wineries .










I T A L I A N . R E D S


98 CANTINE DI ORA
2012 Amicone
Italy $15
Wow! We are blown away with this wine! What character! Black and red fruit flavors mingle with light earth, coffee/tea and oak. This wine in wonderfully crafted, well-balanced and a lingers on your palate liker a long lost love. Excellent! (tasted 8/4/15)

98 VILLA TOSCANO
2013 Barbera
Shenandoah Valley $30

98 VILLA TOSCANO
2012 Barbera
Shenandoah Valley $18

97 BLISS FAMILY VINEYARDS
2011 Sangiovese
Mendocino $12
Right from the first whiff, this wine screams Sangiovese! Nice dried strawberry, fresh raspberry and cherry, accented by boysenberry, spice and light puffs of dust. Nicely balanced, smooth on the palate, this is a great example of a California Sangiovese.

97 CARA MIA
2012 Chianti
DOCG - Italy $10

97 LA FIERA
2013 Montepulciano d'Abruzzo
DOC; Abruzzo - Italy $8
(tasted 2/9/15)

97 MCMANIS
2012 Barbera
Jamie Lynn Vineyard - California $11

97 MEADOWCROFT
2010 Sangiovese
Sonoma County $22
Pretty raspberry, strawberry, plum and cherry fruit, with clove/pepper spice, vanilla and oak. One of the best domestic sangioveses weíve tasted. All of the aromas translate into a wonderfully-balanced, medium-bodied wine that begs you to drink more and more. The finish is long and spicy.

97 VILLA TOSCANO
2014 Barbera
Shenandoah Valley $30
(tasted 6/24/16)

96 BRUTOCAO
2009 Uber Tuscan Style
Hopland Ranches - Mendocino $24
Raspberry, cherry, strawberry, plum and wild blackberry are enveloped in spice, violets, steel/mineral dust and light oak. True to its Italian components, this wine is a little heavy in dust and minerals, but its well-balanced fruit and floral components pull it through on the long, lingering finish.

96 CANTINE DI ORA
2012 Amarone Della Valpolicella
DOCG - Italy $35
Pretty nose of black currant/cassis, blackberry, black cherry, raspberry, spice and a light dose of plum wrapped in light earth, tobacco and oak. This is a classic Amarone! Wonderful flavors, round body and a long lingering spicy finish. Beautiful! (tasted 8/4/15)

96 CORTE VOLPONI
2013 Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore
DOC Valpolicella - Italy $25
This is a very interesting red wine. Although it exhibits a lot of winemaking (oak and its sidekicks), this reminds us of an Amarone in taste and structure. Dried red and black fruit mingle with pepper spice, minerals/earth, leather and light tar. Itís a nicely balanced wine, well-made wine just hard to categorize. (tasted 12/12/16)

96 GRAN PASSIONE
2013 Rosso
IGT; Veneto - Italy $13
(tasted 2/9/15)

96 WISE VILLA WINERY
2012 Sangiovese
Sierra Foothills $34.37
Pretty raspberry, cherry, cranberry and strawberry fruit aromas, with baking spice, mineral dust, vanilla and charred oak. Still a bit tight, this wine delivers all of its flavor in a firm body, accented by charred wood, leading to a slightly sticky finish. Give this wine a few years and itíll open wonderfully.

95 BRUTOCAO
2010 Uber Tuscan Style
Hopland Ranches - Mendocino $24
Raspberry, cherry, strawberry, plum and wild blackberry are enveloped in spice, violets, mineral dust and light oak. True to its Italian components, this wine is well-balanced, with ripe fruit and floral components leading through the long, lingering finish.

95 MEADOWCROFT
2012 Sangiovese
Speedy Creek Vineyard; Knights Valley - Sonoma County $28
Cherry, blackberry, black raspberry and plum, with light mineral dust, spice, vanilla and oak. Not a terribly varietal wine, but its tasty red fruit and spice on the palate is nice and refreshing, leading to a pleasant lingering finish. (tasted 3/4/15)

95 SOBON ESTATE
2013 Barbera
Amador County $16
(tasted 3/5/16)

95 STEVENOT
2010 Barbera
Gran Reserva - Sierra Foothills $24

95 ZONIN
2009 Ripasso
Valpolicella Superiore - Italy $20

94 CHATOM VINEYARDS
2010 Gitano Sangiovese
Calaveras County $16

94 SOBON ESTATE
2014 Barbera
Amador County $16
Cherry, blackberry, black raspberry and plum, with light mineral dust, spice, vanilla and oak. Not a terribly varietal wine, but its tasty red and black fruit with a zesty spiciness on the palate, which adds nice character to a pleasant lingering finish. (tasted 9/30/16)

93 CHATOM VINEYARDS
2013 Sangiovese
Calaveras County $20
(tasted 2/3/15)

93 FRESCOBALDI
2007 Nipozzano
Riserva; Chianti Rufina - Italy $22

93 PEDRONCELLI
2012 Sangiovese
Alto Vineyards - Dry Creek Valley $16

91 COLLE MAGGIO
2011 Montepulciano di Abruzzo
DOC - Italy $14
Typical blackberry, black raspberry, cherry and light plum notes, with a good dose of tobacco, leather, earth and oak. Showing a little age, this is a slightly tight but tasty wine that delivers everything the nose suggests. (tasted 8/4/15)

91 CONTEMASSI
2007 Toscana Red
Italy $15

91 LA FOLIA
2012 Sangiovese
Sierra Foothills $32
(tasted 10/25/15)

90 LA FOLIA
2013 Barbera
Sierra Foothills $30
(tasted 10/25/15)

90 MERCATO
NV Carne
Vino Rosso - Italy $12
Mineral and chalk dust covered cherry, raspberry, black plum and brambleberry, with earth floor/mushroom, clove/spice and light wood. The palate is a little sticky/gritty at first, but this wine opens up nicely overnight. Let breathe or decant and itíll be much better. (tasted 2/1/17)

90 ROCCA DI MONTEMASSI
2008 Le Focaie
Sangiovese; Maremma Toscana - Italy $15