Wine of August
Nino Franco Faive Rosé 2018

T

he Nino Franco Family has long been considered, the First Family of Prosecco. As the foremost DOCG producer, their winery and vineyards are located in the Prosecco Hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene….a World Heritage Site. For 100 years, 4 generations of the Franco Family, have produced world renowned Prosecco.


The first non-Prosecco wine, Faive, was produced in 2004. An interesting blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, is a departure for Primo Franco, who is known for his exclusive work with the Glera grape.


Faive means “Sparks,” in Venetian dialect. When the wine hits the glass, the Sparks ignite….an appealing pink and peachy hue of the wine gives way to an aroma of strawberries and cranberry coupled with mineral undertones. The bubbles never stop in this energetic crisp wine. A medium palate if focused by the rich Merlot, as the Cabernet Franc adds a nuance of earthiness to palate and aroma as well. Dry soft tannins add to the delicious finish of fruit and a backbone of minerality. This wine is focused and fresh in the glass, assisted by the Charmat method of vinification in tanks. Faive does well as a sipper, but will come into its own at the table, a bubbly with energy and just tastes great!

 

What to pair with this bubbly gem?

It is a perfect wine for antipasti of salami, prosciutto and parmesan cheese. The elegance and crispness of the Merlot will help draw out the sweet flavors of the antipasti, as the mineral backbone will handle the saltiness of the dish. Faive is perfect with a meat Lasagna as well. The wine’s earthiness from the Cab Franc and soft acidity, will cut through the weightiness of the cheese and meats of the lasagna.


Saluté and enjoy!

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During these trying times, it's important for all of us to stand united. Looking forward to raise a glass with all of you soon!
A Prosecco Producers' Kingdom

Although the freedom of travel is temporarily on hold, you are never closer to the 100-year-old Estate of Nino Franco. Let the "First Family" of Prosecco take you on a private tour of their beautiful property! 


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Springtime in Lilliano

Homebound and longing for wine country? Take a video tour of Tenuta di Lilliano in the Chianti Classico Region.  This beautiful estate becomes even more magical in springtime...


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Sicilian Love Story

The Coronavirus respects no borders, but love and compassion of the Cusumano team are defeating the invisible enemy of fear and ignorance. When harsh realities pull us apart, they are bringing people together.


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Award Night in Chelsea

The frigid temperature on February 28, 2020 did not faze any of the enthusiastic crowd who attended our sold-out 10th Annual Tre Bicchieri Wine Dinner at Portale restaurant. This year, we are celebrating the award-winning wines of Alta Mora, Cusumano and Tenuta di Lilliano. Co-hosting this event was Alessandro Ruspoli, owner-winemaker of renowned family Estate Lilliano.


Master chef Alfred Portale created an exquisite 4-course feast which perfectly paired each of these Tre Bicchieri Award-winning wines.


As the night progressed, this wine & food celebration quickly turned into one of the hottest events in town! Cheers!


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Fall for Wine 

... And wine for all the wine and food lovers who attended our 11th Annual "Fall Frolic" Tasting & Dinner on September 16, 2019, featuring wines from the TDS Portfolio.


As guests hosts of this year's event, Owner/Winemaker Jenny Doré of Foxen Vineyards and Dave Miner of Miner Family shared their top wines with a passionate crowd of wine connoisseurs. These exquisite selection of wines were enhanced by a seemingly endless feast prepared by chefs at Frankies 457.


A true lively and fun evening of great wines and delicious food. And most of all, a memorable night for all wine lovers.


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Wild Boar,
Sophisticated Wine 

On March 1, 2019, Our 9th Annual Tre Bicchieri Dinner took place at Ristoro del Cinghiale, the hot Tuscan venue in town. This sold-out dinner event showcases the winners of Tre Bicchieri Awards 2019, including Terenzi and Cusumano. 


This year, Winemaker/Owner Federico Terenzi presented his superb wines from the Maremma, a remarkable land in the southwest corner of Tuscany. This ancient land of Italian cowboys, cattle and sheep was the birthplace of Morellino di Scansano, the finest expression of the noble grape, Sangiovese.


