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Tenute Silvio Nardi Brunello di Montalcino 2008
I like the aromas of ripe fruit, smoked meat and orange peel. The wine is full-bodied, with chewy tannins that are dusty and ripe. Dense texture at the end. Needs a little more bottle age. Try in 2014.
The 2008 Brunello di Montalcino is lovely. Tobacco, dried herbs, cedar, plums and cloves are nicely layered in the glass. Firm yet well-integrated tannins support a mid-weight finish laced with expressive floral notes. In 2008 Nardi didn’t feel conditions were ideal to bottle their top two selections, so the Brunello includes juice that would otherwise have gone into the Manachiara and Poggio Doria. Nardi’s 2008 should drink well upon release and for another decade beyond that. Vinifications lasted around 22-23 days. Nardi preferred not to go too long in 2008, fearing over-extraction given that the maturation of skins and seeds wasn’t perfect. The 2008 spent one year in French oak barrels, 25% new, followed by one year in cask. All of the parcels were vinified separately but ultimately were blended into the straight Brunello.
Bright cherry cola and black currant gives this Brunello a plump and fruity personality that is difficult to find in the wines of 2008. Those fruit notes are raw, bold and are followed by a soft touch of milk chocolate or vanilla. The wine shows a creamy, velvety texture with a point of acidity and alcoholic heat.
Emilia Nardi knows she can depend on Casale's special and distinctive territory to produce a contemporary and elegant Brunello. She has invested single-mindedly in the vineyards in this harmonious natural setting - as any tasting of her fine wines will attest. Each of her signature wines expresses the differing character of Sangiovese when it is grown at Montalcino.
The estate's vineyards are situated between 140 and 420 meters above sea level: some extend north-west of Montalcino on the hills around Casale del Bosco, while others are located to the north of it at Tenuta di Bibbiano and to the south-east at Manachiara, where the precious cru of the same name originates.
One of the most important wine regions of the world both qualitatively and quantitatively...
One of the most important wine regions of the world both qualitatively and quantitatively, Bordeaux is a powerhouse producer of wines of all colors, sweetness levels, and price points. Separated from the Atlantic ocean by a coastal pine forest, the mostly flat region has a mild maritime climate marked by cool wet winters and a warm, damp growing season, though annual differences vary enough to make vintage variation quite significant. Unpredictable weather at harvest time may negatively impact the ability of cornerstone variety Cabernet Sauvignon to ripen fully, while humid conditions can encourage the spread of rot and disease (although in the case of the region’s sweet white wines, “noble” rot known as botrytis is highly desirable). The Gironde estuary is a defining feature of Bordeaux, splitting the region into the Left Bank and the Right Bank. The vast Entre-Deux-Mers appellation lies in between.
The Left Bank, dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, contains the Médoc, Graves, and Sauternes, as well as most of the region’s most famous chateaux. Here, Merlot is commonly planted as an insurance policy in case Cabernet fails to fully ripen in difficult years. Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec may also be used in blends. This tends to be the more structured and age-worthy side of Bordeaux. Merlot is the principal variety of the Right Bank, with Cabernet Franc as its primary sidekick, with the other three varieties available for blending. The key appellations here include St. Emilion and Pomerol, whose wines are often plush, supple, and more imminently ready for drinking. Dry and sweet white wines are produced throughout the region from Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and sometimes Muscadelle or Sauvignon Gris. Some of the finest dry whites can be found in the the Graves sub-appellation of Pessac-Léognan, while Sauternes is undisputedly the gold standard for sweet wines. Small amounts of rosé and sparkling wine are made in Bordeaux as well.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine...
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.
In the Glass
Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.
Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.
While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.