The Nebbiolo grape is very deceiving. In the glass it is see-through and pale garnet in color yet I know what to expect when we first taste this one. The nose gives me gobs of red cherry, cranberry, strawberry, spice and some caramel. On the palate it’s exactly what I was expecting and hoping for. Richly tannic, mouthwateringly acidic and delicious with red fruits galore. Cherries, strawberries, mouth searing tannins, and enough acidity to melt nuts and bolts. The mid palate allows the fruit to shine whilst the tannins and acid step aside momentarily. The finish is a really dry affair but I still get red fruits- the tannins are searing. This young wine needs a bunch of time in the cellar or a good aerating. It will last a long time if cellared correctly and will hopefully gain some tertiary flavors as we have already seen with a touch of Caramel on the nose,( which did not translate onto the palate). 93 points for me make this a big wine. At $40, it’s at the lower end for most good Barolos and gets 5 stars from me. Drink from 2025 to 2035. Salut….
This Barolo is relatively young at five years but I wanted to try it. In the glass it’s almost got a touch of orange and is completely see-through. The nose is intriguing with cherry, sandalwood and a little bit of Bergamot. The initial palate is definitely fruity with some astringency hitting my gums right off the bat. Very strong cherry flavors alongside cedar notes and black tea. The tannins are really starting to grip on the midpalate but I am enjoying the bright red fruit flavors that accompany. Towards the finish I get more of a cola taste with some lively acidity to balance or attempt to balance the very dense tannins. 91 points for this young Nebbiolo blend that runs $30 making it a 4 star effort. Drink from 2022 till 2027 with pasta, steaks or grilled poultry. Salut….
I asked the group to decant this Nebbiolo for several hours before we met for tasting #15. I did not want to fight with a tannic beast and felt it best to go against my norm and give it a chance to soften. As expected from this varietal it was see-through with nice legs and showing a touch of bricking already. On the nose we got truffle, pepper, chocolate, dried cherry, tobacco, earth and it smelled ‘dry’. On the palate it was kinda blah. Tart cherry, tobacco and not much else going on. It was very disappointing from the hype generated by the reviews. I was hoping for a rich, beefy wine that would show off the grape but was let down. Overall I will go with 89 points and 2 stars for this $34 wine. Drink till 2028. Salut….
This young Nebbiolo is 50% opaque and has a beautiful crimson hue in the glass. Thick legs bely the potent 15% alcohol. On the nose I get cranberries, cherry, anise and leather- textbook. On the palate it is delicious, if not young. The tannins are formidable but I manage to break through the barrier and taste Bing cherries, leather, espresso and black tea. The tannins are gripping on the mid-palate, so much so that the top of my gums feel abused by rough hewn rope. The finish is a terrifically dry affair but the red fruits come through as does a balancing acidity. This is a delicious infant of a monster wine. With proper aeration, decating or extended cellaring it will soften and develop into a beautiful bottle. For now, you will need to pair it with a fatty meat, like I am with Rack of Lamb- or decant over a full day. 93 points from me as I see the potential in this wine and look forward to our next meeting. At $55 it is typically priced for a Barolo, which are never cheap. I am going with 5 stars as I think this one will reward some patience and be delicious by 2025. Drink till 2033. Salut….
This Sangiovese was second up at the virtual wine tasting. At 7 years of age it is already showing signs of maturity with bricking on the meniscus it is semi opaque with a lovely shade of purple and long legs in the glass. The nose blew me away. I was astounded that such a young wine could already show nuances of leather, earth, cordial cherry, cinnamon and spice box. The palate was a slight disappointment after smelling this beauty- the flavors were not quite as powerful but we still got Luxardo cherries, Angostura bitters, leather, tobacco and spice. Grippy tannins reminded us that this wine is technically still young but they are offset by some juicy acidity. Yummy stuff overall that scored a monster 19 on my system. Had there been a touch more body and concentration of fruit it would have hit the magical 20. Overall it gets 92 points from me and at $45- 5 stars. I would buy again and drink till 2028. Salut….
