Farallon Wine List Review

Farallon

450 Post Street

San Francisco, CA

P: 415.956.6969

http://farallonrestaurant.com

 

Farallon Wine List Review

Our Top Picks at Farallon 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.

The wine list at Farallon is loaded with a number of great wines.  This restaurant has been around for a long time, and for those of you that have forgotten about this gem, we highly recommend you pay a visit to this establishment.

 

VINOSERVANT’S TOP WINE VALUES AT FARALLON

 

Sparkling Wines

35 selections that range in price from $45 to $725

 

Roederer Estate, Anderson Valley, Brut Rose, Non-Vintage | $56 | 2.4x | WS 91

2008 Schramsberg, Blanc de Noirs, California | $70 | 2.5x

2006 Iron Horse, Ocean Reserve, Sonoma County, Brut | $79 | 1.7x | WS 87 | TP

Pierre Moncuit-Delos, Grand Cru, Blanc de Blancs, Non-Vintage | $95 | 2.4x | WS 91

Bruno Paillard, Premiere Cuvee, Non-Vintage | $98 | 2.2x | WA 89 | TP

 

White Wines

 190 selections that range in price from $34 to $1,200

 

2010 Qupe, Santa Ynez Valley, Marsanne-Roussanne | $44 | 2.2x

2010 Vietti, Roero, Piemonte, Arneis | $46 | 2.5x | WA 89

2011 Etude, Carneros, Pinot Gris | $49 | 2.2x

 

2010 Benito Santos, Rias Biaxas, Albarino | $38 | 2.2x | TP

2010 Hendry Vineyard, Napa Valley, Albarino | $45 | 2.2x

2010 Do Ferreiro, Rias Baixas, Albarino | $56 | 2.2x | TP

 

2011 Frog’s Leap, Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc | $45 | 2.5x

2010 Twomey Cellars, Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc | $50 | 2.0x | WE 90 | TP

2010 Merry Edwards, Russian River Valley, Sauvignon Blanc | $60 | 2.0x

2010 Domaine Vacheron, Loire Valley, Sancerre | $65 | 2.3x

 

2010 Paul Pernot, Bourgogne Blanc | $54 | 2.4x | BURG 86

2009 Michel Bouzereau, Bourgogne Blanc | $58 | 2.1x | BURG 86 | TP

2009 Chateau La Nerthe, Chateauneuf-du-Pape  $115 | 2.1x | WA 92

2007 Morey-Blanc, Corton-Charlemagne, Grand Cru | $195 | 1.6x | WS 94 | TP

 

Red Wines

292 selections that range in price from $40 to $1,895

 

2009 Londer Vineyards, Anderson Valley, Pinot Noir | $48 | 1.9x | WS 90 | TP

2008 Freestone (Joseph Phelps), Sonoma Coast, Pinot Noir | $56 | 1.6x | WS 88 | TP

2009 Melville, Estate, Santa Rita Hills, Pinot Noir | $62 | 2.2x | WA 91

2010 Rex Hill, Willamette Valley, Pinot Noir | $65 | 2.2x

2004 Londer, Paraboll, Anderson Valley, Pinot Noir | $70 | 1.4x | WS 86 | TP

2009 Brewer-Clifton, Santa Rita Hills, Pinot Noir | $70 | 2.3x | WA 92

2009 Merry Edwards, Russian River Valley, Pinot Noir | $86 | 2.0x | WS 91

2008 Littorai, Platt Vineyard, Pinot Noir | $135 | 1.8x | IWC 91

2002 Meo-Camuzet, Clos de Vougeots, Grand Cru | $420 | 1.3x | WS 94

 

2009 Quivira, Wine Creek Ranch, Dry Creek Valley, Grenache | $55 | 2.2x | TP

2007 Jean-Louis Chave, Offerus, Saint Joseph | $58 | 2.4x | IWC 90

2007  Perrin, Vacqueyras, Les Christins | $62 | 2.2x | WS 90  | TP

2008 Domaine Les Pallieres, Terrasse du Diable, Gigondas | $78 | 2.2x | IWC 91 | TP

2001 Patrick Jasmin, Cote Rotie | $125 | 1.8x | WA 90 to 92

 

