Sunday, June 29, 2008

Tenuta L'Illuminata Dolcetto d'Alba Savincato (Piemonte) 2003

A tasty Dolcetto from Tenuta l'Illuminata, located in La Morra in the Langhe. The wine derives its fantasy name from the Savincati, a Celtic people that inhabited the Piemonte region around the first century B.C. Intense violet-red in color. A short (6-7 months) aging in oak smooths and lengthens the finish. Very food-friendly. All of Tenuta L'Illuminata's labels are adorned with moonlight images of grape clusters and leaves captured on special photo-sensitive paper (a process called rayographics) by Greek artist Dimitris Kozaris. "I like-a this juice."

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Smoking Gun Wine Review

June 24-- An Italian wine blog filed suit in Circuit Court last week, claiming that the 2003 Di Majo Norante Cantado Aglianico was a delicious full-bodied Italian red. Please click on the image to review the court documents.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Vietti Roero Arneis (2006) Piemonte

By the late 1960’s, Arneis, a white grape indigenous to Piedmont, had all but disappeared when Vietti’s Alfredo Currado saved it from extinction. Thankfully, his early experiments with the grape led to its rediscovery by other Piemontese winemakers. The grapes for Vietti’s Arneis are grown in the middle of the Roero area in Santo Stefano Roero. The fresh, crisp wine goes well with all antipasti, seafood, and poultry. Fermented and held entirely in stainless. A very creepy-weird label could scare younger or more sensitive drinkers.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Torre Quarto Bottaccia Uva di Troia 2004 (Puglia)

A powerful red from talented young winemaker Cristoforo Pastore, who produces wine for the Cirillo Farrusi family on their 60 hectacre estate in Puglia (the heel of the Italian boot). The wine is 100% Uva di Troia, an indigenous grape which resists the sun and hot temperatures of southern Italy. 60% of this full-bodied wine is aged in barriques; it has a stuffed-up nose of red berry fruits, powerful tannins and a round, somewhat spicy finish. "Bottaccia" is the Pugliese dialect for large barrel. I enjoyed this wine with grilled Chimichurra marinated NY strip steak.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Twilight Zone-Like Coincidences

Submitted for your approval, an Italian wine blog, neither informative nor fun, recently reviewed wines from two separate producers that both began making wines in 1972. What does this mean? Perhaps nothing, but coincidentally, the Sartarelli Verdicchio which was reviewed on June 12th, was the same wine mentioned in the May 21st imagined interview with 2008 American Idol winner and Italian wine lover David Cook (who interestingly enough, was not born in 1972). But what remains a mystery; a middle ground, if you will, is an area between light and shadow, between science and superstition that lies somewhere between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge, is that 1972 was also the year in which the Andes plane crash occurred whereby the passengers resorted to cannibalism to survive......I wonder what wine would go good with that......

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sartarelli 2004 Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico (Marche)

A fabulous wine from one of the top producers of Verdicchio; a crisp white from Marche (the back of the knee of the Italian boot). Following several years of selling their estates' entire grape production, in 1972, owners Donatella Sartarelli and Patrizio Chiacchianini began making their own wines, focusing entirely on Verdicchio. Sartarelli wines afford wine lovers the ability to taste wine vertically; not by year, but by richness and depth. The entry-level "Classico", is a textbook example of a verdicchio; citrusy and bright. The next level up is "Tralivio", which benefits from a more meticulous grape selection in the vineyard. The flagship "Balciana" gets further heft from the introduction of a small percentage of late harvest grapes. The "Classico" I enjoyed is an easy-drinking wine that pairs well with seafood, white meats, and appetizers.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

G.D. Vajra Coste & Fossati Dolcetto d' Alba 2001 (Piemonte)

Since 1972, owners, Milena and Aldo Vaira have been producing Barolo, Barbera d'Alba, Dolcetto d'Alba, Langhe Nebbiolo, Freisa, and Bianco on a small-scale on their 40 hectare estate in Vergne, the highest village in the Commune of Barolo. Made in the traditional style, their Coste & Fossati Dolcetto d' Alba is a terrific example of the varietal. With generous fruit and judicious acidity, the wine is wonderfully food friendly. A wine worth looking for. Albeisa bottle.

Monday, June 2, 2008

5-7-5; A Few Poorly Written Italian Wine Haiku’s

Wines from Italy
Delicious both red and white
Better than Haiku

Fruity Dolcetto
Little sweet one, Piedmont bred
Drink up, enough said

Chianti or Brunello
One glass of each please

Delicious white wine
With vibrant acidity
Roero Arneis

Angelo Gaja
Put Italy on the map
Way too expensive

Joe Bastianich
No hair on top of his head
Great new winemaker

Writers of wine blogs
Intelligent and handsome
Too much time on hands