Celebrating 24 years as Raleigh's
longest running independent wine store,
Looking for a special bottle for a gift or wines for a celebration, special dinner or just to add to your collection? We not only have excellent value wines, we also stock an extensive selection of collectible and hard to find wines from the United States, Europe and Southern Hemisphere. Our selections change often and highly allocated wines sell out quickly, so check back for updates. Here are some recommendations, and check our "reserve" case for more extraordinary collectibles!
The wines of Siro Pacenti in Tuscany, Italy
The Pacenti estate was established in 1970 with the purchase of the property north of Montalcino (Pelagrilli) by Siro, who then proceeded to plant vineyards which are still there today in the fresh, clay soils of the land overlooking Siena. In 1988, Rosso and Brunello di Montalcino Siro Pacenti were bottled for the first time. The new cellar was built between 2001 and 2004, combining technology and experience with respect for the grapes and the land. The wines are classically styled, complex and balanced with great aging potential.
Siro Pacenti Brunello di Montalcino "PS Riserva" 2015 ($209.99 net)
"The purity of fruit here
is so stunning with blackberry, black cherry, black truffle
and floral aromas, as well as orange peel. It's full bodied
and very compact with ultra fine tannins that are copious
and balanced. The purity and precision is something else,
not to mention the length and depth. Drink or hold."
"The 2015 Siro Pacenti Brunello di Montalcino Riserva PS takes no prisoners with its bouquet of licorice-infused blackberry, cherry, mocha and balsamic spice. It brightens up with time in the glass, adding contrasting dried florals and notes of crushed stone. Silky-smooth and perfectly polished, without a hard edge in sight, this boasts an amazing density of dark fruits complemented by hints of savory herbs and tobacco. You can hardly feel its aggressive tannins settling in until the very end, as the palate aches under an air of violet florals and salty mineral tones. This is a large-scaled and strapping wine that flaunts its oak influence and will require a number of years in the cellar to properly integrate it. Drinking window 2026-2032." Vinous, October 2020
"Aromas of ripe fruit such as strawberries and hints of orange peel and chocolate. Meduim to full body, soft and velvety tannins and a flavorful finish. Riper style. Drink or hold." James Suckling 95 points.
"Dark red with an amber tinge. Ripe red cherry, sweet spices, grilled beef and blood orange, plus hints of cedar and new oak. Enters sweet and broad, then tighter and structured, but with refined tannins providing support to the sweetly spicy red fruit flavors. The finish is long and very pure. There’s a depth to this wine that the classico bottling does not have,a depth of flavor that derives from the old vines; spent 24 months in 70-80% new oak. Drinking window: 2024-2034." Vinious, 93+ points
"The 2019 is full of plush fruit: raspberry, and cherry, violet, licorice stick and toast in depth, with ash and black pepper notes. Almost full on the palate, it shows well refined tannins with great youthful texture and an extremely fresh acidity, supported by the richness of fruit. Good structure for a Rosso." Decanter
"Wow. This is really rich and layered with velvety tannins that coat the palate. It's full bodied with ripe tannins and a finish of black cherries, cedar, walnuts, dried mushrooms and dried leaves. Needs time to soften. Better after 2024." James Suckling 96 points
“A pure and focused version, with cherry, strawberry and currant fruit shaded by mineral and tobacco accents. Vibrant and harmonious, this is all about the fruit, with a well-integrated structure and terrific length on the finish. Best from 2024 through 2045. 2,000 cases made, 750 cases imported.” 97 points, Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator 03/21.
"Very sweet on the nose it shows notes of black plums, red plums, ripe strawberries, and lots of vanilla. In the background, there is a lot of quality in the power of raspberries and currant notes. Medium-full body, velvety tannins well integrated into the matrix, and a finish of medium-long persistence. Better from 2022. " 96 Points, Raffaele Vecchione, International Wine Review
Barnett Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2017; Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, CA ($59.99)
“The 2017 Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the
darkest we’ve made. Big black raspberry jumps from the glass
as well as blueberry jam and black pepper. There is a bright
chocolate element surrounded by cedar notes. The mouthfeel
is rich and lush with a lot more dark fruit as well as cigar
box and mocha. The tannins are significant, very big and
chalky. While the mountain acidity is firm it is the tannins
that dominate. There is a long black raspberry and mocha
finish to the wine. This sizeable Cabernet will age
amazingly over the next 14-15 years (2033-2034).” Winemaker
Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2016; Stag’s
Leap District, Napa Valley, CA ($299.00) net
Gianni Brunelli Brunello di Montalcino 2016 Tuscany, Italy ($89.99)
The Gianni Brunelli Le Chiuse di Sotto
2016 Brunello di Montalcino is a stunning wine with so much
vitality, life and energy. It shows a brazen level of
clarity and frankness. If you seek the truth in Sangiovese,
I think you find it here. This Brunello unfolds to lasting
purity, elegance and length. It is luminous and radiant.
When tasted next to the 2015 Riserva from this estate
(something I did on multiple passes), I continued to
recognize the lifted and exciting personality of this wine
next to the broader and heavier character of the Riserva.