2006 Cantina Terlano, Lagrein, Greis Reserva, Alto Adige | $64 | 2.4x | WA 87

2009 Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona, Rosso di Montalcino | $50 | 2.1x | WA 89 | TP

2009 Uccelliera, Rosso di Montalcino | $65 | 2.4x | WA 90

2007 Giacomo Mori, Riserva, Chianti | $75 | 2.3x | WA 90 | TP

2008 Fattoria di Fubbiano, I Pampini, Rosso Toscana | $85 | 2.1x

 

2001 Senorio de P. Pecina, Reserva Rioja $68 | 2.3x | TP

 

2001 Reserve de la Comtesse | $95 | 1.6x | WA 88 | TP

 

Sparkling Wines

 

Roederer Estate, Anderson Valley, Brut Rose, Non-Vintage

Retail Price: $23 at JJ Buckley

  • $56 at Farallon | 2.4x

91 points Wine Spectator: Lush and rich, with bright cherry and red apple aromas and layered flavors of raspberry and cinnamon that finish on a note of crisp minerality. Drink now through 2014. – TF

 

2008 Schramsberg, Blanc de Noirs, California

Retail Price: $28 at The Wine Stop

  • $70 at Farallon | 2.5x

Winemaker’s Notes: The 2008 Blanc de Noirs has lively aromas of apricot and persimmon, which gracefully lead to nuances of honey and lemon. The fruitful nose is complemented by vanilla spice and candied almond. The palate offers crisp and tart flavors of orange and lime rind, supported by a touch of roasted coffee. The finish is long and lingering. Alcohol 12.7%.

 

2006 Iron Horse, Ocean Reserve, Sonoma County, Brut

Retail Price: $47 Average Price Wine-Searcher

  • $79 at Farallon | 1.7x

87 points Wine Spectator: This vibrant, zesty white features aromas of lemon tart and spice, which follow through to crisp flavors of tart apple and mineral. Drink now. 800 cases made. –TF

 

Pierre Moncuit-Delos, Grand Cru, Blanc de Blancs, Non-Vintage

Retail Price: $40 at Berkeley Wine Co.

  • $95 at Farallon | 2.4x

91 points Wine Spectator: This subtle, refined Champagne shows pretty flavors of fresh apple, toast, gingersnap and candied lemon peel. Lightly honeyed and juicy, but the focused acidity provides a lip-smacking finish. Drink now through 2020. –AN

 

Bruno Paillard, Premiere Cuvee, Non-Vintage

Retail Price: $45 at Beltramo’s

  • $98 at Farallon | 2.2x

89 points Wine Advocate: The NV Brut Premiere Cuvee is a beautiful, understated wine. White fruit, flowers and ash are some of the nuances that flow from this wiry, vibrant Champagne. The Premiere Cuvee is 33% Chardonnay, 45% Pinot Noir and 22% Pinot Meunier, but it is really the Chardonnay that seems to drive the balance in this year’s Premiere Cuvee. Disgorged September 2010. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2017.

 

White Wines

 

2010 Qupe, Santa Ynez Valley, Marsanne-Roussanne

Retail Price: $20 at SF Wine Trading Company

  • $44 at Farallon | 2.2x

The Marsanne is grown at the Ibarra-Young and Purisima Mountain Vineyards. It is fermented in neutral barrels and blended with 15 – 20% Roussanne from Bien Nacido Vineyard that is fermented in one year old barrels. This wine exhibits flinty, mineral flavors with peach pit, citrus and hazelnuts followed by a honeyed finish.

 

2010 Vietti, Roero, Piemonte, Arneis

Retail Price: $18 at Artisan Wine Depot & $20 at K&L Wines

  • $46 at Farallon | 2.5x

89 points Wine Advocate: The 2010 Arneis shows terrific intensity in this vintage. Sweet floral notes wrap around the fruit from start to finish in this engaging Arneis. The 2010 impresses for its textural depth and fine overall balance. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2013.

