To Sip…To Dream

Brecciarolo 2018
Rosso Piceno DOC Superiore
Company owned vineyards located in the districts of Offida and Ascoli Piceno
Montepulciano 70%, Sangiovese 30%
Hand harvested
Ascoli Piceno, Marche, Italy
Wine Team: Ercole & Angela Velenosi, Dr. Paolo Garbini, Filippo Carli & Luca Fioravanti (winemakers), and more

Bright ruby. Breathing in full on cherries & plums, dainty roses, vanilla, and a bit of warming spice. Lovely sipper of cherries fresh and dried, dark plums, dates with a teeny black pepper, and a rustic yet juicy vibe. Very friendly charmer that is ready to hang out with you and a good book right now.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: perfect but I’d even rather have a lamb chop

“Wine is an art capable of making people dream”…so very true (I’m not talking about those visions when you’ve had a few too many). This bottle is like a painting that is being created as you sip. Yes, it captures the history of the land and takes you on a little tour of tradition, but it also is filled with a modern brushstroke of innovation and everything merges together in harmony. Thank goodness it isn’t a NFT! For those of you that know me well, you know how I feel about them even in the wine world. 🙄

#wine #vin #vino #葡萄酒 #ワイン #winestagram  #instawine #winemaking #worldbyglass #cheezit #pairswithcheezits #italy #Marche #Montepulciano #Sangiovese #NFT #art @viaswine @docwineshop @docwinebar @velenosivini @cheezit

Whole Lotta Love

Stolpman Vineyards
Love You Bunches 2020
Natural, dry farming, carbonic maceration
Ballard Canyon, Santa Barbara County, CA
Owners: Pete & Jessica Stolpman and family
Vignerons: Ruben & Maria Solorzano 
Winemakers: Kyle Knapp & Matt Nocas

“You need cooling. Baby I’m not foolin” Bright maroon-plummy-rose glass. Breathing plums, cherry, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries with a funky depth in the back. Loving it! A sip and then a gulp of fabulous! There’s bright cherry (tart and sweet), dinosaur plums, raspberries, blackberries, pomegranates, and (don’t laugh at me) a little SweeTarts and a handful of Skittles. It’s juicy, tart, and smooth  at the same time. A crisp and crunchy party in my mouth.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: surprisingly lovely

One sip and you’ll know why the back label has “So Fresh” emblazoned on it. Whole beautiful uncrushed sangiovese bunches are left to ferment in stainless, and yes, I do love those bunches! It’s like a first kiss stolen. This is one of those wines you put on a flower wreath on your head and chase each other around and end up in a sweaty mess…or as Led Zeppelin said, Whole Lotta Love!

#wine #winelover #vino #vin #winelife #葡萄酒 #ワイン #cheezit #organic @worldbyglass #Sangiovese #pairswithcheezits #chilledwine #winetasting #winestagram #California #SantaBarbara #BallardCanyon #stolpmanvineyards #ledzeppelin #wholelottalove @docwineshop @docwinebar @stolpmanvineyards @cheezit

Ancient Ways & New History

Pietro Beconcini Agricola
Antiche Vie 2020
Chianti DOCG
Sangiovese 80%, Malvasia 10%, and Trebbiano 10%
Grown in San Miniato, Tuscany, Italy
Wine Couple: Pietro Beconcini and Eva Bellagamba

Shining ruby that should be decanted for about an hour. I tried a couple different time frames and it seems to be the sweet spot. At first there’s a mellow morphing caramel scent, dark cherries, irises, forest earthiness, black pepper, and as it opens it’s more perfume. Tasting delicious cherries and dried cherries, plums, raspberry, boysenberry, blackberry, orange peel, white and black pepper, and digging in the dirt (earth)…yeah I have that Peter Gabriel song stuck in my head again. There’s also a small bite of rosemary and sage. All of this is joyfully light (that grows as it opens into medium) and lively with a seductive backbone, and this wine makes me smile and I feel like it’s winking back at me. 😘

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: deeper, darker and more sultry

Antiche Vie has ties all the way back to Pietro’s grandfather who back in the 50s bought their farmland, which is really important because it broke the cycle of being a sharecropper. Pietro’s Chianti celebrates the ways of old, the region’s indigenous grapes, and also his father who was a “pioneer in the cultivation of the vine in this area.” He also has written a new history with his San Miniato fed Sangiovese which was his 1st project and the grapes he is working with today in his “Wines of the Tradition”.  “Wines of Innovation” is the other route he has taken. They are the only ones growing Tempranillo in Italy, and their IXE will knock your socks off. As I keep repeating, it’s like Spain and Italy had a beautiful baby, and just like Antiche Vie it will be love at first taste.

