Antinori Solaia Vertical Tasting

Friday, July 31, 2020 - 07:30 PM

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'Wine makes the world a better place,"

Piero Antinori


And Wine Watch is definitely making the world a better place!  Check out all the great wine tastings we have coming up on the calendar over the next few weeks.  I am trying to keep us drinking at a very high level all summer long. 

So, when our good friend Erik from the Antinori Family suggested we host a vertical tasting of this iconic Tuscan producers’ top wine Solaia- I said how about the next available date we have in the wines bar.  Well if this seems like Deja-vu that is because we had to reschedule this event and you are getting this e-mail for the second time. 

Join us as we experience 7 vintages of Solaia back to the outstanding 2001 vintage along with several other wines from the Tignanello property on Friday, July 31st.   The fee for this tasting which includes dinner is $395 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail

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Antinori Solaia Vertical Tasting with Special Guest Erik Saccomani
Friday, July 31st, 2020
7:30 PM

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2016 Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva Tenuta Marchese

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2017 Antinori Tignanello
2016 Antinori Tignanello

2008 Antinori Tignanello Tuscany

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2001 Antinori Solaia Tuscany
2004 Antinori Solaia Tuscany
2008 Antinori Solaia Tuscany
2009 Antinori Solaia Tuscany
2011 Antinori Solaia Tuscany
2013 Antinori Solaia Tuscany
2016 Antinori Solaia Toscana

Charcuterie and Cheese Selections - Prosciutto di Parma Reggiano Parmesan
Tuscan White Bean Soup with Chiabatta Pecorino Crouton
Tuna Carpaccio with grilled wild mushrooms and Sage Aioli
 Cabernet Sauvignon Braised Beef Shortrib with Mole Natural Sauce and Vegetable Risotto
Sweet Corn Panna Cotta with a fresh blueberry Compote

The fee for this tasting which includes Dinner is $395 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail Please let us know when you make your reservations if you have any dietary restrictions and Chef Toni will be happy to accommodate you. 

A bit about Antinori:


When you’re on top it seems like everyone wants to knock you off but there is something about being the genuine article that makes it hard for others to make you look bad when you are so good.  Wine Watch has been promoting and selling the wines from the Antinori family of wineries from the day the doors opened here in 1983 and to this day the only thing that has changed is that there are a lot more Antinori wines to offer our Wine Drinking People.

We just celebrated our 32nd Birthday here at Wine Watch and I have had several people mention that I am not old enough to have founded the store that long ago as I was just entering my first year of high school and it is hard for me to believe that it was 17 years ago, May 1st 1989 that I bought the Wine Watch from its founder Jim Turner.

Jim was a legend here in the South Florida wine circles.  He was a triple threat, a wine merchant, sommelier at Cafe Maxx and was the senior staff writer for The Wine News magazine.  I can't take credit for creating our fantastic gift box presentation, it was Jim's attention to detail that was the mastermind behind one of the things that makes Wine Watch one of the most unique wine stores in the country.  We not only send you great wines in a beautiful presentation but we also have great information on these wines which our founder Jim Turner left us hundreds of winery profiles like this one below on the greatest producer from Italy, Antinori.

Of course things have changed a bit since Jim passed me the torch in 1998 so I have had to update these profiles over the years but Jim's talent as a wine writer is unadulterated in this sheet he penned about the Antinori winery.

Antinori - One of the greatest names in winedom

Antinori is indisputably the greatest name in Italian winedom" said Robert Parker in the December 1989 issue of The Wine Advocate, where Antinori was named one of the world's top twelve wine producers for 1989.  Although Parker's opinions carry considerable weight in the world of wine, he is not the first to praise Antinori.  In March of 1985 Piero Antinori was the subject of a cover story in The Wine Spectator, where he was dubbed "Chianti's Tastemaker".  Alexis Lichine who once said that "Quantity is the enemy of quality" would no doubt find it difficult to accept the fact that one of Italy's largest wine producers (production of the Antinori wines now exceeds well over one million cases annually) is also quite possibly her best!

