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The farmstead of Zaccagnini was founded in 1978 as a family-run winery, and today produces about 500,000 bottles per year from 100% handpicked grapes. While Abruzzo doesn’t attract Hollywood celebrities fleeing the spotlight or even many tourists it has one claim to fame: Marcello Zaccagnini and his winemaker, Concezio Marulli, who are eliciting nectar from its rough hills. Marcello grew up as a farmer working in the vineyards owned by his father, growing grapes to sell to local winemakers. In 1977, barely into his twenties, Marcello determined that if no one would buy their grapes, he would work with his father to make the wine themselves. Cantina Zaccagnini is made of 100% Montepulciano and was aged traditionally in Slavonic oak. The resulting wines tend to be softer and more accessible than Chianti or Nebbiolo, with lower acidity and mild sweeter tannins.
nextSectionIntense violet robe. Aromas of plums and ripe blackberry. Each sip delivers a mouthful of ripe berries, leather and black pepper with subtle hints of oregano, dried herbs, and a touch of vanilla; all leading to a dry, supple finish.
Nose: Caramel, there’s a curry-like spice smell to it, sweet tea, when I go back there’s a heavy burnt sugar note
Taste: Orange peel, banana sweetness, lighter flavors than expected from a cask strength, charred corn
Finish: A little short but lots of warm apples and spice
This very rare, limited edition bourbon takes generations of distilling know-how to produce. Only the most careful and expensive distilling method can be used to create a whiskey as special as this one. This is the same distillation as distillery's famous 20 year old Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve. These barrels were carefully selected from the heart of the warehouse. This whiskey should be enjoyed neat. Any ice or water will dilute the uniqueness.
Verity Wine Partners
nextSectionThis wine is worth waiting for – fortunately, it’s here right now, so you don’t have to! And it’s only thirteen bucks. Raised in the crisp tradition of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, The Big Rock here shows layers of grapefruit, lycheé, and lemon over its flinty minerality. A wine for swirling, in the glass and on the tongue, to tease out all its refreshing details.
nextSectionGreat for quaffing at a party with canapés and appetizers. It will also embellish white fish with a light cream sauce or tuna carpaccio.
As American whiskey booms, suppliers roll out many year end treats that can delight the bourbon fan. Parker's Heritage Collection is an annual release - this year, a 13 year old wheat whiskey bottled at 63.7 percent alcohol. Made the year master distiller Parker Beam first crafted Bernheim Wheat Whiskey, this batch uses too much wheat to be called bourbon, but it's something special. (read more...)
Each year of the Stagg release is a different proof as they are all barrel proof which undergo different evaporation rates as they age. Here is the quick cheat sheet you can use to make sure the bottle of George T Stagg you are buying is of the correct release year. Continue reading...