International Cellars Portfolio Tasting

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There have been a few portfolio tastings from important importers recently. International Cellars has one of the best Italian selections in the city. Here are my picks from this year’s tasting:


Brovia are one of my favourite value Barolo producers. These are traditionally made wines that are yet quite forward but of course also structured for the long term. At $92 for the Garblet Sue and $105 for the Rocche, for the quality these are well worth collecting. Excellent for both.



Bruno Rocca’s 2009 Rabaja Barbaresco is a well-made example from that top site. The wines are made in a more modern style that allows easier drinking. Very Good+ to Excellent. $110.



From the northern cru of Verduno, Burlotto is a highly traditional producer that has been around a long time. Their 2009 Barolo is quite light and ethereal, bringing out the more pinot-like qualities of the grape. It lacks in depth and finish compared to the other Nebbiolos but at $60 it’s an excellent wine. Very Good to Very Good+.

I also tasted a superb Vietti Barolo Castiglione 2010 ($85) and Elio Grasso Barolo Runcot Riserva 2007 ($160), both of which evaded my camera. They were also the two objectively best Barolos at the tasting, and both deserved and Excellent to Excellent+.


This Quintodecimo Terra d’Eclano Irpinia 2010 is serious Aglianico that is very open and elegant compared to the bruisers that these wines can often be. I will definitely try to find this wine. $72. Excellent.


I’ve always enjoyed the wines of Terre del Principe and greatly appreciate their focus on obscure, nearly lost, indigenous grapes like this 2009 Casavecchia. At $55 it may seem pricey, but the quality and character is there. Very Good+.


The La Valentina Bellovedere 2008 is an impressive Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. It too is pricey at $55, but there is much character here and the wine will age well for a decade. Very Good+.



Monsanto is not always my cup of tea, but their top Chianti Classico “Il Poggio” is a beautiful wine. This 2001 demonstrated how age worthy it is. This is a truly beautiful expression of Sangiovese. Excellent to Excellent+. $145.

Posted in: Features, Tastings


  1. David J Cooper
    October 12, 2014

    Great read. Nice to see some traditional Barolo. There are too mant Scavinos and Azelias in BC. Any Burlotto available in retail outlets? Thanks.

  2. Shea
    October 12, 2014

    Kits wine has Burlotto, including the single vineyard Monvigliero.

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