This Brunello shows extreme precision and focus, both to the
bouquet and the mouthfeel. Wild berry, blue flower and
licorice converge to perfection, and it's impossible to beat
this quality at this price. -- Wine Advocate
Alto Moncayo Garnacha 2017; Campo de Borja, Spain ($47.99)
The wines of Alto Moncayo are crafted to express the unique terroir of windswept high elevation Campo de Borja DO; and to serve as a benchmark for world class Old Vine Garnacha. The brand's flagship wine comes from vines that are 40 to 70 years old. This wine has been rated twice 100 points as it truly represents the essence of the Garnacha from Aragón sourced from vineyards in Tabuenca and Borja, planted with indigenous clones of Garnacha starting in the 1920s.
The selected highest quality grapes are placed into small stainless-steel tanks. The must is basket pressed and fermentation is finished in new French and American oak where it completes the malolactic fermentation. Wine is aged in the barrels for 20 months before bottling.
Opaque red-black. Scarlet rim. The wine opens to an amalgam of minerals and unctuous super-ripe berries. Deep, rich and ripe. Black fruits (cherries, plums) give way to hints of licorice, molasses and a hint of cinnamon. Solid tannins and focused acidity with a long finish.
Podere Il Carnasciale "Il Caberlot" 2014
We are excited for the unique opportunity to offer one of the rarest wines in Italy! Until 2005, one Tuscan wine had existed in name only for American wine lovers. Bottled exclusively in magnum, only two enotecas (out of a thousand or more) in Tuscany get any. And restaurant allocations have been limited to the likes of Florence’s Il Cibreo, and Paris’ 3-star L’Ambroisie. Members of Florence’s elite Teatro del Sale can buy one magnum per year, a privilege handed down from generation to generation. Now a limited number of 750ml's of the 2014 vintage have been released and are available for the first time in North Carolina.
The wine is Il Caberlot, and its fascinating story doesn’t end with its scarcity and desirability. It, and its second label Carnasciale, are the only wines in the world made from a mysterious clone discovered four decades ago near Verona. Named “Caberlot,” the grape has characteristics of both Cabernet and Merlot—hence its name. Caberlot’s discoverer—agronomist Remigio Bordini—has allowed the vine to be planted just one place outside his nursery: at Il Carnasciale, which lies atop a rocky, south-facing bluff that towers above Tuscany’s Arno river. Famed enologist Vittorio Fiore discovered this providential site in 1986. To limit yields, Fiore advised the vineyard’s owners—Wolf and Bettina Rogosky—to plant at a then-revolutionary 10,000 vines per hectare and to prune to a mere five clusters per plant. As if to presage Il Caberlot’s future, the Rogoskys buried a bottle of Sassicaia under the first vine.
Il Caberlot boasts an extraordinary perfume, sleek texture and great elegance. Boasting nuances of Graves, Pomerol, and Il Carnasciale’s unique terroir, it ranks among the planet’s most singular wines. And from the first vintage, 1988, Il Caberlot has been a huge cult wine in Europe, its scarcity driven by nature and the vineyard’s size of less than an acre. Wolf Rogosky passed away in 1996, but Bettina has carried on the work with her son, Moritz, and her winemaker, Peter Schilling. With time, more vines have been planted, but production remains miniscule. The wine is still bottled by hand, and is held for two years before release. Bettina Rogosky hand-numbers each label.
The wine is 100% Caberlot, aged 22 months in new French barrique and then 18 months in bottle before release. Dark garnet red in color, this amazing wine exhibits notes of blackberries, cocoa, licorice and dark spices, balanced with fine tannins and a core of firm acid, leading to a long yet balanced finish. This is the proverbial iron fist in a velvet glove, with an aging potential of 25+ years. ($189.00 net/750ml).
"There are very few wineries in California where you can say that the original wine owners and winemaking staff are totally intact and have been, in this case, since 1978. The estate was founded by John Shafer and run with great precision by himself and more recently by his son Doug and Elias Fernandez. The team has been working together for 38 years since the first vintage in 1978. Six years earlier in 1972, John Shafer bought the property and established the vineyard in the hillsides of Stags Leap. They produce about 30,000 cases of wine – all of it noteworthy. Their Cabernet Sauvignon is true first-growth quality and their Rhône Ranger wine made from Syrah and Petite Sirah, called Relentless, is about as profound as you can get from those varietals." Robert M. Parker, Jr.
We have back vintages of Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet including 1995, 1999 and a vertical of 2002-2006, plus 2013-2016. Inquire about availability and pricing at firstname.lastname@example.org
Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet 2013, Stags Leap District ($299.00 net) - "The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select will probably hit the magic three-digit score, but it is a more backward style of wine, although probably even more concentrated than the 2012, and that’s saying something. Fabulous potential of 30-50 years is evident in this profound bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon that is inky blue/black to the rim and offers up notes of charcoal embers, scorched earth, blackberries, cassis, blueberries, a hint of coffee, and background barrique smells. Massively concentrated but incredibly elegant and poised, this is a wine of great energy and vibrancy. It is fabulously deep, built like a skyscraper, and set for an incredibly long life. Try not to consume a bottle for at least another 4-5 years and then watch the magic unfold. Drink 2020-2071." 98+ points, WA #227.
