Home > Tasting Notes and Wine Reviews > Italian Wines at the Winebow Portfolio Tasting

Italian Wines at the Winebow Portfolio Tasting


The Hotel Palomar, Washington, DC

Last Thursday I attended the Winebow French and Italian Portfolio Tasting at the Hotel Palomar.  This tasting featured Italian wines selected by Leonardo LoCascio and French wines imported by Kermit Lynch.  This was reason enough for me to take the afternoon off.  Together there were 22 wineries represented.  There were more wines than I could taste and take notes on so I intend no disrepect to those not covered. In this post you will find my notes on the Italian wines I tasted.  For those who follow my blog you will find a few wines which I have tasted before.

Argiolas

Beppe Pinna, Argiolas

Argiolas was founded in 1937. Located in Sardinia it produces wine primarily from native Sardinian varietals.  Argiolas produces more white wine than red.  This was my first experience with their whites and it was pleasing.  You could drink the S’elegas and Costamolino right now for pleasure while the IS Argiolas ages for a year or two.  Of the reds you cannot go wrong with the Costera or the Korem.  The Turriga is very well done.  Both the Korem and Turriga will age for some time.  Beppe Pinna explained that the 2006 Turriga is considered the most age worthy vintage produced.

2010 Argiolas, S’elegas, Nuragus di Cagliari
This wine is 100% Nuragus sourced from 32-42 year old vines. It was fermented then aged for 3-4 months in stainless steel tanks. The color is light yellow. The light to medium nose reveals lovely rich, yellow fruit and a little floral aspect. In the mouth the yellow fruit mixed with acidity at first then a good mouthfeel develops. Though smooth there is lots of grip. The finish is strong with minerals driving it.

2011 Argiolas, Costamolino, Vermentino di Sardegna
This wine is 95% Vermentino and 5% other Sardinian varietals sourced from 22-32 year old vines. It was fermented then aged for 3-4 months in stainless steel tanks. A light straw color. The light nose reveals bright fruit which is more floral. In the mouth the flavors are rather fresh, with plenty of lively acidity, and a long aftertaste. There is a touch more yellow citrus to the flavors, along with spices and texture in the aftertaste.

2011 Argiolas, IS Argiolas, Vermentino di Sardegna
This wine is 100% Vermentino sourced from 32-year-old vineyards. It was fermented then aged for 5-6 months in stainless steel tanks. The color is a light straw yellow. The light, low-lying nose has aromas of ripe white and yellow fruit. In the mouth the lightly concentrated wine has nice weight, white citrus, and minerals delivered in a taut body. Well-done. Could age.

2009 Argiolas, Perdera, Monica di Sardegna
This wine is 100% Monica, 5% Carignano, and 5% Bovale Sardo sourced from 30+ year old vines. It was fermented in stainless steel then aged for six months in French oak casks. The color is a light to medium ruby. There is light, sweaty fruit with tastes simpler of younger vines. The flavors are grapey red and blue with the fruit balanced by acidity. There is some racy black fruit. A wine for the short-term.

2009 Argiolas, Costera, Cannonau di Sardegna
This wine is 90% Cannonau, 5% Carignano, and 5% Bovale Sardo sourced from 23-year-old vines. The fruit was fermented in stainless steel tanks then aged for six months in French oak barriques. The color is a light+ intense ruby. The headier nose reveals red fruit. In the mouth the flavors are softer with more racy, red notes which stick around into the aftertaste. More serious than the Perdera there is a light amount of fine tannins which coat the teeth.

2008 Argiolas, Korem, Isola Dei Nuraghi
This wine is 55% Bovale Sardo, 35% Carignano, and 10% Cannonau sourced from 30-year-old vines. The fruit was fermented in stainless steel than aged for 12 months in cements tanks and barriques of which 50% were new. The color is light to medium ruby with some garnet. The light+ nose reveals more complexity with red and blue fruits, perfume, and a hint of wood box. In the mouth it is quite nice from the start, a little maturity showing through, wood box, spicy tannins, and racy black fruit. There are more drying tannins to the structure along with soft acidity. This should age over a decade.

2006 Argiolas, Turriga, Isola Dei Nuraghi
This wine is 85% Cannonau and 15% Malvasia Nera, Carignano, and Bovale Sardo sourced from 37-year-old vines. It was fermented in stainless steel tank then aged for 24 months in concrete and new barriques. The color is light to medium ruby with some garnet. There are light aromas to the nose of dark and right red fruit. In the mouth the focused red and blue fruit is a little brambly and gently powerful. There are notes of wood box, spicy tannins which dry the lips and teeth followed by black minerality in the aftertaste. Will certainly age.

Bisceglia

Michele Bisceglia, Bisceglia

Bisceglia was founded by Mario Bisceglia in 2001 on the lower slopes of Mount Vulture. The modern winery produces wine from 40 hectares of vineyards.  I have liked earlier vintages of the Terra di Vulcano and Gudarra.  I must admit that the Gudarra was easily my favorite.

