Pale to medium ruby colored with thick, droopy legs. The nose has aromas of steeped cherry, rose, baking spice, white raspberry, coconut, cherry cola and vanilla bean. The palate is dry with high acidity and medium tannins. Medium (+) bodied I get delicious flavors of cherry, vanilla, coconut, raspberry and spice. It finishes long with a tart cherry note and some lingering, integrated tannins. This is a delicious and mature Sangiovese from the heart of Tuscany. It will cellar well into 2028 and pair beautifully with pasta (duh!) and perhaps a ribeye with Roquefort sauce. It is very pinpoint btw. 93 points from me for this $28 effort makes it a 5 star wine. Salut….
Pale ruby colored, this Sangiovese has lovely aromas of red cherry, tar, rose petals, orange peel, leather, green herbs (dill) and sandalwood. The palate is dry with medium (+) acidity and medium (+) tannins. Medium to full bodied- I get flavors of tart red cherry, leather, rose petal and that dill component. A slight charred oak note follows on at the mid palate and the finish is short. A serviceable Chianti that lacks a real oomph, it gets 89 points from me and for $22 it is a 3 star effort to drink till 2027. Salut….
I have been following the progress of this Sangiovese for a few years now and really enjoyed it alongside charcuterie prior to dinner. I didn’t take notes, only mental observations. It is now mature, with high acidity and melded tannins. The red fruit is joined by leather, rose, cigar box and maduro. Medium bodied, it drinks nicely to a medium finish. You can read about my last tasting here. I’m sticking with the 93 points previously given. It runs $50 now which is still a good deal for well made Brunello. 5 stars. Drink till 2030. Salut….
This is a new one for me- Vin Santo (not to be confused with Vinsanto) is a technique of drying the grapes in the rafters of a shed and pressing the dried grapes later in the season. The must is then sealed in small barrels and left for several years to ferment, slowly, integrating with the barrel and it’s oxygen. Mainly Trebbianno, they also add Sangiovese and Malvasia to the blend. These small barrels are called Carati and are sealed once 70% filled, creating ample air space. This one is now 13 years old and is medium amber colored. The liquid slides down the glass in a watery sheen, versus the traditional legs, which imply a viscous texture is to be expected.
The nose has pronounced aromas of dried apricot, honey, walnuts, hazelnuts, orange marmalade, a touch of bread dough and cream. The palate is medium sweet with medium acidity and full body. Medium alcohol and a mouth coating richness make for a beautiful mouthfeel. The flavors are pronounced- honey, dried apricot and nuts with much less bread/yeast notes. The marmalade is less intense but adds depth. This delicious dessert wine has a decently long finish and gets 92 points from me. I would love some sharp cheese to pair with it and can see it aging nicely till 2030 at the least. I paid $25 for this 5 star sticky and would do it again for the cellar. Yummy stuff. Salut….
If you Google what wine goes with Shepherds pie the answer is Chianti. Seeing as today is St. Patrick’s day, that is exactly what’s going down. This particular bottle is pale to medium ruby in the glass with watery legs denoting a lower alcohol wine at 12.5% ABV. The nose is classic Sangiovese. Cherry, red raspberry, violets, a hint of leather and red licorice. No sign of any oak at this point. The palate is dry with racy acidity and medium (+) tannins. The flavors are shrouded in the tannic grip but I get cherry, mushroom, raspberry, red licorice and a touch of the leather component. Dried herbs and a floral note kick in on the medium length finish- which is very astringent btw. I feel like I am stuffing pouches of black tea bags between my gums. It needs a good aerating or decanting to soften this wine up a touch, it will pair nicely with my ground lamb based dish, cutting the fat nicely. The intensity of this wine’s fruit is the only detractor, the balance is a little off for me. I like it, don’t get me wrong, it’s just a little out of sorts. 89 points for this $15 effort makes it a 3 star wine to drink from 2024-2027. Salut….