Chef Ben Smallman's Tuscan themed menu also dazzled the lively guests. From Bistecca di Florentina to Roasted Wild Boar, each course was perfectly paired to some of the best Terenzi creations, including Purosangue Riserva and Madrechiesa, the 7th year winner of Tre Bicchieri Award.


The confluence of these passionate and delicious wines, and the intense flavors of each course made for the celebration of senses. A winning night for all.



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When Napa Meets Italy

On the rain soaked evening of September 25, 2018, our 10th Annual Fall Frolic Tasting & Wine Dinner took place at Frankies 457. The wines from the entire TDS Portfolio were tasted by the enthusiastic crowd of food and wine aficionados. 


On this milestone year, Miner Family Winemaker Gary Brookman brought Brooklyn some California sunshine, as a selection of fine wines from this dynamic family-owned winery were featured during a four-course feast. Gary conducted a doctoral on pairing Californian wines with Italian cuisine. An ambitious challenge, but a delicious outcome.


Judging by the smiling faces and sound bite in the packed dining room, this is another successful event for TDS, and a memorable night for the wine and food lovers.


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Foxen Sets Anchor

wine dinner, Tony DiDio

While New Yorkers are welcoming the arrival of Fleet Week, another American fleet dropped its anchor in town. "Sailing" all the way from Santa Maria Valley, Winemakers/Owners Dick Dore and Bill Wathen of Foxen Vineyard & Winery,  along with Marketing and Business Directors Jenny Williamson Dore and Becky Wathen arrived for a series of tastings and events in NYC, including a special wine dinner at Bouley Test Kitchen on May 24, 2018.


The two "Pinot Professors" charmed the attentive crowd with the fascinating history of Foxen Winery, which dates back to the early 1800's, as well as the uniqueness of their Santa Barbara County vineyards.


Master Chef and culinary icon David Bouley prepared a multi-course menu that paired perfectly with each Foxen wine. The subtleties of every dish was enhanced by the elegance and honesty of the wines. It was an unmistakable harmony of food and wine playing off each other, and the guests met each pairing with thunderous applause.


Anchors up, smooth sailing indeed...


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3 Glasses for 3 Winners

wine dinner, Tony DiDio

On March 2, 2018, as a vicious Nor'easter pounded the East coast with heavy wind, rain and snow, TDS and Porter House NYC presented our 7th Annual Tre Bicchieri Dinner in honor of three winners of the prestigious awards for Italian wines.


Winemakers/Owners Peter Zemmer, Federico Terenzi  from their namesake wineries and Maria Leone from Cusumano brought Italian warmth and sunshine to this otherwise damp and cold Friday evening in New York City.


Chef Michael Lomonaco's exquisite dinner menu paired well with each of the award-winning wines, as three of our Italian wine stars talked about the history of their wineries and the wines chosen for this special event.


It might still feel like Winter, but Spring is already in full session at our celebratory dinner for these deserving award winners.


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Harmony Italian Style

wine dinner, Tony DiDio

On the evening of Jan. 17, 2018, a "Meatball Buffet" was presented at the prestigious Harmonie Club, featuring 5 Italian wines from the TDS Portfolio.


With New York- style Italian cuisines as inspirations, Chef Thomas Piede prepared an array of antipasti, pastas, entrees and yes, some delicious meatballs. Tony DiDio paired this incredible feast with Cusumano Syrah and Nero d'Avola, Peter Zemmer "Punggl" Pinot Bianco, d'Amico "Noe" Orvieto and Nino Franco Prosecco Rustico.


The weather outside did not discourage the crowd from attending this marvelous event, dish after dish, glass after glass.


