ACCOLADES

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Elena Fucci

2019 Aglianico del Vulture 'SCEG'

92

The 2019 Aglianico del Vulture SCEG needs a good decant or coaxing in the glass to blow off some smoky youthful reduction. Beneath awaits a wild mix of peppery herbs, blackberries, dried citrus and hints of animal musk. It's soft and enveloping, yet quickly takes on a zesty and energetic flair, with tart berries and cooling mineral tones motivated by a bolt of nervous acidity. The 2019 finishes with tension and lightly-structured, leaving the palate drenched in primary concentration, as tart black currants are pleasantly offset by a hint of sweet lavender. This is only the second vintage for the SCEG, and it really shows the potential of the friut sources that Elena Fucci is using. These sources are made up of farmers who work alongside the Fucci family for decades and tend to some of the oldest parcels in the region. This is really well done.
Drinking window 2023-2029

Vinous

Eric Guido

8/1/2022

Cantina Gaffino

2018 Merlot 'Tubbo'

90

Pretty blackberries, dried rosemary and hot stones spring out from the glass. Full-bodied, round and juicy with lots of primary-fruit appeal. Verges on jammy, but holds together. Drink now.

James Suckling

James Suckling

8/19/2019

Cantina Gaffino

2016 Rosso 'Roma'

92

The dark-fruit aromas here are certainly pumped up, but they’re also fresh and enticing, ranging from licorice to blueberry essence to oyster-shell and crushed-stone notes. Full-bodied and structured on the palate, with chewy, polished tannins that can handle the profusion of exuberant dark fruit. Drink from 2021.

James Suckling

James Suckling

8/29/2019

Cantina Gaffino

2016 Cabernet Sauvignon 'Il Buon Bastardo'

91

The brambly notes of forest floor, undergrowth and fresh blackberries really draw you in. Hints of citrus. Then comes a full body, racy, mouthwatering acidity and lots of grainy, earthy tannins. Edgy. Drink from 2021.

James Suckling

James Suckling

8/19/2019

Antica Fratta

2016 Franciacorta 'Essence Rose'

94

An almost equal blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, 40 months on the lees. The nose offers a nice aromatic profile of red fruits, especially raspberry, Mediterranean scrub and a iodized ending. The mouthfeel is clean, savory and thick, with a good acidic shoulder and a pleasant persistence.

Luca Gardini

Luca Gardini

Antica Fratta

2014 Franciacorta 'Essence Rose'

92

Who doesn't have a soft spot for rosé sparkling wine from Italy? I know I do. The 2014 Franciacorta Essence Brut Rosé Millesimato (with 20 months of lees' aging) is a polished and silky expression. The bouquet opens to fragrant tones of wild berry, cassis, sweet almond and garden herb. There is a touch of white licorice or crushed white pepper as well. The perlage is fine and persistent. This wine is a blend of Pinot Nero and Chardonnay. Some 50,000 bottles were made.
Drink date 2018 - 2028

Wine Advocate

Monica Larner

12/28/2018

Antica Fratta

2018 Franciacorta 'Essence Rose'

91

A bright and zesty style with red berries and ruby citrus fruit, delivered in a cleverly approachable and focused style. Drink now.

James Suckling

James Suckling

10/2/2019

Antica Fratta

2015 Franciacorta 'Essence Rose'

90

Pale copper-tinged sparkling with aromas of sliced apple, grapefruit, tangerine peel and blanched almond. Medium-bodied with crisp acidity and fine bubbles. Dry, with nutty and almondy character, but fresh. Drink now.

James Suckling

James Suckling

2/7/2022

Antica Fratta

NV Franciacorta 'Cuvee Real'

91

The NV Franciacorta Cuvée Real Brut is a blend of 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir that is aged on its yeasts for two years. The wine shows crisp freshness and sharp delineation with direct aromas of citrus, white melon and golden apple. Additional volume and texture are added thanks to the creamy nature of the mouthfeel that finishes with baked bread and croissant flavors. The perlage is tight and persistent. Annual production is large with 120,000 bottles released.
Drink date 2018-2025

Wine Advocate

Monica Larner

12/28/2018

Antica Fratta

NV Franciacorta 'Cuvee Real'

89

A dry (4 g/l), juicy lemon style with just a touch of red fruit sweetness. This is a delightfully fresh Franciacorta without being too aggressive.