 

2011 Etude, Carneros, Pinot Gris

Retail Price: $22 at Beltramo’s

  • $49 at Farallon | 2.2x

Winemaker’s Notes: This Etude Pinot Gris opens with inviting aromas of white stone fruit, honey suckle and jasmine. The pure flavors of white peach, nectarine and Meyer lemon carry over on the palate and mingle with subtle lemon-lime notes. Crisp acidity opens up to reveal minerality that keeps the wine lifted, focused and refreshing.

 

2010 Benito Santos, Rias Biaxas, Albarino

Retail Price: $17 at K&L Wines

  • $38 at Farallon | 2.2x 

Description from K&L: ZIP. Not zip as in zero, or zilch, but rather to describe the focused, linear quality of this awesome white. Aromatically, this pristine expression shows citrus, stone fruits, apple, and a reserved, classy minerality that brings Muscadet to mind. Not a hint of peachy, banana-y starter Albariño qualities here. Same exact thing on the palate. In a word: ZIP. If you think you know Albariño and want to further explore the variety, Benito Santos’ offerings would be a terrific place to start. Benito Santos was one of the original growers in Rias Baixas when the D.O. was created. The company that now bears his name farms Albariño in three distinct vineyards in Salnés. Each of the vineyards is owned by the church and each is dominated by an 8th century chapel. Benito Santos leases the vines in perpetuity. All of the vines are certified organic by CREAGA, the first vineyards certified in Galicia.

 

 

2010 Hendry Vineyard, Napa Valley, Albarino

Retail Price: $20 Average Price Cellar Tracker

  • $45 at Farallon | 2.2x

Winemaker’s Notes: Soft, pretty, peachy-floral aromas. Smooth and silky on the palate, with tangy pink grapefruit, lime and lemon flavors stretching out the finish. A natural with shellfish of any kind, but especially fresh, briny oysters on the half shell. Palate cleansing, refreshing warm-weather wine. 575 cases produced. Alcohol 13.5%.

 

2010 Do Ferreiro, Rias Baixas, Albarino

Retail Price: $25 at K&L Wines

  • $56 at Farallon | 2.2x

Description from K&L: Do Ferreiro is a benchmark Albariño. Every year, it delivers the goods, showing a degree of aromatic complexity, nervy minerality, and pure intensity of flavor that always makes it stand out from the rest. Delicious upon release, it is also one of the few albariños to improve in bottle for up to a decade (maybe longer?) beyond the vintage year. 2010 finds this property, who farms their prime vineyards organically and always only employ native yeasts in the fermentations, in top form. Propriertor Gerardo Mendez believes that this is quite possibly the best Do Ferreiro he has ever made. And the wine is terrific – truly nervy and mineral, and in fine fighting form. There is bright fruit intermingling with the classic Do Ferreiro salty/smoky mineral bite. Enjoy this wine on its own or with all types of seafood, even with a hearty bean soup this would be terrific.

 

2011 Frog’s Leap, Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc

Retail Price: $18 at K&L Wines

  • $45 at Farallon | 2.5x

Winemaker’s Notes: This is a dry wine of substantial scale that carries itself well, as it retains a delicacy to complement food, not overwhelm. The alcohol is kept low, the acidity high, and the flavors crisp and refreshing. Alcohol 12.8%.

 

2010 Twomey Cellars, Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc

Retail Price: $25 at Wine.com

  • $50 at Farallon | 2.0x

90 points Wine Enthusiast: Brilliant acidity gives this wine a clean raciness that so many Sauvignon Blancs lack. It has ripe, forward flavors of lemons, limes, apricots, peaches and honey, but despite the richness is dry and minerally.

Winemaker’s Notes: Our 2010 Twomey Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc has a light straw-yellow color and a dynamic nose of honeydew melon, citrus blossoms, white jonquil, guava, custard apple and pie crust. It has beautiful acid balance, great mouthfeel without heaviness and a long clean finish redolent of lime zest and mascarpone. Alcohol 13.4%

 

2010 Merry Edwards, Russian River Valley, Sauvignon Blanc

Retail Price: $30 @ the Winery

  • $60 at Farallon | 2.0x

92 points Wine Spectator: Smooth and silky, with spicy details of nutmeg and quince joined by pure, ripe honeydew melon and cantaloupe flavors. Pear, lemon zest and apricot notes are elegant, lithe, and wonderfully juicy on the finish.

