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Tommasi, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, 2009

Amarone
Tommasi, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, 2009
Veneto, Italy

There are a handful of Amarone producers that command international respect for their truly fine wines. Tommasi is unquestionably on that list.

Established in 1902, the 4th generation now steers the ship. It’s a classic Italian family affair. The flagship wine of the company is this Amarone. It comes from the Classico district, which indicates that these were the first vineyards to be planted in the region, hundreds of years ago.

It is made from indigenous varieties that you don’t find elsewhere, named Corvina, Rondinella, Molinara and Corvinone. The best bunches are picked from the vine and then laid to dry on straw mats for 5 months before pressing. A tiny amount of juice comes out. It is deep, dark and concentrated.

The ferment and maceration are lengthy and can go for weeks. The wine is then aged for 3 years in Slavonian oak casks.

It has an inky dark color. The nose explodes with sweet dried fruit, with a note of raisin and dark chocolate. The palate is very full bodied, with luscious fruit sweetness, round tannins, and an aftertaste that lingers on and on. These wines can age for 30-50 years, but they taste beautiful now too.

Food and wine pairing: Grilled meats pair well. The wine is also perfect with hard cheeses as you finish your meal.

Masi, Amarone della Valpolicella, 2008

Amarone
Masi, Amarone della Valpolicella, 2008
Veneto, Italy

We were thrilled to find this outstanding Amarone from the famous producer Masi. It won in our blind tasting of dozens of wines.

Amarone is made in a very unusual way. First, the grape varieties that are used are generally unknown and only found in this region in north eastern Italy. Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara are the varieties.

Only the ripest and healthiest bunches are picked for the Amarone style. Instead of crushing them immediately, the berries are taken to a warehouse where they air-dry for 5 months. This process dehydrates the berries, causing them to shrivel, and increasing the ratio of sugar to juice in the berry.

In the Spring the berries are crushed, fermented over a long period, and then aged in barrel and bottle, usually for 3-4 years before release.

Amarone is always deep and dark, almost inky black. The aroma is so intense with raisin and sweet chocolate that it verges towards a Port style. The palate is dense, concentrated, full-bodied, and packed with sweet ripe fruit. The alcohol degree is over 15%, as it must be by law.

Masi is one of the most respected producers, and we are thrilled to bring you this discovery wine.

Food and wine pairing:
The perfect match with beef, pasta in a tomato sauce and hard cheeses.

Domaine Zind-Humbrecht, 2011

Gewurztraminer
Domaine Zind-Humbrecht, 2011
Alsace, France

There are a handful of truly iconic wineries in Alsace. Zind-Humbrecht stands tall among them.

The winemaker and owner, Olivier Zind-Humbrecht, is one of the few Masters of Wine in France. He practices bio-dynamic farming techniques. This means the vineyard is farmed in an ultra-organic way and the earth’s cosmic rhythms guide all of the viticultural practices.

There’s no other place in the world that makes better Gewurztraminer than Alsace. The Vosges mountains create a warm and sunny micro climate enabling late harvesting at intense levels of ripeness. Olivier pushes the boundaries even further, picking very late at massive levels of flavor development. This is the Zind-Humbrecht style.

A pale gold color, as is typical from this pink skinned grape. The heavy viscosity coats the sides of the glass. The nose envelopes the senses with a heady array of ripe and sweet tropical fruits, sweet spices, and rose petal aromas. The palate is rich, thick, yet lively with bright acidity, and a perfect touch of fruit sweetness, pushing this into an off-dry style.

We are delighted to offer you this beautiful Gewurztraminer from an iconic producer.

Food and wine pairing: This is especially well suited to spicy dishes, and white meats like chicken.

Billecart-Salmon, Brut Rose

Champagne
Billecart-Salmon, Brut Rose
France

Rose is the signature wine of Billecart-Salmon, a House that is considered to be the benchmark for this style of Champagne.

Pink Champagne is the most difficult sparkling wine to make. The color must be perfect and there shouldn’t be a trace of tannin. This requires a high level of skill as a winemaker, given that the wine will not be opened for at least 3 years.

