Delfina Wine List Review

VinoServant Mobile @ http://m.vinoservant.com

 

Delfina

3621 18th Street

San Francisco, CA

P: 415.552.4055

http://delfinasf.com

Delfina Wine List Review

This is an update to our review from February of this year.  Our Top Picks at Delfina have been entered into our mobile site http://m.vinoservant.com for easy viewing on your smart phone. You can also view our mobile site on your desktop / laptop computer.  If you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer you might have some problems, so be sure to view our mobile site with a different browser.

As with all VinoServant reviews, you will see the price at the restaurant followed by the mark-up over retail, and if applicable, a rating from one of the publications listed below (Ca’del Bosco, Franciacorta Brut, Lombardia, Non- Vintage | $70 | 2.1x | WA 88). Mark-up of 2.1x translates into a retail price of $33 a bottle, and Wine Advocate rated this wine 88 points.

 

International Wine Cellar – IWC | James Suckling – JS | VinoServant Top Pick – TP |

Wine Advocate – WA | Wine Enthusiast – WE | Wine Spectator – WS | Wine & Spirits – WSS |

VINOSERVANT’S TOP WINE VALUES AT DELFINA

 

Sparkling Wines

7 selections that range in price from $40 to $90

 

2010 Alice, Doro Brut, Prosecco di Valdobbiadene, Veneto | $40 | 1.9x | TOP PICK

Ca’del Bosco, Franciacorta Brut, Lombardia, Non- Vintage | $70 | 2.1x | WA 88

 

White Wines

58 selections that range in price from $32 to $315

 

Northwest

2009 Cascina Val del Prete, Luet, Piedmont, Arneis | $32 | 1.6x | TOP PICK

2010 Elvio Cogno, Anas-Cetta, Piedmont, Vermentino | $38 | 1.4x | TOP PICK

2009 Ettore Germano, Herzu, Piedmont, Riesling | $50 | 2.0x

2009 Vigneti Massa, Derthona, Colli Tortonesi, Piedmont, Tomorasso | $53 | 2.1x

 

Northeast

2009 Scarbolo-Friulano, Fruili | $36 | 2.0x

2010 Abbazia di Novacella, Alto Adige, Kerner | $40 | 2.0x | IWC

2010 Quintarelli, Ca’ del Merlo, Veneto | $66 | 1.6x | TOP PICK

2005 Zidarich, Carso, Friuli, Vitovska | $75 | 1.2x | WA 89 | TOP PICK

 

Central

2010 Colle Stefano, Verdicchio di Matelica | $35 | 2.0x

2009 Bucci Classico, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi | $44 | 2.2x | WA 89

2005 Villa Bucci, Riserva, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi | $62 | 1.6x | WS 90 | TOP PICK

2006 Villa Bucci, Riserva, Verdicchil dei Castelli di Jesi | $65 | 1.5x | WA 90 | TOP PICK

2009 Paolo Bea, Santa Chiara, Umbria Bianco | $86 | 2.1x | WA 90

2006 Paolo Bea, Arboreus, Bianco, Umbria | $98 | 1.5x | WA 92

 

Limited Selections

2009 Querciabella, Batar, Chardonnay | $152 | 1.7x WA 89

 

Red Wines

72 selections that range in price from $42 to $375

 

Northwest

2009 Giovanni Rosso, Donna Margherita, Barbera d’Alba | $56 | 2.1x | WA 88

2009 Ca Viola, Brichet, Barbera d’ Alba | $58 | 1.9x | WA 90 | TOP PICK

2007 Produttori del Barberesco, Barbaresco | $62 | 2.1x | WA 90

2007 Ronchi, Barbaresco | $72 | 2.4x | WA 88

2006 Cascina Adelaide, Barolo | $75 | 1.9x | WA 89 | TOP PICK

2000 Malvira, Roero, Trinita, Nebbiolo | $90 | 2.0x | WA 87

2007 Marchesi di Gresy, Martinenga, Barbaresco | $108 | 2.2x | WA 92

2005 Brovia, Rocche, Barolo | $130 | 1.6x | WA 92

 

