Castello dei Rampolla and Pecchenino Vias Italian Wine Tasting Tuscany Versus the Piedmont Thursday September 19th and this week's menu at the Wine Bar

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"At least once a day you should do something purely for enjoyment, and wine is my way of relaxing." - Young Uck Kim, Wine Collector

We try to do things that are relaxing more than once a day here at the Wine Watch… but that's just us...

We’re trying to keep our “Wine Drinking People” busy every Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at the Wine Bar.  This week we are only open on Thursday and Friday night at the Wine Bar as we have a private party on Saturday night.  We do have three events so if you want to come out and drink some excellent St. Emilion and Pomerol with us Saturday we have a few seats left for this event.  check out the Calendar of events for the complete line-up at  I have included the Wine Bar menu for this Thursday and Friday night at the bottom of this e-mail.

Thursday, September 12, 2019 - 7:30 PM

Soter Winery Oregon Wine Tasting with special guest winemaker James Cahill

Friday, September 13, 2019 - 7:30 PM

Bordeaux Tasting with Special Guest Laura DePasquale MS

Saturday, September 14, 2019 - 7:30 PM

Saint Emilion and Pomerol Tasting - Clash of the Titans of Merlot



Italy has some of the world’s greatest wines in both the white and red category and if you want to find the best wines from Italy just look at the back of the bottle and see who the importer is.  One of the best importers of Italian wines in the USA is Vias Imports.  Over the years we have sold many bottles of wine from this great importer and when our good friend Alberto Prealoni suggested we put together a tasting with two of their top wineries Castello Dei Romitorio and Pecchenino I immediately put a date on the calendar to taste the new releases from these two outstanding properties.  I have included a few older vintages from Castello Dei Rampolla that we have in the store to show how well these wines can age in your cellar.

This tasting is $125 per person and includes dinner and gratuity, only tax is additional.  For reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail

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Castello dei Rampolla and Pecchenino Vias Italian Wine Tasting

Tuscany Versus the Piedmont

Thursday, September 19th


Image result for Castello Dei Rampolla Chianti Classico 2016

Castello Dei Rampolla Chianti Classico 2016

Price: $34.50    Sale $30.36

(93 Points) The 2016 Chianti Classico impresses for the heightened level of vibrant freshness and aromatic precision that distinguishes it in a large playing field. Proprietor Maurizia di Napoli tells me that the 2016 growing season was not without its ups and downs. Farming was difficult, and not all sites came to ripeness with the same consistency because it was cooler toward the end of the growing season. Castello dei Rampolla avoids the use of sulfites in winemaking. However, these results are stunning, especially as this is positioned as a more affordable wine. The blend is 85% Sangiovese, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Merlot Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

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Castello dei Rampolla Sammarco 2014

Price: $105.00    Sale $92.40

(94 Points) The 2014 Sammarco was bottled in August and will be released in January 2019. The blend is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Sangiovese. At this young stage, the wine already offers an impressive array of complex aromas with dark berry, spice and grilled herb neatly overlapping. Those tones are delivered with perfume-like grace and intensity. This vintage is streamlined and compact in terms of mouthfeel, and those youthful tannins remind us that this wine will award the best results to those who have the patience to wait. Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Castello Di Rampolla Sammarco Tuscany 2000

Price: $130.00    Sale Price: $105.00           Quantity in Stock: 14

(90 points)" Fascinating berry, incense and floral aromas. Full-bodied, with silky tannins. Really kicks in on the fresh, bright finish. Sangiovese and Cabernet. Best after 2005. " (10/2003) Wine Spectator

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Castello dei Rampolla Vigna D'Alceo 2014

Price: $219.75    Sale $193.38

(94 Points) Fruit for this wine always comes from the same vineyard site, and production was heavily reduced in this difficult vintage. If an average year sees 13,000 bottles made, only 6,200 bottles were made of the 2014 d'Alceo. This wine shows beautiful brightness and linearity with a polished, almost glossy texture that feels like silk on the palate. The wine is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with a smaller part Petit Verdot. It offers a mid-weight texture with balanced tannins and acidity to seal the deal. Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Castello Dei Rampolla Vigna D'Alceo 2012

Price: $219.75    Sale $193.38

(97 Points) A focused, balanced style, evoking pure cherry, raspberry, mineral and floral aromas and flavors, this is elegant and fluid yet dense and well-structured, ending with lively acidity and dusty tannins. The finish goes on and on. Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2025. Wine Spectator