Billecart-Salmon is considered to be one of the most stylish boutique Champagne houses. Since being founded in 1818 it has remained one of the best kept secrets in wine.

The gorgeous winery and underground cellars are hidden in a small village surrounded by vines. Billecart uses some old techniques such as basket presses, which gently extract the finest juice. Modern technology is used to create extra cold temperatures during fermentation, which extend the process, and add freshness, elegance and delicacy to the wines. There is an extra-long ageing period in the dark underground cellars, which allows the complex flavours to unfold.

Billecart-Salmon is pure luxury. We hope you enjoy it.

Food and wine pairing: The perfect way to start your journey in style, it is also the classic aperitif, and well suited to smoked salmon and other light seafood.

Jacquart, Brut Mosaique

Champagne
Jacquart, Brut Mosaique
Champagne, France

Jacquart’s Brut Mosaique comes from the famous area of Champagne, just 2 hours north east of Paris. Here, the art of making sparkling wine has been perfected over centuries.

It requires a very particular skill in winemaking to create fine sparkling wine. Unlike with most still wines, the grapes are picked early to retain acidity. This helps keep sparkling wines crisp and refreshing when opened years later. The art of initiating the second fermentation in the bottle, and then riddling the bottles to rid them of sediment, are highly skilled work.

But when the bottle is finally opened, and the stream of small fine bubbles rises to the surface, the vintner’s art becomes apparent. The nose shows classic notes of green apple and a light toasty character. Clean, pure and focused, Champagne has an unmatched elegance on the nose.

The palate is dry, perfectly light bodied, and the acidity braces the sides of your mouth, yearning to be held for a few moments so you can enjoy the dimensions of flavor.

Champagne – the finest sparkling wine in the world.

Food and wine pairing: The perfect aperitif, and ideal with seafood.

Selbach-Oster, Zeltinger Sonnenuhr, Spatlese, 2010

Riesling
Selbach-Oster, Zeltinger Sonnenuhr, Spatlese, 2010
Mosel Valley, Germany

Since 1660 the Selbach family has been producing some of the very finest Rieslings in the Mosel Valley. This is arguably the greatest of all the German wine regions, which is known for the incredibly steep slopes, slate soils, and wines that are capable of ageing for decades.

This wine comes from the Sonnenuhr vineyard which is close to the village of Zelting. It is made entirely from the Riesling grape, which is picked when the level of sugar in the berry qualifies it to be classified as a “Spatlese”, or late harvest. This indicates the wine is medium sweet.

The nose shows explosive and perfumed aromas of sweet apricots, peaches and honey, with a subtle mineral character. The palate is medium in body, with succulent honeyed flavors and sweet apple, and a crisp acidity that dance across your palate. This is a wine of great elegance, delicacy and style.

Food and wine pairing: The medium sweet character of the wine will suit spicy Indian and Asian dishes, and fresh fruit plates.

Frescobaldi, Castel Giocondo, 2003

Sangiovese
Frescobaldi, Castel Giocondo, 2003
Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy

Frescobaldi is one of the most respected names in Italian wine. The firm’s history spans over 700 years and 30 generations. In the world of wine, Frescobaldi is a force.

This comes from their estate in Brunello di Montalcino, an area considered to be the epitome of authentic 100% Sangiovese wines. It is a gorgeous castle that sits on a hilltop overlooking an impressive 600 acres of vineyards.

Sangiovese is a difficult grape variety to grow and produce into outstanding quality wine. It requires low yields, picking within the short window of optimum ripeness, and gentle handling in the winery. In this region the law demands that wines are aged for at least 5 years before release. This 2003 vintage is perfect drinking now.

The wine shows an intriguing bouquet of licorice, tobacco and leather. The depth of flavor on the palate is outstanding and the wine is a model of complexity, elegance, intensity and balance. This is truly an exceptional quality wine.

Food and wine pairing: The richness and firm tannins pairs perfectly with lamb and beef dishes, and is an excellent match with pasta in a tomato sauce.