Decanter

James Button

10/1/2017

Antica Fratta

NV Franciacorta 'Cuvee Real'

91

Fresh lemons and peaches with a light pastry edge and a core of apples and pears. Drink now.

James Suckling

James Suckling

11/7/2019

Antica Fratta

NV Franciacorta 'Cuvee Real'

90

A balanced, biscuity sparkling with aromas of dried apples, lemons, pastries and toasted almonds. Medium-bodied with vibrant acidity and sleek bubbles. Drink now.

James Suckling

James Suckling

3/3/2022

Cantina Sanpaolo

2016 Taurasi

94

Mixed currants and berries on the nose, spruced up with notes of licorice and cigar box. Some purple flowers there, too. Full-bodied with medium-grain tannins that are coated with dried-fruit and savory flavors, giving a long, flavorful finish that’s firm but non-aggressive. Nicely done. Pleasant to drink now, but will age nicely.

James Suckling

James Suckling

8/23/2021

Cantina Sanpaolo

2021 Greco di Tufo

92

Aromas of apricot stones, white peaches, orange curd and white tea. Some basil too. It’s medium-to full-bodied with a creamy, round and ripe palate. Delicious and creamy to the end. Drink now.

James Suckling

James Suckling

8/16/2022

Cantina Sanpaolo

2021 Fiano di Avellino

92

Green apples, salted almonds, biscuits, jasmine and white tea on the nose. It’s fresh and full of energy, with a medium body, and bright saline and mineral undertones. Drink now.

James Suckling

James Suckling

8/17/2022

Palladino

2016 Barolo Riserva 'San Bernardo'

95

This is a real treat because we only see this wine in the vintages that are deemed superior. The Palladino 2016 Barolo Riserva San Bernardo is a bit shy upon initial inspection, and this comes as a surprise given the immediate heft and power that is associated with this vineyard site in Serralunga d'Alba. That timid approach repays in kind with added layers of complexity and fine aromas that appear carefully with each swirl of the glass. You get lasting aromas of wild cherry, spice, earth and delicate licorice all powered by a significant 15.5% alcohol content.

Robert Parker/Wine Advocate

Monica Larner

8/11/2022

Palladino

2018 Barolo 'Parafada'

93+

The 2018 Barolo Parafada is one of Palladino's most celebrated and recognized wines. With fruit from Serralunga d'Alba, this is an incredibly firm and compact expression with sheer power that comes forth as black cherry, spice, rusty nail and dried rose. The bouquet offers a terrific level of depth and brawn. These wines from Palladino perform very nicely in this controversial vintage, and these are some of the safest bets for long cellar aging.

Robert Parker/Wine Advocate

Monica Larner

8/11/2022

Palladino

2018 Barolo 'Ornato'

93

Palladio makes four excellent expressions of Barolo from Serralunga d'Alba, and this one is distinguished by a very fine and elegant set of aromas, at least initially. The 2018 Barolo Ornato is slightly more subdued in terms of aromatic intensity; however, the bouquet opens steadily to reveal wild rose, cassis and iron-rich soil. The effect is slow and careful, but before long, the Ornato really begins to sing loud in the glass with firm intensity and beautiful complexity.

Robert Parker/Wine Advocate

Monica Larner

8/11/2022

Palladino

2018 Barolo 'Serralunga'

92

The 2018 Barolo del Comune di Serralunga d'Alba is a delicate and fine expression of Nebbiolo with wild cherry, rose, rusty earth and grilled herb. The village of Serralunga d'Alba makes some of the most distinctive and powerful examples of Barolo, and this bottle is a prime example. I love the intensity of the aromas and the silky feel of the palate. Like the previous edition of this wine, I can't help but notice that 15% alcohol.

Robert Parker/Wine Advocate

Monica Larner

8/11/2022

Tenuta Garetto

2020 Barbera d'Asti Nizza 'Fava'

94

Medium-intense purple; aromas of maple syrup, blackberry and molasses. Medium-full with very good to excellent concentration. Very good acidity; lush, juicy fruit, excellent persistence, moderate tannins and notable complexity. Great varietal purity and typicity. Favà is clearly one of the true “Grand Cru” vineyards of Nizza! Very alluring now, with peak in 8-10 years, perhaps longer.

Italian Wine Report

Tom Hyland

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