Tuesday Arrivals: Classic 96 point Brunello di Montalcino and Two of the Finest Sparkling Wines Under $25....

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Raventós i Blanc is the story of a family inextricably linked to their land, a winemaking tradition going back over 500 years, proven by ancient documents still held at the estate. The Raventós i Blanc estate, which has belonged to the Raventós family since 1497, covers 300 acres of vineyards, woodlands and a lake in Sant Sadurní d’Anoia. Following this line of succession, in 1872 Josep Raventós Fatjó made the first bottle-fermented wine in Spain using native grapes from this estate. Raventós i Blanc, the longest, documented viticulture tradition in the world, owned by the same family since 1497.

Raventós i Blanc, loyal to its tradition, make the relationship between human and nature central to the winemaking philosophy. In order to achieve wines of the greatest authenticity and typicity they returned to the traditional method of vine-growing, which was already being used on the estate in 1497: the interaction between the land, microclimate, vines, animals and the people who work in the estate. Their goal is to ensure that their estate is treated with the utmost authenticity and tradition, placing an absolute priority on soils, climate and native grape varieties.

In November 2012, the family decided to leave the DO Cava and create their own more strictly defined and geographically specific appellation: Conca del Riu Anoia. It was born to create wines coming from a single estate, a specific climate, native grape varieties and a rigorous, well-defined and respectful form of viticulture, in other words, a faithful reflection of where the wine comes from; the River Anoia Valley. An estate with the perfect terroir for producing, probably, the most mineral sparkling wine.

Raventos i Blanc's 2015 'De Nit’ is a blend of 42% Macabeo, 37% Xarel.lo and 14% Parrellada with the addition of 7% Monastrell for complexity and its pale pink color. A pale, subdued and elegant pink color with clean, pure and almost crystalline aromas of light citrus, red flowers, white fruit, and a touch of cassis. The clean nose evolves with a smooth, voluminous and fruity texture, pleasant freshness and fine bubbles. Driven by a very good balance, with low dosage (Extra Brut). $21.99 All grapes come from estate-owned, biodynamically-farmed vineyards in the Anoia River valley. The primary fermentation is in stainless steel with the secondary fermentation in bottle. It is aged for at least 18 months on the lees before release. ‘De Nit’ means ‘Of the Night’ in Catalan. 

Raventos i Blanc's 2015 'De Nit’ is a blend of 42% Macabeo, 37% Xarel.lo and 14% Parrellada with the addition of 7% Monastrell for complexity and its pale pink color. A pale, subdued and elegant pink color with clean, pure and almost crystalline aromas of light citrus, red flowers, white fruit, and a touch of cassis. The clean nose evolves with a smooth, voluminous and fruity texture, pleasant freshness and fine bubbles. Driven by a very good balance, with low dosage (Extra Brut). $21.99

All grapes come from estate-owned, biodynamically-farmed vineyards in the Anoia River valley. The primary fermentation is in stainless steel with the secondary fermentation in bottle. It is aged for at least 18 months on the lees before release. ‘De Nit’ means ‘Of the Night’ in Catalan. 

The 2015 Raventos i Blanc Blanc de Blancs is a structured, fresh and complex wine with white floral notes on the nose. The wine is impeccably balanced with a marked minerality, soft and fresh fruit flavors, and some nutty notes. The small, nicely integrated bubbles and saline qualities are in perfect harmony with the slightly creamy texture.  Extra Brut.  $18.99 From the plots La Barbera, La Plana and El Viader which have deep calcareous soils with a sand-rich loamy texture giving freshness and elegance and El Llac, a 40-year-old plot with marine fossils providing structure and complexity. Biodynamic viticulture.  

The 2015 Raventos i Blanc Blanc de Blancs is a structured, fresh and complex wine with white floral notes on the nose. The wine is impeccably balanced with a marked minerality, soft and fresh fruit flavors, and some nutty notes. The small, nicely integrated bubbles and saline qualities are in perfect harmony with the slightly creamy texture.  Extra Brut.  $18.99

From the plots La Barbera, La Plana and El Viader which have deep calcareous soils with a sand-rich loamy texture giving freshness and elegance and El Llac, a 40-year-old plot with marine fossils providing structure and complexity. Biodynamic viticulture.

 

2012 Altesino Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany - 96 points Wine Spectator  $57.99 Cherry, leather and iron notes mark this suave, elegant red. A bit reticent now, but the fruit is fresh and long on the finish. The dense tannins leave a mouthcoating impression, but this opens up beautifully over a few hours. Best from 2021 through 2035.  Altesino embodies tradition and history, and at the same time perceptive innovation. Where international renown for Brunello di Montalcino has nudged many winemakers towards conservatism, Altesino has always blazed new wine trails. Founded in 1972 by Milanese entrepreneur Giulio Consonno, in 1975 the winery was the first in Brunello to introduce the concept of single-vineyard crus with its famous Montosoli bottling. The winery was also the first to experiment with French barrique in 1979, yielding wines with more fruit and complexity – a critical turning point in Brunello’s history. 

2012 Altesino Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany - 96 points Wine Spectator  $57.99

Cherry, leather and iron notes mark this suave, elegant red. A bit reticent now, but the fruit is fresh and long on the finish. The dense tannins leave a mouthcoating impression, but this opens up beautifully over a few hours. Best from 2021 through 2035. 

Altesino embodies tradition and history, and at the same time perceptive innovation. Where international renown for Brunello di Montalcino has nudged many winemakers towards conservatism, Altesino has always blazed new wine trails. Founded in 1972 by Milanese entrepreneur Giulio Consonno, in 1975 the winery was the first in Brunello to introduce the concept of single-vineyard crus with its famous Montosoli bottling. The winery was also the first to experiment with French barrique in 1979, yielding wines with more fruit and complexity – a critical turning point in Brunello’s history. 

Kristian Denis