Rocca Family Vineyards keeps getting the highest well deserved ratings!


Robert Parker’s “Wine Advocate” touts Rocca Family Vineyards and awards high scores for two outstanding Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon’s!

In 1999 the two owners Mary Rocca and Eric Grigsby purchased the 21 acre property after a 3 year search for the “ideal” Napa Valley vineyard site.  Mary called upon renowned winemaker Celia Welch, then Celia Masyczek to produce the label’s first vintages.

The debut bottling was the 2000 Syrah, a varietal which to this day garners praise and awards for the Rocca family. But Rocca really got on the map in 2002, when its Grigsby Vineyard Cabernet came in #1 in a blind tasting of 12 Rising Star Cabernets.

Later, the wine was taken with a group of 12 other Cabernets to show in France’s 12 Best Cabernets from California. It came in #1 over there as well. Finally, those same 12 Cabs had another blind tasting competition in SF to see how they would rank by American consumers. It came in #1 again!

Rocca’s star was rising fast. But so far they have been much under the radar, but I have a feeling that this will change soon. The current winemaker Paul Colantuoni worked for many years under Celia Welch and has taken a few pages out of her “note book” and it shows with the new wines.

ROCCA Tesorina 2013v – 95 Pts- Robert Parker


Rocca 2013 Tesorina is everything you’d expect from their flagship bottling – the “little treasure” – from one of the most extraordinary vintages Napa Valley has ever seen.  We consider it the most complete, profound, utterly beautiful wine we’ve produced to date.  There’s a deep, rich core of sweet black cherry and wild blackberry fruit here, with fascinating complexity that comes from prominent spice notes, hints of spring flowers and graphite and rock dust, and a significant melted chocolate component.

On the palate this is full-bodied, densely packed stuff, with serious depth and substance.  In a perfect reflection of this very special vintage, though, the wine expresses its richness and concentration with exquisite balance and elegance.  The texture of this wine is simply extraordinary.  It’s gorgeously lush and sumptuous, and it finishes with rich, beautifully polished tannins that are reminiscent of the softest cashmere.  This is an iconic expression of a truly exceptional vintage in Napa Valley, and we hope you’ll treasure it for many years to come.

ROCCA Grigsby Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2013-  94 Pts–Robert Parker


The  2013 Grigsby Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is the deepest, richest, most complete and balanced version of this wine Rocca has ever produced.  It shows gorgeous weight and density, supported by the exquisitely resolved tannins of the extraordinary 2013 vintage.

The overall theme here is one of perfectly ripe dark red fruit, especially sweet black cherries, beautifully complemented by sophisticated spice and floral elements as well as prominent notes of vineyard dust and rock quarry dust.  The quality of the vintage is particularly evident on the mid-palate, where tremendous richness perfectly matches the luscious black cherry flavors, and on a highly polished, silky smooth finish that seems to last forever.  This is one that you can enjoy for a long, long time to come.

Robert Parker 94 Points The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Grigsby Vineyard from Yountville is a softer, almost Margaux-style of wine compared to the Coombsville. The wine offers Asian plum sauce, a touch of ripe, black cherries and blackcurrants, background smoky oak and a nice fleshy full-bodied mouthfeel with velvety tannins and well-integrated acidity, wood and alcohol. This is a beauty that can be drunk now, or cellared for another 15 years.”

Both of these award winning wines are produced in very limited quantities.

Rocca wines are available in New York exclusively through Romano Brands Fine wines.

Contact Michael Romano at (646) 948-1100 for additional information.

Romano Brands Fine Wines are featured at Seatrade Cruise Ship Expo


Romano Brands Fine Wines are featured at Seatrade Cruise Ship Expo.  Come see us in Booth L2-226

Seatrade Cruise Global is the world’s largest B2B cruise trade show, and the total epicenter of the booming multibillion cruise industry.  It is the only event that brings together every sector of the business including the cruise lines, suppliers, and relevant partners.  This expo gives us access to thousands of cruise line and decision-makers, so we hope you take advantage of this tremendous opportunity and join us! The Seatrade Cruise Expo will be taking place March 13-16  2017 at the Broward County Convention Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The 2017 event is estimated to see nearly 12,000 visitors grace the show floor and 900 exhibitors from over 125 countries.

We are featuring the following award winning wines:

  • Maison Belle Claire – Cotes de Provence Rosé
  • Liberté – Sancerre (blanc); Pouilly Fumé; and (the 100% Pinot Noir) Sancerre Rosé
  • Tenuta de Valentina – Pinot Grigio

If you are affiliated with cruise lines or private yachts, or can pass this onto someone you know in the cruise industry from anywhere in the world, please pass on this information to join us.  I will get you a free pass into the show to come visit with me.  Just call Michael Romano now at +646 948-1100.