 

2010 Domaine Vacheron, Loire Valley, Sancerre

Retail Price: $28 at Beltramo’s

  • $65 at Farallon | 2.3x

Winemaker’s Notes: A vibrant, 100% organic/biodynamic Sauvignon Blanc from a mix of flint and chalk soils in the heart of Sancerre. Aromas suggest grapefruit zest and gunflint; in the mouth the wine is pure and fresh, with plenty of mineral energy and citrus flavors. Indispensable with fresh oysters or young goat cheese. The Vacheron family is one of the older and certainly most respected producers of organic wines in the Loire Valley. Alcohol 12.5%.

 

2010 Paul Pernot, Bourgogne Blanc

Retail Price: $22 at Beltramo’s

  • $54 at Farallon | 2.4x

86 points Burghound: An expressive nose of citrus, pear and a soft floral note introduces round, generous and agreeably rich flavors that possess a silky texture and fine length on the lemon-infused and balanced finish. This forward effort is not overly complex but it is certainly delicious.

 

2009 Michel Bouzereau, Bourgogne Blanc

Retail Price: $28 at Napacabs

  • $58 at Farallon | 2.1x

86 points Burghound: A very fresh and appealingly bright nose of white flower, straw and nut nuances leads to round and fleshy flavors that are quite forward, indeed to the point that this could easily be drunk and enjoyed now. There is a slight touch of warmth on the vibrant finish but overall, this is quite pretty for what it is.

 

2009 Chateau La Nerthe, Chateauneuf-du-Pape 

Retail Price: $55 at K&L Wines

  • $115 at Farallon | 2.1x

92 points Wine Advocate: Even better (probably due to its additional year of bottle age), the 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc is composed of 46% Grenache Blanc, 45% Roussanne and the rest Clairette and Bourboulenc. Abundant notes of honeysuckle, candle wax, ripe melons, pears and pineapple confiture are present in this full-bodied, evolved, quickly maturing white. The 2010 has a decade of life ahead of it, and the 2009 should last 5-6 years. One of Chateauneuf du Pape’s classic estates, Chateau La Nerthe’s 225+ acres are all located in the southeastern quadrant of the appellation. A property that can trace its history back to 1560, La Nerthe was also one of the first estate bottlers. It was acquired by the Richard family in 1985, and they immediately turned this once run down estate around. Long-time manager, Alain Dugas, has quietly slipped into retirement, turning the estate over to his assistant, Christian Voeux. La Nerthe’s two white Chateauneuf du Papes are among the classics of the appellation.

 

2007 Morey-Blanc, Corton-Charlemagne, Grand Cru

Retail Price: $119 Average Price Wine-Searcher

  • $195 at Farallon | 1.6x

94 points Wine Spectator: Fresh and lively, this white exudes mineral notes, along with lemon, apple and spice flavors. Tensile and precise, with harmony and a long aftertaste of toast and mineral. This should develop brilliantly. Best from 2014 through 2030. 30 cases imported. –BS

 

Red Wines

 

 

2009 Londer Vineyards, Anderson Valley, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $25 at SF Wine Trading Company

  • $48 at Farallon | 1.9x

90 points Wine Spectator: Elegant and detailed, with dried berry, spice and mineral flavors, this medium-weight red is successful for its subtle flavor notes. Drink now through 2016. 1,532 cases made. –JL

 

2008 Freestone, Sonoma Coast, Pinot Noir – Joseph Phelps

Retail Price: $35 at Napacabs

  • $58 at Farallon | 1.6x

88 points Wine Spectator:  A wine for the cellar that’s very tight and structured, with dried berry, loamy earth, cedar, tobacco and sage notes. Full-bodied, with good acidity and tannins. Best from 2012 through 2020. 3,900 cases made.

Winemaker Notes – This Pinot Noir is a selection of the best wines produced during the harvest. We selected the groups with the best balance of tannin, flavor concentration, aroma and acidity. The resulting blend offers hints of sandalwood, wild blackberry and balsamic reduction, dried tea leaves, and a melange of Indian spices. This wine is serious, yet restrained, and has a backbone of natural acidity, tannin and minerality to provide the structure necessary for aging.

