Saturday One Day Specials

Today we have quite a lineup of Saturday One Day Specials. We start with a beautiful Russian River Chardonnay by Buehler Vineyards. This is a steal at our Spectacular Price of $13.95. This may be the Best Russian River Chardonnay for under $20. Robert Parker himself reviewed this wine and said "Wow! and that you should be buying this wine by the case."

We also have for you a Special Offer on a 92pt Chrisitan Moreau Vaudesir Grand Cru Chablis 2009. We have a super low price of $54.95. This is the Best Price you find anywhere for this wine. This is a $75-80 (regular price) Grand Cru Chablis and you will find some retailers selling this wine for as much as $85.

Then we have a Limited Edition Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon by Kenwood Vineyards. We have a Special Offer of $39.95 that is more than 45% off the Release and Winery Price of $75. The artist is Paul Klee.

We have one more gem for you today as we bring you a Small Production Russian River Pinot Noir with bloodlines tied to Williams- Selyem as we have WesMar Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2006. This wine is by Denise Seylem daughter of Ed Seylem Owner of Williams-Seylem Winery. We have a Special Price of $19.95. 50% off the regular price.


As a Bonus today we will also be previewing two of our Special Offers for next week. You won't want to miss them.  

It's a jammed packed day with many wines open from our Special Offerings. 

Take advantage of these Special Offers as they are for Today Only. Offers End March 3, 2012. Get it now and save. We will not be able to honor special prices after the offer ends.

 

Spectacular Value Russian River Chardonnay $13.95
Robert Parker even said "Wow! and that you should be buying this wine by the case."

Buehler Vineyards
Buehler Vineyards is a small, family-owned winery located in the mountains east of St. Helena in Napa Valley.  Situated

north of Pritchard Hill and Conn Valley, near the base of Howell Mountain.

In 1971, John Buehler, Sr., a 1934 West Point graduate who served twenty years in the Army Corps of Engineers and another twenty years as a Bechtel Corporation executive, was ready to retire. 

Along with his wife, Helen, he bought a remote Napa Valley hillside property that  had been the site of a "ghost winery" before prohibition.  As John Sr., built his retirement home, his son, John Jr., began to fulfill his life-long ambition to become a wine grower. 

Dabbling as a home winemaker during the early years, John Jr. was satisfied selling grapes to other wineries. Only after years of constant praise for the quality and complexity of his hillside fruit did John decide to make the first vintage of Buehler Vineyards wine. 

In 1978, John hand-crushed 700 cases of wine. Pleased by the results, he gradually increased production until 1982, when he hired a talented young winemaker, Heidi Peterson  Barrett. By the time she left in 1988, Heidi had become a rising star, and Buehler Vineyards was building a worldwide reputation.

John reassumed the winemaking role at Buehler until 1993, when he found another talented young winemaker, David Cronin.  Under David's direction, Buehler has proven itself to critics and consumers alike as a winery that can be relied upon for excellent wines, vintage after vintage, at prices real wine-lovers can afford. 

The family has been farming this beautiful estate for thirty-six years.   A combination of experience and the unique terroir at their hillside vineyards with low yields, meticulous vineyard management, and minimalist winemaking techniques to create wines of uncommon complexity and depth, and to present these wines to wine lovers at reasonable prices. 

Wine Advocate (Reviewed by Robert Parker) Top Value:
The 2009 Chardonnay Russian River is a steal. Fresh honeysuckle notes intermixed with pineapple and white peach nuances emerge from this medium-bodied effort. There is not a hint of oak in this beauty, only a luscious texture, good freshness and crisp acids. Enjoy it over the next 1-2 years. Wow! Readers should be buying these terrific values from Buehler Vineyards by the case.

Located six winding miles east of St. Helena and nestled in the mountains below Howell Mountain, Buehler Vineyards encompasses three hundred acres of Napa Valley hillside terrain.

