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Meet your new best friend from Southern Italy: Zenas.
Year after year, this wine is one of the most popular Southern Italian regional wines offered at BHW. It arrives and before we know it, it's gone. Grab a case while you can.
2020 Bollina Zenas Primitivo Puglia is wowing European critics all over again, and now it's Stateside so you can finally taste it for yourself. Bold but refined on the palate, this delightful ruby-colored red has a heady plummy perfume, a profusion of cherry and spice, and a whisper of herbaceous rosemary softened by vanilla. With 98 points, this wine is one of Luca Maron's "The Best Italian Wines"
La Bollina Winery is one to watch. This impressive Italian estate is creating innovative, fun, amazing value wines. Thanks to its high quality and uniqueness, this winery has quickly become Luca Maroni's darling, who has blessed it with impressive reviews year after year.
La Bollina is located in Serravalle Scrivia AL, Italy. A municipality in the province of Alessandria, about 62 miles southeast of Turin. This historical territory was for centuries the residence of the Marchioness Figari of Genova. A 300-acre winery, surrounded by hills and chestnut forests, is where La Bollina's magnificent wines are born.
Besides having 70 acres of cultivated vineyards, and an excellent and well-equipped cellar, in La Bollina you can find luxury accommodation for guests: An “Art Nouveau” style villa, a modern 4-star hotel, and a 9-hole golf course that expands throughout the vineyards. Bollina winery is completely renovated and has some of the most advanced techniques, systems, and instruments in modern winemaking.
Andrea Bernardini, La Bollina's consultant, is a passionate winemaker who has hit numerous home runs. In 2007, he graduated from Pisa, one of the best schools of enology in Italy. He earned his chops at Poggio Bonelli and Ruffino in Tuscany and trained in South Africa, Romania and Greece. After several years of experience, he is now a flying winemaker blending tradition and modern techniques to obtain high-quality wines with respect to the expression of the different grapes and terroir in which he works. He works hand in hand with Alex to produce these magical wines.
Aging: 6 months in French oak barrels.
Tasting Notes: 100% Primitivo. Deep and Intense, with aromas of plum and cherry, spicy, and subtle notes of rosemary and vanilla. A full-bodied wine, soft and balanced, and easy to drink. The gentle tannins make Zenas the perfect partner for tomato-based dishes like a hearty meat sauce or lasagna, eggplant parmigiana, or chicken cacciatore, and they provide the perfect balance to a spicy sausage pizza. This wine loves blue cheeses (Gorgonzola and figs, perhaps), and dry, firm cheeses like Pecorino and Parmigiano Reggiano.
~98 pts "The Best Italian Wines" by Luca Maroni
About the Winery
There are no secrets to the production of Kracher’s unparalleled range of remarkable sweet wines, headlined each year by up to a dozen or more trockenbeerenauslese cuvées. For three generations the Kracher family has led the way in the Seewinkel, that corner (Winkel) of Austria to the east of Lake Neusiedl, just an hour’s drive from Vienna. It was Alois Kracher Senior, back in the ‘50s and ‘60s who first realized the potential of the area for quality wine growing. Then in 1991, Alois Junior (Luis) set the world on fire with his ‘new’ style of dessert wine, focusing on finesse and balance in addition to just outright sweetness. From there he went on to win the British Wine Journal’s ‘Winemaker of the Year’ title 5 times, before his untimely passing in 2007.
“Luis” Kracher is one of the greatest visionaries in winemaking and was a driving force behind the “Austrian wine wonder” during the 1990s and a motor behind the renaissance of noble sweet wines. The whole wine world mourned the premature death of Luis, who – as a trained chemist – began his winemaking career at his father’s estate aged twenty-two years old.
He created a new style of dessert wine, in which the fruit character, ﬁnesse, and balance of the wine were far more important than just mere sweetness. The 1991 vintage brought Kracher his ﬁrst international acclaim, and shortly afterward, his name would become synonymous with cult sweet wines, especially in America.
Zwischen den Seen "in between the lakes" are the wines aged in wood barrels or tanks, and under long yeast contact to deliver fresh, fruity wines with grape aromas. The Nouvelle Vague wines are aged in small barrels and allowed to interact with air during the aging process. The Nouvelle Vague are vivid and lively in taste, these wines show a spicy depth and length.
