Monday, June 29, 2009

Bastianich Rosato (2008) Friuli-Venezia Giulia

A refreshing summer Rose from Bastianich, a 70 acre Friulian winery founded in 1997 by superstar chef Lidia Bastianich and her follically-challenged son Joe. The wine is made from 100% Refosco, a grape known for producing spicy reds with dark fruit flavors. To make their Rosato, winemakers Emilio Del Medico, Maurizio Castelli, de-stem, soft press, then ferment in stainless steel 40% of the grapes. 50% of the grapes are then de-stemmed, soft pressed and fermented using some whole grape clusters with some brief skin contact to impart added aromas. The remaining 10% of juice (which imparts additional complexity to the wine) is derived from the Salasso method (a method whereby some juice is taken from the macerating Refosco that is used for Bastianich’s Vespa Rosso and Calabrone). After fermentation, the wines are blended and left to age in stainless steel for 4 months. The wine has a beautifully bright pink hue, with a terrific fruit nose and palate. Heavier than expected mouth-feel. Vibrant, refreshing acidity. Great on its own as a summer quaffer or with spicy foods. Stelvin screw cap.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Masseria Li Veli "Passamante" Salento IGT (2007) Puglia

A terrific Italian red wine from Masseria Li Veli, a small (66 hectares) Puglian winery, consisting of partly owned and partly leased vineyards, cultivated with Primitivo, Negroamaro, Susumaniello, Aleatico and Cabernet Sauvignon. Li Veli’s "Passamante" is 100% Negroamaro (which means dark-dark in the local dialect) that is aged for six months in wooden casks. Intense, dark ruby red color; highly perfumed with a strong, bright, red berry fruit nose. Well balanced acidity and tannins. Soft, velvety finish. Was great with grilled flat iron steak and grilled vegetables.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Pertinace Dolcetto d’ Alba (2007) Piemonte

A very nice, clean Dolcetto from "Cantina Vignaioli Elvio Pertinace", a small cooperative of 15 Piemontese growers. Founded in 1972, Pertinace has been a long-time supplier of grapes to other top producers. Recent investments in their winery now allow them to take full advantage of their excellent vineyard sites under their own label. Traditionalists, Pertinace uses a combination of low yields in the vineyards, and TLC to allow the character of their fruit to be expressed in the wine. Critical acclaim has followed with positive reviews from the great oracles. The 2007 Dolcetto d’Alba is ruby red/violet in color and terrifically smooth to drink. Vinified and aged in stainless. A great every day, Italian wine.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Tenuta Garetto Tra Neuit e Di Barbera d’ Asti (2007) Piemonte

A terrific Barbera from Tenuta Garetto, a small (18 hectare) winery owned by Alessandro Garetto that produces about 100,000 bottles of mostly Barbera along with some Dolcetto, Grignolino and Chardonnay. High density (about 4,500 vines per hectare) planting. The winery has a range of vine ages from new (this wine) to 60-70 years old. 100% Barbera. Very deep, ruby-red color; nice fruit nose. Vinified and aged in stainless. Plush on the palate. Delicious with grilled meatstuffs.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Barry's New "Stache"


Monday, June 1, 2009

Podere Rocche Dei Manzoni di Valentino Migliorini “Bricco Manzoni” Langhe (2000) Piemonte

An unpleasant "Super-Piedmont" from Podere Rocche Dei Manzoni di Valentino Migliorini; an estate that dates back to the 1700’s. The current iteration of the winery came into being in 1974 when Valentino Migliorini and his wife Jolanda bought the property and spent significant sums on improvements. Today, the Migliorini’s own about 100 prized acres, mostly in Monforte d’ Alba. In addition to several single-vineyard Barolo’s, the estate also produces Bricco Manzoni, a noxious blend of 80% Nebbiolo and 20% Barbera. The wine is fermented on the skins for two weeks in stainless steel vats, followed by 12 months of aging in oak barriques, and an additional 12 months in the bottle. Dull red in color. Heavy oak with some fruit on the nose. 90 rating by Parker. Heavy alcohol/gasoline on the palate. Brandy-like burn on the way down. Way not worth the overblown rating and price. 14% alcohol.