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Holiday Wine Pairing

wine party, Tony DiDio

Pairing wines with a typical Thanksgiving dinner can be daunting when side dishes, both sweet and savory, are served simultaneously. On Nov. 21, 2017, Tony DiDio sat down with Rosanna Scotto and Lori Stokes, hosts of Fox 5's award-winning show "Good Day New York", to talk about ways to simplify this seemingly difficult task. Tony selected 5 "versatile" wines from Foxen, d'Amico, Nino Franco, Terenzi and Miner Family that will go well with the mixed flavors on the Thanksgiving table. A good way to start the Holiday season! Happy Holidays!


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Fall, in Love with Bubbles

wine dinner, Tony DiDio

The threat of high winds and heavy rain of Hurricane Jose did not dampen the passion of the crowd who attended our sold-out 9th Annual "Fall Frolic" Tasting & Wine Dinner on Sept. 19, 2017.


As usual, this grand annual wine and food fest offered our guests the opportunity to taste an array of wines in the TDS Portfolio, from Napa Valley to Mt. Etna.  This year, Primo Franco,  Winemaker & Owner of Nino Franco Prosecco hosted our post-tasting wine dinner by talking about the history of his family's iconic Veneto Estate, as well as the Nino Franco wines featured throughout the dinner.


The four-course feast prepared by chefs at Frankies 457 took on a new dimension this year, with the pairing of all sparkling wines. The result proved to each guest that Prosecco is not only good as an aperitif, but also a versatile wine that can be paired with an entire meal.


While Hurricane Jose hardly left any marks on New York City, the beautiful wines showcased throughout this high spirited night definitely left a long lasting impression on the exuberant crowd.


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Definitely Peter Zemmer

wine dinner, Tony DiDio

On the evening of April 26, 2017, Ristorante Morini was magically transformed into a rousing Italian trattoria, this side of Alto Adige.


Peter Zemmer, the third generation Winemaker/Owner of Peter Zemmer Winery, presented a selection of wines from his celebrated portfolio, including the newly-released Pinot Grigio "Giatl" 2014 Riserva. Paired perfectly with a special 4-course menu by Chef Arthur lee, the wines sang out.


From the first Pinot Grigio to the last Pinot Noir, the Zemmer wines tell a beautiful story of their origin and terroir. Influenced by the majestic Dolomite Mountains, the Zemmer wines displayed freshness, honesty and balance. Together they bring the natural landscape and beauty of Alto Adige to an enthusiastic crowd of wine lovers.

 

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Phenomenal Miner Dinner

wine party, Tony DiDio

On the evening of March 28, 2017, Winemaker Stacy Vogel of Miner Family Winery conducted a Napa valley celebration with a fine selection of Miner wines at Ritz Carlton New York, Central Park.


As part of the successful "Phenomenal Femmes" Wine Dinner series at the hotel's Auden Bistro, Stacy presented six Miner wines, paired to perfection by Wine Director Marika Vida Arnold. From Viognier to The Oracle, Miner Family's flagship wine, the enthusiastic audience was awed by the depth of flavors and nuance of each wine selection. Stacy proved once again that in the New World, Napa is still king. And Miner definitely has a place in the realm of great wines. 


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Grand Opera of
Wine & Food

wine party, Tony DiDio

On February 10, 2017, while the entire New York City was dealing with the aftermath of a winter storm, Porter House was warmed up by the celebration of two Italian winemakers and their Tre Bicchieri Award-winning wines. Diego Cusumano from Sicily and Federico Terenzi from Tuscany presented their most impressive wines to a cordial and attentive crowd.


Chef Michael Lomonaco's Tuscan/Sicilian inspired menu hit the high notes when paired with these epic wines. Winemakers Diego and Federico were warmly received by the enthusiastic crowd during the four-course Italian feast. With outside temperature falling below freezing point, this grand opera of wine and food surely turned Porter House into the hottest spot in town.


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A Good Day in New York

wine party, Tony DiDio

On November 23, 2016, Tony DiDio appeared on Thanksgiving Special of Fox 5's award-winning show "Good Day New York".  Sitting down with Hosts Rosanna Scotto and Greg Kelly and other guests, Tony presented a few selected budget-friendly wines for the Holidays. He also talked about pairing those festive dishes with the right wines. A good day to usher in the Holiday Season. Cheers!

