SPQR Wine List Review

SPQR

1911 Fillmore Street

San Francisco, CA

P: 415.771.7779

http://spqrsf.com

SPQR Wine List Review

Our Top Picks at SPQR 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, with a browser other than Internet Explorer.

There are a lot of great wines on this list from Italy that most people have probably never consumed.  Hopefully, our suggestions below remove the “guess work” from the equation.  We have focused this review on the lower priced selections on the list because of the number and quality of these wines.  You are going to have to visit this restaurant a few times to truly appreciate this creative wine list.


VINOSERVANT’S TOP WINE VALUES AT SPQR

 

Sparkling Wines

Bellavista, Franciacorta, Cuvee Brut, Lombardio, Non-Vintage | $60 | 1.6x | TP

 

White Wines

Region: Alto Adige-Trentino, Friuli-Venezia Giulia & Veneto

2009 Thurnhof, Goldmuskateller, Alto Adige | $40 | 2.2x | WA 90

2010 Niklas, Kerner, Alto Adige | $48 | 2.3x

2009 Venica & Venica, Ronco Delle Cime, Friulano, Collio, Friuli | $52 | 1.7x | TP

2010 Scubla, Friulano, Friuli | $55 | 2.5x | WA 90

2010 Kuenhof, Alto Adige, Veltliner | $64 | 2.1x | TP

 

Region: Aemilia Scaura – Liquria, Piemonte, Sardegna & Vallee d’Aoste

2010 Ferrando, La Torrazza, Erbaluce di Caluso, Piemonte | $40 | 2.0x | TP

2010 Cantina di Gallura, Canayli, Vermentino di Gallura, Sardegna | $44 | 2.4x

Region: Salaria – Aurelia – Abruzzo, Lazio, Marche, Toscana & Umbria

2010 Ciu Ciu, Le Merlettaie, Pecorino, Offida, Marche | $36 | 2.4x

 

Region: Appia – Polilia – Calabria, Campania & Sicilia

2011 Caravaglio, Salina, Malvasia, Sicilia | $40 | 2.3x

2006 Rocca del Principe, Fiano di Avellino, Campania | $40 | 2.3x

 

Red Wines

 

Region: Aemilia – Flaminia – Alto Adige, Emilia-Romagna, Friuli-Venezia, Giulia & Veneto

2010 Muri-Gries, Lagrein | $40 | 2.5x | WA 87

2010 Georg Mumelter, St. Magdalener Classico, Alto Adige | $40 | 2.2x | WA 88 | TP

2010 Widman, Vernatsch, Alto Adige | $44 | 2.2x

2009 Niedrist, Berger Gei, Lagrein Gries, Alto Adige | $86 | 2.5x | WA 93 | TP

 

Region: Aemilia Scaura – Liguria, Lombardia, Piemonte, Sardegna & Vallee d’Aosta

2010 E. Pira & Figli, Chiara Boschis, Dolcetto d’Alba | $52 | 2.3x

2007 Azienda Agricola Ronchi, Barbaresco, Piemonte | $64 | 2.1x | TP

2006 Travaglini, Gattinara, Nebbiolo | $64 | 2.5x | WA 91

2007 Paolo Scavino, Barolo | $115 | 2.4x | WA 88

 

Region: Salaria – Aurelia – Abruzzo, Lazio, Marche, Toscana & Umbria

2009 Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona, Rosso di Montalcino | $54 | 2.2x | WA 89 | TP

2006 Antonelli, Montefalco, Sagrantino, Riserva, Umbria | $76 | 1.9x | WA 93 | TP

2006 Querciabella, Camartina, Toscana | $199 | 1.9x | WA 95

 

Region: Appia – Polilla – Basilicata, Calabria, Campania & Sicilia

2010 Giuseppe Apicella, Piedirosso, Colli di Salerno | $40 | 2.5x

2010 Cantine Farro, Campi Flegrei, Piedirosso, Campania | $40 | 2.0x | TP

2008 Grifalco, Aglainico del Vulture, Basilicata | $48 | 2.1x

2005 Principi di Butera, Deliella, Nero d’Avola | $64 | 1.8x | WA 89 | TP

2006 Luigi Maffini, Cenito, Aglianico | $82 | 2.2x

 


