Posts Tagged ‘Castel del Monte’

A floral Tre Bicchieri wine from Torrevento in Puglia

Torrevento is located in Puglia at the heel of Italy.  These stony grounds have produced the excellent 2010 Torrevento, Vigna Pedale, Castel del Monte Riserva as  evidenced in the Tre Bicchieri rating by Gambero Rosso.  This is a particularly floral wine driven by the right amount of acidity.  It even drinks great from the very first glass!  With the respectable price of $24 I suggest you pick up a few bottles to drink now and later.  This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.


2010 Torrevento, Vigna Pedale, Castel del Monte Riserva – $24
Imported by Cantiniere Imports & Distributing.  This wine is 100% Nero di Troia which was aged for 12 months in French oak barrels. Alcohol 13%.  The aromatic nose is clearly floral.  The rounded start is not heavy for the acidity driven floral fruit propels the wine through the finish of fine and rounded, grapey tannins.  The floral infused grapey red fruit has a good mouthfeel and lovely balance.  With additional air, a graphite note comes out and while the wine continues to drink well young, it will also develop over the short term.  ***(*) Now – 2022.


Recently Tasted Italian Wines

November 13, 2013 Leave a comment

I am nearing completion of my post for the Wine and the Sea Symposium so my attention must be diverted there.  Do not be surprised by some very simple posts focused on my tasting notes.  My favorite wine of this group was the 2008 Duca Di Salaparuta, Passo Delle Mule, Nero D’Avola, Sicily.  It has a bit of everything, tasted Sicilian, and is attractively priced.  The 2012 Fatalone, Teres, Primitivo, Puglia was much lighter and less complex than the 2008 vintage.  Still it is a perfect wine to drink right now.  The 2011 Cantina Nals Margreid, Galea, Schiava, Alto Adige is another wine to drink right now, quite nice for the price.  The 2007 Cappellano, Gabutti, Dolcetto D’Alba and 2011 Roagna, Dolcetto D’Alba were definitely enjoyable on the first night.  They both showed a rather promising future, enough so that we tasted them again on the second night.  They both completely fell apart.  I would cellar these for another year or two before trying and when you do, drink them up in one sitting.  These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.


1999 Rocca di Montegrossi, Geremia, Tuscany – $30
Imported by Bacchus Importers.  This wine is a blend of 93% Sangiovese and 7% Merlot which was matured for 13-15 months in medium toast barriques.  Alcohol 14%.  Blue and black fruits, which still play it somewhat close.  It held up well with air, showing integration from bottle age but just a hint of complexity from maturity.  No rush to drink but I cannot image it will get any more complex. ** Now-2018.


2012 Fatalone, Teres, Primitivo, Puglia – $16
Imported by Williams Corner Wines.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The color was a very light orange-red.  There were lighter weight but flavorful ripe red fruit and citrus flavors on the sides of the tongue.  It was a gentle wine.  The flavors turn even lighter towards the finish, where they also become less complex.  There was a certain, smooth feel, a hint of yeast, and soft finish.  This was very much a drink now wine with a hint of stones.  ** Now-2014.


2011 Cantina Nals Margreid, Galea, Schiava, Alto Adige – $13
Imported by the County Vintner.  Alcohol 13%.  There was minerally red fruit with a hint of black fruit which was completely integrated with the acidity and very moderate tannins.  It was slightly tangy.  A satisfying wine.  ** Now-2016.


2009 Santa Lucia, Vigna del Melograno, Nero di Troia, Castel del Monte – $14
Imported by de Grazia Imports.  This wine is 100% Nero di Troia which was aged for 12 months in large oak casks.  Alcohol 14%.  There was a light nose of tar.  In the mouth were compact black fruits, powdery stones, more black fruit, and chalky drying tannins which stuck to the gums and inside of cheeks.  There was tangy and salivating acidity at the end and some smoke.  It remained compact but pleasing in its delivery.  ** Now-2018.


2007 Cappellano, Gabutti, Dolcetto D’Alba – $23
Imported by Louis/Dressner Selections.  Alcohol 13%.  There was an earthy start with a touch of wood box.  There were firm, drying tannins with a more significant Pilsner aftertaste on the second night.  It was tart and acidic but seemed to have a core of good flavor.  Much better on first night.  ** 2014-2019.


