Gran Passione Rosso Veneto IGT 2016

Brand: Gran Passione is a label of the Botter family, who since 1928 have been producing wines under environmentally friendly practices. Today the company is managed by the family’s third generation, with a “multi-territorial approach that spans the whole of Italy”, focusing on native vines and organic viticulture. Gran Passione sets out to express the passion, devotion and tradition of vine growers.

Winemaking: Crafted in the Apassimento tradition, grapes are naturally dried on the vines until about 50% of their weight has vaporized. Grapes are then hand harvested, pressed, with the skins being left in the must for a time during fermentation “to extract and intensify the flavours and the characteristic ruby red color”. Aged in oak vats for 3-4 months.

Tasting Notes: Dark transparent garnet in colour with inviting aromas of baked cherry, roasted herbs and truffle honey. Tasting similar to the aromas, with black cherry and strawberry compote, black pepper and a wisp of roasted herbs. Soft, velvety tannins frame fruit and baking spice on the lengthy finish. Plush and so easy drinking, great on its own or with hearty dishes like stews and casseroles.

Pairing Suggestions from the Importer: Great wine for roasted and grilled meats. Ideal with game dishes. Excellent with mature hard cheeses.

60% Merlot, 40% Corvina
Veneto IGT
Produced by Casa Vinicola Botter & C. S.P.A.
14% Alcohol
$13 [average price]
Enjoy now thru 2020


Sample submitted for review purpose.

Capezzana Barco Reale di Carmignano DOC 2014

Estate: Wine production in the Carmignano region of northern Tuscany dates to around 1000 B.C. when the Etruscans inhabited the area. The Capezzana estate, located 20 km from Florence, on the slopes of Monte Albano and close to the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, has been making wine for over 1200 years. A preserved rent contract now in the Florence Archives details the production of wine and olive oil specifically at Capezzana, dated 804 AD. Since the 1920’s, the Contini Bonacossi family have owned and run this celebrated, historical estate. Today, the estate consists of 670 hectares, of which approximately 100 are vineyards and 140 are olive groves. Barco Reale di Carmignano is the estate’s “everyday wine”, although grapes are from vineyards in historic Medici Royal lands, from the property “Barco Reale” or “Royal property” mentioned in Cosimo de Medici’s “Decreto Motu Proprio” in 1716 [where it takes its name from].

Winemaking: Sustainable viticulture. Fermented in stainless steel tanks, aged in Allier barrels for 6 months, followed by at least 3 months in bottle prior to release.

Tasting Notes: Transparent garnet in colour with inviting aromas of cherry, strawberry, autumn woods and spice. Rich cherry and strawberry fuse with an undercurrent of sour cherry and woodsy spice. Smooth tannins and peppery spice highlight the dry, fruity finish. Well balanced and super versatile at the table.

Wine Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Wonderful with first courses, pastas and red and white meat entrees.

70% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Canaiolo, 5% Cabernet Franc
Carmignano DOC
Estate Bottled by Tenuta Capezzana S.R.L.
13.5% Alcohol
Enjoy now

19 Crimes ‘The Uprising’ Australia 2016

Brand: 19 Crimes is a brand of Treasury Wine Estates, a global wine giant with an international portfolio of over 80 brands of wine, including Rosemount Estate, Penfolds, Beringer, and Stags Leap. Recently 19 Crimes was named ‘Wine Brand of the Year’ by leading US wine industry title Market Watch.

The various wines of 19 Crimes take inspiration from the list of 19 Crimes that were drawn up to assist the overcrowded British prison system and send felons to Australia beginning in 1788. With real mug shots being used on the labels, the wine “celebrates the rules they broke and the culture they built”. ‘The Uprising’ pays homage to Australia’s “Rum Rebellion” where soldiers and citizens united together to overthrow the government. A portion of the wine was aged for 30 days in rum barrels.

Tasting Notes: Inky red-violet in colour with aromas of jammy, dark fruit and cigar box spice. Concentrated blueberry, black cherry, raspberry and black pepper flavours are wrapped in velvety tannins. S’mores like finish, with chocolate, graham cracker and marshmallow smothered in black cherry sauce. Not for the faint of heart [don’t’ forget about the 15% alcohol!] an intense dessert in a glass.

50% Shiraz, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Grenache
Produced and Bottled by 19 Crimes
15% Alcohol
Enjoy now

Gérard Bertrand Grand Terroir ‘Tautavel’ Côtes du Roussillon Villages Tautavel 2013



Estate: Gérard Bertrand grew up assisting his father on the family’s estate in the sub-appellation of Corbiѐres in the Languedoc Roussillon. He took over the domaine upon his father’s death in 1987, and today presides over nearly 1000 acres of vineyards across the varying Languedoc Roussillon terroirs. He also heads a négociant business that partners with local growers and co-ops. A well-known proponent of sustainable farming, he is one of the largest producers of organic wine in Southern France. His flagship estate Château l’Hospitalet is carbon neutral, and many of his vineyards follow biodynamic practices and are certified by DEMETER. In addition to being recognized for his fantastic wines at excellent prices, Wine Enthusiast bestowed him with the European Winery of the Year award in 2011, stating “He fully understands the movement toward expressive, well-balanced and elegant wines that remain accessible and affordable.”

Tautavel is a village in the Roussillon region, located between the Pyrenees mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. The Grands Terroirs range of wines strive to present an “opportunity to discover the unique character of this region”.

The cross on the label is a Visigoth cross dating back to the 7th century, which evolved into the Languedoc Cross. For a detailed explanation of its iconography, click here.Cote des Roses is the name of the coastal area near the village of Gruissan.

Winemaking: Grapes are sourced from vineyards with pebbly soils, on limestone-rich terraces and south-east facing hillsides. 33% of the wine is aged in barrels for 9 months, the remainder ages in vats.

Tasting Notes: Garnet in colour with aromas of dark fruit, black pepper and a hint of forest floor. Pepper spice driven, with cherry and blackberry, herbs and leather notes framed by firm tannins. Tobacco and black pepper comprise the lengthy, dry finish. Rustic and robust, fantastic with hearty dishes.

Enjoy at 16°C [60°F]

Grenache, Syrah, Carignan [I could not locate varietal percentages.]
Côtes du Roussillon Villages Tautavel
Bottled by Gérard Bertrand
14% Alcohol
Enjoy now thru 2020

Rated 91 points by Wine Spectator

Piazza del Castello Rosso Toscana IGT 2015

Brand: A label of the Botter Family, Piazza del Castello Rosso hails from the Tuscan hill town of Radda. There, below an 11th century castle is the wine’s picturesque namesake, Piazza del Castello. The grapes for the Rosso are sourced from hillside vineyards surrounding the Piazza.

Winemaking: Aged for 11 months in a combination of large oak casks and smaller barriques (2/3 French & 1/3 American).

Tasting Notes: Dark garnet in colour with aromas of cherry, black cherry, earth, spice and a hint of vanilla. Rich black cherry, sour cherry, leather, hint of earth and a fleeting wisp of candied violet are enveloped in round, soft, velvety tannins. Tart cherry glazes vanilla, toasted oak and pepper spice on the lengthy finish. Plush and velvety, fantastic on its own or with a wide variety of hearty dishes.

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Created to compliment an Italian-style meal; rich pastas, hard cheeses, roasted meats.

60% Sangiovese, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot
Rosso Toscana IGT
Bottled by Casa Vinicola Botter & C.S.P.A. Fossalta Di Piave
13% Alcohol
$14 [SRP]
Enjoy now thru 2018

Sample submitted for review purpose.