The family of Piero Antinori has been making wine in Tuscany for over 600 years, but it was not until the early 1970's that the Antinoris began to make an impact on the future of Chianti and the future of Italian wine.  Italy's great wine renaissance, now underway for at least twenty years, really began with Antinori.  Under the leadership of its dynamic and innovative owner, fifty-five year old Piero Antinori, the Antinori winery sparked and then led Italy's quality revolution.  Back in the early 1970's, Americans thought of Chianti as light, acidic simple wines whose outstanding attribute was the finish - i.e. what you did with the bottle (use if for a candle holder) when you were finished.  Now Americans and the world are coming to understand that Chianti, especially Chianti Classico, can be as rich and as complex as some of the best Bordeaux and California red wines.  Antinori, himself, is a reticent man - reluctant to call himself a trendsetter.  When Antinori began making changes in the early 1970's, his peers in Tuscany chastised him and resisted his innovative ideas - they even ridiculed him.

One of Antinori's first innovations was the now famous Tignanello, first commercially produced in 1971.  Tignanello is made up mostly of the primary red grape of Chianti, Sangiovese, a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon (15%) and a tiny amount of Cabernet Franc (5%).  Tignanello was a radical departure for those times, for it was one of the first reds ever produced in the Chianti zone without the traditional addition to the blend of a required minimum amount of white wine.  This practice as well as a number of other now discredited traditions were the reasons Antinori also quit the Chianti Classico Consortium, the area's growers' association.  Antinori said: "We quit because everybody could put the same seal on their bottles as Antinori.  And the overall quality of their wines was not good."  Antinori believed that the reds of Chianti lacked the body and richness they once had because of changes in viticulture, vinification, and climatic conditions.  Even though Antinori considered the 100 year old formula of adding up to 30% white grapes to the Chianti blend established in the 1800's by Barone Ricasoli to be outdated, the rest of Chianti's producers followed it religiously.  "We came to the conclusion that it was practically impossible to produce any great wines in Chianti anymore."

Antinori and his winemaker, Giacomo Tachis, began refining his viticultural practices and cut the addition of white grapes to the minimum 10% - their Tignanello innovation junked the white grapes completely and replaced them with 10% Cabernet.  Antinori also introduced the concept of barriques - new Bordeaux barrels in which to age the wines.  In 1970 Antinori had 25 barrels - now he has over 5000.  He claims to be the largest user of small barrels in Italy.  Antinori admits that many of these changes were not new to the wine world.  He got his ideas from numerous trips to Bordeaux and to California, and Bordeaux's famous enologist, Emile Peynaud, often consulted with him.  That Antinori was right and his peers wrong is now established for the record; most of Antinori's former radical ideas are now part of Italy's new DOCG laws.

Antinori's Tignanello continued to grow in stature and international prestige.  Recent vintages of Tignanello have been outstanding, and the price has continued to escalate (new vintages have been released in excess of $50 a bottle.)   The success of Tignanello has had an enormous impact on other producers in Tuscany - there are now a number of Chianti producers who are experimenting with high priced blends.  In addition to Tignanello, Antinori produces an explosively rich and concentrated wine called Solaia, a blend of 75 % Cabernet Sauvignon,  20% Sangiovese and 5% Cabernet Franc.  In the past year Antinori released his first Cabernet based wine from Bolgheri, Guado al Tasso (where the Badger crosses the road)  this wine is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 10% Syrah, it may become the next Tignanello.   Antinori has experience with more grape varietals outside of the thousands of traditional Italian varietals than anyone else in Italy.