Sparkling Wines

14 selections that range in price from $34 to $115

 

Bellavista, Franciacorta, Cuvee Brut, Lombardio, Non-Vintage

Retail Price: $37 at Hi-Time Wine Cellars

  • $60 at SPQR | 1.6x

87 points Wine Spectator: Lots of subtle strawberry and fruit on the nose, with hints of flowers. Medium-bodied, with a fine and creamy texture and a long finish. Winy. Drink now. 40,000 cases made. –JS

 

White Wines

53 selections that range in price from $36 to $198

 

Alto Adige-Trentino, Friuli-Venezia Giulia & Veneto – 20 from $40 to $198

2009 Thurnhof, Goldmuskateller, Alto Adige

Retail Price: $18 at Woodland Hills Wine Company

  • $40 at SPQR | 2.2x

90 points Wine Advocate: The 2009 Goldmuskateller from Thurnhof is a gorgeous, vivid wine endowed with tons of varietal character. This is a dry style of Goldmuskateller with abundant minerality to balance the tropical mango, passion fruit and honeyed notes that blossom on the palate. A beautiful, multi-dimensional finish rounds out this exceptional, elegant wine. Thurnhof’s Goldmuskateller is a standout, particularly in its price point. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2015

Description from Woodland Hills: Dry muscats (and these wines are bone-dry, with very fresh acidity) make wonderful aperitifs, and are also very good with cured or smoked meats such as the local ‘Speck’ ham, occasionally available here in the US. This is a typical example, showing huge exuberant aromas of peaches, flowers, and muscat spice. It is bone-dry on the palate, very flavorful and crisp. Wine-lovers and beginners alike will love it.

2010 Niklas, Kerner, Alto Adige

Retail Price: $21 at K&L Wines

  • $48 at SPQR | 2.3x

Janice Robinson: Dieter’s bottlings are vivid, minerally, and as Jancis Robinson rightly observes, show a distinctive herbal quality.

2009 Venica & Venica, Ronco Delle Cime, Friulano, Collio, Friuli

Retail Price: $30 Average Price Wine-Searcher

  • $52 at SPQR | 1.7x

Winemaker’s Notes: Typical aromas reminiscent of fresh almonds, walnuts, candy and clovers. The taste has a velvet soft texture due to its inherent low acidity with flavors that reminds quince, curry and bitter almonds.

2010 Scubla, Friulano, Friuli

Retail Price: $22 at B-21

  • $55 at SPQR | 2.5x

90 points Wine Advocate: Crushed rocks, pears, white peaches and hints of earthiness are some of the nuances that emerge from Scubla’s 2010 Friulano. There is an understated, weightless expression to the fruit here that I find especially striking. The Friulano fleshes out beautifully on the mid-palate and finish, acquiring additional volume, but without losing its essential minerality. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2015.

2010 Kuenhof, Alto Adige, Veltliner

Retail Price: $30 at Woodland Hills Wine Company

  • $64 at SPQR | 2.1x

Description from Importer: Kuenhof, owned by Peter and Brigitte Pliger, is one of the best white wine estates in Italy. Their steep, stony vineyards are in the part of the South Tyrol called the Val d’Isarco (or Eisacktal), not far from the border with Austria. They grow Sylvaner, Veltliner and Riesling organically, and their wines show an almost electric mineral character. If the duty of a great wine is to be distinctive, these wines stand out like beacons — great terroir, careful grape-growing, brilliant winemaking, and extraordinary wines… 100% Grüner (Green) Veltliner

 

Aemilia Scaura – Liquria, Piemonte, Sardegna & Vallee d’Aoste – 11 from $40 to $157

2010 Ferrando, La Torrazza, Erbaluce di Caluso, Piemonte

Retail Price: $20 at Chain Bridge Cellars

  • $40 at SPQR | 2.0x

Description from Chain Bridge Cellars: The result is a delicious white that feels richer than its moderate (12.5%) alcohol suggests.  The aromas and flavors are bright and complex, with notes of peach, pear, bitter almond, lemon peel, and citrus blossom weaving together nicely.  Long on the palate and on the juicy, mouthwatering, finish where notes of crushed slate and anise linger nicely.  Delicious as an aperitif, this will work beautifully at table with pasta and fresh vegetables or a good piece of fish.

