Posts Tagged ‘Sardinia’

The Post-Brunello Tasting Dinner Wines

November 15, 2018 Leave a comment

No tasting is complete without dinner and even more wine!  As I was dealing with dinner my notes are a bit thin.  I tried the 1990 Produttori di Barbaresco, Nebbiolo, Barbaresco, en magnum both during and after the Brunello tasting.  The nose retained bits of roast but the flavors are fresh, balanced, and enjoyable. Strong provenance so who knows!?  The 1979 Francesco Rinaldi, Barolo proved quite solid, surprisingly silky in body with old-school flavors.  Of the brace of pure Meunier Champagne (what a great idea), the 2011 Chartogne-Taillet, Champagne Extra Brut Les Barres is the most earthy and mushroomy bubbly I have tried.  I would have spent more time with it but the NV Christophe Mignon, Pur Meunier, Champagne Brut Rose stole the show.  Certainly my favorite of all the dinner wines and possibly those preceding it.  A great value too.

From the Sotheby’s Don Stott auction, the 1959 Hallgartener Schonhell Riesling Auslese, Rheingau gave a glimpse of the fantastic 1959 vintage.  Aromas of orange-peel and flowers on the nose followed by apple-skin and spice in the mouth.  Elegant and in fine state.  The Mignon is great but the 2002 Domaine des Lambrays, Clos des Lambrays en magnum was my favorite wine for pure drinkability that evening.  A perfect dinner wine!  Many thanks to the guests who shared their wines with dinner.

1990 Produttori di Barbaresco, Nebbiolo, Barbaresco, en magnum
Imported by Vieux Vins.  Alcohol 13%.  Magnum #1996/2000.  The roast on the nose never blows off but a cocoa aroma develops. A bit bipolar between the nose and mouth. Very fresh in the mouth, balanced acidity, fine wood, and very fine texture. Dry tannins in the end. Overall *** Now/Later?

1979 Francesco Rinaldi, Barolo
Imported by T. Elenteny. A little stinky on the nose. With air fine wood and good pungency develop. Rounder with surprising silky body, there is sweet, old-school fruit in the middle. *** Now but will last.

2011 Chartogne-Taillet, Champagne Extra Brut Les Barres
This wine is 100% Meunier sourced from a parcel planted in 1952.  Disgorged July 2012.  Alcohol 12%.  Quite complex, earthy, mushrooms, like no other Champagne I’ve tasted.  This drinks fully mature.  *** Now.

NV Christophe Mignon, Pur Meunier, Champagne Brut Rose
Imported by Envoyer Imports.  Alcohol 12%. The berry core is first noticed then the strong bubbles. Immediately complex, very delicious, mixing with herbs, spices, and crisp apple acidity. Excellent flavors of ripe apple persist through the long aftertaste. Surprisingly good. ****(*) Now – 2023.

1959 Hallgartener Schonhell Riesling Auslese, Rheingau
Shipped by Walter S. Siegal.  A golden-amber color. The nose is scented with orange-peel, flowers, and tree fruit. A core of fruit remains in the mouth, apple skin with spices, and rounded body with sweet ripeness. There are hints of baking spice that mix with ripe apples through the long finish. In a perfect state. **** Now.

2002 Domaine des Lambrays, Clos des Lambrays en magnum
Alcohol 13.5%. Round, sweet fruit, some spice, and no hard edges. It is in a lovely state, to be drunk, with good fruit carried by subdued acidity.  ***(*) Now but mags will last.

2007 Biondi-Santi, Rosso di Montalcino

2010 Agricola Punica, Barrua, Isola dei Nuraghi, Sardinia
Rounded, modern as well, but the dark fruit sports attractive fat. Oak comes out in the end.  ** Now – 2028.

2009 Caiarossa, IGT Toscana
Dense, modern flavors of concentrated grapeyness, vanilla, and a spicy finish. Not my style of wine. *(*) 2020-2030.

I’m still not sure what I drank: Panevino, Lot N R112, Delirante nelle Peggio

December 27, 2014 Leave a comment

The strange label and capped bottle shaped like those used for sparkling wine led me to believe this was a sparkling red wine. Despite what was in the bottle I knew I would be in for a ride since the wine was imported by Louis/Dressner. The company website yielded no specific clues under the “Wine” description section.  Instead there is the fun statement, “WITH THE EXCEPTION OF ALVAS, THEY CHANGE EVERY YEAR! CUT US SOME SLACK!”. It turned out to be a still red wine so I let the bottle warm up. .it had enough of the tell-tale natural wine profile that Jenn did not like it. If it weren’t for the cardamom aroma I might have been put off but fortunately I tasted the wine and rather enjoyed it. In the end I found it a wacky, fun wine that should be aged until the spring. This wine was purchased at MacArthur Beverages.


