Thursday, January 29, 2009

San Quirico Chianti Colli Senesi (2005) Tuscany

A solid, refreshing Chianti from San Quirico, a smallish (76 acres producing about 200,000 bottles annually) organic producer of Chianti and benchmark Vernaccia, located in San Gimignano in Tuscany. In 2004, the winery, owned by Andrea Vecchione, obtained USDA NOP (National Organic Program) certification for their organic products. The 2005 Chianti is made from 100% organic Sangiovese and has a bright ruby color that exudes fresh cherry fruit and violets on the nose. It is full and round on the palate with balanced acidity, nice structure and excellent drinkability. Refreshingly, the wine receives no oak aging; it rests in stainless steel tanks for 6 months followed by an additional 6 months in bottle prior to release from the winery. Ugly brown bottle. Did I say the wine is refreshing? Yes I did; twice actually.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sella & Mosca Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva (2005) Sardegna

A spicy Italian red wine from Sella & Mosca, a huge (1,600 acres/six million bottles a year) winery, chapel, museum, hotel, amusement park, petting zoo, military industrial complex, founded in 1899 by two Piedmontese men who went to Sardegna on a hunting trip and never returned. The 2005 Cannonau Riserva is 100% Cannonau (the Sardinian name for Grenache) that is aged in Slavonian oak for three years. Deep, smoky red in color with a full, plush body. Nice ripe berry and spice.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Friday, January 16, 2009

Orlando Abrigo Dolcetto d’ Alba (2007) Piemonte

A typical (not in the bad sense; I love Dolcetto) from Orlando Abrigo, whose family has been tending vineyards in Piemonte for generations. In 1988, Giovanni Abrigo completed his wine-growing studies and began working alongside his father, Orlando, in the family business, and began to implement technical improvements in the winery with the aim of producing wines of character. The estate was expanded to about 25 acres with the acquisition of land and vineyards where they grow the traditional Nebbiolo, Dolcetto and Barbera grapes, as well as new varietals for the Langhe like Chardonnay and Merlot. The 2007 Dolcetto d’ Alba is a wonderful Smucker’s grape jelly color with a fragrant nose of cherries and violets. No wood aging. Nice body and finish. Perfect for everyday drinking with a wide variety of foods.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Timothy Geithner; Tax Cheat, Treasury Secretary Nominee, Forgetful Dope, Italian Wine Lover

The Italian Cellar has been granted an exclusive interview with Timothy Geithner, Treasury Secretary nominee who yesterday disclosed that he had forgotten to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes for several years while he worked for the International Monetary Fund and employed an immigrant housekeeper who briefly lacked proper work papers.

The Italian Cellar: Good afternoon Mr. Geithner, thanks for taking the time to speak with us.

Timothy Geither: Sorry I'm so late, I forgot we had an appoinment for 9 A.M.; my bad.

TIC: Indeed. Tell us what makes Italian wine so special for you.

TG: Well it was back several years ago; I'm a little fuzzy about exactly what year. Anyway, I was out having dinner with the fellas from the IMF talking about our immigrant housekeepers -

TIC: Which restaurant?

TG: You know, I can't recall. I think it was Italian; wait a minute, maybe it was French....or tapas. In any case, the wine pairing was terrific, and I thought, wow, I should eat more seafood; and less carbohydrates.

TIC: Very insightful.

TG: Sorry I'm so late, I forgot we had an appointment for 9 A.M.; my bad. Well, what questions do you have for me? This is about Spanish wine, isn't it?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Altesino Rosso di Altesino (2006) Tuscany

An elegant Italian red wine from Altesino, a world-class Brunello producer operating out of an equally elegant 14th century Palazzo near Siena in central Tuscany. When the winery was purchased in 2002 by Elisabetta Gnudi Angelini, winemaker Claudio Basla stayed on to continue the estates production of exquisite wines. The 2006 Rosso di Altesino is a Super-Tuscan made up of 80% Sangiovese and 20% Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. What is unusual about this wine is that it sees no wood; it is vinifed and aged entirely in stainless steel. A real showcase of terrior and skillful farming. Very vibrant ruby-red color. Wonderful fresh fruit nose. Full and round on the palate. Smooth, long finish. A real "Ladies-Man" red.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Colosi Nero d'Avola (2007) Sicily

Headquartered on Salina, a small island in the Eolian Archipelago near Sicily, Colosi produces terrific everyday reds as well as a sweet Malvasia delle Lipari. The 2007 Nero d'Avola is made from Colosi's best fruit that is vinified and aged exclusively in stainless steel. Full-bodied with a sweet, dark cherry nose. Nice smooth, round finish, unlike some other southern Italians I've tangled with. Great value. Attractive label depicting the Black d'Avola vine and the Colosi flower. Synthetic cork.