Stellina’s Wine Tastings resume on Thursday November 17 at 6:30, as we revisit what has become an annual theme for us. The title of the event is MOSTRO ROSSO, aka BIG REDS.  And that’s exactly what you can expect: the biggest, baddest, most mouth-filling red wines that we could find.

Using the wines as our guides, we’ll travel from California, northward to Washington State, southward to Argentina and Chile, and finally across to Italy. These wines include Bordeaux-like blends, single-grape bottlings, wineries with international connections and even some rather eccentric, limited availability vineyards.

The thing that unifies these wines is that they are all ALPHA-REDS, serious wines for serious wine drinkers. Dark color, rich bouquets, complex flavors and long finishes are the norm.

As always, our wine tasting includes selected antipasti and expert commentary from an industry representative.

The price of this tasting is $35 per person. Reservations are required. Call 617-924-9475 or go to the reservation page of this website.

To get a sense of these blockusters, read tasting notes below.

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BOCA DI LUPO “CASTEL DEL MONTE” – TORMARESCA (PUGLIA)

The Bocca di Lupo estate is located within the Castel del Monte DOC, while the Masseria Maìme estate is in the Salento area, the pulsing heart of this vibrant winemaking region. Tormaresca leads Puglia’s modern renaissance by combining classic winemaking with the latest viticulture techniques to create exceptional wines just waiting to be discovered. All Tormaresca wines are crafted with 100% estate-grown fruit. Bocca di Lupo occupies 250 acres of chalky soil at an elevation of 800 feet above sea level in Murgia, near the volcano Vulture.

PRODUCTION
The grapes were picked fully mature in order to assure a wine of complete ripeness. After pressing, the must fermented in stainless steel tanks at temperatures around 25°C. Delicate methods were utilized during the period of skin contact in order to insure a gradual and balanced extraction of color and structuring elements, and the overall period of skin contact lasted 18 days. The wine was run off its skins directly into 60 gallon oak barrels, principally French, where it went through a complete malolactic fermentation and aged for 15 months before bottling. A further two year period of bottle aging followed.

TASTING NOTES
COLOR: Deep ruby red.
AROMA: An intense and complex nose with successive notes of red fruit and dried fruit, spice, herbs, and balsamic sensations.
FLAVOR: An elegant wine with firm tannins, a very important structure, balance and a round texture, and a lengthy and persistent finish and aftertaste.
WINE ENTHUSIAST 90 POINTS: This vintage of Bocca di Lupo shows balance and sophistication both in terms of its aromatic intensity and overall delivery of fresh fruit and spice. Flavors of dark plum, blackberry, black espresso and hickory smoke appear on the very rich and dense finish.

ROBERT PARKER: “A pure expression of Aglianico, the 2010 Castel del Monte Bocca di Lupo is one of the standout wines of Southern Italy.”

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“GRAND VIN” CUVELIER LOS ANDES (ARGENTINA)

The story of Argentina’s rise in the global wine market is a compelling one. Over the last decade new investment in the Argentine wine industry has soared and the resulting wines that have been produced have clearly demonstrated that Argentine wines can compete in the global market with anyone. Malbec, in particular has emerged as the standard for judging the quality of Argentine wines. Many of these wines have been made from old vines planted long ago that never really showed their true potential. With the arrival of more modern wine,making equipment, improved viticulture practices and dedicated winemakers and consultants, the wines of Argentina have soared in popularity and consumer recognition.

ROBERT PARKER 92 POINTS: The 2006 Grand Vin is a blend of 70% Malbec and equal parts Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah. It was aged for 15 months in French oak. Saturated purple in color, it has a lovely bouquet of cedar, spice box, black cherry, black raspberry, blueberry, and chocolate. It has outstanding concentration, 4-6 years of aging potential, and a lingering, pure finish. It will be in its prime from 2013 to 2026.” Jay Miller Cuvelier Les Andes is owned by Bertrand and Jean-Guy Cuvelier, part owners of Chateau Leoville-Poyferre in Saint-Julien. The estate is located in the Uco Valley at the foothills of the Andes and encompasses 115 acres of young vines (age 5 in the 2006 vintage). The consulting winemaker is Michel Rolland.

STEVE TANZER’S INTERNATIONAL WINE CELLAR 91 POINTS: Sexy, slightly high-toned aromas of currant, black plum, mocha, licorice and minerals. At once sweet and serious, with noteworthy energy to the currant, plum and mineral flavors. Spreads out to coat the palate on the finish. The tannins are sweet, but this very young and backward wine will need cellaring.