NV Gianfranco Manca, Panevino, Lot N R112, Delirante nelle Peggio – $22
Imported by Louis/Dressner.  This wine is 100% Cannonau.  Alcohol 14.5%. The nose was aromatic, evocative of a natural wine but also had a beguiling cardamom note. In the mouth this natural red wine showed brighter red fruit that built up ripeness and texture. There was no spritz but it had a very lively middle. There were minerals, fresh perfume, and a citric flavor matched by fine, black pepper flavors. The acidity was tangy and caused salivation. The wine oscillated between open and closed so might be best after a few months of age. **(*) 2015-2018.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Kobrand’s Tour d’Italia

September 21, 2011 Leave a comment

The Occidental

Thanks to Phil and Gary I was able to attend Kobrand’s Tour d’Italia held in Washington, DC.  This was the sixth of ten stops for the tour and was located in the Occidental Grill & Seafood.  I arrived shortly after the event started and found that a line to check in had already formed!  The event was well-organized with all of the winemakers and Kobrand employees in a cheerful mood.  I worked my way through most of the wines then went back a second time with Tim.  I tasted most of the wines but there were a few I neglected to write any notes for so I have left those out of this post.  For detailed background information please refer to the Kobrand website.

Tenuta Sette Ponti

Giovanna Moretti

I rather enjoyed these wines.  The Crognolo and the Saia offer good value while the Oreno and Maharis ratchet things up in both taste and price.

2009 Tenuta Sette Ponti, Crognolo, Toscana IGT
This showed dark red berries, herbs, and racy flavors in an enjoyable wine.  The flavors turned darker and harder in the finish, though young, it drank well. Not Rated.

2009 Tenuta Sette Ponti, Oreno, Toscana, IGT
This was even more aromatic than the Crognolo with blackberry, racy, ripe fruit, and a dark profile.  Nice. Not Rated.

2009 Tenuta Sette Ponti, Poggio al Lupo, Maremma IGT
This was fruitier with red berries, less structure, and a more forward, early drinking style.  I preferred the Crognolo. Not Rated.

2007 Feudo Maccari, Saia, Nero d’Avola, Sicily
This was the most aromatic thus far with redder fruit, good acidity, and underlying structure.  Young, strong value.  You may find an earlier post about this wine here. Not Rated.

2006 Feudo Maccari, Maharis, Sicily
I rather liked this, with obvious red fruit and a dark berry cork, quite enjoyable.  The addition of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah create a different wine than the Saia.  There is a fair amount of tannin but lively acidity keeps the wine polished.N ot Rated.

Tenute Silvio Nardi

Emelia Nardi

The Rosso di Montalcino was a good start but I kept circling back to the regular Brunello di Montalcino, it is worth seeking out.

2009 Tenute Silvio Nardi, Rosso di Montalcino DOC
This was youthful with cherries, confection, well-integrated acidity, and fine tannins that left a spicy note.  Quite pleasurable. Not Rated.

2006 Tenute Silvio Nardi, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG
A strong earthy nose, dark red berries, complex, and structured so cellar for several years of development.  Quite captivating. Not Rated.

2006 Tenute Silvio Nardi, Manachiara, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG
This was quite different from the regular Brunello.  A delicate perfumed nose gave way to redder, brighter fruit with fine, powerful tannins.  It was not as complex as the Brunello. Not Rated.

Fernando Pighin & Figli

I never buy Pinot Grigio so it was a pleasure to drink these two completely different styles.
2010 Fernando Pighin & Figlio, Pinot Grigio, Friuli Grave DOC
A light straw color.  A medium aromatic nose of ripe fruit then an about-face as zesty, fresh, floral fruit, and acidity fill the mouth. Not Rated.

2010 Fernando Pighin & Figli, Pinot Grigio, Collio DOC
This was less aromatic with a darker nose.  Full of citrus and pineapple it was riper in the mouth with good texture. Not Rated.

Ambrogio e Giovanni Folonari Tenute

Giovanni Folonari

I tasted all but the two least expensive reds.  This is a strong portfolio all around.  I enjoyed the strong value in the Villa Nozzole and the high quality with the Tenuta La Fuga Brunello di Montalcino and Il Pareto.

2010 Tenuta Campo al Mare, Bolgheri Vermentino DOC
This had a light nose, flavors of crisp citrus, herbs, and good texture.  Quite nice.N ot Rated.

2009 Tenuta del Cabreo, La Pietra Chardonnay, Toscana IGT
This had a dried grass nose.  The green fruit immediately delivered flavors of toast, more austere than the Vermentino but it had a creamy texture and a long aftertaste. Not Rated.