A True Fall Frolic

wine party, Tony DiDio

The weather could not be better and the wines won over the crowd, as TDS celebrated its 8th Annual Fall Frolic Portfolio Tasting & Dinner on September 22, 2016, the first day of Autumn.


Guests got the chance to taste all wines, many of which new releases, from wineries in the TDS Portfolio.The tasting was followed by a wine dinner featuring wines from Foxen Vineyard & Winery and Terenzi Winery, two new members to TDS. Dick Doré of Foxen and Federico Terenzi of Terenzi led commentaries on the wines chosen for this sold-out dinner.


Each course was paired with a Old World (Terenzi) and a New World (Foxen) wine. The chemistry of these wonderful wines not only dazzled the crowd, but also added another dimention to this magical night at Frankies 457.


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A Ramble in Tribeca

wine party, Tony DiDio

An unexpected late-night storm on June 27, 2016 did not dampen the festive mood inside Racines NY, where our 7th Annual Late Night Ramble took place. This year's theme: Pork Pinot and Prosecco drew many of the young professionals in the wine community. The wines selected from the TDS portfolio were embraced by this energetic group of wine connoisseurs. It might be pouring cats and dogs outside. But inside Racines NY, something more magical were poured, savored and shared. Salute to summer!


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Mad About Cusumano

On the evening of May 18, 2016, Winemaker Diego Cusumano cast a spell on Ristorante Morini on Madison Avenue.


During the four-course dinner, Diego presented four indigenous wines from his family's estate outside of Palermo. Chef Michael White's team put a Sicilian spin on each course, that paired and complimented every wine. From the Cusumano Insolia to the refreshing Moscato della Zucco, there was not a dull moment for this fun evening. Thanks to the delicious Cusumano wines, guests truly got a taste of Sicily. Salute Sicilia!


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d'Amico Wines Impress NYC

On April 22, 2016, the d'Amico winery debuted a collection of their stunning wines, made with grapes grown in volcanic soil. A special wine dinner at the Columbus Club in NYC, marked winemaker Guillaume Gelly's presentation of d'Amico wines to a group of sophisticated wine lovers. The crowd listened attentively as Mr. Gelly explained the provenance and content of each wines, as well as a description of this breathtaking Estate. These organic and elegant wines from Lazio and Umbria, were the perfect match for Chef John Boden's creative cuisine, paired by Tony DiDio.  


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Wine & Food Sing in Harmonie

On March 24, 2016, the elegant dining room at the Harmonie Club was magically transformed into a grand trattoria for their Italian Wine Dinner featuring six wines from six different regions of Italy: Baracchi, Cusumano, D'Amico, Nino Franco and Peter Zemmer. Opera singers were brought in to set the tone for this wonderful culinary gala. It was true "Harmonie", as each dish prepared by Chef Thomas Piede's cucina sang a high note, paired with the exquisite wine selections. A night to savor! 


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Miner Got Game

"Turtle lollipops anyone?" As you walk into Henry's End Restaurant on the evening of March 1, 2016, this might be the first thing you hear. It was their Wild Game Dinner featuring selected wines of Miner Family Winery. The five-course dinner was a symphony of flavors as Tony DiDio matched each wild game dish with a wildly sensational Miner wine. From ostrich potstickers to elk chops, from Sauvignon Blanc to the Oracle, a harmonious tune was sung throughout the night. It was wild!


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Singing Sicilian
on Stage Left

On February 10, 2016, Winemaker Diego Cusumano brought warmth and great wines from his Sicilian Estate to Stage Left Restaurant in New Brunswick, New Jersey.


This "Pantheon of American Cuisine" embraced the Cusumano wines and created a menu that complimented these Sicilian treasures. The special event began with guests sampling six selections of Cusumano wines, followed by a four-course dinner that was highlighted by Cusumano Cru wines produced on their versatile and fertile land in Sicily. Belissimo!


