Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Banfi Chianti Classico (2004) Tuscany

A very nice Chianti Classico from Banfi, a huge (2,400 acre) winery owned by the Mariani family of New York. With about twenty wines in their portfolio, including some excellent Brunello’s, their Chianti Classico is a fine representative of the varietal, with a deep, ruby-red color and a nose of black cherry. Soft, smooth finish.

Tenute Cisa Asinari Dei Marchesi di Gresy Nebbiolo Martinenga Langhe (2005) Piemonte

An unusually light-bodied Nebbiolo from Marchesi di Gresy, whose owner, Alberto di Gresy, is best known for his muscular Barbaresco’s. While the 2005 Martinenga (named for the vineyard) had the characteristic nose and color of a Nebbiolo, it did not have the weight and heft that is typical of the grape and di Gresy’s marketing. Very abrupt finish. Undoubtedly the wine needs time, although I’m not sure it will help a great deal.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Dievole Chianti Classico Vendemmia (2005) Tuscany

A nice, serviceable Chianti Classico from Azienda Agricola Dievole. Their Vendemmia is a blend of Sangiovese from all sixteen of Dievole's vineyards. The wine is aged for 12 months; with 80% of the wine being aged in huge 8,000 liter oak vat/casks while the remaining 20% is aged in French and Oak barriques. The wine has a fragrant black fruit nose and smooth tannins.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Cerulli Spinozzi Torre Migliori Montepulciano d' Abruzzo (2004) Abruzzo

A stellar Italian wine from Cerulli Spinozzi. Their Torre Migliori Montepulciano d' Abruzzo is produced in the Colline Terramne region of Abruzzo, and has a pronounced blackberry fruit nose and spice on the palate. The wine is wonderfully smooth, with velvety tannins, and a long finish. Truly a pleasure to drink.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Emilio Bulfon Cividin (2006) Friuli-Venezia Giulia

One more reason to not drink Pinot Grigio. Some 30 years ago, winemaker Emilio Bulfon rediscovered and replanted several ancient native Friulian grape varieties in the hills of the province of Pordenone in western Friuli. Today, Bulfon produces wines exclusively from these ancient grapes. One of his whites is Cividin, a straw-yellow wine with a fragrant nose of apple and pear. This un-oaked wine has a nice acidity that is very food friendly. A great, unusual wine. As a side note, each of Bulfon's wines are adorned with a different color label designed by Bulfon that depict a detail of a medieval fresco of the last supper found on a wall of a local church.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Alois Campole Aglianico (2004) Campania

A delicious wine from the Alois family, who for centuries have produced world famous textiles that grace the walls of such places as the Louvre and the White House, and since 1992, have been producing great wines from little-known varietals. With the help of oenologist Riccardo Cotarella and agronomist Nicola Traducca, Alois uses "green" farming methods to vinify four varieties of wine on their 14 hectare estate in Campania (the shin of the Italian boot). Campole contains 70% Aglianico and 30% Casavecchia. The softness of the Casavecchia grape cools the power of the Aglianico. The wine has a beautiful dark color and a nose of licorice and dark fruit. The wine is aged entirely in stainless steel so the fruit is not masked. The wine is well-structured and has a long, smooth finish.