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Returning to the Start and Beginning Again

Estate 44 2016
Toscano Rosso IGT
Siena Italy
Sangiovese 60%, Cabernet Sauvignon 20%, Merlot 10% and Syrah 10%
Organic, hand harvested, and 70% Unilateral Cordon-spur trained (cane pruned) and 30% Guyot
Founder and owner: Robert Buly
Enologist: Diego Ciurletti
Agronomist: Alessandro Gemini
Cantina Chief: Stefano Censini

A shining garnet/ruby glass. Greeted by scents of dark cherries, deep plum, cola, and vanilla that daintily lingers and then hides and then pops back out to surprise you. There’s also earth, pine trees and needles. I feel like I’m walking through an enchanted forest. All sorts of flavors hit at first sip, so give it a little and enjoy cherries, plums, blackberries, raspberries, earth and cherry pit dark goodness, along with a shake of white pepper. This is a light bright velvety juicy red that as time goes by starts heading toward medium and can stand up and stand by to a fabulous plate of D.O.C. Wine Bar’s, Chef Stefano Baldantoni’s Lamb Chops.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: brings out a velvet oak dancing with the cherries and plums

This is my second dance with Estate 44. Almost a year ago, I met Buli’s 2015, and have worked my way through their whole collection, and they are consistently fabulous and fascinating. They capture Podere Collalto’s (Farm on a High Hill) essence and romance. Estate 44 is especially dedicated to the Allied soldiers that liberated Tuscany, and those that did not make it back. Thank goodness, Robert’s father made it back to the States, and brought along with him a beautiful Italian wife after an adventure that included a search for wine and a strong love at first sight that even involved reenlisting in order to get permission for the marriage. For more on that check out Ruby Velvet Romance. I’m so grateful to have been able to see Italy through Robert’s eyes and writings, and taste the wonders that can come from his 5 hectares of the world. And I will add once more, someone needs to make a movie of how this family’s whole story and Robert’s wines have played out. This bottle was like a return home for me. Cheers to them all and to what the future brings!

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Rugged, Handsome and Clooney

Tenuta Ghiaccio Forte
Morellino di Scansano DOCG 2019
100% Sangiovese
Scansano, Tuscany, Italy
Owner (since 1999) and artist: Sandro Chia; Winemaker: Filippo Chia

Glowing shiny translucent ruby. Rich beautiful dark cherry, prunes, and Mission fig aromas blended with earthiness and wet granite post a good summer rain. Sipping plums, cherries, dried figs (my favorite splash of richness), blueberries and earthy; yet it’s still bright, sweet, a smooth groove with just a touch of rugged handsomeness. Kind of like George Clooney. Yep, I’m drinking a glass of Clooney.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: deeper darkness goodness of lush flavors

Tenuta Ghiaccio Forte (Ice Fort, no this is not a GOT reference) has 20 hectares with 12 of those hectares in Morellino di Scansano located right next to the National Park of the same name and is the remains of an Etruscan city. So the tale of their iconic little handsome sculpture head on their labels, comes from an Etruscan sculpture that was stumbled upon or should I say driven over. One of their tractors, broke through the surface of the land into a cavern/tomb where this ancient sculpture was found. I can just imagine the excitement on the find, and the irritation and potential cursing of having to pull the tractor back out. Back to the wine, before 2018, their Sangiovese was blended with 15% Syrah. That’s now a thing of the past. Their 100% Sangiovese doesn’t touch oak, it’s stainless steel fermentation and 2 weeks of it with the skin on. It’s a genuine expression of itself, the history of this land, and the travelers and traders who have passed through its many years. Beautiful, distinguished, passionate, and still a historic wine that lives and has adapted in modern times.

