For thew 4th Virtual Tasting event I wanted a Sangiovese to go alongside the Pinot Noir I was planning to showcase. I find the two varietals very similar in many traits, so the the challenge was to find a decent, ready to drink Chianti that hopefully would show off the core characteristics of the grape. This one turned out to be too young, subdued and not very forthcoming with fruit albeit with strong structure. It scored well with the pros but came in a very disappointing last place overall amongst our group. The wine showed well in the glass, more opaque than I had expected but the nose was very hard to coax any cherry flavors out of. Moxie noted salt on her initial sniff. It did not open up much on the palate but did have a tannic backbone masking the fruit. Acidity was medium but not overpowering. I remember thinking this wine had a good dose of oak, charcoal and tobacco. I did not write up any further notes but remember the finish was not very satisfying or long. It’s a shame as the big boys averaged 92 points. I feel it might need a re-tasting in the future once it has mellowed out. I will reserve judgement for now. I paid $23 which would have technically made it a 5 star wine. Salut….
Semi opaque with a dark red hue. On the nose I get dark cherries, beautiful oak, raspberry and dried herbs. On the palate there’s an immediate thrust of leather, tobacco and cherry. It is a touch tart but mouthwatering. The cherry theme continues onto the mid palate where I also get a good thwack of tannins. Wow, this wine is a cherub. Creosote, black plums and that tart cherry all mingle on the palate and I sense this wine is not yet close to maturity. The finish is long, tannic, tart and fruity with those cherries galore, some sage and more leather. I regret opening this wine so young, but I will get more for the cellar. Tonight I will pair it with Sous Vide Ribeyes, probably the best combo I could think of for this tannic monster Nebbiolo. Drink from 2025 to 2030 at the least. 92 points and 5 stars for this $39 beauty. Salut….
Very rich purple in the glass and semi opaque. The nose gives off cherry, baking spices, bakers yeast and red currants. On the palate it is very drinkable, smooth and fruity. Raspberries, red currants and those spices hit the palate. As the wine rolls over the mid palate I get a sour rhubarb note that gives the wine some zing. Very fine grained tannins appear on the finish to leave a rather pleasant mouthfeel. This light to medium bodied wine calls for white pasta dishes, roast chicken or Prosciutto wrapped Asparagus. It gets 90 points from me and I would drink till 2024. For $20, it’s a good deal on Super Tuscan juice. 4 stars. Salut….
Quite see-through and showing off a reddish/purple hue in the glass. On the nose I get sour cherry and rhubarb. On the palate it starts off with that sour cherry, some cola and rooibos tea. There is a crisp acidity that begins on the front end and carries all the way through. Lithe tannins greet me on the mid palate where the sour cherry theme continues alongside some raspberry and vanilla notes. The finish is quite tart but I get a very defined cherry note and some earthiness- leather and creosote. Overall this is a tasty wine but for $39, it’s a stretch. I’m going 89 points and 3 stars. Drink till 2025 with Pasta or hearty appetizers. Salut….
Number two in the virtual line-up was this Nero D’Avola from Sicily. I wanted to add a relatively unknown varietal to try and introduce new wines to my friends. This one was a steal at $12 and scored highly amongst the attendees. I gave it 89 points and will go with 4 stars. It had some very nice black fruits, good tannic structure and a decent finish of licorice and oak adding to plums. Cellar for up to 6 years. A good wine to have in case you need a quick go-to bottle. Salut….
Pale purple in the glass. The nose gives off violets, black currants, sweet oak and vanilla bean. On the palate it’s just what I expected- dark fruits, woody, fresh and tart. The acidity is delicious in this one, keeps me on my toes. The black fruit core really pushes through the mid palate. There are some barely discernible tannins that finally appear on the finish alongside some wintergreen. Refreshing is the phrase that comes to mind. The tannic bite coupled with the acidity on the finish is really a treat. 88 points, drink now till 2021 with pasta, pizza or charcuterie. 3 stars for this $14 Sangiovese/Cab/Merlot blend. Salut….
I have sat on a few of these bottle of San Felice for a while now because they were not quite ready the last time I drank one in 2017. This bottle is showing a semi opaque medium shade of purple in the glass. Really nice legs are exhibited. The nose has an earthy tone, pomegranate and cherry. I also get cardamom. Interesting. The palate is far more evolved since the last time, really nice dark cherry, rhubarb and spice box. The wine exhibits a really nice acidity that is even and of the right amount. The mouthfeel is really smooth, with a nice warmth that leads into a very delicate tannic frame. The midpalate has more of the red fruits and some dusty earthiness. The finish is very much a cherry affair, with the acidity and tannins really peaking into a dry, mouth puckering ending. It’s a really delicious wine, but not quite there yet. I am seeing evolution, with more to come. The framework will hold this wine up for a long while, giving me time to re-evaluate over the next 10-15 years with the other bottles. Overall I am sticking with my 93 point rating and 5 stars for this $45 Sangiovese. Pairing with spaghetti and sausage meatballs. Salut….
I have become more and more enamored with Brunellos and more importantly the Sangiovese grape of late. I find it a very close parallel to Pinot Noir, which has also risen in my interest. This particular wine is see-through and a light shade of purple. The nose is somewhat muted but I do get some stewed cherry and not much else.The palate is quite lithe with some delicate cherry notes, a touch of cinnamon and some fruit cake. It is very shallow on the flavor depth which makes me wonder if I have an off bottle. The acidity is of medium strength and there are some very light tannins that appear on the mid palate. The finish is mainly Kirsch and some mushroom, bacon and forest floor. It gets better but I am a little surprised at the high scores from some pros versus the lower scores of others. I am going with 88 for this particular bottle but will try another one soon to check on provenance. Drink till 2028. For $60 it’s a 2 star effort. Salut….
Semi opaque medium tint of purple. I get a delicious whiff of black cherry, cedar, tobacco and spice box. On the palate the wine’s visual and nose bely it’s power and structure. It has a very forward stab of fruit alongside a crescendo of tannins that present cherries, lingonberry and leather on the initial palate. The tannins sear my gums and carry me to the midpalate of more stark red fruits and that earthy component. The finish- dry AF, really has some juiciness to it. The cherries are the dominant force battling the astringency. This wine is a cherub, the tannins almost too much at this stage but I feel this wine will evolve in the next 5-10 years. I’m going with 92 points but either decant the hell out of it or put it away for a long time. $30 and 4 stars for this Nebbiolo. Drink from 2024-2034. Salut….
Very light shade of yellow/orange in the glass. The nose offers spiced lemon zest, some green apples and honeysuckle. The palate is crisp, with gobs of the green apple, some citrus and a modicum of acidity. The mid palate softens and has a glycerin-like mouthfeel. The green fruits are alive and well. The tail end gives me a note of hazelnut- intriguing. It’s rather a short finish but it is well balanced. This wine will drink nicely till 2023 and I would pair it with salad Niçoise, herbed chicken breast or even a stir fry. 89 points and 4 stars for this $14 quaffer. Salut….