The dessert wines from Kracher are now widely considered some of the finest "Stickies" or sweet wines in the world. In fact, the Kracher wines have bested the noble (and much, much more expensive) Chateau d'Yquem Sauternes in numerous blind tastings. These wines are bright fresh and a true celebration to drink and enjoy. Kracher sweet wines are also incredibly interesting and delicious to drink following extended aging; they are built to last generations.
If you love sweet wines, these are some of the finest sweet wines available anywhere. BHW has the best price in the US.
About the Wine
Grape Variety: 100% Scheurebe
Residual Sugar: 289 g/L
Acidity: 8.3 g/L
Vinification: Fermented and matured in stainless steel for a period of 18 months.
Tasting notes: Sweet Wine. 100% Scheurebe. Bright golden-yellow. Bouquet of meadow herbs, delicate notes of stone fruit, and lychee. The palate is fresh and vibrant, with nuances of pineapple, and tropical fruit notes on the finish, complemented with a hint of honey in the aftertaste. Good grip.
An exquisitely floral honeysuckle aroma surrounds a creamy yet sharp note of passion fruit, while a peppery verve tingles around the edges. The palate has the same playful character: a floral tease here, a full-blown passion-fruit kiss there, a total embrace of sweetness balanced by a sure-footed command of acid that draws everything together and assembles a newly precise picture with every sip. This is so heady, so delicious, so pure, so moreish that it should be a controlled substance. This should hold well through 2040, at least. ~100WE
About the Wine
Chateau Saint Pierre dates back to the 17th century. Henri Martin purchased the classified Fourth Growth Medoc estate in 1982. Henri Martin's family has a long history in the Bordeaux region, dating back more than 300 years. Today Chateau Saint Pierre is managed by Jean-Louis Triaud, who also manages Chateau Gloria and owns the Girondins de Bordeaux, the professional football team of Bordeaux.
The majority of their vines are located near the village of Saint Julien not far from Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou which retails for $200 a bottle. On average their vines are 50 years old. Saint-Julien has the highest concentration of cru classés with 11 over 900 hectares.
Chateau Saint Pierre is one of the few classified growths that does not produce a second wine. With complete focus on the Grand Vin and leading the use of technology in winemaking, it is no surprise this Grand Vin hailed a 'Bravo!' from multiple critics. Chateau Saint Pierre Saint-Julien was one of the first estates to use satellite imagery to help identify when parcels are ready to pick.
Aging: 14 to 16 months in French Oak
Tasting Notes: Red Wine. 75% Cabernet Sauvignon 15% Merlot 10% Cabernet Franc. Full-bodied, round, and refined. The nose shows espresso, blackberry, and floral notes.
This 17-hectare estate has been rejuvenated by owner Jean-Louis Triaud and is certainly producing some of the top wines from the appellation today. I tasted the deep, inky-colored 2015 Château Saint-Pierre twice and it’s reminiscent of the 2010, only with more elegance. In 2015 the wine is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, and 6% Cabernet Franc and it spent 14 months in 50% new and 50% once used barrels. Chocolate-covered dark fruits, damp earth, tobacco leaf, and lead pencil shaving-like notes emerge from this huge, concentrated beauty that has building tannin and a huge mid-palate. It’s an incredible wine that builds with time in the glass, has no hard edges, and is going to 3-4 decades of life. Bravo! ~97 Jeb Dunnuck
The 2015 Saint-Pierre offers more fruit on the nose than the Gruaud Larose with quite fabulous blackberry laced with pencil lead and tobacco. There is real joie de vivre and intensity here. The palate is medium-bodied with fine but quite firm tannin, very well balanced and pure with a gentle but insistent, mineral-driven, quite sinewy finish that is an absolute treat. This comes highly recommended. Tasted twice both in London and Bordeaux at the property. Bravo. ~94 Wine Advocate
This wine has a very toasty style, with spice and wood tannins that give an extracted character with some bitterness. That contrasts with the fruit that is developing, and it seems that the wood will integrate over time. Drink from 2025. ~92 Wine Enthusiast