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A Night at the Museum

A crisp Fall night on Oct.5, 2015 brought out our friends in the food and wine industry to the Late Night Ramble at Untitled Restaurant at The Whitney Museum. This has been our sixth year to present this special event designed to fit the working schedule of many in the food and wine trade. This year we were fortunate to have Winemakers Primo Franco of Nino Franco Prosecco, Diego Cusumano of Cusumano Winery and Jason Gardine of Hanzell Vineyards to pour their special wines for the guests, who got the chance to taste all the wines in the TDS Portfolio while mingling and networking with their colleagues in the business. What could be better than that?


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Awesome Autumn

A beautiful Autumn Moon beamed over the garden at Frankies 457 on September 28, 2015, as we presented our 7th Annual Portfolio Tasting & Dinner. Each of our Portfolio winery showed its best wines to a sold-out crowd of wine and food lovers.


Baracchi and D'Amico wineries were the featured wines at this year's dinner. Importer Peter Baedecker presided over the four-course dinner, introducing each wine with stories of their origins. Each wine sang a high note and carefully paired to each dish by Tony DiDio. Mathew La Sorsa of Heights Chateau, contributed a color commentary of the wines, which added to the nuamce of this magical night.


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TDS Events Archive

TDS has hosted numerous tasting events in the past and we simply can not list them all here. If you are interested in seeing some of our recently archived event highlights, pleaseclick here to begin.

 Suckling Picks
Top Summer Wines 

 

Wine Critic James Suckling just selected the Top 100 Italian wines for the summer. Cusumano Grillo Shamaris 2018 and Alta Mora Etna Bianco 2018 receive outstanding scores. 

93  Cusumano Grillo Shamaris 2018


A floral and delicious grillo, driven by its floral character of cherry blossom, daffodils and jasmine. Full-bodied and very generous, but with enough acidity to drive on the textured finish. Drink now.



93  Alta Mora Etna Bianco 2018


A very pronounced nose frames straw, dried mangoes, bread crust, passion fruit, dried pineapple and papaya. This might suggest an enormous wine, but the palate is very steely and clear-cut, the direct acidity painting an edgy picture of taut citrus fruit. A beautiful white of contrasts to drink now.

A Miner with Verve 

 

The 2018 Miner Family Chardonnay is an energetic wine which has been impressing consumers and journalists since its release. In the current issue of Wine Spectator, a remarkable score is given to this refreshing Napa gem.

89  Miner Family Chardonnay 2018


Freshness and verve accents the Fuji apple and Bosc pear flavors, featuring hints of chamomile. Creamy nuances show on the finish, with savory hints.

A Chardonnay On The Top 

 

In the recent issue of Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Foxen Chardonnay 2018 Block UU Bien Nacido Vineyard is named one of the "Top Chardonnays from France and California" .

93  Foxen Chardonnay Block UU Bien Nacido Vineyard 2018


Tightly woven aromas of lime pith, acacia and crushed chalk make for an enticing nose in this single-block expression. There’s a great sizzle on the sip, where vibrant flavors of yuzu, sea salt and lemon juice meet with chipped wood in a complex while fresh display.

Top Score for Nino Franco 

 

In the June 2020 Issue of Wine Spectator, Nino Franco Prosecco Superiore Primo Franco 2018 is given the highest score in the Italian sparkling wine category.

90  Nino Franco Primo Franco 2018


Round and creamy, with a juicy layer of acidity enlivening flavors of almond biscotti, pastry cream, candied lemon peel and ground ginger. Fresh, floral finish.

Wine Enthusiast Recommends Zemmer

 

In their May 2020 article on "Italian Pinot Grigios for Toasting La Dolce Vita", Wine Enthusiast Magazine recommends Peter Zemmer Pinot Grigio 2019. 

Peter Zemmer Pinot Grigio 2019


Aromas of ripe pear and green apple carry over to the palate, along with hints of saline and bitter almond. Tangy acidity gives it a juicy finish.

Suckling Picks
Good Value Wine

 

In a recent article on great value wines from Mt. Etna, Wine Critic James Suckling picks a handful of top value Etna Rossos under $50, which include Cusumano Etna Rosso Alta Mora 2016.

