Italian Wines and Spirits
Fattoria Colle Sala 2009
Tuscany, near Lucca, Fattoria Colle Sala 2009, 100% Sangiovese, 14 month in oak, 4 months in bottle. 12km from the ocean and about 900 feet in elevation, the vineyards face West. I can't find anything on the cooperage. My palate says there's some oak here, because the back palate is too developed. There's integration and roundness to the wine, that I don't taste in unoaked product. And at 13.5% Alc, I would expect more lively acidity which I don't get. And only 14 months on oak? It's a curious wine and one that I very much enjoy out of the bottle. I think American palates would enjoy this wine and it's showing wonderfully after 6 years in bottle. I don't think it will be as vibrant in 1-2 years.
Pergolaia 2010 Caiarossa
Tuscany, near Lucca, Pergolaia 2010 Caiarossa, is a dominant Sangiovese blend, with lesser amounts of Cab Franc, Cab Sav and Merlot. Large vat fermented, 15-25 days with native yeast. Pumped over twice a day for 10 days, then once a day after that till the end. No new oak. Only big vats and concrete. 12 Months in large format oak, then another 10 in concrete and wooden casks. Paired it with the veal chop and slightly spicy wilted greens. Paired fine. Not dominant in the meal. I liked the Fattoria Colle and Epibios better. The flavors here are muted, not overly complex in my opinion. I think this wine can hold up for a long time, but I don't know held up.
Fattoria Zerbina, Sangiovese
Emilia Romagna, Fattoria Zerbina, Sangiovese, 10-15 maceration on the skins, aging in concrete and stainless. 100,000 cases made. In distribution globally. Not much aging and no oak on the palate. My original assessment was "it's a drinker". Food notes from Cocchi in Parma.
Bordocheo Picchio Rosso 2012
Tuscany, near Lucca Bordocheo Picchio Rosso 2012, is the show wine. Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon. Trace amounts of Cabernet. 15 day controlled stainless fermentation, not native. 12-14 months in barrel, generally French, mixture of new, 1st and 2nd pass oak. Held 12 months in bottle before release. Fuller bodied, but not powerful, restraint is still present. Back palate has some texture, finer tannin structure. I can easily see this pairing well with grilled meat and fuller bodied flavors. The 2012 is showing well, however, I think that this is a wine to be consumed in 5-7 years, rather than later.
Bordocheo Bianco Dell'oca 2013
Bordocheo Bianco Dell'oca 2013 is dominant Chardonnay and Vermentino with a trace of Sauvignon Blanc. The Chardonnay is aged on its own in French oak, sur lie for 8 months. The final blend is assembled in stainless steel for 6 months before bottling, before release 3 months later. This has oak present, but it's complimentary, not overpowering. Full-palate, with elegance. Creamy texture, but still has acid, coming from the Vermentino. Americans would like this wine. I like it.
Lucca Local Spirit, La Diadina
Served at Punto in Lucca
Bordocheo Bianco 2014
Bordocheo Bianco 2014 is a clean, fresh blended white wine of Trebbiano, Vermentino, Malvasia Toscana and Grechetto. Classic drinkable Summer on the patio.
Fattoria Sardi Valle Buia
Tuscany, near Lucca, Fattoria Sardi Valle Buia dominant Sangiovese and Colorino plus other indigenous varietals. Native primary and secondary fermentation with everything occurring in concrete vats including aging time of 6 months. No sulphites added to the entire production process and certified organic. I had it at Punto Restaurant with my wild hare. The wine had a slight effervescence to it. Lots of acid, but not green flavored. It's a summer wine, drier and less spritzed than Lambrusco, but would serve the same purpose. Not a wine to be served late in the meal, but rather early and with cheese, pate, and cured meats. Drink within one year and treat it like a white wine, it ain't gonna age.
A Jug wine by any other name
Bordocheo Rosso, Colline Lucchesi 2014
Tuscany, near Lucca, Bordocheo Rosso, Colline Lucchesi 2014 is a blend of stuff, probably a lot of Sangiovese and native varietals. And my blind taste was correct. Dominant Sangiovese with Canaiolo, Ciliegiolo, and Merlot. Lean, higher acid with a 12.5% state alcohol. What I would expect from limited aging and bottle time. A drinker, on an everyday basis with food. With a slight chill on it in summer, I'd drink it easily. Again my assessment prior to talking with the winemaker was spot on, 6 month aging, then 3 months in bottle before release. American palates might have difficulty with the lean nature of the wine.
Movia 2005 Slovenian Pinot Noir
The wine for my game bird courses was a Movia 2005 Slovenian Pinot Noir and it was outstanding. 92 pts by W&S at release, this wine drinks fresh, with full-palate depth, I wouldn't have expected. Cherry skins, licorice and completed integrated and well rounded tannin structure. I would have loved to try this wine at release to compare.