 

2009 Melville, Estate, Santa Rita Hills, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $28 at JJ Buckley

  • $62 at Farallon | 2.2x

91 points Wine Advocate: The 2009 Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills makes for an excellent introduction to the wines of this appellation. It is a wonderfully fresh, vibrant wine graced with exquisite finesse and class. Sweet, floral notes reappear on the finish, adding lift and subtlety. This is classy juice. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2017.

 

2010 Rex Hill, Willamette Valley, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $30 at Wine.com

  • $65 at Farallon | 2.2x
  • $65 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.2x

Winemaker’s Notes: Beguiling aromatics of Bing cherries, ripe raspberries, huckleberries, pomegranate, violets sandalwood, earch and wood smoke develop into deeper notes of coffee, tobacco, cloves, black fruit and soft leather. The palate intrigues with red, blue and black fruit flavors, appealin spice and minerals framed by delicate, ripe tannins. The wine’s structure builds gradually through the mid-palate reflecting its intensity balance and potential for longevity. This wine is pure example of Oregon Pinot Noir from a classic vintage. Alcohol 13%.

 

2004 Londer, Paraboll, Anderson Valley, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $50 Average Price Wine-Searcher

  • $70 at Farallon | 1.4x

86 points Wine Spectator: Initial wild berry and blueberry flavors are tart and gritty, ending on a simpler note. Balanced, offering good acidity. Drink now through 2009. 417 cases made. –JL

 

2009 Brewer-Clifton, Santa Rita Hills, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $30 at JJ Buckley & $35 at K&L Wines – SOLD OUT

  • $70 at Farallon | 2.3x
  • $78 at Boulevard | 2.6x

92 points Wine Advocate: The 2009 Pinot Noir is a highly expressive wine. Sweet red fruit, herbs, licorice, dried flowers and mint are some of the notes that emerge from this mid-weight Pinot. The 100% stems come through in the wine’s aromatic profile and high-toned finish. This is a terrific introduction to the house style and a fabulous effort at this level. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2020. No one has done more to carry the banner for the Santa Rita Hills than Greg Brewer and Steve Clifton. Both together at Brewer-Clifton and separately in their other projects, Brewer and Clifton consistently deliver delicious wines that are also deeply thought provoking with regards to the potential these vineyard sites hold. The Pinots in particular are compelling.

 

2009 Merry Edwards, Russian River Valley, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $42 @ the Winery

  • $86 at Farallon | 2.0x

91 points Wine Spectator: This firm wine features tangy acidity but also ripeness that leads to berry pie. Full-bodied, elegant and balanced, very tight and vibrant, this is slow to unfold, but gains as it does.

 

2008 Littorai, Platt Vineyard, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $75 at Zachy’s

  • $135 at Farallon | 1.8x

91 points International Wine Cellar: Good medium red. Highly complex nose combines cherry, raspberry, spices, flowers, minerals, orange peel and sexy soil tones. Then supple and scented in the mouth, with subtle, delicate flavors of red fruits, tea and spices. Finishes with noteworthy grip and length…

 

2002 Meo-Camuzet, Clos de Vougeots, Grand Cru

Retail Price: $356 Average Price Wine-Searcher

  • $420 at Farallon | 1.3x

94 points Wine Spectator: Concentrated black cherry and black currant aromas and flavors mark this rich, full-bodied Pinot, whose purity of fruit is matched by a phalanx of ripe, integrated tannins. The flavor intensity is almost kirschlike. Fine length, but needs time to resolve its tannins. Best from 2007 through 2020. –BS

 

 