Antinori makes several different Chiantis all of which are Chianti Classico, meaning that they all come vineyards located in the historic epicenter of the Chianti region.  He used to make a straight Chianti from his Santa Cristina estate, but the ever watchful eye of Piero saw a trend toward varietal popularity in the world market and decided to give the main grape of Chianti its due.  Thus, the most inexpensive red wine in the portfolio, Santa Cristina became known as Sangiovese di Toscana (Sangiovese of Tuscany).  The other Chiantis are all some of the highest quality wines in their respective price range.  The most inexpensive wine is from the Badia a Passignano estate.  It is here where the Antinoris carry out many of the viticultural experiments that will take them into the 21st century.  When Piero purchased this property back in 1988, he kept the vineyards and use of the monastery cellar, but gave the abbey back to the Vallombrosan monks who had been ousted by the Italian government in the preceding century.  As a result, the monks were re-united with their thousand-year old mother-abbey for the first time in 121 years.  The next level up is the Chianti from their Villa Antinori estate.  This wine was first introduced by Piero’s father Niccolo in 1928 and it has become the benchmark for Chianti Classico Riserva.  Like all of his Chiantis and Super Tuscan wines they are only produced in vintages that yield grapes of excellent quality.  In 1992, the vintage was so poor the only red wine that Antinori made from his Chianti vineyards was Santa Cristina.  Not many people in the wine world are so quality minded- to let their pride stand in front of their checkbook.
Written by the Late Great Jim Turner 1998.

Other Wines from Antinori:

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2018 Villa Antinori Bianco Toscana
List Price: $14.25               Your Price: $12.54

Straw yellow in color with greenish highlights, the wine is elegant and delicate in its aromas, which recall fresh fruit, lemon, oranges, and grapefruit. The flavors are balanced, with good length and a savory finish and aftertaste.

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2016 Antinori Chianti Classico Peppoli
 Price: $24.75      Your Price: $21.78            Quantity in Stock: 18

Wine Watch Review: A classic style vintage from Tuscany, this wine displays light red berry fruit strawberry and red cherry with notes of mineral and red licorice spice. Smooth and balanced on the tongue with excellent underlying acidity leaving the tongue fresh with red berry fruit and light spice on the finish. VERY GOOD +

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2016 Antinori Villa Antinori Red Toscana
Price: $22.50       Your Price: $19.80

A blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah blend, this wine has not been called Chianti for over a decade, a very fruity bouquet red berry fruit with notes of tobacco spice, sweet herbs and some earthy nuance, very forward and seductive. Fresh red berry fruit on the tongue with soft silky tannins, a very approachable and lighter style but has nice balance and freshness echoing the nuance from the nose through the finish. Finish 35+ Very Good
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2016 Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva Tenuta Marchese
Price: $45.00       Your Price: $39.60

This rounded, full-bodied wine is the result of careful selection of the best Sangiovese and Cabernet grapes grown in the Tignanello vineyard. The wine is placed in new barriques where it completes malolactic fermentation by the end of the year and is aged in barriques for about 14 months. This is followed by 12 months maturing in the bottles.  A very concentrated bouquet with lots of red berry fruit fresh earth porcini mushroom and fine herbs very distinct Tuscan character.  Smooth and polished on the palate with a good amount of red berry fruit, dusty tannins and that distinct earthy character long layered finish.  Finish 45+  Excellent +

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2015 Antinori Badia A Passignano Chianti Classico Gran Selezione
Price: $52.50       Your Price: $46.20

An intense ruby red in color, the wine shows aromas both of fruit and the typical sensations of oak, which fuse harmonically and offer as well balsamic and graphite notes on the nose. The palate is rich, with supple and balanced tannins along with the vibrant freshness typical of Sangiovese. The finish and aftertaste are of notable persistence and repeat the notes of berry fruit first felt on the nose.

2017 Antinori Tignanello image

2017 Antinori Tignanello
List Price: $145.50             Your Price: $128.04          Quantity in Stock: 14

(95 points) Outer quote mark The 2017 Tignanello is dense, exotic and flamboyant. Red berry fruit, cherries in liqueur, blood orange, wild flowers and sweet spice are front and center in this sumptuous, racy Tignanello that is likely to drink beautifully right out of the gate. The Antinori team has done a terrific job with the 2017, a year in which heat and dry weather took with them 30% of the production. (AG) 95+ Inner quote mark (8/2019) Vinous

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2008 Antinori Solaia Tuscany
Price: $450.00    Sale $396.00        Quantity in Stock: 6

(93 Points) The 2008 Solaia is richer and darker than the Tignanello, but it isn’t an appreciably more complex or complete wine. It shows gorgeous depth and textural richness to match an expressive core of blackberry jam, smoke, scorched earth, crushed rocks and cassis. This is a beautiful wine, but not as great as I had hoped. The 2008 Solaia is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Sangiovese and 5% Cabernet Franc, aged in 100% new oak. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024.  Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