2010 Bisceglia, Terra di Vulcano, Aglianico del Vulture
This wine is 100% Aglianico sourced from eight year old vines. It was fermented and aged for 12 months in stainless steel tanks.. The light+ nose is perfumed with bluer fruit. In the mouth there is soft texture to the mixed berries. The fresh acidity supports some concentration to the flavors towards the finish. The flavors then tight up a little as light, grapey tannins come out.

2008 Bisceglia, Gudarra, Aglianico del Vulture
This wine is 100% Aglianico sourced from 11-year-old vines fermented in stainless steel tanks then aged for 12 months in new French oak barriques. The more complex nose revealed mixed berries and piercing ripe fruit. In the mouth there is weighty black fruit, more structure, and an interesting mineral vein. There are sweet spices in the finish along with drying tannins. Nice.

2007 Bisceglia, Treje, Basilicata
This wine is a blend of 34% Aglianico, 33% Merlot, and 33% Syrah sourced from 10-year-old vines. It was fermented in stainless steel tanks with the Aglianico aged for 12 months in new French oak barriques. The Merlot and Syrah were aged for six months.. The light+ aromatic nose reveals red and blue fruit with a Merlot lift. The flavors are sweeter in a sense, lighter in body with a bit more acidity and focus but with less depth. There is a little bit of concentration before the sappy, mixed fruit of the aftertaste.

Maculan

Angela Maculan, Maculan

The Maculan family has been producing wine since 1947. They produce wine from 37 acres of estate vineyards and a further 125 contracted acres.  I have enjoyed a few bottles of the Brentino so it was a treat to taste through this large selection of wines.  While the Brentino remains a strong value the Fratta was my favorite.  At the more affordable end the Palazzotto and Torcolato should not be missed.  Do check out the Maculan website for images of the Torcolato grapes drying on twisted ropes.

2011 Maculan, Pino & Toi, Veneto
This wine is a blend of 60% Tai, 25% Pinot Bianco, and 15% Pinot Grigio sourced from 17-year-old vines. It was fermented then aged for three months in stainless steel. The light nose is floral with yellow citrus. In the mouth the weighty, “nutty”, smooth yellow fruit is quite up front. Then there is a yeasty, drier aftertaste leaving some grip and refreshing, sweet spice.

2011 Maculan, Sauvignon, Veneto
This wine is 100% Sauvignon sourced from 22-year-old vines. It was fermented then aged for three months in stainless steel. There is a medium nose of cat pee on litter. In the mouth the flavors of pastilles is fresh, crisp, and lively on the tongue. There is earthy, white fruit with a touch of warmth.

2010 Maculan, Brentino, Veneto
This wine is a blend of 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon. It was fermented in stainless steel tanks then aged 12 months in stainless steel tanks and used French oak barriques. The light to medium nose reveals some sweet oak mixed with red and blue fruit. The flavors are of red fruit at first then a mixture of blue and black fruit towards the finish. The flavors puff out into the mouth with a soft feeling. There is a little, thin vein of grippy flavors and tannins.

2009 Maculna, Palazzotto, Cabernet Sauvignon, Breganze
This wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon which was fermented in stainless steel then aged for 12 months in new and used French oak barriques. The light+ nose is refined. In the mouth the soft and weighty blue fruit mixes with Cassis and slowly builds leaving drying, spicy tannins. There is more focus to the lithe flavors, nice structure with an approachable softness to the edges. There aftertaste is haunting.

2007 Maculan, Fratta, Veneto
This wine is a blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon and 23% Merlot which was fermented in stainless steel then aged for 12 months in new French oak barriques. The light nose reveals dark, complex aromas and wood box with spices. In the mouth the flavors are complex and interesting from the start. There is good depth but the wine remains light in the mouth, slowly filling it with flavors as the tannins built up into a dark and lovely aftertaste.  Nice

2005 Maculan, Crosara, Breganze
This wine is 100% Merlot which was fermented in stainless steel then aged for 12 months in new French oak barriques. The light+ nose is dense, grainy, and of red jam. In the mouth the red fruit is concentrated and texture but maintains a mouthfilling lightness. There are notes of dried fruit in the finish, very fine, ripe tannins which coat the lips as red fruit comes out in the aftertaste.

2011 Maculan, Dindarello, Moscato Veneto
This wine is 100% Moscato which was dried for month in temperature and moisture controlled rooms. It was fermented and aged for six months in stainless steel tanks. The light nose is floral with perfumed muscat aromas which show some ripeness. In the mouth the racy, concentrated fruit is more floral with dried apricot. The residual sugar mixes with some acidity, could use a bit more time for integration, becoming lifted and sweet in the aftertaste. The flavors drop off a bit in the finish.  Needs some age

2008 Maculan, Torcolato, Breganze
This wine is a blend of 85% Vespaiola, 10% Tocai, and 5% Garganega which was dried for four months 85% in trays and 15% suspended from the ceiling in twisted rope.  It was then fermented in stainless steel and aged for 12 months in 67% used French oak.  The light nose is a bit more piercing. In the mouth there is fine complexity, very racy flavors, good acidity and spices are balanced by the residual sugar. There is very good structure and balance for aging. There are darker flavors and a spice aspect to the finish where one almost does not notice the residual sugar at all. Nice.