“The 2014 vintage opens
with an aromatic wave of deep, intense fruit and spices such as
black plum, blackberry pie filling, cassis, and anise, along
with nutmeg, dark toast, and dried rose petals. The energy in
the nose is just as dramatic in the mouth with open, beautiful
ripeness, mocha, briar fruit, pomegranate, baking spice, and
ripe tannins that collectors will recognize as offering the
promise of sensational things to come in the cellar.”
— Elias Fernandez, winemaker
Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet 2015, Stags Leap District ($299.00 net) - "Very deep purple-black in color, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select comes bounding out of the glass with gregarious scents of crème de cassis, warm black cherries, plum preserves and Indian spices with hints of lilacs, garrigue, stewed tea and cigar box plus a waft of charcuterie. Full-bodied, rich, boldly fruited and wildly decadent, it has a rock-solid frame of grainy tannins and compelling freshness, finishing with loads of earthy and savory layers. Drink 2021-2050." — Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate October 29, 2018. 98+ points.
Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2016; Stag’s Leap
District, Napa Valley, CA
"Orin Swift is the brainchild of a brilliant young man by the name of Dave Phinney. His Midas touch with grapes from seemingly anywhere in the world, is unusual, but the brilliance of the wines, his creativeness and unparalleled blending talents have built an incredible portfolio right out of the gate. He only started Orin Swift in 1998 and just recently sold it to the huge Gallo enterprise. Readers looking for personality filled wines of considerable character and complexity need to check out the Orin Swift offerings. They are not shy wines in any respect, but the quality is obvious, and if you are like me and believe that a wine is to be judged on just how delicious it is, you will be as impressed as I have been with the Orin Swift products." Robert M. Parker, Jr.
Orin Swift Mannequin Chardonnay 2018; California -
"A luminous pale-straw complexion envelops the glass. In harmony, the wine offers pleasing aromatics of jasmine, Granny Smith apple, orange blossom, poached pear, honey-lemon, and roasted marshmallow. The entry is assertive with bright acidity that quickly softens to a largess of flavors including crème brulée, white peach, tangerine oil, honey-suckle, and roasted marshmallow." Winery Notes ($37.99)
Orin Swift Papillon Red 2018; Napa Valley - A blend of Cabernet, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Merlot aged 15 months in French oak, 43% new. "Powerful aromatics escape the glass with rich notes of ripe blackcurrant, blackberry, peppercorn and a touch of chaparral supported by a frame of sweet oak. Intensely layered and decadent on entry, the wine exudes characteristics of black plum, boysenberry, kirsch and dark chocolate with a silky soft yet weighty texture. A prolonged finish of Provençal lavender, fig leaf and ripe currants close out the wine." - Winemaker notes ($75.99)
Orin Swift Palermo Cabernet 2017; Napa Valley, CA - Blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, aged 12 months in French oak, 38% new. "A seamless assortment of classic Napa Cabernet aromas exude from the glass—cassis, black cherries, chaparral and a touch of intriguing butterscotch. On the palate, the wine is tastefully expressive with ripe raspberry, crème caramel, bay leaf and two types of currants—red and black. Carrying its own weight through the finish, the wine’s prominent tannins will soften over time." Winemaker notes ($59.99)
Orin Swift Machete Red 2017; California - Made of Petite Sirah, Syrah and Grenache, aged 12 months in French oak, 38% new. " Pure inky garnet in the glass, the aromatics of plum compote, wild blackberries, crushed gravel, peanut brittle and Tahitian vanilla emanate. Massive on the entry, the mid-palate is diverse with flavors of dark plums, black pepper, Amarena cherries, slow-roasted Moroccan lamb and a marbled leather texture. Rich, enveloping and vivacious, the wine finishes with perpetuating energy and length—not to mention the satisfying tannins that rouse a desire for more." Winemaker notes ($59.99)
Orin Swift Abstract 2018; California - "As soon as a glass is poured, aromatic notes of Luxardo cherries, ripe black plums and raspberries billow, with intricate hints of coffee, mocha and caramel in the background. The entry is expansive with dark briar fruits, cola and cocoa with tannins that are soft and dusty. The wine finishes with a hint of wild cherry and a lingering sweet oak presence." Winery Notes($39.99)
Orin Swift 8 Years in the Desert 2019; California - A blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Syrah and Grenache, aged eight months in 37% new French oak. "An opaque core with a red amethyst rim, the wine opens with ripe raspberry and blackberry, dark plum preserves and hints of black pepper and clove. An entry of heft, the palate is packed with blueberry and sweet black cherry along with touch of fresh herbs—thyme, savory and tarragon. Long on the finish, the ripe tannins, a dash of ash, and notes of black tea round out the wine." - Winemaker notes ($48.99)
More about Orin Swift
Wines and Dave Phinney at