2011 Roagna, Dolcetto D’Alba – $17
Imported by Louis/Dressner Selections.  Alcohol 12.5%.  The nose bore a mixture of herbs, bitters, and blacker fruit.  The wine was young on the first night with interesting potential.  But on the second night it had tart fruit, simple flavors, lots of acidity, and woodsy tannins.  It was stemmy and bitters-like in the finish.  ** 2014-2019.


2008 Duca Di Salaparuta, Passo Delle Mule, Nero D’Avola, Sicily – $17
Imported by Wine Cellars Limited.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The flavors were a little darker, with riper fruit leaning towards red and black flavors.  The acidity was on the tongue tip, less obvious and certainly not on the sides.  It had good body, orange citrus notes, grapey density, and was good and lively.  There was a fine polished wood note.  **(*) Now-2019.


2007 Duca Di Salaparuta, Lavico, Nerello Mascalese, Sicily – $17
Imported by Wine Cellars Limited.  Alcohol 13%.  There was a familiar nose followed by tangy red fruit and acidity on the sides of the tongue.  The tannins were mostly resolved into the grapey, red berry fruit.  With air the flavors took on more pungent, black fruit, and they also became saltier.  It also took on more power and structure in the finish.  ** Now-2018.


A Slew of Italian Wines


Apparently we tasted a lot of Italian wines lately.  Priced between $9 and $19 there is something here for everyone.  My favorite of the lot are the 2009 Piaggia di Silvia Bannucci, Pietranera and the 2006 Poedere il Palazzino, Argenina.  Quite frankly I like most of the Piaggia wines I have tasted and this entry-level wine is no exception.  The Palazzino is quite nice too, in speaking with Tim, he prefers this 2006 vintage over the 2007.  The 2007 Tenuta Cocevola, Rosso Cocevola will alter your normal drinking habits because it is pure Nero di Troia.  It is worth a try but best to cellar for a year or so.  The 2010 Brigaldara, Valpolicella offers good pleasure for a low price along with the more expensive 2008 Fuedi di San Gregorio, Ognissole and the 2010 Argiolas, Costera.  Amazingly the least expensive wine, the  2011 Giribaldi, Winemaker’s Selection Red Blend at $9 per bottle, had my favorite nose.  My glass provided continuous aromas of floral perfume and fresh berries.  The flavors in the mouth did not live up to the nose but it is still worth the price to simply smell.  Please find my tasting notes in general order of preference.  These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.


2009 Piaggia di Silvia Bannucci, Pietranera- Tuscany – $19
Imported by Bacchus Importers. This wine is mostly Sangiovese with a little Canaiolo which was fermented with indigenous yeast then aged for 10 months in French oak.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The light nose was slightly pungent with red and black fruit.  In the mouth there was lovely fruit, red, black, and cherry which had depth.  There was a good vein of fruit caressed by a wood box note.  The acidity is supportive as focused, cool flavors of blue and black fruit come out in the finish.  Tasty.  *** Now – 2020.


2006 Poedere il Palazzino, Argenina, Chianti Classico – $17
Imported by De Grazia Imports. This wine is mostly Sangiovese sourced from the Argenina Vineyard which was aged in small oak casks.  Alcohol 14%.  The color is a light to medium garnet.  The light nose is tight but some cherry aromas escape.  There is richer fruit in the mouth with powdery blue flavors then focused blue and black fruit which is drier.  There are also drying tannins and minerals.  With air there is a controlled, mouthfilling nature but it is not expansive.  There are smooth tannins, seemingly redder fruit in the finish, and a minerally aftertaste.  Tasty.  *** Now – 2018.


2007 Tenuta Cocevola, Rosso Cocevola, Castel del Monte – $17
Imported byIl Pioppo.  This wine is 100% Nero di Troia which was aged 6-9 months in French oak barriques.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The color is a medium garnet with a cherry core.  the light nose is of low-lying darker, red fruit.  The dark red and blue flavors have some compactness before black minerals mix with nice fruit.  The acidiyt is on the front of the tongue. Fine, strong tannins build from the beginning resulting in a firm finish but salivating aftertaste from the acidity.   I could use several months in the cellar. **(*) 2014-2018.


