Saturday, March 27, 2010

La Quercia Montepulciano d' Abruzzo (2008) Abruzzo

A tasty, inexpensive Italian red wine from La Quercia, a small organic winery (total estate production of only 12,000 bottles a year) that lies within spitting distance (ok, maybe not spitting distance; but real close) of the Adriatic Sea. Owned by Antonio Lamona, the winery has been practicing organic farming methods since the 1960's. Antonio’s farm is also entirely self-sustaining, producing their own salami, bread, vegetables, olive oil and cheese. Their 2008 Montepulciano d' Abruzzo is very dark ruby red in color with a ripe nose of dark berries. Terrific balance. Smooth finish. Aged for 4-6 months in 10 year old Slavonian oak barrels. Synthetic cork.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Seiterre Tenuta San Leone Bianco di Custoza (2006) Veneto

An interesting Italian white from Seiterre, a cooperative with vineyards that run from Trentino to Romania. Their Bianco di Custoza is named after the 1866 battle of Custoza (which we all know resulted in Valeggio and Veneto being annexed to Italy - take that Austrian Empire!). The wine is made from a blend of Garganega, Trebbiano, Tocai and Cortese grapes that are grown on the 60 plus hectares of vineyards that comprise the San Leone Farm, which is located in the Province of Verona. Yellow/greenish in color. Tropical fruit nose. Bright acidity. Fermented and aged in stainless steel.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Araldica "La Luciana" (2008) Piemonte

A too-light-for-my-tastes Gavi from Araldica, a piemontese cooperative that produces tens of millions of bottles of wine annually. For years, Gavi, made from the Cortese grape, was the standard for Italian white wine in the United States. Thankfully, other more interesting Italian whites (Pinot Grigio excluded) have pushed Gavi to the side. The 2008 "La Luciana" is light straw in color with a fresh, floral/apple nose. Crisp acidity. Light, clean finish. Emaciated body. Maybe OK as a summertime quaffer on the patio, but beyond that, open something with a little more there there.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Montepeloso A Quo (2008) Tuscany

A delicious Toscano IGT from Montepeloso, a 15 acre boutique winery owned by former professor of history, Fabio Chiarelotto. The Swiss-born Chiarelotto purchased the award-winning estate in 1998, and within a year, completely overhauled the vineyard in order to further improve their offerings. The grapes not selected for Montepeloso's critically acclaimed luxe wines; Eneo, Nardo, and Gabbro are used to make the affordable A Quo wine. The 2008 vintage is made from 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Montepulciano, 20% Sangiovese, 10% Marselan, and 10% Alicante Bouschet. Plush nose of brambled fruit (a little-used favorite word of mine; as in "My stomach felt brambled after eating Taco Bell's new shrimp taco.") Very smooth. Long finish. Aged for 3 months in aged oak barrels.