the vibrant acidity of the Sangiovese, by tannins of a lovely suppleness, and by an extremely long and lingering finish."
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate rated this wine 94 points and had this to say:
"Black cherries, tobacco, smoke and licorice are some of the notes that come through on the finish. The flavor profile is decidedly on the dark side, but the wine's structure is medium in body and intensity. It is a fabulous achievement!"
You're a rebel. You don't watch TV (don't even own one). You ride a bike to work. You're a devout fan of bands no one has even heard of. You watch films with subtitles. You can properly pronounce 'Chateauneuf-du-Pape,' and you can spell it. You prefer Grüner Veltliner over Chardonnay.
This is your new favorite wine! The brainchild of Washington State wine producer, Scarborough, The Rebel satisfies that inherent urge to be different. This (sort of) Rhone-style blend uses Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah, Sangiovese, and a few other varietals in producing a wine that is fragrant and full of cherry cola aromas. Flavors such as anise, red currants, blackberries, and earth blend to deliver a well-balanced and approachable wine with a finish that makes you longing for more. Go ahead, be a Rebel! $18.99
The grapes sourced for this small-production Pinot Noir are all sourced from vineyards close to the Umpqua River in Oregon. The aromas and bouquet offer bright and vibrant strawberry fruit, mushrooms, earth, and sweet oak. The mouthfeel is round and full. The wine is aged in 100% French oak barrels, 33% of which are new. This allows for lees stirring and the building of structure and mouthfeel. This is a great value Pinot Noir at $18.99!
According to Webster’s dictionary, a heretic is: “one who dissents from an accepted belief or doctrine. A nonconformist.” This fun little VDP from southern France breaks tradition by offering big flavors and big aromas at a small price! Les Hérétiques is a blend of Carignane and Syrah and delivers explosive berry fruit mingled with unmistakable barnyard aromas. The tannins are soft and easy, making it approachable with just about anything. The result is a value-driven and balanced French red that works great with light to medium dishes based on meats, mushrooms, game, or other earthy elements. Try it with a baguette and a piece of camembert! $10.99 (also part of our '2 for $21 section)
Forefront is a second label to the veritable Napa producer, Pine Ridge. The fruit for this Cabernet was sourced mainly from Napa Valley, with small percentages made up from other wine areas in California. Unmistakable Cabernet aromas of cassis are present, while the color is an almost opaque purple. Bright red fruit flavors burst out of the gate and evolve with hints of cedar box and tobacco. A small dash of Syrah brightens up the fruit profile. The tannins offer enough structure and poise to stand up to hearty fare, yet supple enough to enjoy as the main event. $22.99
Australian Shiraz is often big, juicy, and fruity. This Shiraz blend is a little different. The color in your glass is dark amethyst with hints of crimson red around the rim. Aromas of plum, licorice, and black fruits drift from the glass and excite your olfactory senses. The first sip fills your mouth with explosive flavors of blackberry, spice, pepper, and citrus. The tannins are easy, making this a great wine to enjoy on a rainy Saturday afternoon. This wine was selected as one of Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s "Top 100 Best Buy Wines for 2010!" $11.99
Incense, leather, cigar box, and black cherry notes fill the glass. The acidity and tannins have softened over the years, giving this red no hard edges. Drink this wine now, or over the next 6 years. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate rated this wine 90 points. $13.99
“Lively and focused, with a beam of red licorice running through the core of red and black cherry fruit. Polished structure and a lingering apple wood note provide length. Drink now through 2012. 1,800 cases imported.”
The Wine Spectator awarded the 2009 vintage 90 points! $15.99