93   Cusumano Etna Rosso Alta             Mora 2016


From the moment you hang your nose in the glass, it’s clear that there are plenty of ripe plums, but not the slightest hint of prune character. However, there is a ton of subtle, herbal nuances in here, too. Powerful and concentrated with plenty of healthy tannins that carry the long, dry finish.

Wine You Need Know

 

In the latest issue of Men's Journal, Wine Journalist Amy Zavatto introduces a selection of old-fashioned Italian wines that the readers need to know. Peter Zemmer Vernatsch Schiava is one of the hidden gems.

Peter Zemmer Vernatsch Schiava 2018


Schiava is an easygoing sipper, perfect for a backyard barbecue or a weekday supper. Keep your eyes peeled for Peter Zemmer’s 2018 Vernatsch Schiava, an immaculate version that tastes like a mouthful of crushed cherries and strawberries, but finishes dry and slightly spicey.

Super Superiore 

 

In the April 2020 edition of Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Editor Kerin O'Keefe visits the Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore denomination. Nino Franco Vigneto della Riva di San Floriano 2018 is chosen as the top Super Superiore with an exceptional score.

95   Nino Franco Vigneto della Riva            di San Floriano 2018


An outstanding expression of one of the most celebrated vineyard sites in the denomination, this wine opens with enticing scents of toasted almond, white orchard fruit, botanical herb and pressed spring flower. Elegant and focused, the bright, foaming palate delivers a great depth of flavors, including green apple, creamy white peach and lemon drop, while a soft mousse gives it a silky texture. It closes crisp, tangy and dry.

Historical Gem 

 

In the latest issue of Wine Enthusiast, Italian Wine Editor Kerin O'Keefe reviews Cusumano Sagana 2016, a 100% Nero d'Avola from the historical Vignetto del Torrone Bianco. .

90   Cusumano Sagana 2016


Aromas of cassis, dark berry and spice form the nose of this Nero d'Avola. The savory, full-bodied palate delivers ripe black cherry, blackberry jam and black pepper alongside fine-grained tannins.

High Elevation Red

 

In the January 2020 edition of Wine Spectator's Tasting Highlights, Editor Alison Napjus awards high scores to Alta Mora Rosso 2017.

91     Alta Mora Etna Rosso 2017


A compact, minerally version, with tobacco and smoke notes leading to flavors of dried cherry, pomegranate, coffee and spice. Medium-bodied and fresh, with grippy tannins that should intergrate well with short cellaring.

Crushingly Good Lilliano

 

In her recent article on Chianti Classico, Christy Cantebury, Master of Wine, reviews 3 Lilliano wines.


87 Lilliano 2016 Chianti Classico

Composed of Sangiovese with 5% Canaiolo, this supple, savory and generously fruit-filled wine tastes of black plum skin, red and black cherries and damp iron. Tugging, visceral tannins and zippy acidity give this wine a delightful liveliness. The focus here is on fruit and its terroir translation thanks to exclusive use of cement and stainless steel. This wine will pair with almost any occasion! 


90 Lilliano 2015 Chianti Classico Riserva

Nothing but Sangiovese, this is a classy, bright and structured Riserva. Its minerally intensity is highlighted by sandy and leather tannins that frame the supple, fruited and black cherry flavored mid-palate. The lingering, woodsy finish and robust but balance core suggest this wine has time on its side. 


92 Lilliano 2015 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione

This wine smells very Italian while feeling very American in structure. That's to say that it smells classically of tangy red cherries and mulberries accented by toasted spices and underbrush while its mouthfeel is boldly ample with rounded tannins (surprising for Sangiovese) and integrated acidity. No doubt the warmth of the 2015 vintage contributed to this unusual density and intensity. This will benefit from the patina of time.

Wine of the Year

 

In the year-end issue of Wine Enthusiast Magazine, editors awarded Nino Franco Rustico, as their # 1 wine of the year