2010 Brigaldara, Valpolicella – $12
Imported by Vinifera Imports.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The color is a light ruby with a touch of garnet at the edge.  The light nose is raspberry candy.  In the mouth there is pretty, little black and red fruit along with some dried herbs and acidity.  It has some weight and a little ripeness in the finish.  Flavors of cranberry mixes with acidity that hits the back of the throat.  The finish has a dark hint, some structure, and a  hint of grapefruit.  ** Now.


2008 Fuedi di San Gregorio, Ognissole, Primitivo di Manduria – $16
Imported by Palm Bay Imports.  This wine is 100% Primitivo sourced from 25-year-old vines which were destemmed and aged for 14 months in new French oak.  Alcohol 14.5%. The nose was light with lots of mixed berries.  The mouth brought blackberry and blueberry fruit which became a little round and ripe in the middle.  There was acidity before the very fine tannins lurked in the aftertaste.  With air the flavors turned towards macerated red berries up front and blacker fruit in the finish.  Well done.  ** Now-2018.


2010 Argiolas, Costera, Cannonau di Sardegna – $14
Imported by Winebow.  This wine is a blend of 90% Cannonau, 5% Carignano, and 5% Bovale Sardo which was aged for six to eight months in used barriques.  Alcohol 14%.  The nose was light with strawberries and cherry.  The cherry and strawberry flavors continue in the mouth with juicy acidity and even more strawberry fruit.  The acidity is balanced by ripe texture, some weight, and a hint of minerals.  This youthful, grapey wine becomes athletic in the end.  It maintains good flavor but not great depth.  ** Now-2018.


2012 Giribaldi, Winemaker’s Selection Red Blend, – $9
Imported by William-Harrison.  This wine is a blend of 70% Dolcetto, 25% Barbera, and 5% Nebbiolo.  Alcohol 12%.  The color is a light to medium grapey ruby.  The medium strength nose is attractive with floral perfume and fresh berries.  It is a beautiful nose that takes on spices.  In the mouth there is tart red and black fruit with an initial hint of salt before black minerals come out.  The wine is tart on the sides of the tongue with citric tannins on the lips.  The flavors do fade by the finish.  It is a more forward wine that takes on a wee bit of weight.  ** Now-2014.


2009 Villa Santera, Leon de Castris, Primitivo di Manduria – $15
Imported by Winebow.  This wine is 100% Primitivo sourced from 40-year-old vines.  It was fermented in stainless steel tanks then aged six months in used French oak barrels.Alcohol 15%. The light nose was ripe, pungent, and plummy.  There were fresh, almost eucalyptus, flavors in the mouth, spiced herbs, and ripe red fruit.  This was a supple wine with integrated acidity but it was a little too sweet for me.  There were grainy, ripe tannins.  ** Now-2016.


A Wee Bit of Bottle Age

For several dollars more than our daily wine-drinking budget I am able to purchase Italian wines with a wee bit of bottle age.  Of the trio featured in today’s post we both preferred the Pratesi.  This “Super-Tuscan” is actually a Bordeaux blend and one you should try if cedar box, stones, and tobacco sound attractive.  A bit more traditional is the Rivera which is made from Aglianico.  At this point it remained tight and in need of additional age.  I do not know if it will gain complexity with additional age but it should certainly become more approachable.  The Oliveto is interesting for it is made from Sangiovese fermented in Slavonian oak vats.  There are interesting flavors to this wine but I was distracted by the disappearing fruit and emerging warmth.  The Pratesi was purchased at Wide World of Wines.  The Rivera and Oliveto were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.

2004 Azienda Agricola Pratesi, Carmione, Rosso Toscano – $20
Imported by Winebow.  This wine is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Franc sourced from a six acre vineyard planted in 1995 at 600 feet.  It was fermented in stainless steel tanks, underwent malolactic fermentation, then was aged for 18 months in French barriques.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The color is medium+.  The nose is fresh with aromas of dark fruit.  In the mouth the wine eventually softens and fleshes out to reveal blue and black fruit, cedar box, and some stones.  There are fine+ ripe tannins which coat the tongue and the inside of the lips.  There are nice flavors of tobacco in the aftertaste.  There is moderate concentration to this wine which is still integrating.  A bit tannic a this point with spearmint and a spicy aftertaste.  Drinkable now but best after 2-3 years.  *** Now-2022.