Wine Enthusiast 90 Points:
This is the kind of Chardonnay that divides wine lovers into enemy camps. Old World purists will criticize the candied richness. New World fans will love the toasted marshmallow, caramel corn and buttered toast flavors that rest on a solid foundation of pineapple and green fruit.

Winery Notes:
The 2009 Russian River Chardonnay displays abundant floral/stone fruit aromas lightly accented by toasty, graham cracker sur-lie qualities. The mouthfeel is creamy and full but the natural acidity of the Russian River fruit carries this velvet textured package to a long, clean finish.


 

92pt Grand Cru Chablis Best Price Anywhere!

Christian Moreau

The Moreau family has been rooted in the heart of Chablis since 1814. At that time Jean Joseph Moreau founded the wine-merchant trading firm. In 1974 Hiram Walker acquired 50% of the company and acquired the remaining shares in 1985. J.Moreau et Fils was then sold with no member of the family remaining in the company to Boisset in Nuits St Georges. The Moreau family retained ownership of their vast vineyard holdings throughout these transitions.

With the 2002 vintage, Christian Moreau Pere & Fils regained their right to produce wines sourced from their extensive vineyard holdings and market the wines under their own label. Today, Fabien Moreau the sixtieth generation of the family is the super star winemaker of this beautiful Domaine in Chablis. After graduating in Oenology in Dijon and earning a MBA at E.N.I.T.A in Bordeaux, he also studied in New Zealand and learned the country’s winemaking practices.

Fabien Moreau describes the vintage as a "distinctly ripe vintage that achieved excellent maturities across the board." "...an extremely clean harvest that ranged between 12.2 and 13.5% in potential alcohols. As such, we did no chaptalization at all." 

Domaine Christian Moreau Pere et Fils owns a total of 1.25 acres of the Grand Cru Vaudesir. Vaudesir is located northwest of Les Clos and shares the same hillside terroir. Up to 40% of the final blend sees time in oak barrels. Typically just 10% of that is new oak, with the majority being two and three year old barrels.

Burghound 92 points:
A ripe and intensely floral nose also features notes of smoke, sea breeze, mineral reduction and white peach that introduce rich, full and vibrant medium weight flavors that possess plenty of volume on the tangy and racy finish that has tightened up considerably since I last saw this from cask. A very solid performance for such young vines.


 

Limited Edition Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon 45% Off

Kenwood Vineyards sits on a beautiful, twenty-two acre-producing estate. The winery also produces wines from fruit sourced from some of Sonoma County’s best vineyards. Using the “Cuvèe” winemaking method, the harvest from each vineyard is handled separately to preserve its individuality and true character. Such “small lot” winemaking allows our winemaker to bring each lot of wine to its fullest potential.

True to history, the winery is housed in the original winery buildings. Inside, the winery has been redesigned with winemaking versatility in mind. More than 125 stainless steel fermenting and upright oak tanks are used in combination with 14,000 French and American Oak barrels, giving the winemaker flexibility and diversity in production.

After 30 years, Kenwood Vineyards’ Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon remains the ultimate expression of artistry and fine winemaking. The art featured on every bottle combines with fine wine to make each new Artist Series release an event and every vintage a prime collectible. 

During its first decade, the Artist Series highlighted works by contemporary artists. The 1987 vintage broke with tradition by featuring a painting from Joan Miro, and in years since, the Artist Series has presented works from other renowned artists including Pablo Picasso, Henry Miller, Alexander Calder and Vincent van Gogh. 

Artwork ranges in style from impressionist and romantic to modern and abstract, with Kenwood Vineyards redesigning the label annually to enhance the presentation of each piece. The variety of dimension, shape, orientation and background add drama to the Artist Series package, reinforcing the unique character of the collection. 

Each year since the 1975 vintage our winemakers taste individual barrels of our finest lots of Cabernet Sauvignon at the end of aging and select only the best to become part of the Artist Series blend. The result is a flavorful and intense wine that represents less than 2% of our total Cabernet Sauvignon production.