2009 Antinori Solaia Tuscany
Price: $412.50    Your Price: $363.00          Quantity in Stock: 11

(96 Points) The 2009 Solaia is one of the clear standouts of the vintage. Freshly cut flowers, raspberries, spices, mint and licorice burst from the glass as this fabulous, viscerally thrilling wine shows off its pure class. Today the oak is a bit prominent, but that won’t be an issue by the time the wine is ready to drink. In one of my blind tastings, the 2009 Solaia was flat-out great. There is no shortage of pedigree here. The 2009 has calmed down a little from its youth, when it was a much more exuberant wine, and has now begun to close down in bottle. Solaia is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Sangiovese and 5% Cabernet Franc from a single parcel within the Antinori family’s Tignanello vineyard. Anticipated maturity: 2019-2029.  Longtime winemaker Renzo Cotarella has done a fabulous job with the flagships Tignanello and Solaia in 2009. In my blind tastings the pedigree of those two wines in particular came through with notable eloquence. The 2010 Tignanello and Solaia are both thrilling at this stage. They could very well turn out even better than the 2009s. Readers may want to look at my short video on the 2010s from Antinori on our website. Wine Advocate #201, Jun 2012

2011 Antinori Solaia Tuscany
Price: $450.00    Sale $396.00
2011 Antinori Solaia (3 liter)
Price: $1537.50  Your Price: $1353.00

(91 points) I’m not fully convinced by the 2011 Solaia. It is a hedonistic and heady expression for sure, but it doesn’t come near the 97 points I awarded the 2010 vintage. In fact, the bouquet here is very ripe with thick tones of strawberry and blackberry folded within tobacco, leather and sweet spice. Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc offer flavors of rum cake and candied fruit. There’s a good amount of tannic firmness surrounded by thick extract and fleshiness. (ML) (10/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

2012 Antinori Solaia (3 liter)
List Price: $1537.50          Your Price: $1353.00
(95 Points) The 2012 Solaia is the ultimate comfort wine: It serves as a beautiful monument to the potential of Italian wine. Let me give you some context. My lukewarm review of the 2011 vintage caused some heads to turn. Happily, the previous vintage has served as a springboard for this current release. Both 2011 and 2012 come from hot climatic conditions, but these wines are very different in style and content. The 2011 heat softened the lines that make up the varietal identity of this celebrated Tuscan blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Sangiovese. Those lines are presented in sharp focus with the 2012 edition. The nose is redolent of dark berry, crushed mineral, plum, spice and touch of white pepper. The wine is integrated and seamless, but it speaks with a strong and articulate voice.  Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

2016 Antinori Solaia (3 liter)
Price: $2400.00  Your Price: $2112.00
2016 Antinori Solaia Toscana Magnum
Price: $1042.50  Your Price: $917.40
2016 Antinori Solaia Toscana
Price: $412.50    Your Price: $363.00          Quantity in Stock: 2

(100 points)  I fussed over scoring this wine more than I'd like to admit—tasting through three samples under different conditions at various intervals and testing my impressions blind against wines in its peer group. Most importantly, I tasted this 2016 vintage against the 2015 vintage over and over again. I confess to a few nights of restless sleep as a result. Ultimately, my decision to award 100 points to the 2016 Solaia came on impulse and with the most natural sense of purpose. I had also given the 2015 vintage a perfect score, and intellectually, it seemed impossible not to pick a favorite among these two stunning expressions. I will also state, outright, that the wines are very different, principally because the 2015 vintage shows more overall opulence and sweetness that extends to the pronounced textural richness of the mouthfeel. The 2016 vintage, on the other hand, is more chiseled and sharp with mineral shadings of campfire ash and graphite at the rim of its dark fruit. The mouthfeel is more streamlined and tight at its core, suggesting that the wine will unfold and soften beautifully with time. I feel like 2015 is the Dolce & Gabbana of the situation and the 2016 is the Armani Privé. The personalities of the two wines are distinct, yet my admiration for each is identical.Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 09/2019

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2017 Antinori Guado al Tasso Scalabrone Rose
List Price: $21.00               Your Price: $18.48

A light peony pink in color, the 2017 Scalabrone offers aromas and flavors of ripecherry and raspberry along with subtle hints of herbs. This fresh wine balancesbeautiful fruit flavors with vibrant acidity and length.

