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I try Italian wines: Cabernet Sauvignon, Negroamaro, Susumaniello, Refosco, and more

Just a quick post on several Italian wines I tried over the last week.  Nothing particularly moving at this point.  I do not think I’ve drunk a Taurino wine since my Michigan days.  I can report that the 2010 Cosimo Taurino, Notarpanaro, Salento is still low priced and a solid value.   The 2011 Carpineto, Farnito, Tuscany and 2014 Antonutti, Ros di Muri, Venezie  have the best potential for development.  I suspect the Carpineto will have broad appeal next winter.  I found the 2015 Cantine Menhir Pietra, Salento so ripe I could only tolerate a small glass.

2010 Cosimo Taurino, Notarpanaro, Salento – $18
This wine is 100% Negroamaro. Alcohol 14.5%.  An interesting nose of tar and spruce while note piercing is certainly aromatic.  The controlled, rounded flavors are primarily of red fruit yet there is a sweet floral and herbal infusion evocative of Northwest evergreen forests.  This gentle wine wraps up with almost puckering acidity.  **(*) Now – 2020.

2011 Carpineto, Farnito, Tuscany – $22
Imported by Opici Wines. This wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Alcohol 13.5%.  There is a firm, dry middle followed by a steely structure near the end.  The flavors of licorice and menthol have a slight wrapping of fat.  With air the wine fleshes out and develops more blue fruit.  **(*) Now – 2023.

2014 Antonutti, Ros di Muri, Venezie – $16
Imported by Casa Vinicola. This wine is a blend of 40% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 30% Refosco fermented in stainless steel then aged for 18 months in barrique. Alcohol 14%.  A solid blend with flavors of red and black fruits, noticeable leather, and a spine of structure.  This could open up by the end of the year.  **(*) Now-2023.

2015 Cantine Menhir Pietra, Salento – $17
Imported by Tenth Harvest. This wine is a blend of Primitivo and Susumaniello. Alcohol 14%.  There are ripe, almost sweet flavors of blue fruits that mix with some attractive wet tobacco smoke.  Dark flavored and ultimately too ripe for my preference. * Now.

Ribolla Gialla and Catarratto Lucido From Italy

February 3, 2014 Leave a comment

As always I must balance my time between writing tasting notes and conducting research for and writing of historical pieces.  So just a quick post for today.  I must admit I am not aware of drinking Ribolla Gialla before so I had high hopes which were not quite met.  The 2011 Volpe Pasini, Ribolla Gialla was good but my experience with the 2012 Marco de Bartoli, Catarratto Lucido was even better.  I had never heard of the Sicilian variety Catarratto Lucido but now that I have drunk an example of it, I recommend you try this wine.  I think it a fair price for a different white.  These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.

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2011 Volpe Pasini, Ribolla Gialla, delle Venezie – $15
Imported by Michael R. Downey Selections.  This wine is 100% Ribolla Gialla produced in stainless steel.  Alcohol 12.5%.  The color was a light golden straw.  There was good acidity on the tongue which kept the flavors lively.  There were white fruit and stones with a little tangy start in this enjoyable, fresh wine.  It had a gently ripe and textured aftertaste.  ** Now-2016.

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2012 Marco de Bartoli, Catarratto Lucido, Sicily – $17
Imported by Louis/Dressner.  Alcohol 12.5%.  There was a light nose of tropical flowers, mulling spices, and other spices.  In the mouth was slightly weighty white fruit which tasted as if there were some skin contact.  There was good acidity for the weighty flavors with minerals and spices in the finish.  It was chewy with a little tang in the aftertaste.  It had almost citric like acidity.  This needs both air and warmth.  *** Now-2017.

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