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A Pair of Italian Wines for Dinner

It would be fun to pour both of these wines at dinner this weekend.  For I was quite pleased by both which were recommend by Tim. The Bisceglia, Dry Muscat was quite intriguing with its pure notes of thyme and rosemary.  I became rather hung up on just smelling the wine!  The Casaloste has more vigor as the good fruit stands up to the oak.  Both Jenn and I found it a satisfying wine right now but I would personally cellar it a few years.  Both of these wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.

2011 Bisceglia, Dry Muscat, Terra di Vulcano, Basilicata  – $12
Imported by Winebow.  This wine is 100% Muscat.  The medium-strength nose reveals beautiful Muscat aromas which developed on the second night into delicately floral and fresh, thyme with rosemary.  In the mouth the flavors followed the nose with a dry quality, stones, some ripeness, and drying tannins on the cheeks.  *** Now-2014.

2007 Casaloste, Riserva, Chianti Classico,  – $22
Imported by Massanos Imports.  This wine is 100% Sangiovese which was fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel with indigenous yeasts.  It underwent malolactic fermentation then aged up to 14 months in 50% new French oak barriques.  The wine begins with tight, stoney  blue and red fruit before notes of subtle, tight, ripe black fruit comes up.  There is a touch of obvious wood to this medium bodied, well-framed, yet generous wine which wraps up with ripe, drying tannins.  This was slow to open up so either decant for several hours or cellar for the short-term.  *** Now-2019.

2006 and 2007 Bisceglia, Gudarra

October 20, 2011 Leave a comment

When I found out that MacArthurs was out of the 2007 Bisceglia, Terre di Vulcano I promptly contacted Tim and found out that they had two vintage of the Gudarra in stock.  The Gudarra is 100% Aglianico sourced from the Foragine and Le Cortiglie vineyards located at 1200 feet of elevation.  The vineyard was planted in 2001 and the fruit is typically harvested in late October.  It is fermented in stainless steel then aged for 12 months in 100% new French barriques.

These two vintages of Bisceglia are imported by Winebow.  The 2006 costs $19 and the 2007 costs $22 at MacArthurs.  While these are not the stunning value of the Terre di Vulcano, they are excellent wines worthy of trying and certainly worth the price.  I would recommend drinking the Terre di Vulcano while these vintages of Gudarra age.

2006 Bisceglia, Gudarra, Aglianico del Vulture, Basilicata
This wine has dark red fruit flavors, while related to the prune notes of the 2007, lean more towards black tea and dried herbs.  This is less fruit driven, instead offering up a drier, complex blend of herbs that are interesting to ponder.  This is approachable now but the flavors are controlled so I would either decant it ahead of time or age it to allow more expansion. *** Now-2017.

2007 Bisceglia, Gudarra, Aglianico del Vulture, Basilicata
This wine is riper than the 2006 with Jenn finding strong flavors of good prune.  In the mouth the dark, ripe fruit is gritty and presents a lot of up-front texture.  I found interesting notes of mushrooms and stones.  This flavorful wine leaves the impression of perfect balance between fruit, tannins, and acidity.  While it is enjoyable now, I suspect this vintage will develop for a few more years before hitting its stride and lasting for some time. **(*) 2014-2019.

2007 Bisceglia, Terre di Vulcano, Aglianico del Vulture DOC

September 23, 2011 1 comment

Monte Vulture, Basilicata, Image by 0000007 (flickr)

Aglianico del Vulture is a DOC located around Monte Vulture which is located in the northern portion of Basilicata.  Basilicata is the southern region located between the heel of Puglia and the toe of Campania.  The vineyards lie on volcanic soils at high altitudes of 1500-2200 feet.  As a result of the cool temperature the Aglianico is often harvested in October and November.

Geologic Map of Monte Vulture, Image from La Volpe & Pricipe, 1991

The Bisceglia is imported by Winebow and was recently available at MacArthurs for $11.  There was a stack of this wine quietly sitting at the back of MacArthur’s but now it is gone.  It is currently available at Calvert Woodley for $14.  This is a wine that Jenn and I have been drinking throughout the summer.  It was an interesting wine that developed in the glass, so drinkable, and incredibly affordable that I only wrote down my tasting notes last week!  At $11 it was a mind-blowing deal but at $14 it is still a good value wine.  I really enjoy the volcanic wines of Italy and recommend that you give them a try. *** Now-2017.

2007 Bisceglia, Terre di Vulcano, Aglianico del Vulture DOC
This wine is 100% Aglianico sourced from the Toppo di Viola vineyard.  This vineyard is located at 1250 feet on volcanic, limestone, clay, and loam soils and was recently planted in 2001.  The grapes were fermented then aged in stainless steel.  There is a dark nose of cherries.  In the mouth this medium to full-bodied wine has textured fruit, minerals, and good power.  The tart red fruit is supported by salivating acidity and textured tannins that coat the inside of the mouth.  While this wine is quite open and easy to drink due to its forwardness, it will clearly last for years to come.