Simply put if you need a red wine for daily drinking or a large party then look no further than the 2011 Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio, MonVi, Colli Perugini Rosso. This is a Sangiovese based Bordeaux blend with a bit of bitterness and cocoa but it is very tasty. It delivers a lot of satisfaction at only $13 per bottle. I must thank Tim for pointing it out to me. These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.
2011 Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio, MonVi, Colli Perugini Rosso – $13
Imported by Vini Inc. This wine is a blend of 55% Sangiovese, 22% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Cabernet Franc which is fermented in stainless steel then aged in a mixture of stainless steel and oak. Alcohol 14.5%. This is really tasty. For those in search of more information this a moderately ripe wine with ripe texture, a black bitter element, and cocoa aftertaste. It has watery acidity and a billowy structure which should support development for a year. But why wait? **(*) Now – 2019.
2015 Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio, Villa, Umbria – $10
Imported by Vini Inc. This is 100% Sangiovese made from the youngest vines and raised entirely in stainless steel. Alcohol 14 %. This is a firm wine with slightly bitter black fruit, acidity, and fine texture. *(*) Now.
I opened the 1979 De Forville, Barbaresco on a whim when I found out a dinner guest at our house is another wine lover. I picked up this bottle from Chambers Street Wine a year or two ago on the recommendation of Jamie. De Forville is a 19th century estate which, according to the Wasserman’s, produced this wine using the traditional methods of long skin contact and long cask aging. The 1979 vintage was uneven but I suspect the traditional winemaking and careful storage ensured that it arrived at my table in fine shape. This bottle fleshed out then peaked after 15 to 30 minutes. It is more complex in the mouth and when opened up, reveals mouth filling old-school flavors. I happily savored the last glass while I read a mystery book.
1979 De Forville, Barbaresco
Imported by T. Elenteny Imports. Alcohol 13%. The cranberry with mixed red fruit nose reveals that the wine is very much alive. In the mouth the flavors of leather and red fruit soon flesh out a bit. This is an old-school wine with plenty of grip and acidity. It becomes more complex in the mouth adding black fruit, wood notes, and an inky bit. It wraps up with ethereal ripeness in the aftertaste. **** Now but will last.
Castiglion del Bosco produces several wines from Montalcino but also the flavorful Dainero from their vineyards in Riparbella. Located near Bolgheri, Riparbella is also an area conducive to the Bordeaux varieties. The 2013 Castiglion del Bosco, Dainero, Tuscany shows off as a successful blend of mostly Merlot with a touch of Sangiovese. It is ultimately quite tasty with the additional benefits of texture, almost lively acidity, and surprising depth. It is a well-priced wine worth checking out. This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.
2013 Castiglion del Bosco, Dainero, Tuscany – $18
Imported by Maisons Marques & Domaines. This wine is a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Sangiovese fermented in stainless steel then aged for 6 months in a combination of new and used oak. Alcohol 13%. Deep red flavors overlay minerals and bright black fruit. There is a good amount of acidity, almost bordering on lively, with texture and tang hitting the back of the mouth. The wine plays it close with structure and brightness to support further development. Development is no doubt possible because the wine has surprising depth to the pervasive, blue and black fruit flavors. *** Now – 2022.
Fratelli Alessandria has produced a Barbera d’Alba from “slimy limestone” soils since 1968, though the family has owned the winery since the 19th century. The current 2015 Fratelli Alessandria, Barbera d’Alba is a lively, tangy wine that provides good fun. After a small period of breathing it comes into its own offering flavors from tangy red fruit to blue and black by the finish. There is structure for short-term development but the acidity will make you want to drink it this year. This is available at MacArthur Beverages.
2015 Fratelli Alessandria, Barbera d’Alba – $16
Imported by The Country Vintner. This wine is 100% Barbera sourced from 20 year old vines. It was fermented stainless steel tanks then aged in a combination of stainless steel and cement. Alcohol 14.5%. There is lively, tangy fruit, spices and mineral. The acidity is immediately attractive. The wine quickly opens up with air. The bright entry brings tannins, red fruit, and a minerally tang then the wine morphs to a blue and black fruited middle. *** Now – 2019.
An interesting bottle of 2012 Vigne Marina Coppi, Marine, Colli Tortonesi has remained on my mind since tasted one year ago. I finally tried the Barbera from the same producer. The 2010 Vigne Marina Coppi, Castellania, Colli Tortonesi is from a very good vintage and despite several years of bottle age, it is only beginning to open up. While I recommend you cellar this for at least another year you may drink it on the second day. It is still controlled but the flavors are deep and the addition of floral herbs with a hint of fat is enticing. It is a fine wine at a good price and is still available at MacArthur Beverages.
2010 Vigne Marina Coppi, Castellania, Colli Tortonesi – $23
Imported by The Sorting Table. This wine is 95% Barbera and 5% Freisa which was fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks. Alcohol 14.5%. The polish berry nose is followed by similar flavors in the mouth. This wine of tart red and blue fruit has controlled weight and cedar towards the finish. There is good flavor, floral herbs, a hint of fat, and plenty of balanced structure for development. ***(*) 2018- 2025.
The 2013 Vigneto Due Santi, Zonta, Breganze is a unique wine in that the fruit comes from vineyards located on volcanic soils in the north-east of Italy. This particular vintage is quite hefty. The nose eludes to rather ripe fruit and the flavors are packed in with an appealing amount of texture. I would let this age for a couple years then drink a glass or two with a hearty meal. This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.
2013 Vigneto Due Santi, Zonta, Breganze – $22
Imported by Siema LLC. This wine is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Cabernet Franc that was fermented in stainless steel tanks then underwent malolactic fermentation and 15-18 months of aging in new barrels. Alcohol 14.0%. The nose is packed with dense raisin and floral aromas backed by both underlying greenhouse and musk notes. In the mouth are similarly dense flavors of purple fruit, baking spices, and oak notes. This is a hefty wine with generous textured. The flavors are polished but it could stand another year or two of integration. *** Now 2018-2026.
Tim’s latest Italian recommendations are a must-try so I feel I should pass them on to you. First is the impeccable 2015 Robert Princic, Gradis’Ciutta, Friulano, Collio. It is lively with the right amount of fruit, weight, and grip. In other words it is both flavorful and pleasing in the mouth. Little did I know that the 2011 Loredan Gasparini, Venegazzu Della Casa, Colli is important in the history of Italian wine. This vintage is the latest in the series of Bordeaux blends which began with the 1951 vintage. Thus Loredan Gasparini made the first Italian Bordeaux blend. This bottle is developing mature notes but the core of the fruit and structural components still exist. There is a sense of tightness and resolve so drink it after double-decanting or better yet in a few years from now. These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.
2015 Robert Princic, Gradis’Ciutta, Friulano, Collio – $19
Imported by Vineyard Brands. This wine is 100% Friulano that was fermented and aged in stainless steel. Alcohol 13.5%. There is a lively start of white fruit and nuts which is delivered in a round character. There are stone notes through the middle, a dry finish with a touch of grip, and a fresh aftertaste. Well articulated. *** Now – 2018.
2011 Loredan Gasparini, Venegazzu Della Casa, Colli – $22
Imported by Dionysos Imports. This wine is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Malbec that was aged 18 months in Slavonian oak. Alcohol 13.5%. There are focused, round and dense flavors of blue and black fruit couple with initial bottled aged notes. This maturity is more ethereal adding complexity throughout. An herbaceous note at the start moves on to lively, dry spices in the middle, and a suggestion of powdery, ripeness in the finish. With air the wine becomes more incensed and takes on a polished wood note. ***(*) Now – 2027.