ROSÉ ! – ROSÉ !! – ROSÉ !!!  Attention: Wine Distributors; Wine Retailers; and Restaurant Wine Buyers…

Maison Belle Claire Côtes de Provence Rosé is arriving !!

mbc-web_12x18_72dpi_belleclaire-prestige-with-mbc_8344The new vintage is arriving!  Maison Belle Claire Cotes de Provence Rose is available for your sampling.   Call us NOW to request your sample – (646) 948-1100

13532791_491742694350083_375755471917875301_nYes – Rosé is still red hot.  As a matter of fact, it remains the fastest growing sales category in the alcohol beverage industry. stop-smell-the-rose

Another great vintage was had in Provence and the Rose’ is nothing short of spectacular!  But seeing (I mean…TASTING) is believing; so call me now at (646) 948-1100 to request your

So ask yourself if you have the “right” Rose?  If your Rose sales are sluggish, you don’t have the right one!  Get Maison Belle Claire now – it’s the proven leader –                             call NOW (646) 948-1100



Liberté – a new wine brand from old vines of the Loire Valley.

Michael Romano and Romano Brands Fine Wines have ventured into a new line of fine wines from the Loire Valley of France named Liberté.

Liberté translates into English as FREEDOM.

The collaboration and wine-design along with the world-famous Mellot family of Loire Valley wines is proving to be a much sought after world-wide wine brand.

loire-valleyThe historic 500 year old family owned estate of Joseph Mellot, has become the world renowned specialist in the production of great wines from Centre Loire Valley thanks to their unrivaled know how. Mellot wines express the quintessence of each of their terroirs especially Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume. Known for and distinguished by superior high quality in more than 40 countries world-wide, Joseph Mellot wines are the Ambassador for the Loire’s finest vintages and representative of the highest of quality. Under the leadership of Catherine Corbeau Mellot, the Mellot Estate is now committed to sustainable development using Sustainable Agricultural methods to cultivate its vines.


The symbol on the label for Liberté is the famous Fleurs-de-lis which is a stylized lily (in French, fleur means “flower”, and lis means “lily”) that is used as a decorative design or symbol. Many of the saints are often depicted with a lily, most prominently St. Joseph.  The Fleur-de-lis symbol represents royalty, strength, and loyalty.  The Fleur-de-lis epitomizes the high quality which is the noble characteristic of the entire Liberté brand of fine wines.

The area around Sancerre was likely first cultivated by the Romans, perhaps in the 1st century AD, though the exact date is unknown. The foundations of two separate Roman bridges across the Loire can be seen at the river village of St-Satur, the port for Sancerre, marking its ancient position along a major Roman route. The chalk hill outcrop was not only a distinctive landmark known in Roman times but it also fit the profile of the type of areas that was usually the first to be cultivated-it was near an important town and had easy access to a navigable river. Most importantly, however, the steep sloping hills could provide the grapes with enough direct sunlight and warmth to fully ripen while allowing cold air to flow off the slope and pool into the valleys below.

The region was historically linked to the Duchy of Burgundy, which may have played a role in the introduction of Pinot Noir vines to this area. Sancerre’s position as an administrative center, and the large nearby cities of Orléans and Bourges ensured healthy local markets for the Pinot Noir and Gamay wines traditional in the area. Demand further increased with the coming of the railway from Paris. In the late 19th century the phylloxera epidemic devastated the area wiping out the majority of the region’s vines. While some Pinot Noir vines were retained, most of the Gamay was lost. They were replanted with Sauvignon Blanc, partly because it grafted better onto the American rootstocks. After World War II, the wines gained a reputation in the Paris bistro scene as an easy drinking white wine equivalent to Beaujolais. In the late 1970s and 1980s, a wave of quality consciousness helped elevate the reputation of Sancerre as an elegant and food friendly white wine that became a popular feature on restaurant lists across the globe.

Pouilly-Fumé is an appellation d’origine contrôlée for the dry Sauvignon Blanc white wine produced around Pouilly-sur-Loire, in the Nièvre area.  This area is approximately half the size of nearby Sancerre and tightly-focused around the villages of St. Andelain and Les Loges on a south-west facing slope.

Liberté Pouilly-Fumé displays light flint smokiness, and is a brilliant example of the prized Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire. The soft color matches the clarity of the citrus and white stone fruits which create a harmony with the mineral notes.