The Artist Swiss-born German artist Paul Klee (1879-1940) was a major contributor to 20th century art not only with his paintings but also with his theory, teachings and written compositions. Influenced by travels to Egypt, his monumental "Highway and Byways" (1929) is a reflection of rhythm and proportion, an interpretation of landscape divided by vertical and horizontal networks. It is one of his many profound works that illustrate his ability to experiment with and invent new ways of expression.

The 2005 Vintage marks the 31st release of Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon from Kenwood Vineyards. The harvest produced a bountiful crop of Cabernet Sauvignon with a distinctly rich and complex flavor that is followed by spicy and aromatic notes. After picking, the grapes were crushed and fermented in stainless steel tanks and then settled and racked twice before going down to barrels in December of 2005. After 29 months of barrel aging the very best lots were carefully selected and then blended and bottled. After bottling, the wine was aged for an additional year and a half before it was released.

The 2005 Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon is a luscious wine with great depth and focused tannins. It exhibits complex aromas of cassis, tea leaves and a hint of licorice. The wine is ready for enjoyment now but its full-bodied flavor will allow it to improve for many, many years.


2005 Kenwood - Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon  
2005 Kenwood - Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon

Red | Cabernet Sauvignon | United States | California | 750ml

The 2005 Vintage marks the 31st release of Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon from Kenwood Vineyards. The harvest produced a bountiful crop of Cabernet Sauvignon with a distinctly rich and complex flavor that is followed by spicy and aromatic notes. After picking, the grapes were crushed and fermented in stainless steel tanks and then settled and racked twice before going down to barrels in December of 2005. After 29 months of barrel aging the very best lots were carefully selected and then blended and bottled. After bottling, the wine was aged for an additional year and a half before it was released. The 2005 Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon is a luscious wine with great depth and focused tannins. It exhibits complex aromas of cassis, tea leaves and a hint of licorice. The wine is ready for enjoyment now but its full-bodied flavor will allow it to improve for many, many years.

Regular Price: $67.99
On Sale: $49.98
(Save 26%)
Case Price (12): $815.88
Case Sale (12): $599.76
(Save 26%)
 

 

Small Production Russian River Pinot Noir. Bloodlines to Willams-Selyem. 50% off 

If you like Williams-Selyem Pinots, get excited to try Denise Selyem's small-production wine.  The 2006 Wesmar Russian River Valley Pinot Noir - only 322 cases were made.

WesMar 

WesMar Winery is a result of the combined efforts of Kirk Wesley Hubbard and wife Denise Mary Selyem and of course dog Zoey. They learned about wine making and the wine business from working with Ed Selyem, Denise’s father at Williams & Selyem Winery, for several years in the mid to late 1990’s. In 2000 they left Williams & Selyem Winery and started their own winery, WesMar Winery.

WesMar is a small garagiste-styled winery in the Russian River Valley that produces “faat” Pinots (sublime combinations of fruit, alcohol, acidity and tannin). The label is modeled after the original Williams Selyem winery. They craft their wines in a small industrial space in a former apple processing plant on Gravenstein Highway in Sebastopol. They are a two person, 50/50 operation, sharing all winemaking and winery management duties. There are no employees, consultants or brokers.

There are two distinctive hallmarks of WesMar (pronounced “Wes-Mare”) Pinot Noir. First, there is consistency from one vintage to the next and one bottle after another, regardlessof vineyard source. Denise says, "We all want to replicate the success we have had with a particular vineyard or vintage. To counter this phenomenon, we strive to make wines that all have individual personalities but offer very similar levels of richness."


WesMar Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2006
322 Cases Produced

An invitingly forward nose of sweet red fruits, maple with a subtle oak accent. This rich wine offers a mouthful of sweet strawberries and a dash of cinnamon on the entry, with a lush mid palate, supported by medium strength tannins and framed with moderate acidity. This beautiful wine offers bursting flavors on entry with lasting flavors in the finish that will pair with a wide spectrum of cuisine.


