Just like Thea’s it is made from a blend of all seven 100% organic certified estate vineyards, spread across arguably the two best wine AVAS in the state, Dundee Hills and Yamhill-Carlton. But this is even brighter and fresher than Thea’s and presents in its infancy high-toned, succulent red fruits, cherry-cola and baking spices. It’s made partially with whole clusters which gives it some extra power and spice – but it’s still got the same balance and lift that make Lemelson Pinots so stinkin’ good.
The Tonelli family are royalty in this region, with four generations of grape growers leading the way and even establishing the local D.O.C. The family’s 2021 Ponente is 100% Sangiovese and is an absolutely incredible wine for the price. Comfortably less than $20/bottle for fleshed out, high-toned, zipped up Sangiovese? Count me in. It screams for pizza or summer salads, squash or a charcuterie plate. It’s about to be one of your new favorites if it’s not already from last vintage.
97 Points, Parker’s Wine Advocate – 97 Points, James Suckling – 96 Points, Jeb Dunnuck- 96 Points, Decanter
This one is easily one of the top names in Chateauneuf du Pape – imported directly with perfect provenance and offered up first to Nicholas Wines before anyone else in New Jersey. It already has four scores of 96+ and is outpacing last year’s release that was recently named Wine Spectator’s #7 best wine of 2022. Another thing that makes it a touch more interesting, is that this year, the normal Beaucastel CDP bottling has again crept up a point or two to match the notorious Hommage. It combines elegance with power and tremendous precision. It’s a stellar bottling.
95 Points, James Suckling
One of America’s all-time classic Bordeaux Blends and the 2017 Wine Spectator #1 Wine of the Year returns in very limited supply in the fantastic 2019 vintage in Napa where a return to even and dry weather throughout the growing season created the perfect recipe for this flagship bottling. This is a well-rounded and lavish American Bordeaux blend that demonstrates the wonders of North America’s undisputed top Merlot. This beauty also has at least 25-30 years of cellaring potential going for it as well.
94 Pts, James Suckling
Known just as ‘Privada Family Blend’, this has been slowly released to the general public over the last several years. Consequently the press has caught up. This under $20 gem checks in at 94 points – a feat that you rarely see at that price. You’d be smart to snag a few bottles before it’s too late!
Guess who is the first one to have the roaring new 2021 vintage for the Mer Soleil Reserve Chardonnay? That’s right! We’ve officially made it. This is one that Nicholas Wines readers can’t get enough of – it always delivers.. It leads with an inviting nose with fresh citrus and lemon notes. So juicy, bright and well-balanced – it’s classic Caymus, rich and hedonistic with a wonderful creaminess. Be the first one to lock into this great new vintage.
91 Points – #61 Wine of the Year, Wine Spectator (2022)
The 2020 Damilano Barbera d’Asti is a force to be reckoned with, a big, juicy wine with a pretty modest price tag. Utilizing fruit from an 11-hectare vineyard in Casorzo, with the average vine age of over 30 years, their Barbera is inky black to the rim with great depth and lots of purple and black fruited flavors. The aromas are intense, a wonderful mix of black fruits, currants, macerated cherries and baking spices. And the balance and poise steal the show and seal the deal.
93 Points, James Suckling (Top 100 Wines of Italy)
If you’re looking for arguably the best expression of Rufina each year, you can’t do any better than Selvapiana. Located right in the heart of Chianti Rufina in Tuscany, the producer has long been considered one of the very best. Wine Spectator declared a few years back, “Selvapiana would give stiff competition to first-class red wines from just about anywhere else in the world. It also shows that Chianti Classico does not have a monopoly on the quality of Chianti as a whole.”