FrontRunners: From the Robb Cellar

<< Back to Robb Report, July 2007

    Although its name means "large palace" in Italian, Il Palazzone is a small estate comprising 20 acres, of which, according to DOCG regulations, a mere 10 may be used in the production of Brunello di Montalcino. But the acreage and the annual production (about 350 cases) are the only diminutive aspects to this enormously elegant expression of Sangiovese. Aged for an additional year beyond the required two, Il Palazzone Brunello di Montalcino 2001 bears delectable witness to the benefits of this regimen: A deep burnished red in color, the wine offers up intense cherry and plum aromas spiced with sweet rosemary. The palate is silky and rich with an earthy dark chocolate. ($90) www.ilpalazzone.com

    Pat Kuleto’s career has been predicated on two notions: Never take the conventional solution where an unconventional one exists, and never listen to what other people say. The designer and contractor has an unusual sense of style and fun—of combining disparate elements into an eclectic whole—that converged with his love of food when he unveiled the first Fog City Diner in 1985. With restaurant design, Kuleto had found one of his callings. The other calling was wine. He chose a 760-acre mountaintop property above Napa Valley’s Lake Hennessey as a site on which to produce, ignoring the opinions of experts who considered the land unsuitable for vineyards. The terraced vineyards contain plots of different varietals, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Zinfandel, and Syrah, the unlikely building blocks of the Kuleto Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2002. The vintage, like Kuleto’s designs, achieves harmony from what some might regard as discordant elements. The dark, sensuously textured wine sends up a chorus of flavors, from spiced plum and licorice to bittersweet chocolate, grilled sage, and piquant pepper. ($85) www.kuletoestate.com

    The limited-edition distillation pays tribute to the Norse god Odin…
    The spirit distinguishes itself by employing Japanese ingredients and techniques…
    Photo by Jeff Elkins
    The cigar combines an Ecuadoran wrapper with Honduran and Dominican filler tobaccos…
    A special barrel of Scarecrow Cabernet Sauvignon stunned the wine world when it sold for $260,000...
    Only 250 cases of the Montecristo Grupo de Maestros Private Batch will be released…
    Worldwide talents are leaving their marks at a Provençal winery.
    FREE PREVIEW: The Masseto 2011 Toscana is among Robb Report’s 2015 Best of the Best selections…
    FREE PREVIEW: The Mortlach 25 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky​ is among Robb Report’s 2015 Best...
    The special release contains a blend of Cognacs aged for up to 35 years…
    The 23-year-old scotch won a Best in Show award at the 2015 San Francisco World Spirits Competition…