2007 Villa Nozzole, Chianti Classico DOCG
This was a great start to the red with its earthy nose.  Soft red flavors, balanced, easy to drink. Not Rated.

2007 Tenuta di Nozzole, Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG
This does not have th earthy characteristic of the Villa Nozzole.  Instead it is driven by red berries and reveals the structure from its upbringing. Not Rated.

2009 Tenuta Campo al Mare, Bolgheri DOC
Assuredly more modern with ripe black fruit, good texture, and approachable. Not Rated.

2007 Tenuta di Nozzole, La Forra, Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG
This had flavors of dark red berries, a bit of forest, a powerful wine, definitely structured for age. Not Rated.

2006 Tenuta La Fuga, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG
What can I write?  Lovely, complex, red fruit on the nose and in the mouth, tight but well defined components, cellar this for several years before trying again.  You may find my post on the 2004 here. Not Rated.

2008 Tenuta di Nozzole Il Pareto, Toscana IGT
Fairly complex with rose, spices, and herbs in this medium to full-bodied wine.  The mixture of black and blue fruits are still young and though it will develop for several years, it is quite approachable right now. Not Rated.

The Wines of Piero Incisa

Some Wines of Piero Incisa

The Turlo is a good value with quality elevated at Guidalberto and Barrua.  The Guidalberto is a strong alternative to the more expensive Sassicaia.

2009 Tenuta di Salviano, Salviano di Salviano, Umbria IGT
Notes of toast, creamy green fruit with some citrus. Not Rated.

2009 Barda, Pinot Noir, Patagonia, Argentina
A curve ball!  Strawberries, a little spice/texture, forward profile. Not Rated.

2009 Tenuta di Salviano, Turlo’, Lago di Corbara IGT
This has ripe, red, tooty-fruity nature, in a rich but soft wine.  A crowd pleaser. Not Rated.

2008 Tenuta di Salviano, Solideo, Lago di Corbara IGT
This had a more distinct, pure fruit nose with Merlot notes as compared to the Turlo. Not Rated.

2008 (?) Tenuta San Guido, Guidalberto, Toscana IGT
The ripe, red fruit is balanced, youthful, a sweet spice component, and easy to drink.  An excellent alternative to the Sassicaia if you need a more affordable wine. Not Rated.

2008 Tenuta San Guido, Sassicaia DOC
There were dark red fruits and a tad more complexity than the Guidalberto.  Well balanced, remarkably approachable. Not Rated.

2009 Agricola Punica, Montessu, Isola dei Nuraghi
No detailed note, just that I preferred the Barrua. Not Rated.

2007 Agricola Punica, Barrua, Isola dei Nuraghi
Fun stuff, stoney blackberries, lithe, and almost rich but tempered by refined tannins and acidity. Not Rated.

Michele Chiarlo

Alberto Chiarlo and the Author

I enjoyed started with the Barbera d’Asti Le Orme but was really captivated by the La Court.  Of the Barolos I preferred the Cerequio over the Cannubi.  But I am no Barolo expert so I am interested in your opinion.

2007 Michele Chiarlo, Gavi Le Marne DOCG
I found clean flavors of apricot and apple in this crisp wine.  Not my style. Not Rated.

2009 Michele Chiarlo, Barbera d’Asti Le Orme DOCG
This had red berries, good acidity, and some interesting flavors in the finish.  Young but easy to drink.  Good value. Not Rated.

2007 Michele Chiarlo, Barbera d’Asti Superiore Nizza La Court DOCG
This was quite engaging.  The interesting nose of dark berries and blackberries makes way to red fruit in the mouth, the acidity comes out as the enjoyable tannins develop.  There is a long earthy finish, and interesting aftertaste.  Good stuff! Not Rated.

2007 Michele Chiarlo, Reyna Barbaresco DOCG
This was more subtle with a lighter nose that leaned towards dry red fruit and tea notes.  There are very fine, assertive tannins.  A nice wine that I would age because the current profile would complement bottle aged notes. Not Rated.

2007 Michele Chiarlo, Barolo Tortoniano DOCG
Young, brambly fruit! Not Rated.

2007 Michele Chiarlo, Barolo Cerequio DOCG
An adolescent with powerful, young tannins.  I found a bit more spice and texture fruit and ultimately felt there is more complexity here. Not Rated.

2007 Michele Chiarlo, Barolo Cannubi DOCG
These tannins were more intense and drying.  It tilted towards primary fruit and floral notes. Not Rated.

