6 bottles purchased from Garagiste, 4 with corks so dry they would not come out. Still 2 left so hoping at least one can be opened. Interestingly and annoyingly Garagiste has a only 60 day return policy if a wine is flawed or defective. 60 days for a product that can lay down for years? Seems a bit short sighted in the customer loyalty department
After a disappointing bottle earlier on, this one really delivered. Everything has smoothed out. Presents with authority, no flab, and still plenty of fruit. Very good value, now that it's aged a bit. Believe it still has some enjoyable years ahead of it.
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I was somewhat shocked by the number of requests we had for the Memorial Day Special, the 2003 Vistorta offer a few weeks ago - I thought our allocation was large enough but many of you were shut out and I received a number of “unpleasant” emails. I went back to the Conti Brandolini and asked for more wine but did not hear back until this afternoon (the Tre Bicchieri from Gambero Rosso has put a great deal of pressure on the estate to open new markets and the wine is basically gone at the winery). In sum, I need to know how many of you want initial (or additional) allocations of this wine by tomorrow morning. Please let us know at your earliest convenience.
I ask that you limit requests to 12/person if you have not ordered the item in the past (or you were shut out the first go-round) and 6/person if you received an allocation from the first offer but desire additional bottles (we’re trying to be as fair as possible to everyone). The original offer is below.
2003 Vistorta Conti Brandolini (Friuli)
Jon Rimmerman Garagiste Seattle, WA
Italy9885 **************************************** Original Offer:
Memorial Day Special - 2003 Vistorta
This has to rank as our deal of the year so far and it's only thanks to you - I didn't do anything. I keep saying "this is our deal of the year" on various offers but I can't help it. Maybe I'll think up a new term to encompass excellent price/value but for now you'll have to live with multiple "deal of the year" references.
Here's the situation - your support of the 2002 Vistorta allowed me to go to the source and ask for a similar price for their vaunted 2003. The 2003 Vistorta is a wine that has already raised enough eyebrows to be compared to a junior-level Pavie. It has earned a coveted Tre Bicchieri from Gambero Rosso and I'm sure that will not be the last accolade for this gem - one of the least expensive/highest rated wines in Italy and a wine that will have everyday Bordeaux enthusiasts swooning.
The Conti Brandolini knew what he had with this 2003 Merlot based wine. The conditions in Friuli were nearly perfect for harvest and his goal of producing a competitive wine to what the best Bordeaux had to offer was a reality. The Count is a dedicated individual and his experience at Gruaud-Larose, Chateau Margaux and other interests in Bordeaux left him with the belief that exceptional, even grand, wine could be made on his home estate at prices that would challenge the wine-world to reconsider their pricing policies. Instead of going on the cheap, he went for the gold and hired the winemaker at Gruaud-Larose to come to northern Italy to challenge himself - to make a top-flight Merlot with Italian panache but Bordelaise style and nobility. It's fair to say he succeeded.
This wine has everything. It is fine in detail and supremely balanced with depth, persistence and a real reserved sense of itself that wine in this price range rarely displays. Very dark in color but made with a non-interventionist hand and even-keeled approach - this is the inexpensive bottle of Right Bank Bordeaux you search for while rooting around in the cellar on a Monday night but rarely uncover. The wine is just now starting to integrate in bottle and should be in peak form next year and over the following ten. I know it's a bit forthright to say this, but the 2003 Vistorta is about as close to a "case buy" as I've come across lately. If you are buying 2005 Bordeaux or the top wines of Italy, your palate (and not to mention your budget) would be well served to give this wine a place in your collection.
Now the best part - the price. This is a "thank you" from the Conti Brandolini himself and one that I'm sure will not go unnoticed by our customer base. What makes this even more special is he doesn't need to sell this - there is high demand for the wine in Europe due to the reviews.
With that, here goes...
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for nearly absurd price/value
This parcel is directly form the winery cellar:
2003 Vistorta (Conti Brandolini) Friuli
Jon Rimmerman Garagiste Seattle, WA
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