2010 Cantina di Gallura, Canayli, Vermentino di Gallura, Sardegna

Retail Price: $18 at K&L Wines

  • $44 at SPQR | 2.4x

Description from K&L: One of our very best Italian whites year in and year out. The aroma is highly original, full and intense, and reminiscent of grapes themselves with a refreshing hint of grassiness. The taste is dry, full and addictive! Produced by one of the best cellars in Sardinia, the “Canayli” is distinguished by a refreshing hint of green peppers and a full, warm taste. Obtained in limited qualities from 100% Vermentino grapes from vineyards of the Gallura highlands where the land is poor and of a granitic nature. These vines have to struggle to survive. Bad for them, but good for us! Try it with smoked fish!

 

Salaria – Aurelia – Abruzzo, Lazio, Marche, Toscana & Umbria – 11 from $36 to $165

2010 Ciu Ciu, Le Merlettaie, Pecorino, Offida, Marche

Retail Price: $15 at Artisan Wine Depot

  • $36 at SPQR | 2.4x

Winemaker’s Notes: A white wine with deep straw yellow color and very intense and persistent, grassy and hawthorn blossoms aroma, with vanilla perfume. The taste is fresh and sapid, agreeable and soft to the palate.

Appia – Polilia – Calabria, Campania & Sicilia – 11 from $40 to $108

2011 Caravaglio, Salina, Malvasia, Sicilia

Retail Price: $20 at North Berkeley Wine

  • $44 at SPQR | 2.2x

Description from North Berkeley Wine: This dry yet delectably ripe and juicy white from the volcanic Aeolian Islands off the northern coast of Sicily is one of our more exciting finds in southern Italy. The aromas of fresh, sweet white and yellow peaches blend with a hint of lemon zest on the nose; generous and juicy, with a touch of sea salt and mineral backbone, that gives just the right amount of lift on the palate. 100% organic.

2006 Rocca del Principe, Fiano di Avellino, Campania

Retail Price: $17 Average Price Wine-Searcher

  • $40 at SPQR | 2.3x

Description from Importer: The medium-pale yellow color introduces a medium-bodied wine that starts with mineral accents in the aromas, mineralty shapes the flavors that the palate enjoys. The wine almost seems tannic, it’s so dry. A long, crisp, clean finish rewards each sip. Absolutely delicious.

 

Red Wines

80 selections that range in price from $40 to $398


Aemilia – Flaminia – Alto Adige, Emilia-Romagna, Friuli-Venezia, Giulia & Veneto – 11 from $40 to $255

2010 Muri-Gries, Lagrein

Retail Price: $16 at Rye Brook Wine & Spirit Shop

  • $40 at SPQR | 2.5x

87 points Wine Advocate: The 2010 Lagrein is an excellent example of this indigenous red. Dark fruit, leather, licorice and smoke all paint a portrait of intense varietal typicity. At times the wine is a bit wild and rustic, but that is very much in keeping with Lagrein at this price point. This is a delicious wine for the money, but it needs to be served at the table, where its hearty personality is best suited. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2015.

Description from Rye Brook: Color: Strong garnet red. Aroma: Invitingly open and multi-layered with violets, chocolate, ripe damsons, cloves. Taste: Elegant with velvety structure, soft tannins, light bitter almond tones, youthful freshness, rustic elegance, unpretentious yet cosmopolitan: the perfect symbiosis of the traditional and the modern. Recommended with game dishes (venison, chamois…), all types of roast meats, grilled meat dishes, sirloin steak with herb butter.

2010 Georg Mumelter, St. Magdalener Classico, Alto Adige

Retail Price: $18 at Biondivino Wine Boutique

  • $40 at SPQR | 2.2x

88 points Wine Advocate: The 2010 St. Magdalener Classico wafts from the glass with sweet red berries, crushed flowers, herbs, tobacco and pretty earthy notes. This is an attractive St. Magdalener. The finish is just a touch dry, but that is a common trait in St. Magdalener. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2013. 

