New Customers Save $30 off $100+* with code SEPTNEW30
New Customers Save $30* with code SEPTNEW30
*New customers only. Order must be placed by 9/26/2017. The $30 discount is given for a single order with a minimum of $100 excluding shipping and tax. Items with pricing ending in .97 are excluded and will not count toward the minimum required. Discount does not apply to corporate orders, gift certificates, or StewardShip membership fees. No other promotion codes, coupon codes or corporate discounts may be applied to order.
Offers a beautiful density of blueberry and blackberry fruit on the nose and palate. Impressive for its fruit structure and ripe tannins. Long and intense, with loads of new wood, but seems to hold together wonderfully. Best after 2012. 495 cases made.
Castello Romitorio’s beautiful Riserva Brunello delivers ripe fruit notes with inky consistency and elegant mineral tones framed around a core of solid red fruit. The wine is supple and very polished with impressive persistency on the finish.
The 2004 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is a dark brooding effort that emerges from the glass with warm notes of mocha, spices, dark fruit, licorice and tar. Rich and voluminous, the wine blossoms on the palate with tons of depth. Sweet notes from the French oak appear on the finish, but everything about this wine is totally seamless and elegant. Though delicious today, the 2004 Riserva is sure to improve in bottle. Sweet tobacco, incense and fennel add complexity on the close. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2024.
Castello Romitorio, a massive 12th century hilltop fortress in Montalcino, has since 1986 produced exquisite Tuscan wines, grappa and olive oil in the best traditions of the region. After acquiring the estate in 1984, artist Sandro Chia spent the next several years restoring Castello Romitorio and transforming its lands into vineyards. He promptly constructed a cellar on the castle's ground floor with the mosts advanced equipment on the market, with a keen respect however, for ancient techniques. To ensure the highest quality, he recently enlisted the expertise of the country's leading oenoologist, Carlo Ferrini.
With bold fruit flavors and accents of spice, Rhône red blends originated in France’s Southern Rhône valley and have become popular in Priorat, Washington, South Australia, and California’s Central Coast. In the Rhône itself, 19 grape varieties are permitted for use, but many of these blends, are based on Grenache and supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre, earning the nickname “GSM blends.” Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape are perhaps the best-known outposts for these wines. Other varieties that may be found in Rhône blends include Carignan, Cinsault, and Counoise.
In the Glass
The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache, which often forms the base of these blends, is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit, a plush texture, and often high levels of alcohol. Syrah supplies darker fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy, and meaty notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume as well as body, tannin, and a healthy dose of color. New World examples will lie further along the fruit-forward end of the spectrum, while those from the Old World taste and smell much earthier, often with a “barnyard” character that is attractive to many fans of these wines.
Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. Depending on the weight and alcohol level, these can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes—they play equally well with beef, pork, duck, lamb, or game. With their high acidity, these wines are best-matched with salty or fatty foods, and can handle the acidity of tomato sauce in pizza or pasta. Braised beef cheeks, grilled lamb sausages, or roasted squab are all fine pairings.
Some regions like to put their own local spin on the Rhône red blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin, and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or even Tempranillo make an appearance.