Liberté Sancerre Rosé – Sancerre Rose is a pale salmon pink in color with a subtly nose of fresh berries. On the palate the wine is delicate and elegant with layers of herb, strawberry and a clean, crisp finish. Some peach and ripe red berry fruit here, but it seems a more serious, less fruit-driven style than some, with a distinctive mineral character. The appetizing, fresh, leafy acidity adds to the elegance and delicacy, finishing very clean and fresh.”  Produced of 100% Pinot Noir.

Liberte Sancerre is known for its flinty, savory Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley of France. Sancerre is the most recognizable appellation for French Sauvignon Blanc in the Loire Valley. The region’s rolling limestone hills and semi-continental climate deliver richly textured Sauvignon Blanc wines with ripe gooseberry aromas, bracing acidity, and flinty-smoke flavors.

The wines will be available to restaurants and fine wine shops March 2017.

Wine wholesalers seeking Liberté for your market should contact Romano Brands. For information please contact Michael Romano by calling him now at (646) 948-1100.

Romano Brands & – making it easy to order wine!

rbi-logoRomano Brands & – are making it easy to order wine! is a state-of-the-art, modern platform for the beverage alcohol trade.

Restaurants, bars, and fine wine retailers can easily search for our products and easily view our wholesale pricing.

Romano Brands Fine Wine customers can discover a trove of educational material about our products, including labels, tasting notes, and detailed pricing information that helps you learn more about our wines.

We understand how annoying it is to deal with applications and resale certificates when trying to set up a new account. We’ve rebuilt this process, and you’ll start working with Romano Brands Fine Wines easily.

Buyers will now be able to fill out all the information needed for an account application and resale certificate just once, then submit your application to any distributor with a single click. You’ll receive completed, electronically signed forms, with no scanning or faxing required.

This service is free but not available to the public – it is exclusive to the trade only.

For the public & trade: please see us at

Exclusive for the Trade: join us at Sevenfifty at

French Rosé served in Italian restaurants – why not?

Famed New York City restaurateur Nick “Nicky Meatballs” Mormando finds his favorite Côtes de Provence Rosé to be loved by his customers.  Nicky’s favorite Rosé is Maison Belle Claire.

Nick Mormando loves how versatile his chosen premium Rosé of Maison Belle Claire from Provence is as a match to his exquisite home-style Italian cuisine.  His two locations are neighborhood favorites named Polpette and newly named Polpette 71 which was the original Bello Giardino. Polpette is located on Amsterdam Avenue and 83rd Street, and Polpette 71 is at 71st Street and Columbus Avenue.

Nick is regularly featured on New York’s CBS Morning Show where he has previously co-hosted his cooking talents along with host Tony Tantillo.  Nick has also appeared a couple of times on Fox’s Good Morning show hosted by Rosanna Scotto and Greg Kelly.  Much notoriety came Nicky’s way after winning the “Best Meatballs of New York City” competition.  The contest pitted a blind tasting of numerous restaurants and their meatballs conducted by a panel of five judges who unanimously gave the winning nod to Nicky for his quality meatball.  And so the nickname of “Nicky Meatballs” began it’s evolution.

So for this Italian food expert to match a French Rosé into his wine list was just another feather in his cap which has enabled his customers to enhance their dining experience even further. Maison Belle Claire matches to many of Nicky’s dishes.  “With people eating lighter style foods these days, I find Maison Belle Claire Rosé matches many of my dishes perfectly!”

Nick was in a search for a great Rosé when he discovered upon Maison Belle Claire while visiting Provence years ago.  It has remained a staple on his wine lists and one of the best selling wines for his restaurants.

Below is Nick Mormando touting Maison Belle Claire Côtes de Provence Rosé:




Sancerre: Celebration of Saint-Vincent and the new vintage.

Saint-Vincent is the traditional patron Saint of wine-growers.  The celebration of St. Vincent Day happened in Sancerre last week.

It is a tradition in the Sancerre which begins with a great Mass in the presence of the Bishop of Bourges. He blessed the winegrowers to protect them and help them in their task.

It was a great celebration offered by the beloved local Bishop, because this year had the exceptional assembly of all the “bâtonniers” from the thirteen Sancerre villages.

The “bâtonnier” is a member of the Saint-Vincent Fellowship who is honored to carry its staff and offers the new vintage wine to the guests. This year, the lead “bâtonnier” for the Saint-Vincent Fellowship was Catherine Corbeau MELLOT for the Domaine Joseph Mellot.