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“NINA LEE” SYRAH, SPRING VALLEY (WASHINGTON)

This 100% Estate-grown Syrah offers inviting aromas of violet and raspberry with a hint of pepper and orange zest. On the palate the wine is full and rich and loaded with concentrated blackberry and almond paste flavors that linger on a juicy finish. Enjoy this Nina Lee Syrah now or cellar for future enjoyment.

Spring Valley Vineyard is a limited-production winery producing only estate-grown-and-bottled red wines. For more than a century, the Corkum-Derby family has been farming the area known as Spring Valley. Grapes were first planted in 1993. Spring Valley produced its first estate grown and bottled wine, Uriah, with the 1999 vintage. Today, Uriah is one of Washington’s most acclaimed red wines, and the Spring Valley family of wines has grown to include seven red wines: Uriah (Merlot-based blend), Frederick (Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend), Nina Lee (100% Syrah), Katherine Corkrum (100% Cabernet Franc), Mule Skinner (100% Merlot), Derby (100% Cabernet Sauvignon) and the newest release, Sharilee (Petit Verdot). The names given to their wines are a tribute to the family members who have struggled and succeeded in farming the same land where Spring Valley Vineyard now flourishes.

THE WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS– “The 2010 Syrah Nina Lee Walla Walla is a smoking Syrah that spent 21 months in 100% French oak, 50% being new. Dense, rich and fabulously concentrated, it gives up layers of black cherry, raspberry, flowers and creamy licorice to go with a full-bodied, multi-dimensional, lengthy profile on the palate. It’s a beautiful wine that will drink well over the coming decade or more. I loved these latest releases from Spring Valley vineyard. They all show classic, elegant and balanced profiles that will evolve gracefully. These wines are not blockbusters and come across as slightly restrained at first, yet they blossom with time in the glass and are highly recommended.”
WINE SPECTATOR 92 POINTS: “Focused, lively, inviting and distinctive, with bay leaf and loam overtones to the bright blackberry flavor. Finishes with a floral flourish. “
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“MONARCHY” CYPHER WINERY (PASO ROBLES)
47% Malbec, 46% Petit Verdot, 7% Tempranillo
Monarchy: Regal (re·gal) of notable excellence or magnificence.
The nose is so dense it has a velvet texture. Boysenberry and blueberry laced with hints of lavender and rosemary, trailing into a savory crème brûlée. Drooling…. I want steak. On the palate, rich red fruit married with deep blueberry. Silky tannins build around the fruit seemingly forever. Long in its story, finishes with grace and eloquence.
About Cypher: After growing Four Vines to 140,000 cases, Christian Tietje and Susan Mahler longed for the old days of running and working a smaller winery. Susan was anxious to get out from behind my desk of number-crunching madness and re-claim her title of “Mother-Trucker.” (Yes, she hauled grapes from their many vineyards at pre-dawn, death-o-clock in the morning runs during the months of harvest in our early years as a winery.) She longed to get back into the vineyards and enjoy the diversity of daily responsibilities required in running a smaller operation. While Christian loved developing and growing the Naked Chard and OVC projects, he wanted to dedicate his time towards pushing his creativity with high-end “extreme winemaking.” So, here they are…. on
Vinous / Antonio Galloni 90 points – “Dark ruby. Raspberry, lavender and succulent herbs on the aromatic nose, with a spicy nuance adding lift. Sweet, gently chewy red berry and spicecake flavors show good depth and energy and pick up an earthy quality with air. Finishes with smooth, fine-grained tannins, repeating floral character and very good cling.
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“SANTA DIGNA” CARMENERE RISERVA, MIGUEL TORRES (CHILE)
Grape varieties: 100 % Carmenère
Origin: Central Valley
Certified Fairtrade, the 2013 Carmenere shows fine aromas of blackberry and blackcurrant, with enticing notes of eucalyptus, mint and tangerine. It’s a delicious mouthful, great with a steak or any barbecued meat, and the finish is spicy and long.
Tasting notes:
Cherry colour with fine mulberry aromas, and balsamic touches of eucalyptus that culminate in a sublime hint of mandarin oranges.
Elegant on the palate with sweet tannins and nuances of leather and spices. Its ageing in French oak lends it a pleasant toasted background.
Miguel Torres Chile was founded in 1979 by the Torres family of Spain. Torres has produced wine in Spain since the 17th century. The Miguel Torres Chile winery encompasses more than 400 hectares of wineyards planted in five different properties each with unique climatic characteristics. This enables the winery to cultivate distinct varieties and to allow their intense expressions to develop. Miguel Torres is recognized for introducing new technologies to Chile, which have contributed to the growth of Chilean wines over the past 30 years. As of 2010, Miguel Torres Maczassek, a fifth generation Torres winemaker who moved to Chile with his family in order to maintain the tradition and passion for winemaking that the Torres family has demonstrated throughout the years
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