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July, 2016

Small Vineyards Italian Direct Imports

La Quercia Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Riserva 2013   
$20.99/$16.80 by the case
Wildly popular the last two vintages, this full-throated and multi-layered red is a huge step up from a typical Montepulciano. Like all good wines the quality starts in the vineyards with 40+ year old vines, strictly organic farming and very low yields. 2013 was a warm vintage in Abruzzo and this still-youthful red is packed with flavor. A huge extrovert, the mass of brooding dark plum and blackberry fruit is shaded overall with pastoral images and aromas - floral iris, wet loamy soil, crushed rosemary and smoked meats - while milk chocolate flavors soften the grippy finish.

Marchetti "Later Harvest" Verdicchio 2016  
$15.99/$12.80 by the case
Still deliciously unique and one of the most popular Direct Import wines each summer. 2016 looks to be a balanced, classic vintage after the warmth of 2015 and this shows more nuance and focus than the full-frontal attack of the 2015. There's still plenty of luscious peach and honeyed pear to feast on, and as usual these flavors are perfectly balanced by a concentrated stone fruit acidity. Intense and layered, the mouthwatering aromatics melt into a wave of rolling white fruits as notes of baking spice, dried mango and bitter orange zest hang on the persistent finish.

Bocelli Tenor Red Toscana 2015    
$15.99/$12.80 by the case
A dynamic Super Tuscan made by opera tenor Andrea Bocelli’s brother at their ancestral family estate, this offers an old world/new world tension that kept it interesting glass after glass. 1/3 each Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, first impression showed this to be juicy and bright, offering lovely pure flavors of fresh cherries and ripe red plum with a supple inviting texture. With air and time this shifted dramatically becoming fuller-bodied and more powerful. Layers of flavor opened up revealing lush blackberry, dried cranberry and kirsch - dense fruit flavors interspersed with notes of savory spice, cured salumi and forest floor. Alternately pretty then brawny, open-knit or teasingly coy, this was a fun few minutes of tasting.

Palama Arcangelo Rosato Salento 2016
$13.50/$10.80 by the case
100% Negroamaro from the bottom of Italy's heel, this has beautiful strawberry aromatics that shift to raspberry on the palate. Gentle yet lively in texture, there’s an earthy minerality, hinting at tobacco and Asian spice before ending with a zesty lemony lift. A lot of rosés out there could easily be swapped one for another with little notice; this one is refreshingly different, vinous yet vibrant, summery crisp but full of flavor.