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Even more from Italy!!!

September 26, 2014 Leave a comment

There is so much to try from Italy that I always seem to have stacks of pictures and notes waiting to be posted.  This apparent bias stems from my trend of the summer to taste a smaller variety of wine and drink more humble southern French wines.  There are some good bottles below.  At the more affordable end both the 2008 Duca di Salaparuta, Passo Delle Mule, Nero d’Avola, Sicily and the 2008 Pio Cesare, Oltre, Langhe should be tried.  You can drink the former while the later develops. For a few bucks more the 2007 Montepeloso, Eneo, Tuscany reminds me of an Italian claret that is entering middle age. Fun!  I finally recommend you try the 2011 Pala, Cannonau di Sardegna Reserva.  There is a reason why both the 2011 and 2012 vintages won Tre Bicchieri. I recommend you find out yourself by pulling the cork.  Please find my tasting notes in order of increasing age.  These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.

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2011 Pala, Cannonau di Sardegna Reserva – $26
Imported by Banville & Jones Wine Merchants.  This wine is 100% Cannonau that was aged in large French barrels followed by stainless steel.  Alcohol 14%.  The nose revealed mixed blue and red berries along with spices and black tea.  The wine showed ripe, black fruit with air and was clearly blacker with a mineral hint in the finish.  This was a well-balanced all around enjoyable wine with tannins, extract, and a little spicy bit in the aftertaste.  I enjoyed the slight tobacco, spices, and wood box notes.  *** Now-2022.

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2009 Sella & Mosca, Tanca Farra, Alghero – $23
Imported by Palm Bay International.  This wine is a blend of 50% Cannonau and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon that was aged for two years in oak casks.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The nose of clean fruit mixed with herbacious notes from the Cabernet Sauvignon.  The mouth followed the nose with black, clean, herbacious fruit. This tight wine had firm acidity, some fresh herbs, and a dry, dusty finish.  ** 2016-2020.

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2009 Taurino, Salice Salentino Rosso Riserva – $14
Imported by Verity Wine Partners.  This wine is a blend of 90% Negroamaro and 10% Malvasia Nera that was aged for six months in small oak barriques.  Alcohol 14%.  There was an interesting nose with a subtle soil aroma, stones, and black fruit.  The flavors were closely played, ripe, and matched by integrated acidity.  It eventually revealed strawberry flavors with a slightly tannic finish.  Seems young and in need of a wee bit of age.  ** 2015-2020.

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2008 Duca di Salaparuta, Passo Delle Mule, Nero d’Avola, Sicily – $17
Imported by Wine Cellars.  This wine is 100% Nero d’Avola that was aged in barriques.  Alcohol 13.5%.  There was a good deep nose of scented black fruit.  The black fruit flavors follow the nose and take on some wood notes as well.  This weightier wine was a little meaty with seamless acidity, subtle structure, and a finish of dense, dark wood.  It even had a little kick.  *** Now-2017.

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2008 Pio Cesare, Oltre, Langhe – $17
Imported by Maisons Marques & Domaines USA.  Thsi wine is a blend of Barbera, Nebbiolo, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot.  Alcohol.  There was an interesting grapey nose with mulberry aromas.  In the mouth this young wine opened up well after half an hour.  It had a certain brightness to the black and red fruit.  There was a tobacco note, round tart red fruit followed by a dry and black finish.  **(*) 2015-2020.

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2007 Montepeloso, Eneo, Tuscany –
Imported by The Rare Wine Co.  This wine is a blend of 40% Montepulciano, 25% Sangiovese, 25% Marselan, and 10% Alicante Bouschet that was aged in used French oak barrels. Alcohol 14.5%.  There was claret-like red fruit and wood box on the nose.  with air it took on herbs and meaty aromas.  The flavors began with red fruit before taking on black notes and minerals in the finish.  There was good integrated acidity that was balanced by the structure of citric-pith tannin.  The wine is developing secondary flavors and after many hours of air it some some dense blue and black flavors that lean towards the dry.  *** 2016-2024.

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2007 Fattoria Del Cerro, Caggio Al Vescovo, Rosso Toscano – $20
Imported by The Rare Wine Co.  This wine is 100% Colorino.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The nose was tight revealing just subtle leather aromas.  In the mouth this modern wine had ripe grip to the flavors dominated by tobacco, smoke, and bacon in the drying finish.  This wine will clearly last but there is more structure than fruit.  **(*) Now-2022.

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2006 Taurino, Notarpanaro, Salento Rosso – $20
Imported by Verity Wine Partners.  This wine is 100% Negroamaro.  Alcohol 14.5%.  This wine had a light nose of dark aromas.  In the mouth were dark red fruit and other low-lying flavors.  This was a cool, ripe wine that took several hours to open up and show black, almost mineral infused fruit.  **(*) 2016-2022.

