Home > Tasting Notes and Wine Reviews > Three Wines From Italy, 25 July 2008

Three Wines From Italy, 25 July 2008


From time to time I ask my local wine merchant for Italian recommendations and I’m usually not disappointed. The Cavallotto was clearly a step up in quality (and price) from the Giochi and Venosa. I imagine this will smell great once it matures. For now you must inhale deeply. The Giochi delivered well straight from the bottle and wouldn’t get lost in a crowd of budget wines. The Venosa took some time to get going but maintained is pervasive smoked tea leaf aromas and flavors. It reminded me of tea smoked duck (the process not the duck), perhaps this is tobacco to others. Jenn and I preferred the Giochi over the Venosa but then Jenn took a liking to the Venosa.

2004 Antichi Giochi, Boci, Monferrato Rosso – $13
This wine is made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Barbera. It was made in steel and aged for 12 months in French oak barrels. It is a very dark, deep purple ruby. There is a light nose of dark fruit and perhaps fresh green veggies. In the mouth there are tart berries, that start off tight but slowly round out with air. There medium to full bodied wine has an inky aftertaste, with very fine but thorough tannins. A different type of wine than I am used to but enjoyable and well done at this price point.

2003 Cantina di Venosa, Terre di Orazio, Aglianico del Vulture – $13
This wine is 100% Aglianico that is 15-30 years of age. It is aged for 12-15 months in 5-10 year old Slovenian oak casks. A little light in color and more garnet than the Giochi. A light to medium nose of smoked tea leaf and tar. In the mouth there are some blue fruits with a pervasive smoked tea leaf flavor. The fruit sweetens after several hours of air. It is medium to light-bodied with fine, assertive tannins.

2005 Cavallotto, Nebbiolo, Bricco Boschis, Langhe – $26
The Cavallotto family has been growing Nebbiolo since 1929 and bottling their own wine since 1948. This 100% Nebbiolo wine is mature in oak casks. There is a very subtle nose of beautiful, dark red fruit. In the mouth there is dark fruit with immediately noticeable acidity, combined with tea/tobacco flavors and a good amount of ultrafine tannins. This is clearly a young wine but is drinking very well. The tannins are very nice considering it spent 18-24 months in oak.

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