Lavo Wine List Picks
Sparkling, Schramsberg, Blanc de Blancs, North Coast, California 2012-80 This is not Champagne because it is from California. Do not dismiss this sparkling wine as inferior to Champagne. The flavors and the bubble quality are excellent. This is a great wine value and if you have a group of 5 or more people, you might need a second bottle. At this price, you will be happy to order another bottle of “bubbly”, and look like a sport.
Ruinart, Blanc de Blancs-165 This Blanc de Blanc [all Chardonnay grapes] is one of my favorite Champagnes.
Sangiovese/Syrah, Rocca delle Macie, ‘Sasyr’, Toscana, Italy 2008-625
This is a five liter bottle which consists of 10 regular bottles. If you are having a party, when you speak to the reservationist, tell them in advance about ordering this wine. Nothing says “celebration”, like a BIG bottle of wine coming to the table.
Roero Arneis, Bruno Giacosa 2013-70
Vernaccia di San Gimignano, La Lastra, ‘Riserva’ 2011-65-
Greco di Tufo, Terredora di Paolo 2014- 55-This is my favorite Italian white wine because of the “earthy” flavors
Falanghina, Feudi di San Gregorio 2013-65-
Sancerre, Domaine de La Chézatte 2014-75
Chablis, Domaine Vocoret 2014-70-This is Chardonnay from the great 2014 vintage in Burgundy France.
Sauvignon Blanc/Sémillon, Château de Birot, ‘Blanc deBirot’, Bordeaux 2013-60- This is a full bodied white wine and pairs great with food.
Sonoma-Cutrer, Russian River Ranches, Sonoma County, California 2013-60- This California Chardonnay is very “ Burgundian” because it is not too “oaky” and “buttery”.
Riesling, Hermann J. Wiemer, Magdalena Vineyard, Finger Lakes, New York 2013-70- Do not dismiss this Riesling grown in Upstate New York. Because of the cold climate, Riesling grapes thrive there and Hermann Wiemer is a great winemaker.
Meursault, Domaine Matrot 2012-125 This Chardonnay is the most “feminine” from white Burgundy.
Kistler, ‘Les Noisetiers’, Sonoma Coast, California 2014-135- If you are having guests for dinner, pick this “rich” California Chardonnay. Even people who know nothing about wine, will say how much they like this wine.
Puligny-Montrachet, François Carillon 2013-140
Chablis, Jean et Sébastian Dauvissat, ‘Les Preuses’, Grand Cru 2007-175 This is serious Chardonnay from Chablis.
Corton-Charlemagne, Domaine Rollin Père & Fils, Grand Cru 2011-225- This Grand Crus Chardonnay is produced with grapes from the best vineyards in the white Burgundy villages
Chianti Classico Riserva, Castello di Volpaia 2011-75-
Tolaini Al Passo 2010-70-Lavo has a special relationship with Tolaini wines. I admire their making a commitment to a serious Tuscan winemaker.
Joseph Phelps, ‘Fogdog’, Sonoma Coast 2013-70- A thick, sweet, and rich Pinot from California.
Cannonau, Pala, ‘i Fiore’ 2014-50- This red wine is from the volcanic island of Sardinia.
Malbec, Achaval Ferrer, Mendoza 2013-70- If it is Malbec you desire, pick this one.
Barbaresco, Produttori del Barbaresco 2012-95-This producer in the 2012 vintage was named one of the top wines of the year by Wine Enthusiast magazine. I love their wines and they can be enjoyed young.
Carmignano, Capezzana, Conte Contini Bonacossi, ‘Trefiano’, Riserva 2007-100-Long before the Super Tuscans began blending Cabernet and Sangiovese, the winemakers in Carmignano were doing it for decades.This wine has bottle age, which allow the tannins to soften and the fruit flavors to become more complex.
Rioja, Remelluri, ‘Riserva’ 2009-90- This is a fantastic Rioja and is one of my favorite wines. At first sip, you might think this is a young Bordeaux.
Zinfandel, Ridge Vineyards, ‘Geyserville’, Sonoma County, California 2013-100 Zinfandels best feature is there are no serious tannins as in Cabernet wines. This means you can drink and enjoy them young, like this one.
Bergström, ‘Cumberland Reserve’, Willamette Valley 2013-110- This is a great Pinot Noir from Oregon.
Chambolle-Musigny, Aurelien Verdet 2010-120-
Beaune, Domaine Chantal Lescure, 1er Cru ‘Les Chouacheux’ 2010-130- This is a French Pinot also from the great 2010 vintage. I love Pinot Noirs from Beaune because they possess a lot of dark and complex fruit flavors and are priced right.
Barolo, Prunotto 2010- 120-One the best picks on the whole red wine list. Because the 2010 was an amazing vintage and this wine has 7 years of bottle age. Bottle age softens the tannins and allows the fruit to become more complex. The 3 Cardinal factors when ordering wine in a restaurant are 1. Price 2. Producer [who makes the wine] 3. Vintage [in a great vintage everybody makes great wine. In a good vintage only great winemakers make great wine].
Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Château La Nerthe 2011-130-
Tolaini Picconero 2008-175- This Merlot, Cabernet, and Petit Verdot blend [a classic Bordeaux blend] is produced by Tolaini. There is a special relationship between Tolaini and Lavo. Have you ever tasted Italian Merlot? Italian Cabernet? Have you ever tasted a tomato in Italy? All very different from their American counterpart.
Beaulieu Vineyard, ‘Tapestry’, Napa, California 2009-120- A great California winemaker producing a Bordeaux style California wine [Cabernet and Merlot blend].
Kistler, Russian River Valley, Sonoma 2013-150-I have tasted this wine on many occasions and have always found it to lush, rich, and in perfect balance. If you like BIG Pinot noir, this is your pick. Even if the people you are eating with don’t know anything about wine, they will take note of this Pinot Noir. A great celebration wine
Quintarelli Ca de Merlo 2004-190- There is great bottle age on this wine.
Brunello di Montalcino, Il Palazzone 2010-195-This Brunello is from the great 2010 vintage
Quintarelli Rosso del Bepi 2002 275- Here is true Amarone produced by the Maestro.
Barolo, Oddero, ‘Rocche di Castiglione’ 1997-275- . Here you have 20+ years bottle age
Joseph Phelps, ‘Insignia’, Napa Valley, California 2011-375- I think this is one of the greatest California Cabernets because it has intense fruit flavors and in perfect balance. Balance is when a wine acts like a wave. The fruit flavors rise in your mouth, crest, and then recede in a long slow finish. Great balance is the sign of a master winemaker.