2001 Castello Dei Rampolla Vigna D'Alceo Tuscany

Price: $225.00    Your Price: $198.00          Quantity in Stock: 5

(95 Points) There can be few doubts that the 2001 D’Alceo is one of the greatest wines in the distinguished history of the estate, something which becomes immediately evident from the deep ruby color as well as the sweet, focused, and weighty nose with its important notes of ripe berry fruit, sage, rosemary, and classy oak. Rich, dense, deep, and layered, the sensual and potent palate is sheer joy, the maximum in fused power and elegance. Wine Advocate #152, Apr 2004



Langhe Maestro Bianco DOC

Pecchenino Maestro Bianco 2017

Price: $24.75    Sale $21.78

A blend of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Sauvignon Blanc fermented in stainless and aged 9 months in French oak barriques plus 4 months in the bottle before the release. The bouquet on the nose is rich, round and buttery. Fresh, aromatic, and zingy. Sauvignon Blanc brings a crisp acidity and lively aromatics.

(88 Points) “Fresh and juicy, this offers peach, apple and lemon aromas and flavors. Mouthwatering acidity keeps this focused and long. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Drink now. 583 cases made.” Wine Spectator

Siri d’Jermu Dogliani Superiore DOCG

Pecchenino Dolcetto Siri D'jermu 2016

Price: $25.50    Sale $22.44

Fermented in Stainless steel and aged for 12 months in big French oak barrels plus 6 months in the bottle before he release.  Intense bouquet of ripe fruits with notes of currants, blackberries and black cherries.

San Giuseppe Barolo DOCG

Pecchenino Barolo San Giuseppe 2015

Price: $57.00    Sale $50.16

Fermented in Stainless steel and aged for 24 months in big French oak barrels plus 6 months in the bottle before he release.  The bouquet on the nose is intense and complex with notes of ripe currants and raspberries accented by hints of truffle and violet.  The flavor is elegant and balanced with a good body. Soft tannins and a long fruity finish

Bussia Barolo DOCG

Pecchenino Barolo Bussia 2013

Price: $72.75    Sale $64.02

Fermented in Stainless steel and aged for 36 months in Slavonian oak casks of 25 Hl, plus 6 months in the bottle before the release.  The bouquet on the nose is intense and complex with notes of violet, red berries, like raspberry and currant, and more deep aromas of licorice, mint and spices.  On the palate it is rich, full bodied, with a great structure, firm and velvety tannins, and a persistent finish.

(93 Points) “Leads off with scents of graphite, mineral and menthol, giving way to flavors of cherry and black currant. Dense and powerful, with big, dusty tannins guarding the finish for now. Needs time. Best from 2022 through 2045.” Wine Spectator

Le Coste di Monforte Barolo DOCG

Pecchenino Barolo Le Coste 2013

Price: $66.00    Sale $58.08

Fermented in stainless steel and aged for 36 months in big French oak barrels plus 6 months in the bottle before he release.  Intense bouquet of ripe fruits, such as currants and raspberries with hints of violet.  The flavor is balanced with silky, sweet tannins, an excellent structure and a long finish.


Charcuterie Selection: Bresaola Sweet Aromatic Dried Cured Italian Beef & Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Salmon tartar with avocado and red pepper coulis

Bistecca alla Fiorentina with Red Wine Demi, Roasted Baby Potato’s and Rapini

Hazelnut Almond Biscotti with Grappa Whipped Creme


This tasting is $95 per person and includes dinner and gratuity, only tax is additional.  For reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail

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A bit about Pecchenino:

The Pecchenino family has worked in viticultural for over four generations and made the leap from small wine production to a winery of international recognition under the brothers Orlando and Attilio Pecchenino. Today, Pecchenino consists of 54 acres in Dogliani and an additional seven acres in Monforte. Focused on the production of high-quality Dolcetto, Nebbiolo and a few other select varietals, Pecchenino’s vines are painstakingly cared for by hand. In addition to its consistent high quality, Pecchenino distinguishes itself by being the only winery to produce Dolcetto aged in oak, resulting in Dolcetto wines with an aging potential of over 10 years.

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A bit about Castello dei Rampolla:

Since 1739, the di Napoli family has owned and managed the 13th-century estate of Castello dei Rampolla, which is situated near Panzano in the heart of the Chianti Classico zone. The legend at this historic property, however, is predominantly a contemporary affair, and, you could say, inspired by the pioneer Super-Tuscan, Sassicaia. After cultivating a vineyard in 1965, Alceo di Napoli was pretty content to sell most of the grapes he grew to the Antinori family. He would likely have continued to perform in this support role, but he was soon to emerge as his own mind behind, having fallen in love with a wine that Antinori’s then-enologist, Giacomo Tachis, was closely involved with—Sassicaia. This radical, Bordeaux-style wine introduced Alceo to Cabernet Sauvignon, a grape that was just getting its roots wet in Bolgheri’s complementary ground. Of course, things above the soil weren’t quite as accommodating, as Alceo was soon to learn.

