Posts in Italy
Barone Ricasoli – Castello di Brolio Duo

What a fascinating comparison of a Riserva and a Gran Selezione from the same cellar and vintage! There is a clear sibling resemblance via the fervent focus on savoriness. I would love to taste these again together in five then in ten years time to see how they evolve. I am confident that neither will disappoint.

Read More
A San Marzano of a Different Provenance

The words San Marzano – to me – conjure up those delicate-skinned, super sweet, lower acidity plum tomatoes that are the darlings of so many scrumptious pasta sauces. So, I felt sheepish when I learned that the San Marzano cooperative is not based in Campania, like the (arguably) world’s most famous tomatoes, but rather on the Salento Peninsula – the heel of the Italian “boot”. Mea culpa.

Read More
Grace, Harmony & Approachability from Tenute Cisa Asinari dei Marchesi di Gresy

Barbaresco Martinenga 2014: This is ballerina-like, elegant and deceitfully feathery-feeling for a (usually husky) 14.5% abv wine. To this point, its lighter-weight style might disappoint those hoping for a more bruising – more typically robust – style of young Barbaresco. However, those are far more commonplace – and more intellectual rather than enjoyable early on, so it is a true pleasure and relief to taste this beauty from Marchesi di Gresy.  

Read More
La Valentina Abrusseze Trio

Pecorino Colline Pescaresi 2017: I’ve been tasting more and more Pecorinos – and many good ones – in the last three or four years. They’re a great addition to the white offerings of Abruzzo, which can be a little tiring when Trebbiano is the only option. This is a dynamo of a flavorful and harmonious wine, and I’d easily drink it on a regular basis. Moreover, this is wildly, wildly good deal at just $16 retail.

Read More
Tenuta Regaleali’s Latest Releases

Most of all, I was impressed by the nobility and longevity of the wines. In almost every wine there was a hard core, Sicilian determination that aimed to survive against all adverse expectations. Each time I taste a new vintage, I find the same character. If you’re looking for fruit-driven, easy wines, move along. These aren’t those wines. The wines of Tenuta Regaleali are thoughtful, even pensive, wines of integrity that require “listening to” to fully appreciate.

Read More
New Releases from Marco Felluga & Russiz Superiore

Marco Felluga 2014 Bianco Collio Molamatta: Named for its physical location, this is a true Super Friulian blend composed of 40% Pinot Bianco, 40% Tocai Friulano and 20% Ribolla Gialla. This striking blend delivers great harmony, not speaking of a particular grape variety but nodding toward fine terroir and good craftsmanship.

Read More
Trio of Adami Proseccos

The Adami family has been making single vineyard wines for 85 years. That’s remarkable considering that the region is known for its blended wines. Moreover only a decade into production, founder Abele Adami realized the superiority of hillside vineyards. It’s been all about the hills, or the “rive” in Italian, ever since.

My number one take away from this tasting is how remarkably finessed the impression of the bubbles are in all of the wines.

Read More
Garofoli Eyes Greatness

About 12 years ago, I vividly remember tasting a non-Friulian, Italian white under $20 that was head turning. It was a Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi. I was taken aback as non-Friulian Italian whites didn’t usually excite me. Yes, there were some exceptions, but for the rest, I largely clumped Italian whites together as “high acid and lightly bitter, lemony and nutty.”

Read More
Fontanafredda 2013 Barolo Duo

On the first night, I was surprised to find that this was an unremarkable set of wines. The next night, however, the wines began to expand in the glass and show more verve. If you can’t bear to wait, give them an aggressive splash decanting a few hours before serving them. In their current state, these Piedmont bottlings are definitely wines for a table laden with hearty fare.

Read More
Soave Single Vineyard Wines

Rocca Sveva 2015 Soave Castelcerino: YES! This is a delightfully full-flavored wine with oodles of lemony acidity balancing the creamy, custardy palate. The beautifully scented nose starts with heather and anise then veers into Canary melon, Meyer lemon, pomelo and mirabelle plums on the rather weighty (for Soave) palate.

Read More
Sixty Harvests + Five Native Grape Varieties = 100% Piemontese

The family-run Michele Chiarlo has been harvesting native Piemontese grape varieties for over sixty years. Today, Stefano and Alberto, the sons of Michele, run the winery. I taste the Chiarlo wines from time to time, admittedly mostly at industry tastings. So, I appreciated this opportunity to “work through” a bottle of the family’s Barbera over a leisurely dinner.

Read More
Tremendous Value in Alto Adige

I love wines from Alto Adige. Lodged between the rest of Italy and Austria - with a sliver of its borders against Switzerland, the region’s producers craft wines with Italian exuberance and Austrian precision. Moreover, the dynamics of the Alpine duo of chilly temperatures and sunshine taste delicious in the glass.

Read More