I am looking forward to this Sangiovese, which will pair with grilled Lamb chops, Prosciutto wrapped asparagus and boiled carrots. It shows a deep red yet see-through hue in the glass which can be expected of the varietal. On the nose I get loads of cherry, strawberry and red licorice. The palate is stupendous- rich red fruit compote, leather, great acidity and very fine grained tannins. The cherry component is very red, the strawberry giving way to pomegranate and cranberry. Oak use is very deft and the juiciness of the acidity is on pointe. The mid palate adds a spicy component and some tar. The tannins are starting to grip as well. On the long finish I still get red cherry and that tartness from currants and cranberries. This is quite a rich, layered wine with much complexity. I am really enjoying it and the thought of charred Lamb with the cut of this wine- it’s going to be amazing. Whilst a touch young, if you like them a little dry and fresh then drink now. Cellaring for a few years will reward and I will imagine this wine can last till 2030 at the least. 92 points from me and 5 stars for this $40 stunner. Salut….
Here’s the scene- it’s Christmas Eve, Moxie is making her grandmother’s famous Holiday Crunch for dinner (a pasta casserole) and I am having to pick between four different bottles to try. Eenie meenie moe and voila- the Vino Rosso beats the Barolo, the Gigondas and the Cab Franc.
No idea what the blend is until I pour the wine, it’s gotta be a Sangiovese. Light purple, totally see through and obviously Italian. The nose gives me muted cherry, raspberry and cedar plank. On the palate it is very soft and easy drinking. Strawberry and cherry give it away. Very little tannin make this super light weight and easy without any astringency or acid. The mid palate is a red fruit melange plus some plum that takes me to the short lived finish. Right at the very end I sense some acidity taking hold, but it’s not jaw dropping. A tasty wine that will go well with our pasta dish which normally gets smothered in hot sauce. 86 points and 2 stars for this $19 charmer. Drink now. Salut….
The finale for the 12th virtual wine tasting was a stunner. Dark purple, opaque and very powerful on the nose. Spice box, vanilla, cocoa powder, black cherry and jam were all noted as was, dare I say- plastic and banana. The palate gave us black fruit jam, black tea bursting with beautiful tannins that really coated the mouth. This wine was delicious and I made note that the oak use was very judicious and well played. There was a shot of pepper on the short finish, which took a few points off the table. Still young, it will develop nicely and drink well till 2030. I’m going lower than the pros with 92 points and 5 stars. $50 is not cheap, but this wine has loads of stuffing to it and will get better with time. Salut….
Semi opaque with deep red color and thin legs in the glass. On the nose I get cherry, cinnamon, juniper and oak. The palate has got cherry juice, blood orange and fruit cake notes with some lovely tannins to give it a touch of dryness. There’s a hint of astringency on the mid palate that quickly fades into a juicy finish that gives me rhubarb and cherry flavors along with that touch of wood. A delicious, lighter style of Sangiovese that will drink well into 2025. I’m pairing it with Chicken Alfredo. 89 points and 4 stars for this $17 wine. Salut….
This wine was the third offering at the 11th Virtual Wine Tasting. I have drunk an absolute ton of this wine from earlier vintages and was really looking forward to introducing the Ripasso style of winemaking to my friends. Unfortunately, this wine has been a letdown of late. See my previous posts on the Zenato Ripasso.
Our tasters said the following: Semi opaque, dark purple. On the nose- Blackberry jam, rich nose, floral, black licorice, peppery, leather, lilac. On the palate, berry. Sweeter that expected. Sharp finish. Spicy, green pepper, berry. Velvety but slightly bitter on the back end. Iodine and leather for the finish.
I was underwhelmed and am giving this wine 89 points yet again. For $25 it’s a solid 3 pointer but there are far better wines to spend that kind of loot on. Drink till 2025. Salut….