Ruffino “Aziano” Chianti Classico


If you want a good Chianti that could serve as the picture next to the definition for Chianti in the dictionary, I don’t think you could do much better than the Ruffino “Aziano” Chianti Classico featured in this week’s column.

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Find dozens of Chianti Classico wines and vendors, plus a concise article about Chianti Classico on this Wine-Searcher link.
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Erasing Montepulciano confusion

A Vino Nobile di Montepulciano producer joyously announces a change.

If you want to argue that the world of fine wine is never confusing, you should probably avert your eyes from Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.
But here’s interesting news: Frustrated at last with the ongoing confusion, wine makers in Vino Nobile’s home village are taking “Montepulciano” off the front label.
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La Fiera Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

La Fiera

This tasty Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is a clear dark reddish-purple color, shading to a lighter garnet edge. Simple but fresh, tart cherries and blackberries with an edge of spice on the nose and palate. Fresh-fruit acidity and moderate astringent tannins surround dark fruit on the palate, with appealing cherry-berry fruit lingering in the finish. Its 14 percent alcohol doesn’t overwhelm the flavor.

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Find dozens of other Montepulciano d’Abruzzo bottlings and vendors on this Wine-Searcher link. Read article.

Château de Poncie Fleurie


This is a clear, dark garnet Beaujolais, with reddish-orange glints against the light. Pleasant red-fruit aromas, subtle cherries and raspberries, are backed by a pleasant earthy sense of damp red clay. Delicious cherry-berry flavors are framed by surprising tannins for a Beaujolais, crisp, mouth-watering acidity and firm but not overwhelming 13.5 percent alcohol. A good wine that clearly shows the style of named-village Cru Beaujolais.

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For an extensive list of other Fleurie producers and vendors, view this Wine-Searcher link.

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Farmer’s Botanical Small Batch Organic Gin

Farmer's Botanical Small Batch Gin

Clear, watery pale with just a hint of buff color. If you’re used to the distinct juniper scent of more traditional gins, this American organic gin may surprise you: Juniper is there, but a pleasant soft citric vegetal scent of lemongrass dominates the scent for me, with earthy spicy notes of coriander seed and other subtle botanicals. It’s a bit warm on the palate at 93.4 proof, but its smooth, mellow character holds the heat under control and makes it an excellent mixer in negronis, martinis, gin and tonics or whatever you like.

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Learn about gin and browse a list of brands and stores on this Wine-Searcher link. Read article.

Julien Braud Muscadet Sèvre et Maine

Julien Braud

Transparent light gold color, a pretty hue in the glass. It’s a wine of surprising complexity and flavor interest for a relatively affordable white. Notes of pears and white flowers are accented by chalky notes on the nose and a distinct minerality in the dry, gently acidic, medium-bodied flavor.

Find vendors and compare prices for Julien Braud “Les Vignes du Bourg” Muscadet on

If you can’t find this particular label near you, use this link to browse; page down to find a large variety of other Muscadets and their vendors.
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