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Wine Notes: November 2013

Jeffery Lindenmuth - November 2013

Umberto Cavicchioli & Figli Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro Robanera NV
Full-bodied with resplendent fruit and gentle sweetness, this is quality Lambrusco, certain to be crowd-pleasing and fitting for foods from pizza to pasta. The jammy mix of strawberry, raspberry, and plum is tinged with vanilla and spice, while the bright acidity and gentle tannins serve to bring balance.
Score: 87
Cost: $160
Cases: 1,000 imported

Au Bon Climat Chardonnay Santa Barbara County 2010
This perennial favorite is notable for its California character, crafted with Old World sensitivity—a wine that brings together ripe citrus and juicy stone fruit flavors while revealing minerality. Creamy and full on the palate, it turns elegant on the finish, ending with chalky and fresh herbal nuances.
Score: 88
Cost: $184
Cases: 12,000

Hess Family Latin America Amalaya Calchaquí Valley 2010
Hailing from Argentina’s high-altitude Salta region, this red blend promotes balance and poise over power, with layers of red and black berry fruit mixed with peppery spice and smoky oak. An easy drinking blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tannat, and Syrah that does not lack for complexity.
Score: 89
Cost: $170
Cases: 12,000

Sonoma-Cutrer Chardonnay Russian River Valley Founders Reserve 2009
Aromas of white peach, zesty grapefruit, and green apple emerge from this fully ripe, richly layered, and well-balanced white. Slightly creamy on the palate, the fruit is pure and focused, laced with almond and spice, as the wine reveals its firm structure, along with flint and earth on the impressive finish.
Score: 90
Cost: $500
Cases: 100

Two Hands Brave Faces Barossa Valley 2010
This Aussie blend of Grenache, Shiraz, and Mataro is a lovely interpretation of the Rhône mixture that inspires it. Currant and blueberry aromas are draped with dark chocolate, licorice, black pepper, and grilled herbs. Rich and full across the palate, the smooth and mouth-filling dark fruit is nicely balanced with acidity.
Score: 91
Cost: $450
Cases: 1,600

Martinelli Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Moonshine Ranch 2010
Effusive in its aromas of plums and pomegranate, cherry and spice, lavender and vanilla, this is a wonderfully perfumed Pinot, with fleshy fruit at its core. The palate raises up the vivid fruit coupled with tart acidity and silky tannins, while a loamy earth and mineral edge appears as the fruit reverberates on the finish.
Score: 92
Cost: $600
Cases: 382

Le Chiuse Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2006
With a classic nose of dark cherry fruit, violet, coffee, herbs, and tobacco, this red conjures finesse from a powerful vintage, revealed on the palate with its full-body, intense fruit, and tannic grip. While still young, this wine is already revealing grace and refinement that will only grow with time in the cellar.
Score: 96
Cost: $912
Cases: 200 imported

Tor Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Beckstoffer To Kalon Clone 337 2009
This wine delivers a cascade of cassis, plum, baking spice, cedary oak, and espresso aromas, adding mineral notes on the full-bodied, yet bright and nimble palate. Despite its density of fruit flavors, it’s never weighty, but supple and bright, with finely polished tannins gracing the finish.
Score: 95
Cost: $1,800
Cases: 225

Quinta Do Vesuvio Vintage Port 2009
Rich, ripe, and refined, this Port is swirling with dark fruits—cherry, raspberry, and plum—mingled with chocolate and spice. While showing solid structure and staying power, it’s approachable even now, as the fine tannins and silky texture glide effortlessly across the palate, carrying hints of cedar and spice.
Score: 98
Cost: $650
Cases: 500