A Trio of Well-Priced Italian Wines

January 24, 2013 Leave a comment

Just another short post for today.  I am working on a few longer posts for this month and also gearing up for the UGC 2010 Bordeaux tasting tonight.  I have a big backlog of tasting notes to publish so I shall start with these three Italian wines.  I definitely recommend the Ocone and the Torre Vento.  Both are good wines for the money which may be drunk over some time.  I am on the fence with the Apicella.  It starts with an engaging nose but the flavors drop off in the mouth.  It should work well as a wine to begin otherwise it might be best to try other vintages or wines from the producer.  The Ocone and Apicella were purchased at Chambers Street Wines.  The Torre Vento was purchased at MacArthur Beverages.

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2007 Ocone, Apollo, Aglianico del Taburno – $16
Imported by Polaner Selections.  This wine is 100% Aglianico sourced from certified organic vineyards at 200-400 meters on soils of limestone.  It is fermented and undergoes malolactic fermentation in vertical wood vats.  It is aged for one year in stainless steel followed by six months in barrique.  Alcohol 13%.  There is a light nose of firm black fruit and a bit of perfume.  In the mouth there is black, smokey fruit, focused ripeness, and a perfumed wood nature.  The flavors remain a little ripe with a firm, rugged core of fruit.  There are drying, firm tannins and firmer flavors in the finish.  Heck, the wine firms up with air.  Has potential and could use a touch of age.  **(*) Now-2019.

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2011 Giuseppe Apicella, Piedirosso, Colli di Salerno IGT – $14
Imported by Wine Emporium.  This wine is a blend of 85% Piedirosso and 15% other varietals.  The fruit is destemmed and vinified in stainless steel tanks. Alcohol 12%  The color was a light cherry rose.  The nose reveals fresh red berries, some purple fruit along with pepper in a fine and attractive manner.  In the mouth the flavors are bright and tart with young red fruit, pepper notes, and fresh acidity.  It is rather like a light Gamay.  The flavors are simpler in the finish where there are some tannins followed by firmness in the aftertaste.  ** Now-2014.

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2003 Torre Vento, Sine Nomine, Rosso Riserva, Salice Salentino – $16
Imported by Wine Wave.  This wine is a blend of 90% Negroamaro and 10% Malvasia Nera which was aged for two years in French oak barriques.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The light to medium strength nose is more pungent with evergreen and herbed, red fruit.  There are fresh, herbs and red fruit in the mouth.  The flavors take on black red fruit with acidity that causes the back of the tongue to salivate.  There is a wood note in the finish.  Nice wine.  *** Now-2023.

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Three Solid Values

With the rather hot weather of the last month I have found myself drinking the less expensive wines I have recently reviewed. This has given me the opportunity to catch up on notes from earlier this summer.  The three wines featured in today’s post are all solid values which are reasonably priced.  If I had to pick one of these wines for today’s hot and humid 100 F weather then I would grab the Iby.  Decant it for one hour and give it a slight chill.  You will find it refreshing. These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.

2010 Domaine Mader, Riesling, Alsace – $16
Imported by Elite Wines Imports.  This wine is 100% Riesling.  Tasted over three nights the nose started off fresh and tart before developing a honeyed low-lying aroma.  In the mouth there were fresh flavors of white and green fruits.  The flinty acidity started to overwhelm the fruit midpalate but then things balanced out as some sweet spices came out in the finish.  Best drunk with food.  ** Now-2015.

2010 Iby, Classic, Blaufrankisch, Burgenland- $16
Imported by Domaine Select Wine Estates.  This wine is 100% Blaufrankisch sourced from 3-30 year old vines.  It was aged for seven months in large Austrian casks.  Tasted over two nights there were brighter black cherry fruit with a good core of fruit running through.  The flavors were a touch tart at first with mild notes of pomegranate and citrus.  With air a hint of blue fruit came out and the wine became chewy.  ** Now-2015.

2007 Conti Leone de Castris, 50th Vendemmia Riserva, Salice Salentino, – $13
Imported by Winebow.  This wine is a blend of 90% Negroamaro and 10% Malvasia Nera sourced from vines planted in 1952.  It was fermented in stainless steel followed by aging 12 months in 5-year-old French oak barrels.  The nose revealed subtle black berry fruit and floral notes.  In the mouth the wine starts off soft but tights up with flavors of cherry along with dark red and black fruit.  This takes an hour or so to open up.  There is a soft nature but it still has focus.  There is puckering acidity followed by tart tannins in the finish.  A solid drink.  ** Now-2016.