Monday, August 30, 2010

Fattoria di Lucignano Chianti Colli Fiorentini (2007) Tuscany

A pistol from Fattoria di Lucignano , a small (32 acre) traditional winery located in the medieval town of Lucignano, only a mile from the western border of the Chianti Classico. The winery, run by the Countess Antonella Guicciardini, is known for their consistent quality, year after year. Intense, ruby-red color. Fruity nose of black cherries. Well balanced and smooth. Vinified and aged in glazed, cement vats for 12 to 18 months. A blend of 80% Sangiovese, 10% Canaiolo, 5% Merlot, and 5% Colorino. Delicious.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Cataldi Madonna Trebbiano d' Abruzzo (2009) Abruzzo

A summer peach from Cataldi Madonna, a small family winery located high in the plains near L' Aquila. Founded in 1920 by Antonio Cataldi Madonna, the winery is now run by son Luigi who produces some of Abruzzo's best reds, whites, and roses. Their 2009 Trebbiano is a brilliant greenish-yellow in color with a perfumed nose of apple, pear and peach. Crisp, refreshing acidity. Substantial in feel. A perfect match for the summer bounty (the "quicker, picker-upper"). Synthetic cork.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Damilano Nebbiolo d' Alba (2007)Piemonte

An enjoyable, inexpensive introduction to the Nebbiolo grape from Damilano, a family run Barolo maker that has been around since the late 1800’s. From their small Piemontese winery, the great grandchildren of original owner Giuseppe Borgogno make a traditional line up of ready to consume Barolo’s, Dolcetto’s, Barbera’s, and Arneis. The 2007 Nebbiolo d’ Alba is dusty brick-red in color with a nice nose of violets and spice. Like myself, the wine is fairly light in body. Aged for 16 months in French oak barriques (50% new and 50% one and two years old). Albeisa bottle.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Tenuta Scilio "Phiale" Etna Rosso (Sicily) 2003

A delicious, spicy Italian red from Tenuta Scilio, a 69 acre estate that lies on the northeast slopes of Mount Etna. Tenuta Scilio does not use any artificial fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides and all of their wines are made exclusively from grapes grown on their estate. The 2003 Phiale is a blend of 80% Nerello Mascalese and 20% Nerello Cappuccio; both dark, brooding natives. Strong nose and taste of black cherries and spice. Full, unctuous mouthfeel. 65% of the wine is aged in small French oak barrels and 35% of the wine is aged in American oak for twelve months. Tiny 600 case production. I purchased the wine at the Wine Cellars of Saugatuck, a nice wineshop that sells unique wines from all over the world and thankfully very little from Michigan.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Marchesi di Gresy Monte Aribaldo Dolcetto D' Alba (2007) Piemonte

A gem from Marchesi di Gresy, an 88 acre winery made up of four estates situated in the Langhe and Monferrto. In the late 1960's, owner Alberto di Gresy decided that he no longer wanted to continue selling his families grapes to other producers, so in 1973, he began producing his own wine. His Dolcetto, is grown on the Monte Aribaldo estate near the legendary Martinenga, Piemonte's only monopole; a vineyard owned exclusively by one proprietor. Brilliant ruby-red in color. Fragrant cherry nose. Velvety. Terrific balance. Un-oaked.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Cavallotto Vigna Scot Dolcetto d' Alba (2008) Piemonte

A terrific everyday Italian red wine from Cavallotto, an unsung winery that produces great value-priced Barolo's in addition to Barbera's and Dolcetto's on their 23 hectares in Piedmont. Cavallotto practices "green" farming methods. They use no fertilizers and use only copper and sulfur-based products for insect and disease control. Cavallotto is one of only a few producers that purchase quarry sulfur from Sicily; which is considered among the best. (I agree and only use Sicilian sulfur in my home garden; I source mine from Balthazar.) Ruby-red/purple in color. Cherry/berry fruit nose. Full bodied; well balanced. Warm, soft mouthfeel. Fermented and aged in stainless steel. Albeisa bottle.