2010 Widman, Vernatsch, Alto Adige

Retail Price: $20 at Biondivino Wine Boutique

  • $44 at SPQR | 2.2x

Description from Importer: Vernatsch is the local name for the Trollinger (or Schiava) variety, which produces pale red, delicious and very drinkable table wines (sort of like a cross between Beaujolais and Bourgeuil and as mouthwatering and savory as that description suggests). Andreas’s version is top-notch, with hints of spices and herbs. It is an excellent complement to most pork dishes and great with salumi (or the local Speck ham, which I am starting to see over here). This is a wine to be drunk and not discussed.

2009 Niedrist, Berger Gei, Lagrein Gries, Alto Adige

Retail Price: $35 at Premier Cru

  • $86 at SPQR | 2.5x

93 points Wine Advocate: The 2009 Lagrein Berger Gei is a big wine endowed with considerable muscle in its dark red fruit, earthiness, leather and licorice. The 2009 is a bit of a stylistic departure for Niedrist. The wine shows less French oak influence, which allows the fruit to show the full breadth of its sumptuous personality. I especially like the harmony and opulence of the finish. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2019.

 

Aemilia Scaura – Liguria, Lombardia, Piemonte, Sardegna & Vallee d’Aosta – 26 from $48 to $398

2010 E. Pira & Figli, Chiara Boschis, Dolcetto d’Alba

Retail Price: $23 at Solano Cellars

  • $52 at SPQR | 2.3x

Winemaker’s Notes: The Dolcetto d’Alba is intense ruby red with purple reflections. It has a persistent profume of flowers and fruit with scents of violet adn smalll red fruit. The structure is balanced and elegant. 

2007 Azienda Agricola Ronchi, Barbaresco, Piemonte

Retail Price: $30 at Hi-Time Wine Cellars

  • $64 at SPQR | 2.1x

Description from Hi-Time Wine Cellars: Simply put, this is excellent wine. The nose is a blend of beauty and strength, the veritable iron fist in the velvet glove, as it opens with Pavlovian scents of dried cherry and strawberry fruits melded with a layer of gorgeous spice (white pepper and sweet brown baking spices). The side notes, almost the rhythm section with fruit and spice on the leads, consist of saddle leather, tar and a counterpoint of night-blooming garden herbs and dark florals. In the mouth, the tart tannins and sweet fruit, a compote of wild strawberries and mulberries, are in perfect harmony. The finish is long and sumptuous, leaving a hint of sea air and dark plums and berries, as the tannins slowly recede. This is big, balanced, beautiful wine that will pair wonderfully with braised beef, pastas with sausage, mushroom risotto or osso buco.

2006 Travaglini, Gattinara, Nebbiolo

Retail Price: $26 at Napacabs

  • $64 at SPQR | 2.5x

91 points Wine Advocate: Sweet floral aromatics emerge from the 2006 Gattinara. This deceptively medium-bodied wine shows good depth in its red fruit, but at times comes across as a touch fragile and fleeting. Nevertheless, it is an attractive, representative Gattinara well-suited for drinking over the next few years. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2018.

2007 Paolo Scavino, Barolo

Retail Price: $48 at Wine.com

  • $115 at SPQR | 2.4x

89 points Wine Advocate: The 2007 Barolo captures the warm, open personality of the vintage in its floral, perfumed fruit. A long, polished finish rounds things out nicely. The 2007 is a touch less exciting and complete than some previous years, but is absolutely delicious today and a great choice for near-term drinking. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2019.

Winemaker’s Notes: This classic Barolo is decadent and exotic with wild aromas of ripe berries and black truffles. Full-bodied with ultra fine tannins and an incredible finish. Alcohol 14%.

 

Salaria – Aurelia – Abruzzo, Lazio, Marche, Toscana & Umbria – 23 from $44 to $296 

2009 Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona, Rosso di Montalcino

Retail Price: $24 at Artisan Wine Depot

  • $54 at SPQR | 2.2x

89 points Wine Advocate: Ciacci’s 2009 Rosso di Montalcino shows attractive plumpness in its bright red berries and sweet spices. This is a Rosso built on a core of generous fruit. Accordingly, it is best enjoyed on the young side. The juiciness of the fruit carries through nicely to the round, caressing finish. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2015.

Winemaker’s Notes: Ciacci Piccolomini Rosso di Montalcino is fruit-forward, spicy and floral. Red berry fruits notes are enriched by slight floral and spicy hints. Warm, soft on the palate with great structure and round tannins. An excellent wine suited to all courses, particularly vegetables and cereals soups, salami, cheese and first and second courses featuring red meat. Alcohol 14%.