 

Weekend Special Offers #2: Antinori, Antinori, Antinori

This weekend we have Special Offers full of you wines from . . you guessed it Antinori. We have for you the newly released 2008 Villa Antinori Toscana this wine received 90 points from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate and we have it at a special price of $14.95. We also have a perennial best buy wine Tormaresca Neprica 2010 at a special low price of $7.95. Also, from Tormaresca we have the 2009 Torcicoda Primitivo. Last year this was a Wine Spectator Top 100 wine and this is a pretty good follow up especially at our special price of $17.95. 

Take advantage of these Special Offers as they are for this Weekend Only. Offers End March 3, 2012. Get it now and save. We will not be able to honor special prices after the offer ends.

Villa Antinori

The Antinori family of Florence, one of the world's oldest and most distinguished wine producers, has lived in Tuscany since the 14th century and celebrated its 614 anniversary as wine makers in 1999. The current company president, Marchese Piero Antinori, believes in the tradition that the primary role of wine is to accompany food and enhance the dining experience. In Florence, the Antinori family has led a "Renaissance" in Italian wine making by combining long traditions, a love of authenticity and a dynamic innovative spirit.

The qualities of tradition, passion and instinct have made Antinori one of the leading Italian producers of fine quality wines.

Every vintage, every terroir, every idea is a new beginning, a new quest to raise our quality margins. As Marchese Piero loves to repeat: “ancient roots play an important role in our philosophy, but they have never held back our spirit of innovation”.

Antinori continually experiment with their vineyards and cellars, with selections of native and international clones, growing methods, vineyard altitudes, fermentation methods and temperatures, traditional and modern vinification techniques, types of wood, size and age of barrels, and various bottle-ageing periods.

Villa Antinori is the result of a selection of grapes originating exclusively from the Antinori Estates in Tuscany: only grapes born, raised, ripened, and harvested on the Antinori Estates and vinified in their own cellars.

Just as the wine evolves in a wooden barrel or in the bottle, the wine has also evolved in history: the years of Villa Antinori have been a long journey of evolution that has given life to a classic example of “Tuscanity”.

 

 

The Antinori Family Has Done It Again!

Tormaresca

Piero Antinori made the decision to invest in the southern Italian region of Puglia in 1998. Antinori saw the potential for quality at an exceptional price and with their incredible base of knowledge and skilled winemakers they have crafted some unique and delicious wines. 

Tormaresca Neprica 2010
Blend of 40% Negroamaro 30% Primitivo and 30% Cabernet from Antinori’s two estates in Puglia. The grapes for the Tormaresca Neprica – Negroamaro, Primativo, and Cabernet Sauvignon – come from the Tormaresca "Masseria Maime" and "Boca de Lupo" estate vineyards.

 

This Great Red Blend from Neprica of southern Italy offers an unbeatable price versus quality ratio. Tormaresca's Neprica is ruby red with some violet tones. The aromas are of red berries and black cherries. The Neprica is fairly lush, with soft tannins and moderate acidity. This rising star of Puglia would pair with meats, pasta or aged cheese and offers clean aromas of ripe fruit, spice and leather.

Tormaresca Torcicoda Primitivo 2009 
100% Primitivo
Shows plenty of varietal character in its deep, plush fruit. Ruby red in color with typical varietal aromas of plum, blackberry, clove and licorice. Soft flavors, good body, warm with refined and long tannins.

Stephen Tanzer International Wine Cellar 89 Points: 
Bright, full red-ruby. Spicy, sweet nose offers red fruits, violet and licorice. Fresh, suave and smooth on the palate, with bright flavors similar to the aromas and a delicate complicating herbal nuance. Finishes with bright acids, soft tannins and good length. 



 

Weekend Special Offer #1: The Legend Silver Oak 2007 Napa is Here

Be the first in the DC market to have this wine from one of California's higly regarded and "Iconic" properties. We have for you Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2007. This wine has only been released to a few select stores in California and New York but we were able to get a special allocation as well. 

