Recent Tastings with Folio Partners and Others

| December 1, 2016

(L-R): Rob Mondavi Jr., Isabel Mondavi, Michael Mondavi, and Dina Mondavi of Folio Partners.

(L-R): Rob Mondavi Jr., Isabel Mondavi, Michael Mondavi, and Dina Mondavi of Folio Partners.

All Listed Wines Highly Recommended

Folio Partners, founded in 2004 by the Michael Mondavi family, is an im­porter of premium wines from family winemakers who share their passion for making great wines (plus their own wines). Michael Mondavi Family Estate wines, with the recent addition of iconic wine consultant Daniel Schuster, tasted in Napa:


Michael Mondavi Family Estate Wines:

  • Animo Heritage Sauvignon Blanc 2014 — (only 199 cases produced) $65; fruits. $35
  • Emblem Chardonnay 2013 — (only 400 cases produced). — partial malolactic, tropical fruits. $35
  • Emblem Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2013 — great value. $35
  • M Caber­net Sauvignon 2012 (only 290 cases produced). $200


Folio Partners Current Imports:

  • Villa Sandi, Veneto, Italy:
    Superiore Cartizze La Rivetta Prosecco DOCG 2015 —Vintage Prosecco, single vineyard. $45
  • Laurenz V, Kamptal Austria:
    Singing Gruner Veltliner und Sophie 2014 —noticeable texture, excellent acidity. $15.99
  • Bruno Giacosa, Piemonte, Italy:
    Azienda Agricola Falleto Barolo 2012—Tar, Fades roses, cinnamon and spice. $250
  • Susana Balbo, Mendoza, Argentina:
    Signature Malbec 2013 — Possibly the best of all Malbecs in this price range. $22
  • Andre Brunel, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, France:
    Cotes-du-Rhone La Becassonne 2015 — single vineyard $17;
  • Cotes-du-Rhone Villages Cuvee Sabrine 2013 — $17; Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2012 — 75% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 5% Mourvèdre, 70-year-old vines. Depth, persistence. $46


Tasting With Telmo Rodriguez,
Iconic Spanish Winemaker, In Houston:

  • Basa Rueda 2014 — Verdejo and Viura blend. $12.50
  • El Transistor Rueda 2014 — 100% Verdejo. $19.50
  • Gaba do Xil Godello Valdeorras 2014 — Best example of this varietal I have tasted. $13.50
  • As Caborcas Valdeorras 2012 —Floral and delicate old-vine Mencia from field blend including small amounts of five other indigineous varietals. $52.90
  • Dehesa Gago Toro 2014 — Entry Toro wine, but excellent. $12.75
  • Paso la Jara Toro 2010 —Rodriguez was a major force in elevating Toro to one of the top positions in Spain. Great concentration and structure. Minute quantities. $56.50


Best Red Wines Of Chile, Selected By Fred Dexheimer,
MS, Tasting In Houston:

  • Santa Rita Casa Real 2010 — “Spirit, Happiness and Rocks” (in the vineyard). Elegance personified $70
  • Cousiño Macul Lota 2010 — the 150th anniversary of this winery!!! Big and rich Cab/Merlot blend $85
  • Almaviva 2012 —Joint venture between Chateau Mouton-Rothschild and Concha Y Toro. Possibly the best wine in Chile. Exciting blend of Cabernet, Carmenère, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot $75
  • Montes Alpha “M” 2012 — The wines age with the assistance of Gregorian chants. Must work. Fabulous. $60
  • Casa Lapostolle Clos Apalta 2011 — 100% biodynamic farming Globe-trotting consultant Michel Rolland. 80-year-old vines. Age worthy but lovely now. $130


Tasting In Houston From
The Marchesi Antinori Stable :

  • Guado Al Tasso Vermentino 2014 — $25
  • Castello della Sala “Cervaro della Sala” Chardonnay 2015   — 90% Chardonnay, 10% Grechetto, fabulous! $45
  • Guado Al Tasso Cont’Ugo Merlot 2012 — $58
  • Tignanello 2013 — the 1971 being one of the very first Super Tuscans. $98
  • Guado Al Tasso 2012 —An earlier vintage was the number one wine at the Houston Rodeo International Compe­tition.   $105
  • Solaia 2012 — possibly the premier example of a blend of Cabernet­/Tempranillo. Rare, unique. $250
  • Prunetto Barbaresco 2012 —$45
  • Prunetto Barolo 2010 — $55
  • Pian dello Vigne Brunello di Montalcino 2010 —(an outstanding vintage for Brunello) $68
  • Antica (Antinori’s Napa Valley winery) Char­donnay 2014 — white peach, apples and pears. $40
  • Antica Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2012 — Blessed vintage, lovely. $60
  • Antica Cabernet Sauvignon Townsend Vineyard 2012 — Complex, layers of flavors, like a great left bank Bordeaux. Available only at the winery.


A Taste Of Australia At Rainbow Lodge

  • Kaesler Stone Horse Grenache­/Shiraz/Mourvèdre 2012 — $28
  • Yarra Yerring Dry Red 2012 — Still somewhat closed, but fortunately won’t be released for a year or two. Should be exciting to watch develop over the years! Possi­bly even better than the excellent ’08, ’09 and ’11! $80
  • Kaesler Old Bastard 2007 and 2008 — from a 12-acre vineyard planted in the 1800s. A taste of history. Unique. $180


French Cookbook Recommendation

If you want possibly the best French cookbook ever published, it’s called Institut Paul Bocuse Gastronomique: The definitive step-by-step guide to culinary excellence, published by Institut Paul Bocuse, the culinary institute near Lyon founded by legendary French chef Paul Bocuse 25 years ago. It covers 250 core culinary techniques in ultra-clear step-by-step photographs to help one master French gastronomy, from the most basic to the more complex. It’s
720 pages with 1,800 photographs! $75.

A perfect Christmas gift? Contact Liz Hermann at 212-873-6635 or

Category: Wine Reviews by Denman Moody

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