Tim and the Author

2005 Cantina Santadi, Shardana, Valli di Porto Pino, Sardinia

Cantina Santadi started off in 1960 as the first wine cooperative on Sardegna.  After a rocky start they refocused and developed their wines with the help of the famed oenologist Giacomo Tachis, who created Tignanello and Sassicaia.  Today there are more than 250 members of the cooperative with 600 hectares of vineyards.

Shardana is a wine created through the joint efforts of Neil and Maria Empson (wine importers) and Cantina Santadi.  The project started in 1996 as Neil and Maria sought to create a wine that reminds them of the beach front vineyards of Sulcis. The vineyards for Shardana are near the beach and have a soil that is loose with sand and limestone.  It is a blend 85% Carignan with 15% Syrah.  Some of the Carignan is pre-Phylloxera.  The grapes are harvested from the end of September through the middle of October.  They are fermented in stainless steel then aged for 12 months in new and used French oak barriques.

This wine is distributed by Bacchus Importers Ltd.  This is a fairly intense, modern-style of wine that is radically different than Sella & Mosca’s Carignan based wine, Terre Rare.  I would recommend trying both to see which one you prefer.

2005 Cantinda Santadi, Shardana, Valli di Porto Pino, Sardinia
This wine is dark with a medium opaque color.  It has a light, complex nose of dark fruits and green vegetables.  There are soft flavors of dark fruit with a bit of spice and heat.  The fruit becomes chewy with air, revealing minerals and spices in the finish and aftertaste.  After several hours there is a little pencil lead and cedar at the end.  This wine is slow to unveil and could really stand several years in the cellar. **(*) 2015-2019.

2005 Sella-Mosca, Terrarare Riserva, Carignano del Sulcis, Sardinia

Sella and Mosca was founded by two Piedmontese businessmen in 1899.  Today the winery is owned by Campari.  Their 1200 acre vineyard is the second largest contiguous vineyard in all of Italy.  Carignano del Sulcis is located in the south-west corner of Sardinia.  The Sulcis area takes its name from the old city of Sulcis in the St Antioco island.  This city was founded by the Phoenicians in the 7th century BC.  While the Phoenicians brought the Nuragus varietal and introduced winemaking to Sardinia, it was the Spanish who brought Carignan to the island.  This is an area of volcanic hills and sandy beaches.  The sandy vineyard soils naturally resist phylloxera so there are still many pre-phylloxera, native rootstock vines in existence.  The winters are mild and wet and the summers are intensely hot, dry, and full of sunshine.

This wine is 100% Carignan harvested from old vines in October.  It is aged for three years in French barriques.  It is available for $20 at MacArthur’s.  I would recommend this to anyone new to southern Italian wine.  You should also try a wine from Cannonau di Sardegna.  This will illustrate the Spanish influence on Italian wine.

2005 Sella-Mosca, Terrarare Riserva, Carignano del Sulcis, Sardinia
A darker color of garnet and ruby.  This is a light nose of sour, red fruits.  In the mouth it is a restrained wine with flavors of dark red berries and some spice.  It is light to medium bodied, with earthy, soft fruit flavors, and a supporting structure.  There is a good mouthfeel and fine tannins.  *** Now.

2006 Tenute Soletta, Corona Majore, Cannonau di Sardegna

April 25, 2011 2 comments

Sardinia has historically been different from the rest of Italy.  It has been governed by Carthage, Rome, Byzantines, Arabs, and Catalans.  In 1479 Ferdinan II of Aragon married Isabel of Castile and the Kingdom of Sardinia became Spanish.  The 250 years of Spanish rule left a legacy of using Spanish grapes.  Grenache was brought to Sardinia and is known as Cannonau in Italian.

Sardegna, Giovani Cassini, Rome 1792

Tenute Soletta is a wine cooperative founded by Umberto Soletta in 1996.  He has meticulously reclaimed land for the vineyards and established a clean, modern winery full of stainless steel and French oak.  Corona Major is named after the region in the northern tip of the Sassari province.  Sassari may be found in the upper, left-hand corner of the map.  The Cannonau vineyards are grown at an altitude of 400 meters on sandy, chalky soil.  The vines are harvested in October and the wine is aged for 18 months.  It is 13.5% alcohol and is available for $26 at MacArthur’s.

2006 Tenute Soletta, Corona Majore, Cannonau di Sardegna
This wine is a bright, vibrant ruby color.  The light nose has ripe, sweet red fruit and sweet spices.  With air lifted, gritty blue fruit aromas develop.  There are waves of tart red fruit in this medium bodied wine.  The sweet spices lift up and out of the mouth.  It is a modern style of wine with lots of ripe, red, herbed fruit, good aromas, and an almost spicy character.  *** Now-2017.