Again, this is not a Pre-sell as we are the only retailer in the Washington DC market to have this in stock. Other retailers are only selling the 2007 Alexander Valley or 2006 Napa Valley (the actual current release). But the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley is the wine all Silver Oak fans have been waiting for. Act fast as we have a limited amount of wine available. 

The 2007 Napa Valley Vintage is phenomenal. Robert Parker of the Wine Advocate rated the Vintage overall 96 points—making 2007 tied for the highest rated Vintage ever from the Wine Advocate. In fact, Robert Parker has rated the 2007 Vintage higher than the legendary 1997 Vintage, which he gave 94pts. Again don't wait on the Legendary Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2007 as it is here . . . . But won't be for long!


We also will have Special Weekend Offers on the Silver Oak Alexander Valley 2007 $54.95 and a beautiful Pinot Noir from Silver Oak's other property Twomey. We have a Special Offer on the 90pt (Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar)Twomey Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2009 for $34.95. This is the Best Price Anywhere and specially priced for this Weekend Only.
 

Take advantage of these Special Offers as they are for this Weekend Only. Offer Ends March 3, 2012. Get it now and save. We will not be able to honor special prices after the offer ends.

Silver Oak Cellars
Great wine is meant to be savored with family and friends. This belief is at the heart of Silver Oak Cellars, where they have crafted extraordinary Cabernet Sauvignon for over 35 years. 

The passionate commitment to winemaking excellence is reaffirmed at every step in the process. Silver Oak carefully evaluates the grapes they select and the methods and equipment they use in the winery to create the ideal environment for their Cabernet Sauvignon. No detail is too small.The result is Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon, a wine with intense, opulent flavors, velvety texture and the balance and depth to ensure superb longevity.

Entrepreneur Raymond Twomey Duncan first visited the Napa Valley in the late 1960s. Taken by the area’s rugged beauty – and the potential of its fledgling wine industry – he soon began purchasing orchards, pastures and vineyards throughout the Napa and Alexander Valleys.

Looking for an insider to advise him, Ray approached Justin Meyer in 1972, asking him to plant and manage his vineyards. Then a winemaker for the Christian Brothers, Justin agreed under one condition: In addition to growing grapes, he wanted to create a winery that would forever raise the standards of California wine. Silver Oak Cellars was born.

Ray and Justin had a bold vision for their winery. Rather than producing six or seven varietals, they would devote all their resources to producing a single wine – Cabernet Sauvignon. What’s more, their wine would be a new style of Cabernet Sauvignon, rich and complex yet deliciously drinkable from the day it was released.

In 1972, Silver Oak’s Alexander Valley vineyards produced the harvest that would become our first Cabernet Sauvignon. Seven years later, we harvested the grapes for our first Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, now produced as a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux varietals. From the beginning, these two wines have consistently represented the very best of their appellations, attracting a loyal following across the country and around the world.

After selecting Daniel Baron to succeed him as winemaker in 1994, Justin sold his share of Silver Oak to the Duncan family in 2001. Today, the Duncans continue to lead Silver Oak, carrying forward the vision established by Ray and Justin more than 35 years ago.

 

Twomey Cellars

Ray Duncan and his four sons founded Twomey Cellars in 1999 with the same philosophy that Ray and Justin Meyer established for Silver Oak: create food-friendly wine that is deliciously drinkable upon release. With Twomey, however, they apply that philosophy to varietals other than Cabernet Sauvignon, the flagship of Silver Oak. They combine winemaking experience with a spirit of innovation, enabling them to work with different varietals, winemaking techniques and some of the best vineyard sites in California.After decades of making Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon, they took the experience and resources and poured them into making handcrafted Merlot, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. In 2000, they had the opportunity to secure a beautiful piece of land in the heart of the Russian River Valley, a perfect site for growing Pinot Noir. Twomey now makes four appellation Pinot Noirs from some of the best vineyards in California.