2009 Quivira, Wine Creek Ranch, Dry Creek Valley, Grenache

Retail Price: $25 at Artisan Wine Depot

  • $55 at Farallon | 2.2x

Winemaker’s Notes: This Grenache serves up a complex but undeniably “pretty” nose of dried strawberry spiked with fresh raspberry and pie cherry. Typical overtones of mild black pepper and roasted meat jus join in for added depth and complexity. Savory spice notes continue into the palate, where the ripe, even maturity of the 2009 vintage fruit is especially evident. With silky smooth tannins and beautifully integrated acid, the palate is at once light on its feet yet shows obvious structure and density, creating a wonderful sensation in the mouth. The savory/spice quality of this wine makes it stand up to richer foods, while its texture and elegance make it a good partner for lightly spicy ethnic cuisine or traditional southern French classics. We expect this wine to drink wonderfully upon release but also reward careful cellaring over the next 2-3 years, through 2013-2014

 

2007 Jean-Louis Chave, Offerus, Saint Joseph

Retail Price: $24 at The Wine House

  • $58 at Farallon | 2.4x
  • $60 at Quince | 2.5x

90 points IWC: Inky ruby. Powerful aromas of blackcurrant, dark cherry and olive, with a smoky undertone of dark chocolate and violet. Weighty dark berry and violet pastille flavors coat the palate, with velvety tannins providing shape on the back. Rich but not especially heavy, with very good finishing cling to the flavors of candied flowers and cracked pepper. This could only be syrah. (Jan/Feb 2010) 13.5% abv.

 

2007 Perrin, Vacqueyras, Les Christins

Retail Price: $25 at Fine Wine House & $28 at Wine.com

  • $57 at Le Colonial | 2.0x
  • $62 at Farallon | 2.2x

90 points Wine Spectator: Dark, with a nice juicy beam of blackberry and crushed red currant fruit backed by graphite and dark licorice notes on the finish. This fleshes out nicely in the glass. Rock-solid. Drink now through 2010. 4,580 cases made.

Winemaker’s Notes: The Vacqueyras les Christins comes from 20 acres that are leased by the Perrin family and managed by the Beaucastel team. The vineyards are within the commune of Sarrians, south of the Dentelles de Montmirail, between Carpentras and Vaison-la-Romaine, and the vines have an average age of 50 years. Clearly a wine from a warm place, with an amber hue and a rich texture, the nose is of morello cherries, flowers and licorice. On the palate it shows an unctuous texture and is rich and concentrated. Alcohol 14.5%.

2008 Domaine Les Pallieres, Terrasse du Diable, Gigondas

Retail Price: $36 at Solano Cellars

  • $78 at Farallon | 2.2x

91 points International Wine Cellar: Lively and precise on the palate, offering sweet strawberry and raspberry flavors and a hint of candied flowers that gains strength with air. Impressively elegant wine with lovely finishing clarity and spicy persistence.

Domaine les Pallieres is a centuries old estate in northern Gigondas, in the Rhone Valley, that was in 1998 acquired by the owners of nearby Vieux Telegraphe, Frederic and Daniel Brunier, and Kermit Lynch, the long-time Berkeley, CA, importer of French wines. The 334-acre estate includes 62 acres of vineyards, many of which were replanted and improved for the first years after the Bruniers and Lynch took over. The vineyards are planted to 80% Grenache Noir, 10% Syrah and Cinsault, 5% Clairette and 5% Mourvedre. About 80,000 bottle of the Gigondas are made annually. Les Pallieres also produces a rose.

 

2001 Patrick Jasmin, Cote Rotie

Retail Price: $68 Average Price Wine-Searcher

  • $125 at Farallon | 1.8x

90 to 92 points Wine Advocate: The 2001 Cote Rotie’s deep ruby color is accompanied by explosive aromas of sweet raspberry fruit intermixed with a hint of apricots (7-8% Viognier is added to the blend). Well-delineated and floral, with a cherry/raspberry fruit component beautifully displayed, this medium-bodied 2001 is not a blockbuster, but it wins the taster over with its delicacy and finesse. Anticipated maturity: 2004-2012.

 

2006 Cantina Terlano, Lagrein, Greis Reserva, Alto Adige

Retail Price: $27 at Solano Cellars

  • $64 at Farallon | 2.4x

87 points Wine Advocate: The 2006 Lagrein Riserva Gries is a big, burly wine loaded with dark fruit, leather and licorice. This bottling offers good length even if some slightly rough edges remain. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2012.

 

2009 Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona, Rosso di Montalcino

Retail Price: $24 at Artisan Wine Depot

  • $50 at Farallon | 2.1x
  • $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%.

