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A pair of youthful Italians

February 26, 2018 1 comment

This pair of Italian wines has helped see me through the evenings of this particularly busy period at work.  Both wines are from the 2015.  The 2015 Fattoria dei Barbi, Rosso di Montalcino is young and in need of short-term aging.  It is attractive in flavor profile but not the most complex.  The 2015 Tua Rita, Rosso dei Notri  is good fun being an effective blend which comes across as both youthful and expressive.  This wine is placed on the front rack at MacArthur Beverages with good reason.  I recommend you grab a few bottles as soon as you enter the store!

2015 Fattoria dei Barbi, Rosso di Montalcino – $23
Imported by Frederick Wildman.  This wine is 100% Sangiovese.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The flavors of cherry and leather show some focus rather than be framed by structure.  This is dark in flavor with menthol hints, tangy acidity, and very fine tannins in the end.  In need of air and ultimately a solid wine.  **(*) Now -2023.

2015 Tua Rita, Rosso dei Notri – $18
Imported by Winebow. This wine is a blend of 50% Sangiovese and 50% Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah.  Alcohol 14%.  The finely textured fruit becomes mineral and black in the middle with a youthful mix of fruit and cocoa by the end.  It is rounded with structure and acidity integrated together, yielding a mouth filling and tasty wine.  *** Now – 2023.

A pair of Italian reds, one of which is very good

October 10, 2017 Leave a comment

From an excellent vintage the 2010 Colpetrone, Montefalco Sagrantino is a rare bargain that provides immediate drinking pleasure yet is capable of development for several years to come.  With the expected structure come robust flavors of generous dark fruit which morphs into a mineral vein that will have you revisit your glass time after time.  I recommend you pick up a few bottles for this weekend.  While the 2014 Castiglion del Bosco, Rosso di Montalcino clearly needs age, I do not foresee it improving.  Avoid.  These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.

2010 Colpetrone, Montefalco Sagrantino- $21
Imported by Vias Imports. This wine is 100% Sagrantino which was aged for 12 months in French oak barriques. The fruit is sourced from 35 hectares of vineyards on soils of limey soil with clay deposits at 350 meters.  Alcohol 14.5%. There is a deep fruited nose. In the mouth are red fruit flavors then generally dark fruit with a prominent mineral vein. The wine is robust in a way. The move from fruit to minerality engages the palate. This would not be Sagrantino without the strong structure of very fine grained tannins. However, the weight of the fruit generally covers it. ***(*) Now – 2027.

2014 Castiglion del Bosco, Rosso di Montalcino – $19
Imported by Maisons Marques & Domaines. Alcohol 14%. The wine finally opens up on the second night revealing black fruit and licorice aromas. In the mouth the wine is upfront flavors of bright plums. There is a tangy middle and short finish. It is a clean wine in need of some age as it is not moving at this point. *(*) 2019-2027.

A pair from Rosso di Montalcino

As happy as I am to continue drinking the 2014 Fornacina, Rosso di Montalcino I thought it best to get Tim’s advice on other wines from the region.  He first recommended the affordable 2013 Tenuta Vitanza, Le Paturnie, Rosso di Montalcino.  This is a firm wine of black fruit that mixes in pleasing herbal notes.  It could stand a few years of development to open up perhaps becoming elegant and focused.  The 2012 Le Ragnaie, Rosso di Montalcino is a step up in quality and price.  The deep nose will excite you and the lively flavors will only add to the positive impression.  I highly recommend you drink a few bottles over the next several years.  These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.

2013 Tenuta Vitanza, Le Paturnie, Rosso di Montalcino – $17
Imported by Tenth Harvest. This wine is 100% Sangiovese fermented in stainless steel then raised for six months in Slavonian oak.   Alcohol 13.5%.  This is a firm wine that remains focused with air.  There is black fruit with dry herbal notes, polished wood, and an ethereal ripe finish.  It remains tight with watering acidity.  **(*) 2019-2024.

2012 Le Ragnaie, Rosso di Montalcino – $26
Imported by Vine Street Imports.  This wine is 100% Sangiovese fermented in concrete then aged for 24 months in Slavonian oak.  Alcohol 14%.  The nose is deep and a touch pungent.  The red and blue fruit quickly takes on polished wood notes before the brighter, red middle.  There is fine acidity and grip in the end.  With air this becomes a lively wine with controlled ripe fruit, a dry and bright middle, stone accented finish, and wood tannin aftertaste.  Delicate floral notes even come out.  This has strong development potential over the short-term.  *** Now – 2026.

The lively 2014 Fornacina, Rosso di Montalcino

January 26, 2017 1 comment

I am pleased by one of the latest releases of Fornacina for the 2014 Fornacina, Rosso di Montalcino is a perfect follow up to the savory 2013 vintage.  The 2014 vintage is particularly lively with plenty of juicy, almost rugged fruit supported by a very fine supportive structure.  I enjoyed it youthful state but some might want the tannins to mellow for another year or two.  This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.

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2014 Fornacina, Rosso di Montalcino – $18
This wine is 100% Sangiovese fermented in stainless steel then aged in Slavonian oak. Alcohol 14.5%.  The nose is of moderately deep plums.  In the mouth there is an almost prickly start making for a lively entry of tart red fruit then black fruit.  The structure is obvious throughout leaving a layer of very fine tannins on the gums.  With air the wine builds a ripe, juicy start followed by a mulberry middle and firm, stone accented finish.  *** Now – 2023.