Central

2005 Castello di Cacchiano, Chianti Classico | $45 | 1.9x | TOP PICK

2008 Felsina, Riserva, Berardenga, Chianti Classico | $48 | 2.2x | JS 90

2008 Le Berne, Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano | $52 | 1.8x

2006 Villa di Capezzana, Carmignano | $59 | 2.3x | WS 90

2008 Le Chiuse, Rosso di Montalcino | $60 | 2.0x | WA 89 | TOP PICK

2007 Castello di Ama, Chianti Classico | $70 | 1.8x | WA 93 | TOP PICK

2007 lluminati, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Zanna | $89 | 2.0x | WA 90

2006 Angelo Sassetti, Pertimali, Brunello di Montalcino | $100 | 2.1x | JS 93

2005 Paolo Bea, Montefalco, Rosso Riserva, Pipparello | $129 | 1.9x | WA 94

2005 Paolo Bea, Sagrantino di Montefalco, Pagliaro | $151 | 2.2x | WA 94

 

Limited Selections

1999 Le Chiuse, Riserva, Brunello di Montalcino | $170 | 1.7x | WS 88

2007 Castello di Ama, L’Apparita, Merlot | $180 | 1.1x | WS 94 | TOP PICK

1990 Ridge Vineyards, Montebello, Cabernet Sauvignon | $375 | 1.7x | WA 93

 

Sparkling Wines

 7 selections that range in price from $40 to $90

 

2010 Alice, Doro Brut, Prosecco di Valdobbiadene, Veneto

Retail Price: $21 at Appellation Wine & Spirits

  • $40 at Delfina | 1.9x

Description from Appellation Wine & Spirits: Bring on the Wonder Woman of Venetian Bubbly. So perfect for brunch, antipasti, and fireside swills, taste Asian pear, acacia, and honeysuckle. Vintage Prosecco doesn’t get any better.

Ca’del Bosco, Franciacorta Brut, Lombardia, Non- Vintage

Retail Price: $33 at K&L Wines

  • $70 at Delfina | 2.1x

88 points Wine Advocate: Ca’ del Bosco’s NV Franciacorta Brut reveals a pretty expression of flowers, smoke, minerals and peaches with notable softness on the palate and a long, finessed finish. It is a great introduction to the wines of Franciacort. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2010.

 

White Wines

58 selections that range in price from $32 to $315

 

Northwest

2009 Cascina Val del Prete, Luet, Piedmont, Arneis

Retail Price: $20 at K&L Wines

  • $32 at Delfina | 1.6x

Description from K&L: Arneis is the historical grape from the Roero district. It is typically pleasing on the palate with slightly low acidity. This wine from the Luèt (small wolf in the Piedmontese dialect) vineyard is fermented 40% in French oak and 60% in stainless steel. It spends 4 months in stainless steel tanks. Straw yellow color with greenishs hues. Floral on the nose with notes of tropical fruit. Long and soft finish. A rare breed of Arneis, this complex and extremely rich white has enough acidity to keep everything in check.

2010 Elvio Cogno, Anas-Cetta, Piedmont

Retail Price: $28 at Solano Cellars

  • $38 at Delfina | 1.4x

 

Winemaker’s Notes: Anas~cetta is brilliant straw yellow in color with golden hints. It has a fine, elegant nose with good intensity. It offers complex, persistent notes of acacia honey, sage and rosemary. Its warm, pleasant and balanced body goes well with vegetable dishes, white meat, fish and fresh cheese.

 

2009 Ettore Germano, Herzu, Piedmont, Riesling

Retail Price: $25 at Manhanttan Fine Wines & $27 at Hi-Time Wine Cellars

  • $50 at Delfina | 2.0x

Description from Hi-Time Wine Cellars: ‘Herzu’ Is made of Riesling from Sergio’s new vineyards in the village of Ciglié, about thirty minutes south of his estate in Serralunga. The property is a steep chalky south-facing hillside, perfect for grape-growing, and if you’re a Riesling fan you shouldn’t miss it. Bone dry, hints of lime-peel, wet stones, floral, very minerally.