2008 Maculan, Madoro
This wine is a blend of 80% Marzemina and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. The nose is light to medium in strength, evocative of the sea, hothouse flowers, quite different. In the mouth there are strange hot-house, green house notes with sweet red fruit, jammy dried fruit. The residual sugar is more overt as is the structure and licorice note in the finish.

Villa Remotti

Villa Remotti was founded in 2002 by Rafaella Rossi and Riccardo Garosci. The focus is on Barbera D’Asti.  I do not drink too much Barbera D’Asti but I like the chewy, youthful nature.

2011 Villa Remotti, Barbera D’Asti
This wine is 100% Barbera is both fermented and aged for 12 months in stainless steel tanks. The color is a light to medium ruby. The light grapey aromas make way to chewy, youthful red fruit in the mouth. There is good acidity, grapey tannins which become citrus in the aftertaste where they mix with red and blue fruit.

Zenato

Nadia Zenato, Zenato

The Zenato winery was founded in 1960 by Sergio and Carla Zenato.  Of the whites I would opt for the Lugano but perhaps give it six months of age.  Of the reds the Cresasso is undeniably attractive with the Sargio Zenato Amarone Riserva a real treat.

2011 Zenato, Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie
This wine is 100% Pinot Grigio sourced from 16-year-old vines which were fermented in stainless steel. The light+ Pinot Grigio nose smells of white citric, acidic fruit. In the mouth the flavors are weightier with white and yellow fruit with shows a ripe nice. There is lots of acidity, spices, perhaps nuts, and a sweet spices aftertaste.

2011 Zenato, Lugana, Sant Benedetto
100% Trebbiano di Lugana which was fermented then aged for six months in stainless steel.. The light nose is tight. In the mouth the flavors are lively on the tongue with a little prickle. The acidity softens up as white and yellow fruit comes out with an apple note. The flavors are low-lying then expand in the back where some tannins and a yeast note come out.

2010 Zenato, Valpolicella Superiore
This wine is a blend of 80% Corvina, 10% Rondinella, and 10% Sangiovese sourced 25+ year old vines. It was fermented in stainless steel tanks 12 months in used French oak barrels. The light, tight nose reveals red fruit with a fleeting earthy aroma. The flavors are surprisingly ripe, compared to the nose, almost sweet with red and blue fruit. There are some herbs, a cool aspect, and a finish of earthy blue fruit and old perfume.

2008 Zenato,Cormi, Corvina Delle Venezie
This wine is a blend of 50% Corvina and 50% Merlot sourced from 25+ year old vines. It was fermented in stainless steel tanks then aged for 12 months in used French oak casks. The light+ nose is of red fruit and wood notes. In the mouth the ripe, red fruit expands, takes on a little grit before picking up grippy concentration in the finish where there are spicy, drying tannins.

2009 Zenato, Ripassa, Valpolicella Superiore
This wine is a blend of 80% Corvina, 10% Sangiovese, and 10% Rondinella sourced from 25+ year old vines. It was fermented in stainless steel tanks with selected batches under going a second fermentation on Amarone lees. It was aged for 18 months in used French oak tonneaux. The light and tight nose shows some dried fruit aromas. In the mouth the red fruit is concentrated and supported by a grainy textured vein which turns a little blue in the finish. There are spicy tannins.

2006 Zenato, Cresasso, Corvina Veronese
This wine is a blend of 100% Corvina sourced from 14-year-old vines. It was fermented in stainless steel tanks then aged for 18 months in used French oak barriques. The nose is light+ with complex wood box and cedar notes. In the mouth the flavors are concentrated, racy, young with a little spicy, dried fruit aspect. This wine is medium to full-bodied showing balanced structure, nice, drying spicy tannins, and savory flavors. This pack in a lot! Young.

2007 Zenato, Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico
This wine is a blend of 80% Corvina, 10% Rondinella, and 10% Sangiovese sourced from 18-year-old vines. It was aged for 30 months in used French oak casks.. The light+ nose reveals dry Port at first. In the mouth there are dried berries, earthy flavors, wood notes, and fine, ripe tannins. The earthy note continues with a racy sweet fruit note.

2006 Zenato, Sergio Zenato, Amarone Classico Riserva
This wine is a blend of 80% Corvina, 10% Rondinella, 5% Molinara, and 5% Sangiovese. It was fermented in stainless steel then aged for 36 months in used French oak barriques and casks. There is a similar nose. In the mouth there is great concentration to the flavors but with refinement. There is very fine, textured, earthy, brambly fruit showing prime balance as weighty, drying tannins come out towards the aftertaste. Nice!

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