He endured fierce criticism for advocating the synergy between the Panzano area of Chianti and Cabernet Sauvignon, but it took only the 1980 vintage debut of Sammarco—a predominantly Cabernet-based blend (featuring a small percentage of Sangiovese, and, in more recent vintages, Merlot) that he conceived with Giacomo Tachis—for Alceo’s conviction to be validated. While this Cab powerhouse is frequently positioned after its inspiration, Sassicaia, as well as Antinori’s Cabernet-based Solaia and Ornellaia, it nevertheless is a significant entity in the pioneering Super-Tuscan movement. Moreover, it is the original biodynamic Super-Tuscan: the estate’s conversion to a wholly biodynamic regimen transpired over the course of several years and has been in effect for over a decade now. The estate is also noted for its rigorous, uncompromising viticultural practices, which emphasize high-density planting and low yields. An artisanal mindset informs all phases of production.

Truth be told, however, Sammarco somewhat lost its position as the alpha of the house with the 1996 debut of fellow portfolio member Vigna d’Alceo. Conceived by Alceo’s son, Luca, in homage to his father, Vigna d’Alceo blends Alceo’s signature Cabernet Sauvignon with Petit Verdot. The latter’s contribution—unusual in the Super-Tuscan genre—renders d’Alceo more potent than the most power hungry of cult Cabernets, imparting a sleek and spicy dimension. Its intense marriage of opulence and power has effectually given it cult status, placing it in the realm of Masseto and Messorio. Today, Luca and his sister, Maurizia, continue to produce their father’s handcrafted wines in cooperation with Tachis. In addition to Vigna d’Alceo and Sammarco, the estate produces both a normale and riserva Chianti Classico, as well as a white dessert wine, Trebianco Vendemmia Tardina.

Older vintages of Castello Dei Rampolla Available”

2004 Castello dei Rampolla Vigna d'Alceo Toscana IGT

Price: $206.00    Your Price: $181.28          Quantity in Stock: 5

(96 points)  Displays gorgeous, focused aromas of blackberry, currant and sandalwood. Full-bodied and tightly wound, with velvety tannins and a long finish of mineral, light fresh rosemary and currant. Solid as a rock. *Collectibles* (JS) (10/2007) Wine Spectator

2007 Castello Dei Rampolla d'Alceo Tuscana

Price: $195.00    Your Price: $171.60          Quantity in Stock: 2

(98 points)  The 2007 d’Alceo shows none of the Sammarco’s early appeal. It is a dark, inward wine imbued with black fruit, roasted coffee beans, grilled herbs and licorice, all of which build effortlessly towards the huge, explosive finish. This exquisite d’Alceo will require significant patience. d’Alceo remains a model of the level French varieties can reach in Tuscany. In 2007 the blend is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Petit Verdot. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2032. (AG) (8/2011) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

2008 Castello dei Rampolla Vigna d'Alceo Toscana IGT

Price: $198.00    Your Price: $174.24          Quantity in Stock: 5

(96 points) The 2008 d’Alceo is a huge, inward, brooding wine. Plums, black cherries, camphor, incense and smoke emerge over time, but only with great reluctance. The 2008 is going to require considerable patience, but it is shaping up to be an absolute jewel. The d’Alceo is a wine of notable depth and purity, but it is very closed down at the moment. Dark red fruit, flowers, mint, spices, tar, cassis, graphite and camphor linger on the huge, structured finish. This is a towering effort from the Di Napoli family. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2033. (AG) 96+ (6/2012) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

This Week’s Menu at the Wine Bar

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White Truffle Oil & Parmesan Dusted Shoestring Fries                              


Shutty Fries - Montreal Seasoned Steak Fries


Veggie Pizza: Roasted Artichokes, Pecans, Shallots, Garlic, Mozzarella & Basil


Prosciutto Pizza:Roasted Chestnuts, Caramel Onions, Goat Cheese & Fresh Mint


Beef Sliders Creamy Mustard Relish Sharp Cheddar Brioche Buns


Burrata, Heirloom Tomato & Portobello Mushroom Stack Sundried Tomato-Caper Vinaigrette


*Tuna & Grilled Pineapple Ceviche: Spicy Coconut Milk & Fried Shallots


Grilled Octopus Greek Style Lemon-Parsley Vinaigrette


Soup & Sammie: Creamy Wild Mushroom Soup & Butter Grilled Brioche Sammie ( Gruyere-Gorgongola-Tolman)


Duck & Smoked Mozzarella Ravioli with Sundried Tomato –Basil Brown Butter & Reggiano Parmesan