2009 Vigneti Massa, Derthona, Colli Tortonesi, Piedmont, Tomorasso

Retail Price: $25 at Astor Wines

  • $53 at Delfina | 2.1x

Description from Astor Wines: They call Walter Massa “The Prophet” in this area (truly), since he brought back from near-extinction the rare and glorious Timorasso grape. Many Italian wine experts consider Timorasso Italy’s best white wine. Massa’s is medium- to full-bodied, yet agile, showing sweet minerality, honey, and green tea notes that become more incisive with age (and it will age well for many, many years to come). Buy two: one for the cellar, and one for a dinner of sushi, ravioli, or shellfish.

 

Northeast

2009 Scarbolo-Friulano, Fruili

Retail Price: $18 at Mission Wines

  • $36 at Delfina | 2.0x

 

Winemaker’s Notes: In Friuli the Tocai Friulano is the most typical white grape. Of all regions in Italy, Tocai Friulano fully expresses its maximum potential. The varietal especially likes warm but well ventilated climate conditions. It exhibits aromas of wild flowers, almonds and in warmer growing seasons some tropical aromas. On the palate it is medium to full bodied and elegant with good acidity and subtle flavors of almonds. It is very versatile and is typically served with antipasti, especially cured meats (salame, prosciutto), soups, fish and white meats. Serve at 12-14°C.

2010 Abbazia di Novacella, Alto Adige, Kerner

Retail Price: $20 at Wine.com

  • $40 at Delfina | 2.0x

90 points Stephen Tanzer: Medium-dark yellow. Spicy, high-pitched aromas of stone fruits, flowers and nutmeg, along with more exotic notes of ginger and smoked sausage. Enters full and rich, with the sweetness of the apricot and spice flavors tempered by decent acidity and a hint of minerality. The long finish throws off waxy and floral nuances. A dash more acidity might have provided better clarity and lift, but it’s a wonderful example of kerner. Abbazia di Novacella is amazingly adept at producing stellar quality entry-level kerner (and usually sylvaner too), and this vintage is no different

Winemaker’s Notes: The color goes from pale straw yellow with green highlights to pale gold; fruit and citrusy aromas; fresh and full-bodied. Perfect for antipasti, and shellfish based dishes. Alcohol 13.9%.

2010 Quintarelli, Ca’ del Merlo, Veneto

Retail Price: $40 at Astor Wines

  • $66 at Delfina | 1.6x | TOP PICK

Description from Astor Wines: Quintarelli is best known for his brilliant, ageworthy reds but he also makes this dry white wine that’s well worth trying. Full of ripe pears and honeysuckle on the palate.

2005 Zidarich, Carso, Friuli, Vitovska

Retail Price: $63 Sofi Wine Bar & Merchants

  • $75 at Delfina | 1.2.x | TOP PICK

89 points Wine Advocate: The 2005 Vitovska represents the purest expression of varietal in its spices, pears, jasmine and flowers. This delicate wine offers notable elegance although the finish is a bit short. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2010.

 

Central Italy

2010 Colle Stefano, Verdicchio di Matelica

Retail Price: $17 at K&L Wines

  • $35 at Delfina | 2.0x

 

Description from K&L: Collestefano is situated in a hilly belt in the hinterland of the Marches, 420 m above sea-level. This narrow land is watered by the Esino river and bounded on the east and on the west by the mountain range of the Appennini Umbro-Marchigiani (1479 m above sea-level). Not being affected by the mitigating influence of the Adriatic Sea, the region is characterized by a cold, dry microclimate with high temperature ranges, ideal for the growing of Verdicchio di Matelica, which has been grown in this district since ancient times and here ripens late from the second half of October. The vineyards are managed following the methods of organic farming. No malolactic fermentation keeps this wine fresh and bright, with fine acid and structure. A pale yellow wine with greenish tones and a delicate scent of country herbs and apple, its taste has a fresh sour trace which makes this wine particularly fragrant and food friendly.

