“I briefly thought about just cutting and pasting the review of the 2014 into this space for the 2015 Hill of Grace Shiraz, but on further reflection, there are some differences between them—and isn't that one of the reasons we love wine? Scents of smoked meat and mocha accent notes of black olives and blackberries, joined by subtle notions of resinous herbs, while the full-bodied palate comes across as slightly weightier, richer and more velvety in texture than the 2014. Not as elegant perhaps, but more concentrated and powerful on the long, long finish.”
Il Marroneto - Wine Advocate
Brunello di Montalcino Selezione Madonna delle Grazie
“The Il Marroneto 2015 Brunello di Montalcino Madonna delle Grazie creeps up on you slowly. Give this wine ample time to open and put on weight and volume. Or better yet, just stick the bottle in your cellar for a few more years. Fruit comes from a 1.6-hectare parcel at 420 meters above sea level. This site, located just below the Madonna delle Grazie chapel, has sandy mineral-rich soils. This wine is very different from the Alessandro Mori’s classic Brunello. Here, you get that beautiful purity in the bouquet, but you also get a different mouthfeel that is characterized by more structure and a firmer set of tannins. However, the overall integration is superior here considering that this wine is richer and has more material and overall density. Cherry, grenadine and cassis are followed by jasmine and even a touch of exotic fruit. As the wine opens, you catch a hint of mesquite or hickory smoke.”
Catena Zapata - Wine Advocate
Catena Zapata White Stones Chardonnay - 2018
“The outstanding 2018 White Stones Chardonnay epitomizes the expression of the grape in the cooler-climate and high-altitude location of the Adrianna vineyard in Gualtallary. There is rectitude, austerity and elegance, a subtle wine with great clout and intensity that comes through as chiseled, focused, symmetric and pure, more in the style of Roulot than Coche-Dury, with superb integration of all the elements and fine minerality. This is more about the place and vintage than the grape, which feels like a good way to transmit the chalky soils of the selected plots. Simply superb, possibly the finest vintage for this bottling so far.”
“The nose of the 2012 Gran Enemigo Gualtallary Single Vineyard almost made me fall from my chair. It is the expression of elegance and austerity coupled with strong minerality. It is mostly Cabernet Franc from a very chalky vineyard in Gualtallary at 1,430 meters altitude that fermented together with a small percentage of Malbec. In 2012 they fine tuned the élevage and fermentation, which was in rolling 500-liter barrels that were new in 2006 (so by then quite neutral), where the wine was kept for one more year and then transferred to 1,000-liter egg-shaped cement vats for one further year. This reminded me of my favorite Bordeaux, Lafleur, because of the elegance, the refinement of the tannins and length. It has citric, effervescent acidity that makes you salivate. Winemaker and Owner Alejandro Vigil has done a very strict selection of the soils in the field, and only kept the very center of the vineyard where the high density (12,000 plants per hectare) generates a lot of competition, because the plants from the borders have more space in the sides, which means in 2012 he could only fill 1,800 bottles. Awesome, and ultra fresh for a vintage like 2012. Bravo!”
[U]tterly perfect...a heroic offering brilliantly displaying both power and elegance. The bouquet develops incrementally, offering up aromas of black raspberries, cherries, cigar box, licorice, and leather. The wine impresses with its nuances as well as its extraordinarily rich, dense mid-palate, and a finish that lasts nearly a minute. There is huge tannin, but equally massive concentration, extract, and overall harmony.
[P]ossesses extraordinary presence and stature. Dark garnet / ruby-colored, it offers a tight but promising nose of road tar, scorched earth, truffles, blackberries, cherries, and espresso. This muscular, massive wine gave me chills. It is an exquisite, virtually perfect Barolo...