Posts Tagged ‘Monferrato Rosso’

Italian Wines With Lou

Lou and I managed to squeeze in an evening tasting and dinner before we both headed off on vacation.  As the sole German wine was past prime we ended up only drinking Italian red wines.  I though the 2000 La Spinetta, La Pin a serious wine but not yet open from its long slumber.   The 2004 Tenuta Grillo, Pecoranera was a bit stinky on the nose and animale in the mouth.  I thought it a young wine but in showing better on the first, rather than the second night, it perhaps needs more bottle time.  Or perhaps this was just an under performing bottle.  The 2005 Poggio Bonelli, Poggiassai was the most forward of the four red wines.  It was not the most complex of wines but it made for a satisfying, affordable Super-Tuscan wine which had benefited from some bottle age.  Lastly, the 2009 Vigneti de Marchi, Proprieta Sperino, Uvaggio was my favorite of the four.  The beautifully floral nose was followed by good fruit making it a wine to drink now and one I recommend you try.


2002 Weingut Merz, Ockenheimer Laberstall, Auslese, Riesling Trocken, Rheinhessen –
Past prime.


2000 La Spinetta, La Pin, Monferrato Rosso – $40
A Marc De Grazia selection imported by Michael Skurnik.  This wine is a blend of Nebbiolo and Barbera which undergoes malolactic fermentation in oak followed by aging for 16-18 months.  Alcohol 14%.  The color was a medium garnet ruby.  The nose was of fresh herbs then with air took on subtle mulled berries.  In the mouth the red and black fruit rode on density.  There was some tooty fruity flavors to the good fruit of the finish.  Over two nights the wine still played it close.  **(*) 2015-2023.


2004 Tenuta Grillo, Pecoranera, Vino Rosso – $28
Imported by Williams Corner Wines.  This wine is a blend of Dolcetto, Barbera, and Merlot.  Alcohol 14.5%.  The wine was a medium ruby with grapey hints.  The nose was a little stinky at first.  In the mouth there were drier flavors, astringent, a bit of animale, then red fruit followed by black fruit.  The wine had a firm start and maintained astringency.  There were dry tannins in the finish with an earthy note right before a hint of Pilsner in the aftertaste.  Rather young and I think best on the first night.  * Now.


2005 Poggio Bonelli, Poggiassai, Tuscany – $24
Imported by International Cellars LLC. This wine is a blend of mostly Sangiovese with Cabernet Sauvignon which was fermented in stainless steel then aged for 16-18 months in small French oak barrels.  Alcohol 13.5%.  There was a fruitier, dark nose then some tobacco with hints of maturity.  The nose remained fruit forward.  In the mouth were darker and dry flavors, which were almost tart red. There was some wood box and dried herbs.  The drying tannins stuck to the lips and teeth as a little fresh herbs came out.  This was a solid wine with a little blue fruited freshness.  *** Now-2020.


2009 Vigneti de Marchi, Proprieta Sperino, Uvaggio, Coste della Sesia Rosso – $31
Imported by The Country Vintner.  This wine is a blend of 65% Nebbiolo, 20% Vespolina, and 15% Croatina. Alcohol 13%.  The nose was delicate and beautiful with floral aromas, violets, and underlying fruit.  There was a little more acidity on the tongue with good, red fruit and a little dryness.  This was a nice wine for the short-term.  *** Now-2015.


Three Wines From Italy, 25 July 2008

From time to time I ask my local wine merchant for Italian recommendations and I’m usually not disappointed. The Cavallotto was clearly a step up in quality (and price) from the Giochi and Venosa. I imagine this will smell great once it matures. For now you must inhale deeply. The Giochi delivered well straight from the bottle and wouldn’t get lost in a crowd of budget wines. The Venosa took some time to get going but maintained is pervasive smoked tea leaf aromas and flavors. It reminded me of tea smoked duck (the process not the duck), perhaps this is tobacco to others. Jenn and I preferred the Giochi over the Venosa but then Jenn took a liking to the Venosa.

2004 Antichi Giochi, Boci, Monferrato Rosso – $13
This wine is made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Barbera. It was made in steel and aged for 12 months in French oak barrels. It is a very dark, deep purple ruby. There is a light nose of dark fruit and perhaps fresh green veggies. In the mouth there are tart berries, that start off tight but slowly round out with air. There medium to full bodied wine has an inky aftertaste, with very fine but thorough tannins. A different type of wine than I am used to but enjoyable and well done at this price point.

2003 Cantina di Venosa, Terre di Orazio, Aglianico del Vulture – $13
This wine is 100% Aglianico that is 15-30 years of age. It is aged for 12-15 months in 5-10 year old Slovenian oak casks. A little light in color and more garnet than the Giochi. A light to medium nose of smoked tea leaf and tar. In the mouth there are some blue fruits with a pervasive smoked tea leaf flavor. The fruit sweetens after several hours of air. It is medium to light-bodied with fine, assertive tannins.

2005 Cavallotto, Nebbiolo, Bricco Boschis, Langhe – $26
The Cavallotto family has been growing Nebbiolo since 1929 and bottling their own wine since 1948. This 100% Nebbiolo wine is mature in oak casks. There is a very subtle nose of beautiful, dark red fruit. In the mouth there is dark fruit with immediately noticeable acidity, combined with tea/tobacco flavors and a good amount of ultrafine tannins. This is clearly a young wine but is drinking very well. The tannins are very nice considering it spent 18-24 months in oak.