As 2011 draws to a close, several Bay Area wine shops share their favorite wine finds and releases of the past year.
From Gary Marcaletti, San Francisco Wine Trading Company:
(250 Taraval Street, San Francisco. 415-731-6222)
All selections available at San Francisco Wine Trading Company.
2007 Georg Rafael, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California ($39.95)
2008 Calera, Pinot Noir “Jensen Vineyard” Mount Harlan, California ($74.95)
2009 Sans Liege, white Cotes du Coast (rhone blend) Paso Robles ($23.95)
2008 Chateau La Rose Tour Blanche Milhade & Fils, red Bordeaux ($9.95)
2010 Francois Chidaine, Touraine Val de Loire, France. (Sauvignon Blanc) ($13.95)
2010 Andrieux, red Cotes du Rhone, Vieilles Vignes “Cuvee Jules” France ($14.95)
2009 Vignerons de Buxy, white Burgundy Cote Chalonnaise “Buissonnier” France ($14.95)
2009 Diochon, red Beaujolais Cru Moulin a Vent, France ($22.95)
2009 Vieux Telegraphe, red Chateauneuf-du-Pape, France ($77.95)
nv J. Lassalle, Champagne Brut Rose, France ($52)
2005 Ruelle Pertois, Brut Champagne Blanc de Blancs, Grand Cru Cuvee Reserve (44.95)
2008 Le Berne, red Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Italy ($29.95)
2007 Cantina Riofavara, Nero d’Avola “Eloro Sciave” Sicily, Italy ($29.95)
2007 Domenico Clerico, Barolo “Ciabot Mentin Ginestra” Italy ($119.00)
2006 Vega Sicilia, red Ribera del Duero Valbuena $179.00
2010 Egon Muller, Riesling, Scharzhof QbA, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer $26.95
From Ceri Smith at Biondivino:
(1415 Green Street, San Francisco. 415-673-2320)
All selections available at Biondivino.
2009 Ciro Picariello Irpinia Fiano DOC $18.
lighter on the smokiness that you often find in fianos –
it maintains a fresh bright quality with clean minerality this is an exceptional value and pairs beautifully with an array of foods – throwing a twist on tradition by adding a smooth smoke to any dish.
2006 Benanti Pietramarina Etna Bianco DOC $45.
Elegant. Simply Elegant. This is a serious white wine that will age beautifully. Has all the qualities of a beautiful white Burgundy but is 100% Carricante from Mt. Etna.
2010 Bio Vio Rossese $23.
Light, bright and fresh with a coastal sea-side briney salty minerality balanced with clean bright fruit
I love this with a spicy seafood stew
2008 Monteraponi Chianti Classico $24.
A Classic. Chianti has had a bad wrap for some time and this is Sangiovese at its best and out to change the idea of what Chianti was – this small estate has the balance right, earthy dusty leather with a sense of place, transporting you to a hilltop in Radda with one sip.
2006 Claudio Fenocchio Barolo $39.
One of the best value Barolos you can find – Sourced from Bussia fruit, this has everything you would want from Nebbiolo, the structure, the earth, the delicate floral nose of fresh garden roses – at an exceptional value.
and for the Orange selection…
2009 Phesant’s Tears Rkatsiteli $18.
With all the interest in skin-contact wines this year, this is the best place to jump in and start to explore. The ‘original’ winemaking region – Georgia. Made in Qvevri (large vessels of clay submerged in the earth, some over 300 years old) – this is wine that takes you back to the fons e origo of winemaking. Deep golden color, structure and spice – this is a wine that will stop you and make you think. Plus — It makes a very intriguing wine to pair with any group of people and any type of meal, a real conversation starter.
From Katya Karagadayeva at Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant:
(1605 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley. 510-524-1524)
All selections available at Kermit Lynch.
“I’ve been on an Italian/Corsican kick lately, so here are some of my favorites.”
2008 Nero d’Avola “Sciave”, Riofavara $29.00
2009 Rosso di Montalcino, Sesti $39.00
2009 Ajaccio Rouge “Cuvée Faustine”, Domaine Abbatucci $35.00
2010 Cap Corse Blanc, Domaine de Gioielli $32.00
From Jocelyn Rose, San Francisco Wine Examiner:
My own personal favorite find of this year was brought to me courtesy of Master Sommelier Alan Murray.
Silvio Meletti Amaro Liquore, Ascoli-Piceno, Italy. An absolutely delicious, sweet and slightly bitter digestif made from a secret recipe of herbs and spices, including caramel and saffron.
Available at K & L Wine Merchants $16.99