The 2005 Oberto Barolo Vigneto Albarella is 100% Nebbiolo from the Piedmont region in Italy and the ABV 14.5%. The 2006 Balthus La Reserve is 100% Merlot from Bordeaux in France and the ABV 13.5%.
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2005 OBERTO BAROLO VIGNETO ALBARELLA
"There's sweet fruit on the nose, with lots of toasty oak, milk chocolate and lightly stewed fruit character. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and fruit, vanilla and mineral flavors. Long and bright. Best after 2011. 540 cases made." -92 points Wine Spectator
"The 2005 Barolo Albarella is soft-textured and generous in its minty, floral aromatics and sweet red fruit. This is another beautifully-balanced wine with elegant tannins and an approachable personality that is showing quite nicely today. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2020." -91 Points- Antonio Galloni- Wine Advocate
"Bright red garnet colour with light orange shades. Prominent notes of China Calissaia bark, tobacco and dried flowers linger in the fleshy rich aroma. The mouth shows a powerful and firm structure balanced by a moderate acidity which makes the wine drinkable and very pleasant. The bottle should be kept laying down and uncorked at least 1 hour before tasting. Serving temperature: 20 Â°C." -Winery
"The vineyard is facing southwest and the soils are mostly clay. The average age of the vines is 35 years old. Manual harvesting of the overripe grape in 20-kg perforated crates through a careful selection of the bunches. Transfer in cellar within hours, grape crushing and destemming, and 15% must bleeding. Themo-controlled fermentation at 34 Â°C, with often and soft pumpovers. Long maceration of the marcs (about 350 hours); racking in barriques, where the natural malolactic fermentation takes place. The wine spends 24 months in all new barriques; 2 months in stainless steel vats and and 6 months in bottle." -Winery
2006 CHATEAU BALTHUS LA RESERVE
"Chateau Balthus is a stunning project from Yves Vatelot (owner of Chateau Reignac) is now in it's 5th vintage, and has gotten better every vintage. The inaugural release of the La Reserve bottling is off and running right out of the box. This elegant and complex Merlot-driven wine is made for the long haul. Showing excellent acid and tannin structure, with supple fruits and great depth of character, this fabulous red should last for 15 to 20 years, possibly more. 100% Merlot." -95 points Gary Vaynerchuk
The La Reserve Cuvee for Balthus is 100% Merlot like the estate's traditional bottling, however this wine is from selected barrels chosen by Gary Vaynerchuk.
"Balthus hails from a three hectare, rolling, hillside vineyard situated near ChÃ¢teau de Reignac; the soil is comprised of clay and limestone mixed with some gravel. This special site is home to 40 year old Merlot vines planted at a density of 6,000 vines/ha. Yields are 18 hls/ha before selection and saigneee- 15 hls/ha after. The vineyard team exercises a rigorous program of debudding, deleafing and crop-thinning; all harvesting is done exclusively by hand. A 10-day cold soak at 6Â° C in small stainless steel tanks is followed by alcoholic fermentation and a 15-day maceration in 100% new Tonnellerie Garonnaise barrels (coopered from oak selected by owner, Yves Vatelot) using the cutting edge Oxoline system of barrel management and a patented method for breaking up the solids in the barrel. The wine is then run off into more new barrels for the malolactic fermentation and subsequent aging on the lees for an anticipated 19 months." -Importer