 

2009 Bucci Classico, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, Marche

Retail Price: $20 at K&L Wines

  • $44 at Delfina | 2.2x

 

89 points Wine Advocate: The 2009 Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico is beautifully layered and polished. The fruit is nicely articulated from start to finish. Simply put this is a jewel of a wine. Even better, it is a great value. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2019.

2005 Villa Bucci, Riserva, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, Marche

Retail Price: $38 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

  • $62 at Delfina | 1.6x | TOP PICK

90 points Wine Spectator: Plenty of tropical fruit on the nose, including mango and pineapple. Full-bodied, thick and very rich, almost oily, yet lively and flavorful. Excellent. Drink now. 1,800 cases made. –JS

88 points Wine Advocate: The top of the line Verdicchio Classico Riserva Villa Bucci is made from the estate’s oldest vines and aged in cask. It is a rich, full-bodied style of Verdicchio defined by a honeyed, lush quality to its ripe fruit. The 2005 reveals excellent persistence on the palate, if not quite the clarity and vibrancy of the finest vintages. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2010.

2006 Villa Bucci, Riserva, Verdicchil dei Castelli di Jesi, Marche

Retail Price: $44 at Wally’s Wine & Spirits

  • $65 at Delfina | 1.5x | TOP PICK

90 points Wine Advocate: The estate’s 2006 Villa Bucci Riserva flows with gorgeous layers of ripe apricots, peaches, flowers, smoke and minerals. This is a wonderfully rich, expansive Verdicchio that blossoms on the palate with notable complexity and nuance. At four years of age, it is still incredibly vibrant! The 2006 Riserva can be enjoyed today, but it also looks to have a very bright future ahead of it. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2018. —Antonio Galloni

2009 Paolo Bea, Santa Chiara, Umbria Bianco

Retail Price: $40 at K&L Wines

  • $86 at Delfina | 2.1x

90 points Wine Advocate: “The 2009 Santa Chiara is a totally intriguing wine. A blend of 20% Grechetto, 20% Malvasia and 20% Garganega plus other white grapes, the Santa Chiara spent 17 days on its skins in steel tanks and was fermented with ambient yeasts with no temperature control. It is a striking wine, most notably for the way it completely covers every inch of the palate with fruit. Despite its textural richness, this never comes across as heavy. Sweet peach, almond, spices and a hint of orange peel linger on the multi-dimensional, almost lush finish. Readers who want to explore the whites that are sometimes referred to as ‘orange wines’ without going to the more eccentric styles may want to start here. This is a stunning wine from Giampaolo Bea. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2019.” (06/10)

2006 Paolo Bea, Arboreus, Bianco, Umbria

Retail Price: $66 at Solano Cellars

  • $98 at Delfina | 1.5x | TOP PICK

92 points Wine Advocate: Beas 2006 Arboreus is Trebbiano Spoletino from 80-120 year-old, pre-phylloxera vines. An open, honeyed bouquet leads to exotic apricots, cedar and spices, all of which come together in a rich, textured style. The addition of a handful of partly dried grapes confers depth and an attractive oiliness to the vivid finish. This is a fabulous white from Bea. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2017. Giampiero Bea is one of Umbrias leading producers. The wines are made in a totally natural, non-interventionalist style, with no temperature control in fermentation, only natural yeasts and no added sulfites. At their best, these are wonderfully pure, expressive wines loaded with character. Because Bea lets nature runs its course, the wines are highly vintage sensitive. In great years the wines are typically fabulous but in weaker vintages the wines tend to reflect both the positive and negative attributes of those years to a higher degree than most wines these days. Whether that is a good or bad thing depends on ones point of view, but there is no mistaking that when Bea has ideal conditions to work with his wines are stellar.

 

Limited Selections

2009 Querciabella, Batar, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $90 at Wally’s Wine & Spirits

  • $152 at Delfina | 1.7x

89 points Wine Advocate: The 2009 Batar shows good up-front fleshiness in its juicy apricots, peaches and light floral honey although some of the initial depth in the wine tapers off on the finish. Batar has a track record of developing beautifully in bottle. It will be interesting to see the direction the 2009 takes. Today, it appears a measure of minerality is lacking in comparison to the finest vintages. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2014.

