Even more from Italy!!!


There is so much to try from Italy that I always seem to have stacks of pictures and notes waiting to be posted.  This apparent bias stems from my trend of the summer to taste a smaller variety of wine and drink more humble southern French wines.  There are some good bottles below.  At the more affordable end both the 2008 Duca di Salaparuta, Passo Delle Mule, Nero d’Avola, Sicily and the 2008 Pio Cesare, Oltre, Langhe should be tried.  You can drink the former while the later develops. For a few bucks more the 2007 Montepeloso, Eneo, Tuscany reminds me of an Italian claret that is entering middle age. Fun!  I finally recommend you try the 2011 Pala, Cannonau di Sardegna Reserva.  There is a reason why both the 2011 and 2012 vintages won Tre Bicchieri. I recommend you find out yourself by pulling the cork.  Please find my tasting notes in order of increasing age.  These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.

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2011 Pala, Cannonau di Sardegna Reserva – $26
Imported by Banville & Jones Wine Merchants.  This wine is 100% Cannonau that was aged in large French barrels followed by stainless steel.  Alcohol 14%.  The nose revealed mixed blue and red berries along with spices and black tea.  The wine showed ripe, black fruit with air and was clearly blacker with a mineral hint in the finish.  This was a well-balanced all around enjoyable wine with tannins, extract, and a little spicy bit in the aftertaste.  I enjoyed the slight tobacco, spices, and wood box notes.  *** Now-2022.

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2009 Sella & Mosca, Tanca Farra, Alghero – $23
Imported by Palm Bay International.  This wine is a blend of 50% Cannonau and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon that was aged for two years in oak casks.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The nose of clean fruit mixed with herbacious notes from the Cabernet Sauvignon.  The mouth followed the nose with black, clean, herbacious fruit. This tight wine had firm acidity, some fresh herbs, and a dry, dusty finish.  ** 2016-2020.

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2009 Taurino, Salice Salentino Rosso Riserva – $14
Imported by Verity Wine Partners.  This wine is a blend of 90% Negroamaro and 10% Malvasia Nera that was aged for six months in small oak barriques.  Alcohol 14%.  There was an interesting nose with a subtle soil aroma, stones, and black fruit.  The flavors were closely played, ripe, and matched by integrated acidity.  It eventually revealed strawberry flavors with a slightly tannic finish.  Seems young and in need of a wee bit of age.  ** 2015-2020.

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2008 Duca di Salaparuta, Passo Delle Mule, Nero d’Avola, Sicily – $17
Imported by Wine Cellars.  This wine is 100% Nero d’Avola that was aged in barriques.  Alcohol 13.5%.  There was a good deep nose of scented black fruit.  The black fruit flavors follow the nose and take on some wood notes as well.  This weightier wine was a little meaty with seamless acidity, subtle structure, and a finish of dense, dark wood.  It even had a little kick.  *** Now-2017.

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2008 Pio Cesare, Oltre, Langhe – $17
Imported by Maisons Marques & Domaines USA.  Thsi wine is a blend of Barbera, Nebbiolo, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot.  Alcohol.  There was an interesting grapey nose with mulberry aromas.  In the mouth this young wine opened up well after half an hour.  It had a certain brightness to the black and red fruit.  There was a tobacco note, round tart red fruit followed by a dry and black finish.  **(*) 2015-2020.

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2007 Montepeloso, Eneo, Tuscany –
Imported by The Rare Wine Co.  This wine is a blend of 40% Montepulciano, 25% Sangiovese, 25% Marselan, and 10% Alicante Bouschet that was aged in used French oak barrels. Alcohol 14.5%.  There was claret-like red fruit and wood box on the nose.  with air it took on herbs and meaty aromas.  The flavors began with red fruit before taking on black notes and minerals in the finish.  There was good integrated acidity that was balanced by the structure of citric-pith tannin.  The wine is developing secondary flavors and after many hours of air it some some dense blue and black flavors that lean towards the dry.  *** 2016-2024.

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2007 Fattoria Del Cerro, Caggio Al Vescovo, Rosso Toscano – $20
Imported by The Rare Wine Co.  This wine is 100% Colorino.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The nose was tight revealing just subtle leather aromas.  In the mouth this modern wine had ripe grip to the flavors dominated by tobacco, smoke, and bacon in the drying finish.  This wine will clearly last but there is more structure than fruit.  **(*) Now-2022.

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2006 Taurino, Notarpanaro, Salento Rosso – $20
Imported by Verity Wine Partners.  This wine is 100% Negroamaro.  Alcohol 14.5%.  This wine had a light nose of dark aromas.  In the mouth were dark red fruit and other low-lying flavors.  This was a cool, ripe wine that took several hours to open up and show black, almost mineral infused fruit.  **(*) 2016-2022.

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