Friday, October 24, 2008

Lamborghini Trescone (2004) Umbria

For many years Lamborghini wines was a hobby business for retired car maker Ferruccio Lamborghini. Today, the estate is run by Lamborghini's daughter Patrizia, and with the help of eonologist Riccardo Cotarella, they have made quality winemaking the focus of the estate. The 2004 Trescone is a delicious blend of 50% Sangiovese, 30% Ciliegiolo (a bright, cherry-scented grape grown mainly in neighboring Tuscany), and 20% Merlot. The wine is fermented in stainless and aged for four months in large oak barrels. Very much a fruit forward wine. Deep ruby-red in color with a cherry-berry nose. Has the finish of a well made wine.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Stefano Farina Barbera d’Alba (2006) Piemonte

Understanding the importance of text messaging to everyone from motorists to train engineers, I decided to write this brief Italian wine review in text. Njoy. A solid, value-priced Barbera frm Stefano Farina, a kin pwnge winemaker W estates n Tuscany n Piemonte. md frm 100% Barbera grown witn d Province of Cuneo n Piemonte. nce hue n cherry noz. <) frndly pH.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Garofoli Podium Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore (2005) Marche

An unusually rich, substantial Verdicchio from Garofoli, a historic family run Marche estate dating back to the late 1870's. Now run by brothers Gianfranco and Carlo Garofoli, they produce nearly two million bottles of wine a year (more than 60% Verdicchio) on about 50 hectares (125 acres) of vineyards in the communes of Montecarotto, Ancona, and Castelfidardo. The wine is 100% Verdicchio and has a beautiful golden yellow color with slight green highlights. Full nose of ripe citrus. Crisp acidity with a weighty mouth feel brought about by the delayed harvesting of the grapes. High-toned finish. Aged in stainless steel for 15 months. Terrific.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Piaggia Carmignano Riserva (2003) Tuscany

A beautifully expressive wine from Piaggia, a tiny (12 acre) estate located in the heart of Carmignano. Started in 1990 by clothing manufacturer turned winemaker Mauro Vannucci, Piaggia has quickly established itself as a critically acclaimed producer of fine wines. A DOCG wine in the good years, in less favorable years Signor Vannuci declassifies the wine into an IGT called Il Sasso or even sells it off as bulk wine. Carmignano is a small DOCG located west of Florence. Because it lies north of the Chianti Classico DOCG, its slightly cooler weather means the Sangiovese has a harder time to ripen fully. The cooler temperature also require vineyards to have an easterly exposure to maximize the morning sun. As a result, the Sangiovese of Camignano are lighter in body, higher in acid and more fragrant than the Sangiovese of Chianti. Cabernet (20% maximum allowed by law with up to 10% other varietals) are blended with the Sangiovese to fill out the darker fruit range of aromas and strengthen the structure of the wine. Wines from Carmignano seem more elegant than the more robust style of the Super-Tuscans which are made mostly from warmer southern varietals. The 2003 Riserva is a blend of 70% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Merlot. Made in the modern style, with the maceration of the Sangiovese and Merlot taking place in stainless vats and the Cabernet in French oak tanks. The wine is aged for 24 months in French oak barrels and 12 months in the bottle prior to release. Nice, deep ruby color. Full nose of black cherry. Warm and rich on the palette. Silky, smooth finish. As with Ambra, the wine has a classy label.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Fontanafredda Briccotondo Barbera (2007) Piemonte

**DISCLAIMER** My lack of enthusiasm for this wine is through no fault of the wine, but rather from a general malaise brought about by the daily deluge of general bad news, seemingly about everything. Anyway, the 2007 Briccotondo is an otherwise solid Barbera from Fontanafredda, an estate founded in the late 1800's by Emanuele Guerreri, son of King Victor Emmanuel II, first King of a united Italy. Dark purple-ish/red color. Full nose of black fruit. Nice acidity. Added richness and finish provided by nearly 1/2 year aging in a mix of new French oak barrels and large Slavonian oak casks. Very ugly black, white, red, and silver label.