Castello di Farnetella 2007
Tuscany, near Siena, Castello di Farnetella 2007 Cabernet, Syrah, Sangiovese, Merlot from Sinalunga. Vines are at 800 feet. Wine is fermented at a max of 86 degrees, and macerated for 16-20 days. Malolactic in stainless steel. New and once used French oak for 12 months and then 8-10 months in bottle before release.The wine was beginning to give off a hint of oxidation and raisin notes on the nose after about 10 minutes in the glass, on a bottle that was poured to 3/4 empty. I'd say the wine was paired off better with the beef and foie than with the duck filled pasta, as the broccoli through it all off. More thought needs to go into the pasta and wine pairing because of the flavor profile of this particular wine (food notes from Parizzi in Parma).
2006 Planeta Burdese
2006 Planeta Burdese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc blend from Sicily. 92 pts by WE and one of their Top 100 wines on release and 91 by WS on release. Riper edge when compared to the other wines I sampled at Parizzi, with prunes, tobacco and spice. The bright fruit was gone, this was a wine that needs to be drunk sooner rather than later. I appreciate its longevity, but it was least favorite wine in the mix; Slovenian Pinot wins the wine award today.
Tuscany near Siena, Epibios 2011, 40% Sangiovese, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot aged in "the best French Durmast" which is a variety of oak, generally not mentioned in the material I read. The website doesn't mention forest, oddly they mention species. The wine was full-bodied, no thinness. Big fruit, bone dry, tannins were integrated and not course. Oak was certainly present, but not unbalanced with the wine. Tuscan, just outside Siena. American palates would enjoy this wine, and for a 2011, even after 5 years, it's showing very well.
Tenuta di Valgiano 2012
Biodynamic, Sangiovese, Syrah, Merlot, Dominant Sangiovese. Certainly the show wine at the estate. Rounded and complex, but young. Fine grain tannin structure, not showing everything its got. I had it with pasta earlier in the day and a steak on the bone at night. 10xBetter with the steak. A winner.
Tenuta di Capraia Chianti Classico
Tenuta di Capraia Chianti Classico, Sangiovese 90%, Cab 5%, Merlot 5%. Not the biggest wine, nor the most fragrant. It's good, just not killer. 6euro a bottle. In barrel 12 months, in bottle 6 months. Not blowing my doors off.
Il Pareto Grappa of Cabernet Sauvignon
This one packed a punch
Infused Chili Campari
Not my thing, but someone is drinking this stuff in Florence
Le Boncie, 2013, Castelnuovo Berardenga
Le Boncie, 2013, Castelnuovo Berardenga, 14% Alc Sangiovese, Mammolo, Colorino, Fogliatonda & Ciliegiolo. ‘5’ is treated in the same manner as Le Trame but aged for between 15 and 18 months. A bit more course, but a nice wine. Not overly complex, only a hint of stink, but without fresh fruit notes. I would have expected more from the 2013. Paired it with ox tail tagliatelle pasta, Not as much perfume on the nose as I would have wanted. At Il Santino
Casale del Giglio, Lazio,Tempranillo
Casale del Giglio, Lazio,Tempranillo. I like this wine very much, more so than the Chianti Classico which I had first. More vibrant and mouth filling than the Chianti, nose was more fragrant as well. 22 euro a bottle. 100% fully ripe Tempranillo grapes, which may have been allowed to shrivel slightly on the vine, undergo cold maceration for two days at 10°C to extract as much aroma as possible from the skins.
La Rasina 2010 Brunello di Montalcino
La Rasina 2010 Brunello di Montalcino. Much more modern styled in French oak. Initially, fig cake, fig jam ripe nose. As it opened, the fig gave way to ripe black fruits, plush on the palate with some force. Easy to drink before dinner or after. Much more for the American palate. More plush.
Lisini 2010 Brunello di Montalcino
Lisini 2010 Brunello di Montalcino...not as old school as the Gianni Brunelli, but not as ripe and modern as the Rasina. The Lisini was never weak, only tight on the open. After 12 hours, violets, blackberry and muted spice showed up with luscious tannin structure. This wine demands beef or veal. I could see this trading off, side by side with a 2007 Cabernet from CA.
Marchesi Antinori, Pian delle Vigne 2010
Marchesi Antinori, pian delle vigne 2010, 100% Sangiovese, Brunello do Montalcino. A black olive note on the palate, as I paired 3 hard cheeses with my wines. Rich, brooding, deeper in flavor than any of the others I've had. 20 day fermentation, on the skins at a maximum temp of 82 degrees. Transferred to large casks, 800 to 2000 gallons for two years. Then bottled just releasing the 2011, so assume another year in bottle. At Antinori Wine Bar in Florence
Argiano Solengo 2013
Argiano Solengo 2013, SuperTuscan Could have easily been an American wine. Cab blend, with pronounced oak on the nose and rich palate. I drank a glass before dinner one night, more a reminder of CA than Tuscany.