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A True Classic

515 S.L.M. 2016
Toscano Sangiovese IGT
Trequanda, Siena, Italy
100% Sangiovese
Organic and hand harvested in small baskets
Founder and owner: Robert Buly
Enologist: Diego Ciurletti
Agronomist: Alessandro Gemini
Cantina Chief: Stefano Censini

Shiny garnet/ruby glass that is a welcome start to my evening. Enchanting and yummy scents of deep cherry, vanilla, chocolate chips like in the fresh baked cookies you’ve pulled pulled open. Let it keep breathing plums and orange zest appear. A touch of salt like a breeze. Stop laughing this isn’t a potato chip commercial. I’m not on the “Cape.” This is from the hilltop where the grape is born. Now sipping cherries, prunes, dried figs and dates. There’s a dark depth but not an overly heavy wine, nor light. I’m happily floating in the medium realm. Now I’m also getting baker’s chocolate and chicory and as I exhale post sip…that taste of fine cigar smoke. Who doesn’t love one every once in a while. Now as I’ve spent the evening with this bottle’s last glass, it comes to a sweet smooth cherry end.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: brings out blueberry/cherry mix and a more velvet feel that grows yet still that pinch of chicory at end.

This is my 5th Buli wine and my 2nd 515 S.L.M. When I was introduced to my first bottle, the wine just spoke to me and then their history made me fall in love. Ok, the tales didn’t sway my delight in each bottle because every one has proven their merit and deliciousness. This Sangiovese is a classic beauty that has a daring side. As I sip, it reminds me of John Singer Sargent’s, “Madame X (Madame Pierre Gautreau)” and her elegance, beauty, and flirtatious confidence (minus the scandal). This wine is a reputable beauty that’s not on a pedestal but on Podere Collalto’s “high hill”.

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Loved By God

Amidei 2015
Toscana Rosso IGT
Trequanda, Siena, Italy
Cabernet Sauvignon 40%, Sangiovese 40%, Merlot 20%
Organic, hand harvested, and 70% Unilateral Cordon-spur trained (cane pruned) and 30% Guyot
Founder and owner: Robert Buly
Enologist: Diego Ciurletti
Agronomist: Alessandro Gemini
Cantina Chief: Stefano Censini

Sparkling ruby fit for a ring *knock knock you know who…Valentine’s Day is coming up! Inhaling cherries, a dozen roses, strawberries, lilies, pleasant oak with anise, and spice. Can’t wait to get to the taste and it’s full of strawberries, fine oak, cherries, and blueberries thrown into the batch. There’s dark deep depth and rustic earth, yet I’m still drinking those beautiful roses…majestic.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: Darker, deeper, richer and funkier and sweeter

Amidei (which means “Loved by God”) is the name of Robert Buly’s grandmother’s family. They were also wine and olive oil merchants from Florence. As I’ve written about before, Robert was drawn back to the romantic history and his family in Italy and also to these same delicious ways. Buli’s Amidei “Super Tuscan” blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Merlot ages for 2 years, but doesn’t get permission to hang out all together. 40% get the new French oak and 60% used. Hey, what’s wrong with vintage clothes when they’re couture? Then they get to play together for one month before bottling. This swirl then gets to age in a bottle for a year, and then it’s up to you when to open. I ask, why wait for 2022, Mr. Suckling? Life is short, and last year totally showed us this more than anything. Seize the moment, open the good bottle and live a little! Bring over a charcuterie board, along with some grilled lamb chops, put a record on to spin and let’s get down tonight.

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Deep Roots

Le Fonde 2019
Toscano Rosato IGT
Trequanda, Siena, Italy
100% Sangiovese
Organic and guyot training
Founder and owner: Robert Buly
Enologist: Diego Ciurletti
Agronomist: Alessandro Gemini
Cantina Chief: Stefano Censini

Radiant salmon color. First scents of very light orange cream with a tad lemon zest. Keep letting it breathe just little bit longer, trust me. You’ll be greeted by cranberries, dried apricots, touch of magnolias but not heady, and then there’s also strawberries and raspberries. Lift that glass, sip and enjoy lemon, pink grapefruit, and zingy orange which leads to apricot and a whole pile of fruits like watermelon, strawberries, and raspberries. Now there’s salt, smoke, and a lick of slate. Ok, you’re going to think I’m a weirdo, but something about this reminds me of an Orange Julius that isn’t super sweet. Maybe it’s just bringing back a memory which good wine and food always should do. For all you old mall rats and I was one of them before I got my job at the record shop, you will get this flavor (yes, this is a good thing with this wine). Some would call this a summer wine, but I think it is perfect for year round. I’m doing my third tasting on New Year’s Eve and it’s a welcome breath of fresh to 2021.