This Sangiovese is starting to mature- pale garnet in the glass with thick legs (14% ABV). Pronounced aromas of cherry, leather and strawberry with hints of clove, rooibos tea, garigue and dried herb. The palate is dry and quite tannic. I get lovely crushed cherry, cranberry, pomegranate, strawberry coulis and earthy leather. This wine has juicy acidity and a full body- it’s just now starting to become drinkable. It is a very young wine with great structure and potential for aging that will allow tertiary flavor development. Right now it is still relatively primal. Delicious stuff that has a long finish and rather astringent mouthfeel right now. It will drink beautifully till 2030 and pair well with Italian fare, grilled ribeye or game. 93 points from me for this $40 wine makes it a 5 star effort. Salut….
This Tuscan blend of Petit Verdot and Syrah is a deep shade of ruby, bordering on purple in the glass. The nose has pronounced aromas of violet, black plum, cedar, a touch of fresh funk, spice box and maduro. The palate is quite zippy and fresh. Dry, with gentle tannins and medium acidity it has a medium weight body and yummy flavors. Plum, cedar, spice, maduro ( a dark tobacco), blackberry and that funk- perhaps a mushroom scent? The mouthfeel is staggeringly smooth and delicious. This wine is seamless in its component makeup. The tannins are very nicely integrated, the acidity is balanced and the depth of fruit is great. The finish is medium to long. My only concern is the funk that is very persistent. It is ever present and distracting, knocking a point off the total. Overall this is a very good wine that gets 91 points from me and at $19- 5 stars. I am pairing with meatballs and red sauce. Drink till 2026. Salut….
It’s getting close to Christmas so Moxie ordered Mama Carlino’s Lasagna for our first family dinner with my folks. I needed something with some acidity, grippy tannins and a sour cherry note to go with the pasta. This one is a scant 6 years young and is a light shade of ruby in the glass with watery legs even though it sports a 14% ABV. The nose is typical for Sangiovese- red cherry, leather, cranberry, tobacco, oak, tar, red licorice and something red I cannot quite put a finger on. The palate is truly what I wanted- tart red cherry, great acidity, medium (+) tannins that caress and loads of intermingled red fruit. The oak nuances are present and the wine is starting to develop tertiary notes. Light to medium bodied it is complex and has a refreshing mouthfeel that finishes long. I like this wine, it offers good fruit flavors, structure to age gracefully and is reasonably priced for a Brunello at $40. Getting 90 points from me it is a 4 star effort to drink till 2030 with pasta dishes. Salut….
I would say this wine is of medium opacity and has purple to ruby color. I can smell it a few feet away but as I nose in I get red cherry, leather, dried herbs, smoke and pomegranate. The palate is sour, as expected from this varietal. Juicy acidity and medium tannins give way to flavors of cherry, leather, dusty herbs and oak influences from smoke. This wine is still primal, the red fruit is very prominent whilst the tertiary and secondary flavors and aromas are muted. The sourness is evident till the back end yet the tannins recede somewhat from the opening push. The wine is medium bodied and has a short finish. I think it needs to flesh out a little, it will improve with age. I would eventually pair this wine with Schnitzel, stuffed green peppers or any pasta with red sauce. 89 points from me for this $13 wine make it a 4 star effort. Drink from 2023-2028. Salut….
The finale for the 21st Virtual Wine Tasting was this Super Tuscan blend of Cab Sav, Cab Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. With 6 years of age it is starting to show a touch of garnet in the glass that is 75% opaque. The group were torn on this wine, some liked the tertiary notes, others did not. The combined flavors and aromas of the group include red twizzlers, blackcurrant, blackberry, vanilla, cigar, manure, barnyard, old wood, musty old oak beams, charcoal and some dried herbs. Leather featured on the back end and I found this wine to be more complex on the nose versus the palate. Super smooth tannins get grippy on the finish and we felt the wine had low to medium acidity, medium body with a long finish. It was very layered and balanced, even if the tannins started to kick off on the very tail end. This wine will develop more tertiary notes and has the backbone to cellar for another 10 years easily. It calls for a rustic pasta dish with truffles. It was the big baller of the evening at $70, which makes it a 4 star wine for me at 92 points. Salut….