Seared Foie Gras on Fried Banana Nut Bread Pudding Dark Rum Caramel Drizzle


Grilled Indonesian Prawns: Spicy Tomato & Black Garlic Risotto


Crispy Fried Chicken: Crème Fraiche Mash Blackberry BBQ Sauce


Duck Confit Lasagna: Wild Mushrooms, Herbed Ricotta, Red Wine Demi


Coffee Rubbed Kurobuta Pork Loin Chop: Cardamon Scented Sweet Potato Mash, Bourbon-Maple Syrup


6oz Bacon Fat Seared A5 Japanese Wagyu Strip Loin with Currant Demi  & Pomme Frits




Canales Bordeaux Sweet Apricot Syrup


Bananas Foster Bread Pudding: Brown Sugar-Rum Sauce & Pecan-Bacon Soil


Cheese and Charcuterie

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Meat Selections

$6/1 ounce serving

Prosciutto di San Daniele

Speck-Smoked Prosciutto



Coppa- Sweet

Sopressata- Picante

Bresaola- Italian Dried Wagyu

Tartufo-Black Truffle Salumi

Fenelli-Dry Fennel Salumi

Manzo -Wine Rind Wagyu Salumi  

NDUJA-Spicy Spreadable Salumi



Cheese Selections

$6/1 ounce serving

Gorgonzola Dolce-Super Soft


Turtle Creek Chevre Goat


Cranberry-Cinnamon Chevre Goat


ILE Brie-Soft Creamy Mild


Saint Andre-Triple Cream


Winey Goat- Creamy & Mild Goats Milk Bathed in Red Wine


Stilton Blue


Black Wax Asiago-Semi Soft Sharp


Daken Cheddar-Dill & Herb Rubbed


Mull of Kintyre Extra Sharp Cheddar


ALPS Blossom-Herb & Flower Crusted Ripe Cheddar


Barely Buzzed-Lavender & Cocoa Rubbed Cheddar


Vieux Chimay-Very Firm & Nutty


Comte-Raw Cow’s Milk


Alpha Tolman-Very Ripe Alpine Style Raw


Manchego- Raw 12 Month Aged-Sheep’s Milk


Reggiano Parmesan Aged 24 Months


Beemster Gouda-24 Month Aged



Wine By the Glass

----Sparkling and Rose Wines-----

NV Laurent Perrier Harmony Demi Sec Champagne

(7 Ounce Pour) Price: $16.75

NV Roederer Estate Brut Anderson Valley

(7 Ounce Pour) Price: $10.00

2017 Domaine De Pallus Messanges Rose Cabernet Franc Rose Loire Valley

 (7 Ounce Pour) Price: $8.75

----White Wines-----

2015 Halter Ranch Grenache Blanc Paso Robles

(7 Ounce Pour) Price: $8.50

2016 Karl Lagler Gruner Veltliner Burgberg Federspiel Austria

(7 Ounce Pour) Price: $9.75

2015 Chateau La Tour Carnet Blanc

(7 Ounce Pour) Price: $15.75

2015 Three Sticks Chardonnay Durell Vineyard

(7 Ounce Pour) Price: $20.00

2017 Jean Claude Bessin Chablis Valmur Grand Cru

(7 Ounce Pour) Price: $32.00

----Red Wines----

2017 Soter North Valley Pinot Noir Willamette

(7 Ounce Pour) Price: $10.50

Relais de la Dominique St. Emilion Grand Cru 2014

(7 Ounce Pour) Price: $11.75

2014 Matanzas Creek Merlot Sonoma Creek

(7 Ounce Pour) Price: $8.75

2016 Tenuta San Giusto a Rentennano Chianti Classico

(7 Ounce Pour) Price: $13.50

2016 Chateau Lanessan Haut Medoc

(7 Ounce Pour) Price: $9.75

2001 Chateau Angelus St Emilion Grand Cru

(7 Ounce Pour) Price: $135.00

---Fortified Wine----

1940 Cossart Vintage Sercial

(2 Ounce Pour) Price: $75

1934 Rutherford & Miles Verdelho RSV Madeira

(2 Ounce Pour) Price: $89.00

1900 D’Olivera Vintage Verdelho

(2 Ounce Pour) Price: $85

1927 Leacock Vintage Bastardo

(2 Ounce Pour) Price: $85

1920 Cossart Malmsey Madeira

 (2 Ounce Pour) Price: $115

1863 Blandy's Madeira Malvasia Solera

(2 Ounce Pour) Price: $89.00

1999 Blandy’s Madeira Malmsey Coleihta

(2 ounces) Price: $19.75

1907 Blandy’s Vintage Bual Madeira

(2 Ounce)  Price: $140.00

2013 Ramos Pinto LBV Port 

(3 Ounce Pour) Price: $8.50

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