To be the featured bâtonnier is very prestigious and remains an extreme honor by all the wine producers in Sancerre.  This year has been so much more important due to the difficult vintage last year and the shortage of Sancerre.  Mellot continues to be the benchmark producer of Sancerre and is now proud to be producing a very special line of ultra-premium wines for US importer Michael Romano and Romano Brands Fine Wines named Liberté which will be arriving in the US early April.

Initially the Liberté (English translation is Freedom) line will consist of a Sancerre, Sancerre Rosé (of Pinot Noir), and the famed Pouilly Fume.

Domain Joseph Mellot produces the world famous Cuvee Pierre Etienne Sancerre which remains the benchmark of the finest quality available in the world.

Limited quantities are available in the US through Romano Brands Fine Wines at

For additional information, and wholesale inquiries about the Liberte’ line please contact Romano Brands at tel:1 (646) 948-1100 or email at

See Catherine Mellot as the honorable “bâtonnier”

Maison Belle Claire Rosé touted again!

The NEW year is appearing to have another fantastic vintage available for superior quality Rose’. Wholesaler and retailer pre-orders are welcomed for the NEW vintage. NY restaurants and wine shops can request a sample by calling us at (646) 948-1100.

The popular wine writer Michael Apstein graciously delivers a pleasant and complimentary review of the proven consumer accepted Rosé of 2016 – Maison Belle Claire.

Maison Belle Claire Rosé, Côtes de Provence (France) 2015 ($18, Romano Brands Fine wines): Regular readers of know I’m not a great fan of Rosé — except when it has bubbles — often preferring a chilled light red wine instead.  But Maison Belle Claire’s 2015 caught my attention because it delivers more complexity than most rosé.  It may be the blend — roughly equal parts Syrah, Grenache and Cinsault — that imparts complexity and makes it come across like a light red wine.  Whatever it is, here is a Rosé with substance and the invigorating acidity that keeps it bright and fresh.  It’s a perfect choice for the classic salad Niçoise this summer.
90 points  Michael Apstein


Michael Apstein is a famous newspaper and magazine columnist,, James Beard Journalism Award (2000), James Beard Journalism Award Nominee (2004 & 2006) Follow Michael Apstein on Twitter: @MichaelApstein

Cooking the perfect steak and matching it to Rocca Wines of Napa Valley

Would you like to taste the wine?

Would you like to taste the wine?

When I go to a restaurant, I usually order wine, preferably a full bottle.  When the wine is finally opened and presented, the vast amount of wait-staff personnel will ask prior to serving: “Would you like to taste the wine?”  There is a much preferred way to present the wine by the waitperson.

serving-wine-2The person, who is going to initially review the wine that will be served to the other people at the table, should first smell the empty wine glass for foul aromas, possibly left by soap or poor glass storage.  If all is acceptable with the empty glass neutral aroma, the waitperson should then pour a small amount into the glass and follow with the question: “Does the wine meet your approval for serving?”

The person reviewing the wine should not just taste the wine to ascertain if he or she merely enjoys the taste. The person reviewing the wine should first determine if the wine is corked or not.  This is accomplished by smelling the wine in the glass.

Corked? A corked wine gives off a smell that is similar to wet cardboard, a moldy basement, a wet newspaper or a wet dog. When you taste the wine, a typical corked wine-taste will be “off” and not exciting, exhibiting no fruit characteristics. Some people also find that a corked wine can taste astringent and tingles their tongue.


A few other hospitable responsibilities of the person who is reviewing the wine should be to look at the wine’s color, and if the wine was age-worthy for acceptable serving to the other guests.  Color can sometimes be deceptive.  A brownish red could show premature age due to poor wine storage, usually from a heated storage area.  Is the wine evident of sediment or tartrates (wine diamonds) in the glass?  Perhaps the bottle should be decanted, especially if it is a bit older.

Ok – let’s say the wine is acceptable. Now is when the waitperson should be directed to pour wine. The waitperson (if properly trained) should remember the golden rule of ladies first, beginning to the left of the host, followed by serving the gentlemen; but never should the first glass be poured to the host.

Restaurants could benefit from the advice and expertise of a good wine purveyor who is trained in wine service, possibly as a sommelier.  The subtleties of proper wine service are at the least subliminal, but more often it is most appreciated by the restaurants’ guests.  A good salesperson should have the proper knowledge of restaurant wine service and be willing to offer his or her assistance in training the client-restaurant’s staff in proper wine service.  Even the most casual restaurants are far better recognized by their customers with proper wine service.

Please contact Michael Romano at Romano Brands Fine Wines for any questions on commercial/home wine service or any wine pairing concerns you might have, please call us at (646) 948-1100.