2010 Fontodi Chianti Classico Vigna del Sorbo, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

In later vintages, this carries the Gran Selezione designation.  This is one of, if not the top Chianti.  It is better than most Brunellos.  Of course, it costs more than most Brunellos too.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  What a great nose.  A bit smokey with cherries, macerated cherries, some forest floor/tea leaves and slight spice.  Still tight and tannic on the palate.  It opens in the glass to show cherries, spice and black cherries.  This needs time for sure, maybe another three to five and it will be good for a decade or maybe two after that.  This is a great wine that can equal

2011 Erta di Spinelli Varno Risala Toscana IGT

This was a new wine for me.  Apparently, in some vintages it will have some Petit Verdot or other international varietals but in 2011 it was 100% Sangiovese.  They really nailed it in this very good if not great vintage.  Purple in color.  The nose is cherries with some sandalwood and slight vanilla.  Clean and bright if still young.  More open on the palate, but at the same time, this is quite tannic.  A very structured wine.  It needs some time flesh out but it is very deep and yet elegant at the same time.  Cherries, macerated cherries and slight coffee notes on the palate.  Good acidity

2012 Pian Delle Vigne (Antinori) Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Vigna Ferrovia, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Pop and pour, this was pretty tight, so the wine was decanted which helped.  Still, it probably needs five more years but has a couple of decades of life left.  Drank side by side with the regular 1999 version of this wine.  Ruby in color with some purple, lighter than the 99.  The wine in general, however, is a much bigger wine.  The nose is gorgeous with cherries, black cherries, sandalwood and dry Earl Grey tea.  On the palate, this is tightly wound, but it already shows great layering and complexity.  A wonderful texture; slippery yet bold if that makes sense.  Great acidity.  Long fini

1999 Antinori Pian Delle Vigne Brunello di Montalcino, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

This was decanted for sediment and then drink over a few hours.  This was drunk side by side with the 2012 Riserva which was interesting and fun.  This is a deep ruby with some purple at the core in color.  Darker than the 2012.  It seems to at peak right now.  Not showing old age but certainly mature, tannins resolved and getting close to sliding downhill.  The nose is earthy with damp tea leaves, cherries and just a hint of sandalwood.  Complex and layered with funk, forest floor and cherries.  Very good acidity.  Worked very well with food.  Nice finish.  This was probably never an amazi

NV Sean Thackrey Pleiades XI Old Vines, USA, California, Wine Review

Sean Thackrey is one of the world's great winemakers who hangs out in Bolinas California.  This is basically a field blend of what doesn't make his top Cuvees.  Although it is non-vintage, each Cuvee carries a Roman Numeral designate.  This is XI, but the current release is XXV.  This wine is approximately 16 years old and was really made to be drunk in the first few years.  Sometime, however, wines hide in the cellar only to provide a pleasant surprise later on.  It was originally claimed to be a blend of Syrah, Petite Syrah, Zinfandel, Sangiovese, Carignan, and Barbera, however, DNA testi

2010 Fattoria di Fèlsina Berardenga Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

One  of the best from Chianti.  This is a great wine.  It retails for under $50 which is expensive for Chianti but a great value for the quality offered.  Purple in color, ruby swirls.  The nose is great with cherries, tobacco, tea leaves, and a slight pine note.  With air, some cedar and earth emerge.  On the palate, this has firm tannins still.  Lots of dark cherry fruit layered with wet tea leaves (or maybe tobacco) and spice.  Deep and complex.  A strong backbone of acidity.  Long finish.  This is quite food friendly but especially meats and pasta.  Still young, this has at least 5 more

2015 Domaine Petroni Corse, France, Corsica, Wine Review

Made from a blend of Niellucci, Syrah and Grenache.  Nielluci is genetically identical to Sangiovese but to the Corsicans, it is a native grape.   Very interesting as Corsican wines often are.  The nose has raisins, and spice along with a bit of sweet red currants.  On the palate, this is quite tannic so perhaps it is just young and will develop.It has a sweet tart quality which is fun.  Raisined cherries with a slight chocolate note.  Long finish.  This retails for $16 and is probably more interesting than great, but it is solid.  Seemingly grown in hot conditions, it would work with or wi

2010 Renieri Brunello di Montalcino, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Deep ruby in color.  The nose has cherries, sandalwood and slight tea leaves.  Medium bodied.  Good not strong acidity.  On the palate, this is pretty close to peak but not quite.  Light tannins.  Good cherry flavor.  Plenty of depth.  Some layering of earth and fruit.  Nice finish.  Needs a bit more cellar time but quite nice.  

2010 Fontodi Flaccianello della Pieve Colli della Toscana Centrale IGT, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Love this wine but it is a monster that needs time or air.  i let a glass of this sit for over an hour for that purpose and that wasn't enough.  Still, its outstanding.  Purple in color.  The nose has cherries, dark cherries, sandalwood and tea.  On the palate, this has lots of fruit but not boisterous just intense.  Firm tannins.  Depth.  Great acidity.  Worked well with my pasta.  Long finish.  Needs probably another five to seven years and then should be good for another 15.  Or decant for eight hours now and enjoy over a meal.  Still some upside expected.