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2018 Antinori Tenuta Guado Al Tasso Vermentino Bolgheri
Price: $21.50       Your Price: $18.92

The wine is characterized by its luminous straw yellow color, by a nose which shows, along with mineral notes, the floral ad citrus aromas typical of the Bolgheri area. It is a fresh, crisp wine, balanced and with a lengthy finish and aftertaste.
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2018 Antinori Tenuta Guado al Tasso Il Bruciato
Price: $24.75       Your Price: $21.78            Quantity in Stock: 30

(92 Points) The Tenuta Guado al Tasso 2018 Bolgheri Rosso Il Bruciato is a steal at this price point. Indeed, this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah has consistently affirmed its very reputation on the fact that it so effortlessly hits that sweet spot between value and quality year after year. The wine opens to soft, supple fruit with blackberry and blackcurrants backed by spice, leather and tobacco. The aromas are fresh, fruit-forward and very inviting. The sweet succulence of the wine immediately invites a pairing with marinaded or barbecued meats slow-cooked over embers. In terms of mouthfeel, Il Bruciato is designed to be approachable and most importantly: food friendly. You can't go wrong here. I notice that the integration of fruit is particularly well-managed in this cooler vintage. Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

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2015 Antinori Guado Al Tasso Merlot Cont Ugo Bolgheri
Price: $58.50       Your Price: $51.48

This is 100% Merlot from three parcels and 2011 was the first vnitage this wine has a good amount of ripe plum and sweet herbs on the nose, very appealing bouquet.  A big and fruity wine with lots of sweet plum and cherry fruit on the tongue plush velvety texture with excelletn freshness through the finish wonderful balance and length on the finish.  Finish 45+  Excellent +

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2003 Antinori Guado al Taso Bolgheri
Price: $150.00    Your Price: $132.00

(91 Points) Tenuta Belvedere is the Antinori family's estate in Bolgheri. The property is vast, with over 300 hectares under vine, some of which I was able to visit with Allegra Antinori, who shares a similar passion for the pigs she raises on the estate's grounds. Winemaking is overseen by Renzo Cotarella. The 2003 Guado al Tasso opens with a lovely nose redolent of spices and flowers followed by layers of sweet dark fruit, toasted oak and chocolate that reveal themselves in the glass. Still intensely backward, it presents hard tannins that should soften somewhat in the bottle. This blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 15% Syrah and other varietals spent 14 months in 100% new French oak. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2019.  Wine Advocate

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2006 Antinori Guado al Taso Bolgheri
Price: $150.00    Your Price: $132.00

(91 points) Antinori’s 2006 Guado al Tasso is a dark, sensual beauty imbued with the essence of black pepper, earthiness and dark fruit. Today the wine remains quite fresh and in need of further bottle age. As outstanding as the Guado al Tasso is, it doesn’t quite have the level of fleshiness and depth that is found in so many wines from Bolgheri in 2006. Guado al Tasso is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Syrah. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2022. From top to bottom this is a beautiful set of wines from Antinori.  (8/2009) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

2009 Antinori Guado Al Tasso Bolgheri
List Price: $150.00             Your Price: $132.00

(98 Points) This is a landmark wine from a landmark vintage. The blend is Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, which results in a generous, striking and unforgettable product. The bouquet is elegant and toned, with aromas of dark fruit, tobacco and chocolate. The mouthfeel is tight and firm, and it boasts persistence and impressive balance. It has all of the qualities required for long-term aging, so keep this for 10 years or more. Cellar Selection. Wine Enthusiast


2016 Antinori Guado al Tasso Bolgheri
Price: $123.75    Your Price: $108.90

The Guado al Tasso estate’s most characteristic geographic feature is the Bolgheri Amphitheater, a beautiful plain encircled by rolling hillsides that faces the Tyrrhenian Sea. The shape of the territory creates a unique microclimate with beneficial temperature fluctuations. The estate’s vineyards are located at the foot of the amphitheater, an optimal position as cold nocturnal breezes cool down the vines. These particular climatic conditions give the grapes pronounced aromas and guarantee a perfect ripening of the berries.