 

Red Wines

72 selections that range in price from $42 to $375

 

Northwest

2009 Giovanni Rosso, Donna Margherita, Barbera d’Alba

Retail Price: $27 Average Price via Wine Searcher

  • $56 at Delfina | 2.1x

88 points Wine Advocate: The 2009 Barbera d’Alba Donna Margherita shows good up-front juiciness, then turns a bit sterner on the mid-palate and finish. The tannins are a bit rough for a vintage that yielded so many seductive Barberas. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2016.

2009 Ca’Viola, Brichet, Barbera d’ Alba

Retail Price: $30 at Artisan Wine Depot

  • $58 at Delfina | 1.9x | TOP PICK

90 points Wine Advocate: Caviola’s 2009 Barbera d’Alba Brichet is a fabulous wine graced with layers of expressive, plump fruit and an engaging, seductive personality. At first rather extroverted, the Brichet turns increasingly more elegant on the palate, until the lasting impression is one of endless silkiness and textural finesse. This is all about the elusive elegance that is typical of Piedmont’s finest reds. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2019. – Antonio Galloni (Dec 2010)

Winemaker’s Notes: A Barbera with a deep violet-ruby red color, Brichet has an intense, varied bouquet revealing winey hints of fresh red fruit, blueberry and prune that blend into the gentle notes of spices and coffee that are released by just the right amount of ageing in wood (in casks and barrique).  Conforming perfectly to the bouquet, the flavor is strikingly fresh and savou\ry and it is complemented by a forceful structure that does not conceal the balanced, yet palpable acidity and tannin content.  The finish is tasty and pleasantly persistent.

2007 Produttori del Barberesco, Barbaresco

Retail Price: $34 at K&L Wines, $31 at Sherry-Lehman & $27 at Rye Brook Wine & Spirit Shop

  • $62 at Delfina | 2.1x

90 points Wine Advocate: The 2007 Barbaresco offers up generous dark red fruit in an unusually flashy style for this wine. There is wonderful up-front richness, but then the wine loses a bit of depth on the mid-palate. The aromatics are also not quite as expressive as I would have liked. As delicious as this is, I miss the structure of 2006, the fruit of 2005 and the layered personality of 2004, any one of which might have elevated the 2007. As it stands, the 2007 Barbaresco comes across as open, accessible and ready to provide considerable pleasure, at least over the medium term. This is Lot 10.106. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2022.

2007 Ronchi, Barbaresco

Retail Price: $30 at Hi-Time Wine Cellars

  • $72 at Delfina | 2.4x

88 points Wine Advocate: The 2007 Barbaresco Ronchi is unusually tight and unyielding for the vintage, even within the context of the most structured wines of the year. Dark cherries, flowers, spices and minerals are some of the notes that emerge reluctantly from this powerful Barbaresco. If the tannins ever soften this might merit a higher score, but the odds don’t seem to favor that today. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025.

2006 Cascina Adelaide, Barolo

Retail Price: $40 at Schneider’s of Capitol Hill

  • $75 at Delfina | 1.9x | TOP PICK

89 points Wine Advocate: The 2006 Barolo 4 Vigne is a pretty, feminine Barolo laced with fragrant red berries, cherries and flowers, all supported by fine, silky tannins. The 4 Vigne reveals lovely inner perfume in a soft, ethereal style that shows the more delicate side of Nebbiolo, and is an excellent choice for near-term drinking. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2016.

2000 Malvira, Roero, Trinita, Nebbiolo

Retail Price: $45 at Wally’s Wine & Spirits

  • $90 at Delfina | 2.0x

87 points Wine Advocate: 2000 Roero Superiore Trinita—Medium ruby. The 2000 Trinita is more concentrated, wine packed with over-ripe dark red fruit and prominent oak flavors in a rich plush style with modest depth and complexity. It is good choice for drinking today and over the next few years. Drink now-2010.

2007 Marchesi di Gresy, Martinenga, Barbaresco

Retail Price: $50 at Wine.com

  • $108 at Delfina | 2.2x

92 points Wine Advocate: The 2007 Barbaresco Martinenga emerges from the glass with a delicate expression of fruit that in essence defines the house style. The 2007 is a wonderfully open, expressive Martinenga laced with ripe red berries, flowers and spices, all of which come together on a weightless frame of notable class. This is a fabulous effort from Marchesi di Gresy. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2019.