Pairs w Cheez-It’s: Delicious, it just brings out the fruit even more. Smooth.

My first Buli was their Estate 44 (2015) which was a big beautiful blend. La Fonde (2019), is a wonderful introduction for me to their varied styles. As you can tell from above, I love it. But there’s more to this tale. As in my first review, all of their wines are born from a film worthy WWII romance between a US soldier, an enchanting Italian lady, and a bottle of red wine. Robert Buly grew up in Pennsylvania, but his mother (the daughter of the mentioned couple) and brothers held on to their Italian heritage by speaking Italian at home and when they could travel back to Italy. All of their mother’s relatives were still back there, so what a better opportunity to fall for the food, wines and that way of life. Come on, who wouldn’t dream of such a great opportunity. This family is gifted to have these deep roots or in other words “Le Fonde”.

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A Delicate Harmony

Unlitro 2019
Toscana Rosso IGT
Roccatederighi, Maremma, Toscana, Italy
40% Alicante Nero (aka Grenache), 25% Mourvedre, 15% Carignano, 15% Sangiovese, 5% Alicante Bouschet
Biodynamic, unfined, and unfiltered
Founders: Elisabetta Foradori, and her friends Giovanni Podini and Thomas Widmann
Winemaker: Marco Tait

Bright ruby garnet. As expected cherry is the first thing that hits your nose. Next is smoke, plum, salt some tiny flowers with a kick of funk. As it opens throw in a dash of spice and singed orange peel. When it hits your tongue you already know first thing is again cherry. Again smoke and some bio funk is still lingering. After letting it settle a bit there’s tangy fruit and definitely orange. It’s a natural light red, that you’re happy it comes in a liter format, because you’re going to want more than one glass. My second visit with this bottle, ok I chilled it. Don’t be insulted. It’s bleeping hot. It’s much the same but a little more body. I love it and it’s still  an easy picnic or pizza wine, but just elevated. Less tang and more velvet

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: Tangy and smoky

You might remember the incredible winemaker Elisabetta Foradori, from a previous post about her family’s winery Agricola Foradori and her devotion to natural/biodynamic wine. She and her friends Giovanni Podini and Thomas Widmann, started Ampeleia back in 2002. From what I am reading on their site, Thomas Widmann left them in 2009, and there is a “it takes a village” style team that help with all the aspects of how a winery runs. Also not to be left out is Marco Tait who has been their winemaker from day one. He has a beautiful section on their site I just discovered. It’s a personal blog of sorts with musings on the passion and hardwork put into this biodynamic winery, the vineyards, learning to listen to the earth, trust the grapes, and more. At the end of one of the entries, this Goethe quote sums it all up: “It is so pleasant to explore nature and ourselves at the same time, without causing violence neither to Nature nor to our spirit, bringing us both, together, to a balance, to a delicate harmony”.

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Ruby Velvet Romance

Estate 44 2015
Toscano Rosso IGT
Siena Italy
Sangiovese 80%, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah 20%

Gorgeous deep dark ruby glass. At first vanilla fragrance popped out of the bottle, and not long after was cherry, cola, some oak but not overpowering (it’s elegant like a beautiful romantic dance), plums, tiny flowers, and maybe a little basil. On my tongue is tart dark cherry, rustic oak and small smooth vanilla, plum and prune, a tad of white pepper, and smoky. As it opens it’s luscious and velvety.

Pairs with Cheez-its: Just pure lovely vanilla darkness and velvet. Light the candles and close the drapes.

This wine has so much romantic history. It is a story filled with Ukrainian immigrants, Pennsylvania, two U.S. Army men on a motorcycle in WW2 in search of a bottle of red wine in Tuscany, but instead one of them finding love at first sight. I could try to weave this tale, but truly, Robert Buly (the true spelling of his last name) does it best on his winery’s site, so please check it out here. Someone could and should make a movie of this story.

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