Sunday, December 27, 2009

Fattoria La Parrina Rosso (2006) Tuscany

Sort of a blah wine from La Parrina, a 450 hectare estate located along the Tyrrhenian coast of extreme southern Tuscany. The name Parrina is derived from the Castilian word Parra, meaning vine or pergola; which gives a hint to the areas past Spanish influence and wine-making history. The estate also operates a hotel and produces fruit, vegetables, olive oil, flour and many other 100% natural, organic foods for sale. The 2006 Rosso Parrina is 100% Sangiovese with a deep purple/red color. Very light nose. Fermented and aged in stainless. Nice balance of acids and tannins. Nothing here however, to make me race out and buy more.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Damilano Barbera d’Asti (2008) Piemonte

A terrific Barbera from Damilano, a small producer whose family holdings include pieces of the Liste and Cannubi vineyards that is known mainly for their ready-to-consume Barolo’s. The wine is from a recently acquired vineyard in Asti. Their Barbera d’Asti replaces the Barbera d’Alba, which was made from rented vineyards, and which will no longer be produced. With it’s high acidity, Barbera is a great food wine, especially anything made with tomatoes. Deep ruby/purple color. Dark cherry on the nose. Excellent balance and length. 100% Barbera. 20% is aged in new French barriques, 40% is aged in used barriques (2nd passage) and the remaining 40% aged in Tonneaux, all for 6 to 8 months. Albeisa bottle.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Trullari Primitivo Del Tarantino (2007) Puglia

A very bad wine from I’m not really sure who. I did an internet search for the producer and importer and was led in circles; it seems no one wants to take credit (or blame) for this wine. Named for the mortar-less, conical-roofed houses of Puglia, the 2007 Trullari Primitivo is a thin, watery effort; not at all like the bold, spicy way Primitivo and its genetically identical cousin, the Zinfandel grape, is supposed to taste. It’s as if it was made in the same manner as Curly of The Three Stooges cooks chicken soup; by pouring hot water over a chicken and serving the run-off. ("How was your meal, sir?" "The soup was watery, the meat was tough, and the coffee tasted like mud." "I’m glad you enjoyed it, be sure to tell your friends.") Made from 90% Primitivo and 10 % Montepulciano. Aged in stainless steel - and tasted like it; literally.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Andrea Oberto Langhe Nebbiolo (2006) Piemonte

A solid, affordable Langhe Nebbiolo from Andrea Oberto, a small (40 acre) family winery that produces about 100,000 bottles of Nebbiolo, Barolo, Barbera, and Dolcetto a year from some prime vineyards located in the communes of La Morra, Barolo, Alba, and Cherasco. The 2006 Langhe Nebbiolo is 100% Nebbiolo grown on 15-18 year old La Morra-ese vines. Meant to be drunk young, the wine is aged for six months partly in wood casks and partly in stainless steel vats and for two months in the bottle. Almost brown in color. (with my bad eyes in poor light) Nice fruit nose. Long, smooth finish. Enjoyed with cherry and port glazed Cornish hens. (something we just threw together) Albeisa bottle.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sammy Sosa; Former Black Slugger, Italian Wine Lover, Idiot

Newly white Sammy Sosa recently sat down with the Italian Cellar for a brief chat about his life since retiring from the Major Leagues.

The Italian Cellar: Sammy, thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to speak with us.

Sammy Sosa: It’s a pleasure to be white, I mean here.

TIC: Since retiring have you been watching a lot of baseball?

SS: Not too much; I’ve been busy with several projects.

TIC: Such as?

SS: My new candy bar; it’s made with white chocolate, nougat, and blanched almonds. I’m also writing a biography about another baseball great; Whitey Ford.

TIC: Sounds fascinating.

SS: Well it’s not all work for Sammy. I still find time to take strolls on the white sand beaches of my native Dominican Republic; I collect sand dollars and starfish and bleach them out. I've also taken up surfing; we have great whitecaps here.

TIC: We also hear you’re quite the wine aficionado.

SS: Oh yes; especially Italian whites. I love Verdicchio; it's so seafood friendly. I had a Sartarelli with some grilled whitefish last night; it was terrific. I also recently paired a Pio Cesare Cortese di Gavi with some linguni and white clam sauce; Delicious.

TIC: What happened to your face?

SS: No comprendo.

TIC: Sammy, thanks for your time.

SS: It was great speaking with you.