Winemaker’s Notes: The Martinenga Barbaresco, without a doubt, is our most important wine. It is a wine which carries an elegance that comes from its vineyard. On the nose, it offers sensations of sweet tobacco, leather and spice. It is fresh and jammy, rich in structure with good backbone and great harmony. Martinenga is a Barbaresco is a fine wine with meat, poultry, and aged cheeses. Alcohol 14.5%.

2005 Brovia, Rocche, Barolo

Retail Price: $79 at Arlequin Wine Merchant

  • $130 at Delfina | 1.6x

92 points Wine Advocate: The 2005 Barolo Rocche is all class and elegance. Sweet, open aromatics meld into an expressive core of small red fruits. As is often the case, the Rocche present a very fine, chiseled expression of fruit framed by relatively soft, silky tannins. In 2005, the Rocche is remarkably accessible, although it will likely firm up a bit in the bottle. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2022.

 

Central

2005 Castello di Cacchiano, Chianti Classico

Retail Price: $23 at SF Wine Trading Company

  • $45 at Delfina | 1.9x | TOP PICK

This venerable producer of Chianti Classico combines the best of New World innovation with Old World charm. On the palate the wine is medium-to full-bodied with rich morello cherry fruit, licorice, cedar and fine-grained tannins.

2008 Felsina, Riserva, Berardenga, Chianti Classico

Retail Price: $22 at JJ Buckley

  • $48 at Delfina | 2.2x

90 points James Suckling: A fresh and lively red, with light prune and cedar character, full body and firm tannins. Felsina can do no wrong with Chianti Classico. Drink now

2008 Le Berne, Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano

Retail Price: $28 at SF Wine Trading Company

  • $52 at Delfina | 1.8x

2008 Le Berne, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG, Tuscan Red, Italy. Prugnolo Gentile is the regional name for Sangiovese Grosso (same clone as Brunello).  In the vineyards of Montepulciano, Prugnolo Gentile tends to produce dark and chewy wines of bold structure, nobility and grace.  This estate-grown traditional blend of Prugnolo Gentile, Canaiolo and Mammolo displays deep notes of dusty cherry fruit, leather, earth, brambly spice and blueberry.  Mid-palate flavors of cocoa, black peppercorns, tobacco and brandied cherry merge with seamless precision with highly textured oak-laced tannins that gently frame the wine’s deep fruit core.

2006 Villa di Capezzana, Carmignano

Retail Price: $26 at Beltramo’s

  • $59 at Delfina | 2.3x

90 points Wine Spectator: This has blackberry and violet on the nose and palate, with hints of toasty oak. Full-bodied, silky and long. Reserved and very fine. Best after 2009. 9,165 cases made. –JS

2008 Le Chiuse, Rosso di Montalcino

Retail Price: $29 at Artisan Wine Depot

  • $60 at Delfina | 2.0x | TOP PICK

89 points Wine Advocate: Le Chiuse’s 2008 Rosso di Montalcino is a fresh, vinous offering laced with perfumed red fruits perfect for drinking over the near term. Ideally the wine is best opened 15-30 minutes in advance, which will help the bouquet gain its focus. This is a lovely, mid-weight Rosso from Le Chiuse. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2013.” -Antonio Galloni (Apr 2010)

The wine-making process for this red wine is the same as the Brunello, the grapes and type of vines used are again of 100% large Sangiovese, but without the need of ageing. It has a shining, clear appearance and is ruby red in colour. It has a good fragrance and intensity with the recognisable scent of small fresh fruits. To the taste, the wine is dry with a good persistence. It is ready to drink, even if kept for some time.” –Simonetta Valiani

2007 Castello di Ama, Chianti Classico

Retail Price: $40 at The Wine House

  • $70 at Delfina | 1.8x | TOP PICK

93 points Wine Advocate: The 2007 Chianti Classico Castello di Ama is fabulous. There is so much going on in the glass, as endless layers of perfumed dark red fruit caress the palate in stunning style. The wine’s precision, elegance and overall sense of harmony are all first class. Smoke, tar and roses add the final layers of complexity on the finish. Today the wine is mostly remarkable for its exceptional silkiness; readers will have to wait at least a few years for the aromatics and flavors to develop tertiary nuances. The Castello is a wine that sets a new standard for what is possible within the Chianti Classico appellation. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2027.