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2018 Antinori Bramito del Cervo Chardonnay Umbria
Price: $22.50       Your Price: $19.80

Bramito is produced from the vineyards surrounding the medieval castle at Castello della Sala. One variety that thrives in this terroir is Chardonnay. The vineyards are on soils rich in fossil deposits with veins of clay that give the wine minerality and elegance.

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2018 Antinori Cervaro della Sala Umbria
Price: $60.00       Your Price: $52.80

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2018 Marchesi Antinori Pian Dell Vigne Rosso Di Montalcino
Price: $27.00       Your Price: $23.76

Quintessential Sangiovese with light red berry fruit, pretty floral highlights along with red licorice spice and smooth round tannins.
2014 Antinori Pian delle Vigne Brunello Di Montalcino image

2014 Antinori Pian delle Vigne Brunello Di Montalcino
Price: $72.00       Your Price: $63.36

(91 points) The 2014 Brunello di Montalcino Pian delle Vigne works very nicely all said and done. It presents the light and undertone character of the vintage against the ripe and more opulent style that is associated with this vineyard site at the lower parts of southern Montalcino. These two elements result in a balanced and forthright performance. The wine opens to a dark garnet color and ripe aromas of dark cherry and blackberry followed by potting soil, rose bud and grilled herb. Some 150,000 bottles were made. Monica Larner, Wine Advocate Jan 2019
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2017 Tormaresca Calafuria Rose
List Price: $15.00               Your Price: $13.20

Our Wines - Tormaresca Chardonnay Puglia IGT 2018 - 100% Chardonnay

2017 Tormaresca Chardonnay Puglia
Price: $11.25       Your Price: $9.90

All stainless with pineapple citrus and a note of the sea, there are two estates in in Salento by the sea and then a bit north in Castel Del Monte, most ancient DOC of Puglia. Notes of sea shell mineral very clean and fresh, bright citrus on the nose white flowers, very pretty, a touch of Fiano in the mix. A light and refreshing Chardonnay with a bit of that briny mineral through the finish, pineapple citrus very juicy, a real crowd pleaser. Finish 35+ Very Good

2013 Tormaresca 'Neprica' Puglia - SKU

2013 Tormaresca Neprica Puglia
Price: $11.75       Your Price: $10.34

TASTING NOTES Color Intense ruby red. Aroma Notes of fresh red fruit (plums and cherries), of flowers (roses and violets), and spices (pepper and chocolate). Flavour A wine of good structure, crisp, supple, and elegant with a return of the notes of red fruit on the long finish and aftertaste.  .Negroamaro – Primitivo – Cabernet Sauvignon

Tormaresca Torcicoda Primitivo 2015 |

2015 Tormaresca Torcicoda Primativo Salento
List Price: $20.25               Your Price: $17.82            Quantity in Stock: 1

Tail twister, a stick to make a horse stand still 8-10 months in tonneux, this is lower alcohol and fresh alive fruit, dark cherry, black pepper and brown spices. Smooth and easy drinking style with ripe black cherry fruit and a nice freshenss to the finish, light spice and fine tannins. Finish 35+ Very Good

Tormaresca Salento Morgicchio Negroamaro 2012 |

2012 Tormaresca Morgicchio Negroamaro Salento
List Price: $22.50               Your Price: $19.80            Quantity in Stock: 6

The name refers to one of the beaches on the estate, the entire estate is 500 hecatares, a natural park and lots of other things other than the 280 hectares of vineyards. 100% Negromaro two grand cru wines one from each estate this is the second wine at the Salento property, , this wine spends 8-10 months in barrique. Dark plum and dark berry fruit, with notes of black licorice, spiced bouquet, dark coco and fresh black earth. Has nice structure on the tongue with some tannins here on the finish but ripe and round with a bit of a chalk, bitter coco on the finish. Finish 40+ Excellent

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