This month’s Top Pick belongs to a relative newcomer. Despite my fondness for William Fevre’s Champs Royaux Chablis, shipped this month with a cool green jacket, and my longstanding love for Castello di Monsanto’s exceptional Chianti Classico, I have to go with Valle Secreto’s 2011 Private Syrah, Cabernet, Carmenère as this month’s Top Pick. For starters, it’s hard not to marvel at this wine’s soaring full-blown aromatics and rich polished flavors. Reminiscent of classified Bordeaux, this highly allocated production of 2011 Valle Secreto Private offers up a staggering bouquet of blackberry, cassis, wood smoke and dark chocolate, all of which are framed by subtle hints of oak. Better still, deep, complex flavors reminiscent of the wine’s voluminous bouquet emerge in the center of this wine, bolstered by ripe tannins that add energy and lift as well as a balance to this tasty offering. I love this wine’s larger than life, in your face personality, so this month’s Top Pick it is. Enjoy!