This month’s first Top Pick goes to Pietra Santa’s 2009 Sassolino. Winemaker Allesio Carli has fashioned an exemplary Super Tuscan style red in California from Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes that should absolutely not be missed. And although this year’s Sassolino could be labeled as Sangiovese (as it contains 80% of that varietal), Pietra Santa has wisely stuck with Sassolino, the wine’s proprietary name. Sassolino is its own wine. The 2009 Sassolino comes across as rich, powerful, and beautifully polished. It’s a pleasure to drink now, and if previous vintages of Sassolino are any indication, Pietra Santa’s 2009 Sassolino will evolve over the next five or more years and provide even greater joy with each passing year. My other Top Pick causes me a bit of anxiety because Nidia’s 2011 Verdejo and Edgebaston’s Honey Pot drink beautifully in their respective categories and have garnered a lot of friends. Nonetheless, I have to go with Edgebaston’s 2010 The Berry Box as my second Top Pick: it’s an artful blend of grapes that expresses everything good about blending multiple grape varieties and the work that David Finlayson is doing on the Cape of South Africa. Juicy, tasty, and downright delicious is how I describe it. A votre santé.