2010 Agostina Pieri Brunello di Montalcino
2010 Agostina Pieri Brunello. Tight and wound up, Not much on the nose but cedar and spice, not specific. The mouth feel just felt undeveloped at this point. Had it with ground duck pasta. 95 Point Parker, but I tend to favor the Suckling rating of 91, which more accurately described the wine.
Brunello di Montalcino 2010, San Polo
Brunello di Montalcino 2010, San Polo. Of the trifecta I bought and drank in Vicenza, the last one, this one, was the best. Based upon the profile, more modern in style, smaller barrel aging process, probably with some new oak on it. Drank nice on open and after several hours. Had it with 4 different pizzas. Nothing like a 95 point Brunello with pizza.
Castello Romitorio, 2010 Brunello di Montalcino
Castello Romitorio, 2010 Brunello di Montalcino. Upon the open, spice and earth are dominating the nose. The palate is complete, but not luscious, more lean than palate clinging. Tight as hell. On night 2, the spice elements opened up further, but the palate didn't richen up. Needs way more time. Again, ratings were high for this wine. 94 Points from Suckling, RP and WE. Again, I tend to agree with Suckling's evaluation.
Pergola Vece 2008 Amarone, Le Salette
Pergola Vece 2008 Amarone, LeSalette. Upon arrival in Vicenza, a mouth filling and rich wine with that characteristic sweetness that comes through. Balanced and nice with the cheeses and mustarda we were snacking on pre-dinner. IPOB thoughts...would they think this is balanced at over 15% alcohol? I do. It's lovely. 95 Points WE.
Gradis Ciutta Collio 2014 Cabernet Franc
Gradis Ciutta Collio 2014 Cabernet Franc, Princic, near the town of Gorizia in Italy. Herbaceous and young, I had this at Ai Porteghi in Padua. Worked with the pasta and beef pretty easily. Surprised I could drink a 14 Cab Franc this young. Food for thought.
Latium Morini, Ripasso
Latium Morini, Ripasso we had at risottoria. Easy drinker with a diverse offering of risotto. From light and easy to puttanesca. 12-15 months.
Gianni Brunelli 2010 Brunello di Montalcino
Gianni Brunelli 2010 Brunello di Montalcino - this is a more traditionally styled Brunello. Not heavy on the palate with oak or fruit or tannin, but softer, more anise, dried cherry and earth on the nose than overwhelming ripe fruit notes. Elegant. Paired up great with the my entire meal, from cured meat to roasted lamb, Is this a stand-out wine on the initial open. I'd love to see what happened in 24 hours and how it would have developed. 95 Points from Suckling. 95 from Gallioni as well.
Gianni Brunelli Grappa
After lunch treat.
Monti Garbi Ripasso, 2013 Tenuta Sant Antonio
Monti Garbi Ripasso, 2013 Tenuta Sant Antonio. It was ok. My gut said, oh, this tastes like bulk wine, thin and not overly complex. And I think that sums it up. Not complex. An inexpensive drinker from the region that happens to pop with just the right food.
Recioto Valpolicella 2012, Venturini out of Cariano
Recioto Valpolicella 2012, Venturini out of Cariano. At Bottega di Vino in Verona. Corvina, Rondinella, Molinara blended varieties. Pretty awesome wine with tons of flavor. Yes, it's got RS, but it seems to work after the meal. I couldn't drink but a glass of this stuff, but with the dessert, it was great. Now, it wasn't great with just the straight chocolate, then it tasted sour. Cabernet would have been better with the chocolate.
Scarpa, Monferrato Rouchet
Scarpa, Monferrato Rouchet. Native varietal. Nice full bodied wine with good structure. Spice and fruit. Solid drinker. 12 months in bottle, 12 months in stainless Steel. Surprising structure for no oak.
Dirupi 2014 Ole'
Dirupi 2014 Ole', 100% Nebbiolo from Lombardia. Not deep and brooding like Barolo or Barbaresco, this is easy drinking wine. Not complex, but fresh, bright flavors, floral notes and just barely ripe red fruits. Had this back at the house in Lucca with tartare and Salad Lyonaise
Tiezzi, Brunello di Montalcino, 2010 Poggio Cerrino
Tiezzi, Brunello di Montalcino, 2010 Poggio Cerrino. 20 day ferment, 44 months in Slovenian oak, then 4 months in bottle. The flavor with the roasted veal was extraordinary. I can't get past olives, tobacco, and dark fruit and spice notes on this and other Brunello wines. Still lively and drinkable. At Il Santino
Selvapiana Chianti Rufina 2013
One of the last wines I had on the trip. Drank over 2 nights with lighter items, like cheese, salumi, roasted potato. dried cherry, cocoa powder, solid mid-palate texture and clean finish. Solid drinker. Suckling 92 Pts, WE 93 Pts. Great price, under $20.