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Delightful Italian wines priced from $18 to $24

October 30, 2015 Leave a comment

I may spend my nights dreaming about old bottles of wine but I typically spend the evenings before drinking young wines.  Most recently I have focused in on Italian wines.  What can I write but that the group featured in today’s post is thoroughly enjoyable with a few wines exciting.  The most approachable wines are the 2006 Castello D’Alboa, Chianti Classico Riserva and the 2013 Tua Rita, Rosso Dei Notri, Tuscany.  This is a contrasting pair for the former is a traditional, restrained Chianti and the later is a forward, almost-strapping Super Tuscan.  Straddling the line between a current drinker and one for the cellar is the 2007 D’Angelo, Caselle, Aglianico del Vulture.  It exhibits an attractive mix of savory flavors, minerals, and spices.  Two Rosso di Montalcino priced around $20 per bottle deserve a place in your wine rack. The 2012 Caparzo, Rosso di Montalcino and the 2013 Rodolfo Cosini, Terra Rossa, Rosso di Montalcino. Worthy of slumbering in your cellar is the 2013 Montevetrano, Core, Campania.  Though completely shut down on the first night, this wine eventually releases complex aromas and minerally, black fruit in the mouth.  These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.

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2006 Castello D’Albola, Chianti Classico Riserva – $24
Imported by Zonin. Alcohol 13%.  The slightly meaty aromas of red fruit revealed a shy hint of maturity.  In the mouth the blacker fruit firmed up with air.  This traditional wine has a gentle flavor, watering acidity, and a firm existence.  It is less ripe, instead the cherry flavors match the tannins that take hold of the inside of the gums.  This will never be lush, instead always lithe.  *** Now – 2023.

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2007 D’Angelo, Caselle, Aglianico del Vulture – $24
Imported by  Grappoli Imports.  Alcohol 13%.  The savory, weighty start brought forth blacker fruits that build up levels of spices and minerals until lipsticky, red fruit came out.  The cool seamless acidity is matched by drying tannins from the start, wrapping up with citric notes on the gums.  Strong potential here.  ***(*) Now -2025.

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2012 Caparzo, Rosso di Montalcino – $19
Imported by Vineyard Brands.  This wine is 100% Sangiovese aged for 1 year in Slavonian oak casks.   Alcohol 13.5%.  The deep, fruity aromas on the nose are followed by the young and strong flavors in the mouth.  The fruit is surrounded by ripe tannins, at first showing more forward black fruit and minerals but with air the wine becomes more structured.  It clearly shows dark potential with both integrated acidity and tannins.  Strong potential.  *** Now – 2015.

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2013 Montevetrano, Core, Campania – $23
Imported by Winebow.  This wine is 100% Anglianico that was fermented in stainless steel then aged for 10 months in oak barriques.  Alcohol 13.5%.  After much air the nose oscillates between leather and earthy aromas to a little sweaty, complex bitters aromas.  In the mouth the young wine eventually released minerally, black fruit, dry structure, and an engaging mix of liquor and wood in the finish.  Will be quite good but needs time to show its best.  ***(*) 2018-2028.

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2013 Rodolfo Cosini, Terra Rossa, Rosso di Montalcino – $21
Imported by Enotec.  This wine is 100% Sangiovese that spent one year in medium oak barrels.  Alcohol 13.5%.  There were hints of leather on the nose followed by riper, more extracted flavors in the mouth.  More potent in the mouth there are hints of cream and polished wood.  Overall this exhibits more minerality than fruit.  *** Now – 2025.

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2013 Tua Rita, Rosso Dei Notri, Tuscany – $18
Imported by Winebow.  This wine is a blend of 50% Sangiovese, 30% Merlot, and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon that was aged for three months in both stainless steel tanks and barriques.  Alcohol 14%.  There are good, fruity flavors of licorice and a bit of red fruit supported by black fruit.  The ripe flavors are moderated by puckering acidity on the tongue tip that morphs into a hind of modern, creamy, roundness in the finish.  The drier finish brings out baking spices, and a camphor-like aftertaste.  Overall, this wine has a youthful fruit profile with enough concentration to develop for a few years.  *** Now – 2022.

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A contrasting pair of Rosso di Montalcino from Fornacina and Capanna

September 25, 2015 Leave a comment

I had it on my mind for some time to drink a few bottles of Rosso di Montalcino for my experience with these wines is severely lacking.  I finally satisfied my curiosity this week when I opened up the 2013 Fornacina, Rosso di Montalcino and 2010 Capanna, Rosso di Montalcino.  The Fornacina proved quite open, even effusive with traditional aromas and flavors.  I really liked it!  Not only is is attractive but the price seems unreal.  Both of these wines are quite big, though not out of balance, with alcohol to match.  They easily stood up to drinking over two nights which is a good thing because my perspective on the Capanna completely changed.   It was quite mute on the first night but far more interesting on the second night.  It is from the outstanding 2010 vintage and I believe will shine several years from now.  My recommendation is to drink the Fornacina while the Capanna ages.  These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.

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2013 Fornacina, Rosso di Montalcino – $18
This wine is 100% Sangiovese.  Alcohol 15%.  The nose was slightly earthy with more piercing and smokey flavors than fruity.  In the mouth the flavors had a ripe edge with weight before tense and tart, perhaps mulberry, flavors came out.  The wine became savory and expansive with air and always maintained a bit of a rugged finish.  The wine was a cloud of flavor with a ripe, textured aftertaste.  *** Now – 2020.

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2010 Capanna, Rosso di Montalcino – $24
Imported by Masciarelli Wine Co.  This wine is 100% Sangiovese that was vinified in stainless steel then aged for 1 year in Slavonian oak casks.  Alcohol 14.5%.  There attractive aromas of dried tobacco leaf, bramble berry, and leather.  In the mouth were rounder, more polished flavors of brighter red fruit.  The were certainly more of a structured nature for development, compactness, and a hint of tobacco.  With air this showed good savory concentration and black fruit with acidity and tannins spot-on.  **(*) 2017-2027.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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