2007 lluminati, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Zanna

Retail Price: $45 at Beltramo’s

  • $89 at Delfina | 2.0x

90 points Wine Advocate: The 2007 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Riserva Zanna is a selection from some of the estate’s oldest vineyards that spends two years in oak. The 2007 reveals gorgeous detail and nuance along with the Illuminati’s signature textured expression of fruit. Hints of tar, smoke and licorice add complexity as the fruit wraps around the palate on the long finish. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2022.

2006 Angelo Sassetti, Pertimali, Brunello di Montalcino

Retail Price: $60 at Beltramo’s

  • $100 at Delfina | 1.7x

93 points James Suckling Wonderful nose of mulberries and dried citrus fruit. Full body, with round and rich tannins that are polished and silky. Plenty of delicious fruit too. Consistently outstanding. I wouldn’t touch it for another two to three years.

2005 Paolo Bea, Montefalco, Rosso Riserva, Pipparello

Retail Price: $66 at Solano Cellars

  • $129 at Delfina | 1.9x

94 points Wine Advocate: The 2005 Montefalco Rosso Riserva Pipparello is a rock star wine. This powerful, intense red emerges with generous dark cherries, plums, licorice, smoke and leather. The late harvest in 2005 resulted in an extraordinarily complete wine blessed with tons of pedigree. The 2005 Pipparello is 60% Sangiovese, 25% Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and 15% Sagrantino. The wine saw 42 days of contact on the skins and was aged for a year in stainless steel followed by two years in cask. Simply put, it is magnificent! Anticipated maturity: 2013-2025.

2005 Paolo Bea, Montefalco Sagrantino, Pagliaro

Retail Price: $70 at Beltramo’s

  • $151 at Delfina | 2.2x

94 points Wine Advocate: The 2005 Montefalco Sagrantino Vigna Pagliaro has put on quite a bit of weight over the last year. Today it is a rich, sumptuous wine that totally covers the palate with dense, dark fruit. In 2005 the Pagliaro is impressive in the way it achieves superb density while retaining the elements of delicate, nuanced subtlety that inform Bea’s finest wines. This is a fabulous effort from Bea. The 2005 Pagliaro saw 46 days on the skins, followed by a year in stainless steel and two years in cask.

 

Limited Selections

1999 Le Chiuse, Riserva, Brunello di Montalcino

Retail Price: $98 at Arlequin Wine Merchant

Rating: Wine Spectator 88

  • $170 at Delfina | 1.7x

88 points Wine Spectator: Lots of coffee, tea and prune aromas follow through to a full-bodied palate, with silky tannins and a very ripe finish. Slightly one-dimensional, but I like it. Drink now. 350 cases made. –JS

2007 Castello di Ama, L’ Apparita, Merlot

Retail Price: $161 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Spectator 94

  • $180 at Delfina | 1.1x | TOP PICK

94 points Wine Spectator: This pure, fresh red is laced with aromas and flavors of blackberry, raspberry, flowers and mineral, with well-integrated oak lending support rather than make-up. Despite the concentration and intensity, there is an elegance to the wine, and the vibrant structure just keeps driving the fruit and spice aftertaste. Merlot. Best from 2013 through 2028. 70 cases imported. –BS

1990 Ridge Vineyards, Montebello, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $220 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 93

  • $375 at Delfina | 1.7x
  • $495 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.2x

93 points Wine Advocate: The 1990 Monte Bello is also backward, tannic, and rich. Its cassis, mineral, and oak-scented nose offers considerable promise. With medium to full body, crisp acidity, and a long, tight, closed finish, it will require considerable patience. (Oct. 93)

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