2006 Antonelli, Montefalco, Sagrantino, Riserva, Umbria

Retail Price: $40 at Zachy’s

  • $76 at SPQR | 1.9x

93 points Wine Advocate: The 2006 Montefalco Rosso Riserva impresses for its rich, textured cherries, flowers, earthiness and tobacco, all of which come together with remarkable grace. Readers who want to understand the level Caprai reached in 2006 would do well to start with the 2006 Montefalco Rosso Riserva, which has all of the ripeness and richness of the Sagrantino but with tannins that are considerably friendlier at this stage. The intensity and roundness of the fruit flows effortlessly to a long, caressing finish. This is Caprai’s most restrained 2006, and it is a gem. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2022.

2006 Querciabella, Camartina, Toscana

Retail Price: $105 at The Cellar Online

  • $199 at SPQR | 1.9x

95 points Wine Advocate: The estate’s 2006 Camartina (70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Sangiovese) is awesome in the way it marries considerable ripeness with a firm, classic sense of structure. Black cherries, minerals, menthol, tar and subtle French oak are some of the nuances that emerge from the 2006 Camartina. This is a decidedly big, powerful Camartina that will require some patience, but all of the ingredients are there for this to be one of the finest versions of this wine ever made. I remember visiting Querciabella in late 2006. At the time estate manager Cesare Turini and Oenologist Guido De Santi were thrilled with the quality of their harvest, which had been saved by a spell of cool weather towards the end of the growing season. Tasting the Camartina it is easy to see why; this wine has it all. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2021.

 

Appia – Polilla – Basilicata, Calabria, Campania & Sicilia – 20 from $40 to $115

2010 Giuseppe Apicella, Piedirosso, Colli di Salerno

Retail Price: $16 Average Price Wine-Searcher

  • $40 at SPQR | 2.5x

Description from The Natural Wine Company: A tasty, full-bodied red, with earth, pepper, and smoke. The lively fruit is fresh and bright with just enough acidity to keep it that way. This is an easy wine to drink and enjoy, perfect for Sunday dinner with a big group of friends and family.

2010 Cantine Farro, Campi Flegrei, Piedirosso, Campania

Retail Price: $20 at North Berkeley Wine

  • $40 at SPQR | 2.0x

Description from Astor Wines: Rich and pure, deliciously complex without being overly complicated, this volcanic born-and-bred red over delivers. Expect chewy, textured red/black fruits and lots of juicy power. A great compliment to pasta with grilled vegetables, olives, eggplant and garlic. Piedirosso means “red feet,” a name that reflects the bottom of the vine which used to be red – similar to the red feet of a pigeon.

2008 Grifalco, Aglainico del Vulture, Basilicata

Retail Price: $23 at Back Room Wines & Biondivino Wine Boutique

  • $48 at SPQR | 2.1x

Description from Back Room Wines: Aglianico: the BIG RED WINE of Southern Italy. This, from the Basilicata’s Monte Vulture, is dark, rich, spicy, “chewy” and ready to drink with a big flavored foods. It’s 20% oak ageing (rest in steel) shows on the sweet toasty nose. Taste is dark cherry, boysenberry, tobacco and spice. Good acidity and healthy tannins. Fun wine for Cabernet lovers to check out.

2005 Principi di Butera, Deliella, Nero d’Avola

Retail Price: $35 Average Price Wine-Searcher

  • $64 at SPQR | 1.8x

89 points Wine Advocate: The 2005 Nero d’Avola Deliella from Principi di Buttera is a plump, juicy wine packed with varietal red fruits, mint, sweet toasted oak and flowers. This plump, juicy wine reveals tons of length in a polished, contemporary style, with sweet notes of tobacco and autumn leaves that linger on the long finish. A lot of nero flavors are found in this juicy, delicious, pure, clean, plump effort. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2012

2006 Luigi Maffini, Cenito, Aglianico

Retail Price: $37 at The Wine House

  • $82 at SPQR | 2.2x

Description from Decanter Magazine: Jammy aromas with ripe berries, cassis, pepper and a leathery finish on the palate.

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