Previous inventory

sparkling

Lini NV Lambrusco Cerasa Rosé 19 (pefect summer wine)
Lini NV Lambrusco Labrusca Rosso 19 (perfect bbq wine)

white

Colombo 2007 Côtes-du-Rhône La Redonne Blanc 18
Chapoutier 2007 Crozes-Hermitage Petite Ruche Blanc 23
Jolivet 2006 Sancerre Caillottes 23

red

Chapoutier 2003 St Joseph Deschants 19

Sanguineto 2004 Rosso di Montepulciano 29
Sanguineto 2004 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 36

Produttori del Barbaresco 2003 Barbaresco Magnum 53
(1.5 liter great for a large party)
Produttori del Barbaresco 2004 Barbaresco Asili 61
(great for cellaring or special occasion)
Produttori del Barbaresco 2004 Barbaresco Montestefano 61
(great for cellaring or special occasion)
Produttori del Barbaresco 2004 Barbaresco Pora 61
(great for cellaring or special occasion)

Click here to order any combination of the above.

Lini Lambrusco Rosé “Cerasa” Non Vintage $19
Lini Lambrusco Rosso “Labrusca” Non Vintage $19

Emilia Romagna, Italy

If you read Do Bianchi (and/or have tasted wine with me at any time over the last 2 years), you know that Alicia Lini and Lini Lambrusco have played a big part in my life. I discovered these wines back in 2007 when my then boss, Nicola Marzovilla, sent me and colleague Jim Hutchinson to Italy as a bonus for a banner year at his restaurants and wine shop in NYC (I was his marketing director). Dissatisfied with the Lambrusco available in the U.S., we were determined to find a great wine to bring here. On a fateful evening in Pieve di Cento (near Bologna) on a cold February night, Jim, Dindo and Puddu (two of my best friends in Italy), and I dined at Ristorante Buriani and I grilled Gilberto Buriani about what he thought were the best Lambruscos being produced. He gave me five names and over the next two days, Jim and I tasted all the wines.

But it was the effervescent Alicia (who, since that time, has become a dear friend), who won us over with a champagne-method Lambrusco: a hand-crafted Lambrusco made like Champagne, double-fermented in bottle. Anyone who put that much love into Lambrusco, I thought, had the right stuff to make great Lambrusco for the U.S. and the wines were FANTASTIC. During my years as a student in Italy, I spent a lot of time in Emilia Romagna where Lambrusco is a sine qua non of any culinary experience. I know me some Lambrusco and these wines are dear to my heart because I had a hand in introducing them to the U.S.

They are low in alcohol, with natural fruit flavors, and very fresh on the nose and on the palate (Lini bottles the wine destined for the U.S. only when an order is placed by the importer, my old boss). The red is deliciously meaty, with grapey flavors and a gentle fizziness that makes it my FAVORITE barbecue wine (would go great with Uncle Tim’s Memphis style pork ribs). The rosé is more elegant, with some tannic structure: it is made from what I believe is the most noble of Lambrusco clones, Sorbara (named after the village). I love both of these wines and Tracie B and I often start our meal at Jaynes Gastropub with a glass of Lini (and I poured Lini at Jayne and Jon’s wedding where I officiated!).

Sanguineto Rosso di Montepulciano 2004 $29
Sanguineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2004 $36

Tuscany, Italy

The wines made by Dora and Patrizia in Montepulciano are another case of wines I cannot live without. A wine colleague of mine in Los Angeles turned me on to their wines last year — he knows I like my wine natural and stinky — and when I traveled to Italy in September, I called them up out of the blue and they were gracious enough to let me come out to the winery and taste with them. They live together and make wine on the humble estate that Dora inherited from her father in the village of Sanguineto in the easternmost part of the Montepulciano appellation. These are humble, truly salt-of-the-earth folks and there is a lot of love between them and a lot of love in the wines they make. The process is entirely natural: they grow grapes, they press them, and then they let them ferment (alcoholic and malolactic fermentation) in inert cement vats and age in tartrate-lined wooden casks with no intervention whatsoever.

The resulting wines — in my opinion — are among the best expressions of Vino Nobile made today (even though they have no marketing machine, beyond my humble email list, behind them and their wines). In both the Rosso di Montepulciano (made from younger vines) and the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Dora and Patrizia use only indigenous Tuscan grape varieties: Sangiovese Grosso (known as Prugnolo Gentile in Montepulciano), Canaiolo, and Mammolo. As many Montepulciano producers are beginning to “Merlotize” their wines (if you read Do Bianchi, you may have seen some of my posts and my translations of Franco’s posts asking Tuscan winemakers to “just say no to Merlot”), Dora and Patrizia are among the last few Mohicans standing, making awesome, terroir-driven, truly natural wines. When I visited them last year and photographed them, Dora looked lovingly at Patrizia and said, “this is the first time anyone has ever taken a picture of us together.” I felt honored. When Tracie B saw the post I did on them, she commented: “if Willie Nelson had a sister, it would be Dora.” I love the ladies and I love their wines.

The classic and traditional pairing for these wines is grilled meat, ideally grilled Porterhouse steak, served blood rare — al sangue. These are my top picks for well-priced expressions of awesome Sangiovese to pair with grills this summer. I just can’t tell you how much I dig their wine: natural red fruit and plum flavors matched by bright acidity and balanced tannin. Perfect for steak.