 

Special Offer: 92pt Chianti Classico Riserva Can't Beat It for $17.95

We have a Special Offer for you today on the Ruffino Ducale Chianti Classico Riserva 2007. James Suckling former Lead Critic of Wine Spectator gave this wine 92 points. A Chianti Classico Riserva this good at our Special Price of $17.95 is a wine deal that can't be beat.

Take advantage of this Special Offer as it is for One Week Only. Offer Ends March 7, 2012. Get it now and save. We will not be able to honor special prices after the offer ends.

Ruffino 
In 1877, Illario and Leopoldo Ruffino laid the foundations of their dream to make the most known and loved Italian wines in the world from the heart of Tuscany. At their winery in Pontassieve, just outside of Florence, they began producing wines according to a strict quality standard and a rigorous technical research. Soon, Ruffino became an international symbol of the Chianti region, and won numerous awards, including the prestigious gold medal at the Bordeaux Wine Fair in 1895, affirming the quality of its wine.

In 1913, the Folonari family purchased Ruffino and brought new talent, energy and enthusiasm into the company. They started on a nearly century-long pursuit to develop a collection of estates in Tuscany, all of which matched the standard of quality and uniqueness which was the trademark of Ruffino wine.

 

Over the last sixty years, Ruffino has established seven prominent estates in Tuscany, all situated within the major DOCG production regions including Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Chianti and Chianti Classico. Today, Ruffino continues to meld century-long Tuscan traditions with new state-of-the-art cellar technology and modern winemaking for an ideal symbiosis with the energy of the contemporary Italian lifestyle. 

Since its first years of production, Riserva Ducale has become synonymous with fine Chianti, and it has played a leading role in the development of the privileged position which Tuscan quality wines hold throughout the world today.

In many markets this Riserva has in fact transcended its category and become known simply as "Riserva Ducale."

It has managed to preserve its excellent reputation through time, thanks to Ruffino's commitment to cultivating the finest Sangiovese grapes on the slopes of the Chianti Classico hills.

One of the first and most prominent admirers of Ruffino wines was without doubt the Duke of Aosta, who at the end of the nineteenth century appointed Ruffino supplier to his house.  The Duke's appreciation was made official in the form of a Ducal certificate.

This wine had a very innovative style. As the leading producer of Chianti wines, Ruffino had in fact applied new ageing methods to its Sangiovese - methods which were then mainly reserved for the best French wines and not common use in Italy.

The careful choice of vineyard locations and the scrupulous grape selection during harvest made this wine perfect for a very long ageing in oak: 2 years in the classic "botti," large oak casks, followed by a further refinement in the bottle. This happened in a period when the nature of Chianti was that of an everyday wine - a peasant's wine.   

Riserva Ducale has shown the whole world that wines from the Chianti area can be so much more, that the Sangiovese grown on this territory has a noble, generous soul.

A minimum of 80% Sangiovese plus Cabernet and Merlot.

The grapes for the production of Riserva Ducale predominantly come from the vineyards of the Estates of Santedame, Montemasso and Gretole, located in the traditional Chianti Classico production

area stretching over the provinces of Siena and Florence.

Ruffino Ducale Chianti Classico Riserva 2007Intense ruby red color. At the nose Riserva Ducale immediately shows an outstanding elegance, characterised by particularly fragrant flowery and fruity notes. Violet, cherries, wild berries and plums meet with delicately spicy hints of tobacco and white pepper grains, followed by elegant scents of red roses and flint. At the palate it is coherent with the olfaction. Sensations of fragrant fresh fruit are accompanied by steady yet gentle tannins, that exalt enjoyable spicy hints. The whole tasting sensation is enriched by a persistent finish, that is incredibly fresh and pleasantly mineral and presents an aftertaste with fascinating notes of rosemary.

James Suckling 92 Points:
A wine with lots of dried fruits and raisins that turn to cedar and spices. Full and velvety. Juicy finish.