2009 Uccelliera, Rosso di Montalcino

Retail Price: $27 at Bevmo

  • $65 at Farallon | 2.4x

90 points Wine Advocate: The 2009 Rosso di Montalcino is a gorgeous entry-level wine. Flowers, mint and tobacco add complexity to the layered fruit, while the focus shows considerable verve and minerality. This is a great achievement in 2009. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2017…I would be hard-pressed to name another grower who has made such huge strides in recent years as has Andrea Cortonesi. The artisan tradition of Montalcino is alive and well in this small, no-frills winery, while the wines have never been better.

 

2007 Giacomo Mori, Riserva, Chianti

Retail Price: $33 Release Price

  • $75 at Farallon | 2.3x

90 points Wine Advocate: The 2007 Chianti Riserva Castelrotto is 85% Sangiovese and 15% Merlot aged in French oak barrels. As readers can see, it is the estate’s more modern Chianti. The oak gives the Castelrotto a nice sense of volume, warmth and spiciness to complement the fruit. This is undoubtedly a very fine bottle, but I increasingly find the Mori wine I actually want to drink is the straight Chianti. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2020.

 

2008 Fattoria di Fubbiano, I Pampini, Rosso Toscana

Retail Price: $40 at SF Wine Trading Company

  • $85 at Farallon | 2.1x

Description from SF Wine Trading Company: 2008 Fattoria di Fubbiano “I Pampini” Rosso di Toscano (Sangiovese-Teroldego) IGT, Lucca, Tuscany. Are you ready? Marco calls this his “Super Tuscan”. I told him, it’s great juice that truly has no peer. You could go and buy one of those super dooper Tuscans, but hello…do I hear Cabernet and $150 per bottle. I thought so. This stands alone in the Tuscan world. Teroldego planted by Marco’s father in 1970. That’s part of the magic of “I Pampini”. Sangiovese, a perfect “pallet” grape from which to blend, is the rest of the magic. This is Marco’s idea and it’s brilliant. The rugged Teroldego is woven into the Sangiovese from the oldest vines on the farm and “kissed” with 20% French oak barrels from the Troncais. The rest is raised in Slovenian ovals. The wine is moving. Incredible color gives way to red fruits then tobacco, rose and spice. Think of a warm October day on the farm. In my 30 years in the wine business, I have never encountered such a personality from Tuscany like this. Makes you look differently at those “Super Tuscans” at four times the cost.

 

2001 Senorio de P. Pecina, Reserva Rioja

Retail Price: $30 at K&L Wines

  • $68 at Farallon | 2.3x

Description from K&L: 2001 is a great vintage in Rioja, and at Peciña their reserva shows this extra special deimension in terms of intensity and high quality raw material. Pedro Peciña, former vineyard manager at La Rioja Alta, is at the helm of this family bodega, assisted by his son Pedro. Like all their wines, this is 100% estate fruit, sourced primarily from around San Vicente with a bit of fruit coming from Labastida as well. Tempranillo forms the majority of the blend, with garnacha and graciano rounding things out. Stylistically, these are classic Rioja wines, aged in used American oak, racked twice a year, and with all the requisite warm, earthy, spicy, elegant berry fruit one can expect in classic, old school Rioja. As an added bonus, these vines are farmed with an expert hand, minimally sprayed, and are beautifully situated; many are on north facing slopes which in this part of Rioja is an ideal orientation. The wines are fermernted using only native yeasts, and show a real classic sense of style both in terms of the flavors and texture. These are amongst our favorite Spanish wines.

 

2001 Reserve de la Comtesse (2nd wine from Pichon Lalande)

Retail Price: $60 Average Price Wine-Searcher

  • $95 at Farallon | 1.6x

87 to 88 points Wine Advocate: The 2001 Reserve de la Comtesse, is a blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, and 11% Cabernet Franc. The wine was produced from 43% of the production and reveals complex aromas of cedar, tobacco, and black currants with a hint of chocolate in the background. A sweet attack is followed by a ripe, supple effort that should drink well upon release, and last for 10-12 years.

 

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