2005 Azienda Vinicola Rivera, Cappellaccio Riserva, Aglianico, Castel del Monte – $22
Imported by Bedford International.  This wine is 100% Aglianico sourced from a vineyard at 220 meters.  It was fermented in stainless steel then was aged for 12 months in French barriques.  Alcohol 13.5%, TA 5.7 g/L, pH 3.45, RS 1.8 g/L.  The nose was similar to the mouth.  The flavors of blacker red fruit remained tight.  It was a touch salty with a dry profile and confident drying tannins.  There was a little salivating acidity.  At this point the structure overpowers the fruit leaving wood notes in the finish.  ** 2015-2022.

2006 Tenuta Oliveto, Il Leccio, Rosso di Toscana – $20
Imported by Ima Imports.  This wine is 100% Sangiovese sourced from vineyards planted in 1997 and 1998.  It was fermented in Slavonian oak vats followed by 14-15 months of aging in French oak tonneaux.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The color is a medium cherry-garnet.  The light nose reveals high-toned red fruit and wood box.  In the mouth there were robust flavors, menthol, hard minerals, and some spritz.  The fruit flavors dried up and shrank in the middle becoming a touch spicy in the aftertaste.  The menthol flavors exist throughout as some heat warms the aftertaste.  With air cinnamon flavors, red and black fruits, and mature notes come out.  There are fine tannins in the aftertaste.  I would drink this up before the fruit dries out.  ** Now.

Two Apulian Wines from Tormaresca

Tormaresca is an estate located in Apulia with vineyards located at the estates of Tenuta Bocca di Lupo and Masseria Maime. It was founded in 1998 when the Antinori family purchased the two estates in Apulia. At the time land prices were affordable and the estates were judged to be good locations for growing indigenous and international varietals. Tenuta Bocca di Lupa contains 130 hectares of vineyards located in the Castel del Monte DOC which is in the center of Apulia. The vineyards are located near Vulture at an altitude of 250 meters. Masseria Maime is a 500 hectare estate located in Salento which is in the south of Apulia. Half of this estate is planted with vines. For those curious about the importer, Antinoi has joint projects throughout the world including the Clos Solare winery in Washington State. Clos Solare is a joint venture between Antinori and Chateau Ste. Michelle so it is natural that Ste. Michelle imports these wines.

The Bocca di Lupo Estate, Tormaresca, Image by Sankta84 (flickr)

Jenn and I greatly enjoyed tasting these wines as a pair. Both are drinking quite well right now with the Masseria Maime drinking at its peak and the Bocca di Lupo still several years away. While it is informative to taste both wines, if you must pick one then grab the Bocca di Lupo. You may cellar it for a few more years so that it may reach its maximum potential or drink now after an hour in the decanter. These wines are currently available at MacArthur Beverages.

2004 Tormaresca, Bocca di Lupo, Aglianic0, Castel del Monte DOC – $36
Imported by Ste. Michelle Estates. This wine is 100% Aglianico which was harvested when slightly overripe. It was fermented in stainless steel, underwent malolactic fermentation in oak barriques, then was aged for 15 months in French and Hungarian oak barriques. The nose was a mixture of red fruit and apple cider with spices. In the mouth the black and red fruit was concentrated with chewy, ripe tannins which coat the inside of the lips. There were flavors of wood box, hints of salinity, iron minerality, and a dark chewy aftertaste. The tannins are a bit spicy. There is good balance between the ripe tannins, salivating acidity, and chewy aftertaste. I imagine this will develop for a few more years but is quite a pleasurable drink right now. ***(*) Now-2022.

2004 Tormaresca, Masseria Maime, Negroamaro, Salento IGT – $34
Imported by Ste. Michelle Estates. This wine is 100% Negroamaro which was harvested when slightly overripe. It was fermented in stainless steel, underwent malolactic fermentation in oak barriques, then was aged for 12 months in oak barriques. The nose revealed a touch of wood smoke and artichokes. In the mouth there was plenty of dusty, tangy, concentrated red fruit which was a little savory. The brighter and tarter fruit was supported by underlying mature flavors. Flavors of black tea developed with some roasted wood before a finish and aftertaste of fine, ripe, drying tannins and sweet, wood smoke. I thought the acidity was a bit disjointed at the end. *** Now-2017.