 


 

Special Offer: Delicious, Juicy Barbera 90pt WS $10.95 Spectacular Value

Today we have for you a Special Offer on a Barbera d'Asti from Michele Chiarlo. One of the most respected producers of Italian Fine Wines. Wine Spectator gave this wine 90 points: "Sweet blackberry, plum and pomegranate fruit is fresh and vibrant as this red unfolds across the palate. Hints of flowers and spices intermingle, but this is more about the juicy fruit. Drink now through 2018." 
Our Special Offer price is $10.95 a spectacular value for this wine.

Michele Chiarlo
The wine producing firm of Michele Chiarlo was founded in 1956 by the sole and present owners, Michele and Giuseppina Chiarlo. Son of over seven generations of esteemed wine growers, Mr. Chiarlo is today one of the most respected producers of the fine wines of Piedmont and a leading figure in its viticultural industry. 


The present firm's foundation was built on the business of Mr. Chiarlo's father, then comprised of the estate's vineyards and family home, in Calamandrana, and the cellars and bottling facility, at nearby Susa. Since then its growth, focused on producing wines of the highest pedigree, has foreshadowed the continuing quest for quality on the part of so many of Italy's conscientious producers. The firm's early years were difficult ones; prior to the establishment of the Denominazione di Origine Controllata laws, establishing a reputation for consistently superior quality was a long proposition for a new producer. Excellent, small-production wines often went unrecognized in the absence of a universal and uniform system of classification which set forth methods, varieties and zones, a system which, ironically, has today been outdistanced by many producers. 


Michele Chiarlo did not abandon his philosophy. Rigorous selection of the best grapes from only the most reputable growers in the most favored vineyard areas and longer aging in oak and then in bottle prior to release were measures he adopted precursing D.O.C. laws. Instituted in 1963, these laws led to the original name of the wines, "Granduca," as distinct from the name of the firm, "Cantine Duca d'Asti," since they prohibited the inclusion of a legal denomination in a trademarked wine name. Michele Chiarlo is also credited with being one of the first producers to introduce malolactic fermentation to Italy, thereby achieving wines of greater stability, lower acidity and easier accessibility in their youth.


In 1995, Michele Chiarlo acquired the estate of Azienda Agricola Aluffi in Castelnuovo Calcea, considered to the most beautiful and prestigious property in the heart of the classic Barbera d'Asti zone. The estate is comprised of two separate vineyard holdings, La Court and Il Castello, with a total area of 62 acres of which 50 are planted in Barbera vines, quite extensive for this area. The principally southwest and easterly-exposed slopes support superb, calcium and mineral rich soils which are of ideal composition for the production of great Barbera d'Asti. 


Michele Chiarlo directly manages or personally oversees every aspect in the production of his wines. Eminently qualified through the expertise acquired through his involvement with the company under his father, he also holds a degree from the prestigious School of Enology at Alba, from which he graduated in 1955. His ceaseless innovation, both in production and in marketing, has gained him the respesct of his industry. He is a counselor of long standing representing Piedmont in the Unione Italiana Vini; President of the Italian Union of Exporters of Wines; past President of the regional Consortium for Quality Control and Promotion supporting 

Barbera d'Asti, Barbera del Monferrato, and Grignolino del Monferrato; and in the mid-1980s assumed a founding position on the board of directors of the then newly-created Italian Wine and Food Institute, focused on the discriminating promotion of quality Italian wines and foodstuffs in the United States. Since the early 1990s, Michele Chiarlo's sons, Alberto and Stefano, have entered the firm in positions which will lead to their eventually assuming full responsibility. Alberto, the elder, directs marketing and sales; Stefano, an enologist by profession, manages vineyard operations and collaborates in production in the cellars.

 


Michele Chiarlo Barbera d'Asti Superiore "Le Orme" 2009
Wine Spectator 90 Points: 

Sweet blackberry, plum and pomegranate fruit is fresh and vibrant as this red unfolds across the palate. Hints of flowers and spices intermingle, but this is more about the juicy fruit. Drink now through 2018. 19,000 cases imported.