Sunday, January 31, 2010

Terralsole Rosso di Montalcino 2005 DOC

Ah, yes, this would be a nice bottle to have stashed away under the rubble, yes, one from Tuscany and made with 100% Sangiovese Grosso, aged 8 months in French oak, then 4 months in bottle. Really beautiful aromas of black currant, black cherries, a slight gaminess but opening nicely with exotic flavors and clean acidity. Flavors from the earth, alive and well.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Navarro Marco Real Tempranillo 2005

This big red Tempranillo from the Navarro region of Spain has deep red colors, and strong meaty aromas with strawberries, dried cherries and earthtones. A bit high on the acidity, with flavors of V8 juice, raspberry, spice, dried herbs and leather.

Finish is very dry, with strong tannins, 14% alcohol content and $9.99/bottle in NYC. A bit tight when first opened, next day a little better, drank this on it's own, might be better with food like a roast chicken dish.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sorry about not posting....

I've been under the weather this week, but I'm back and will be posting again soon.

Vigna Uva Vino

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Kris Heart Merlot 2007 IGT Sicilia

Kris Heart produces this 100% Merlot with grapes grown in vineyards south of Palermo, aging in a combination of stainless steel tanks and barriques for 6 months, before bottling and blending in their Alto Adige Winery.

Fresh fruit and clean aromas of red berries, with earthy tones and deep garnet colors. A good food wine with soft tannins and a nice acidity, 13.5% alcohol and in the $10 price range. Recommended by Carolina at The Wine Room of Forest Hills.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Castellani Poggio al Casone La Cattura 2007 Toscana IGT

Castellani is using organic methods of winemaking, aging 12 months in French oak barrels, and blending 85% Teroldego and 15% Syrah grapes from Poggio al Casone estates.

A wild intensity and deep violet aromas do an herbal dance around floral flavors, green peppers, cassis and dark chocolate, with licorice accents and a waft of animal, moving gracefully to a smooth, mellow, and silky rosewater finish.

For so young a wine this one shows a maturity and texture that can only get better with time.

Paired perfectly with a simple dish of whole wheat "Pasta Arrabiata" (tomatoes, onions & red peppers), which I think worked well because of the common thread, peppers.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

2 Years and 428 Posts Later...

Wow! I can't believe it's been 2 years already.

What started out as a hobby for me on January 14th, 2008 has grown into an absorbing and sometimes obsessive long term project. I've met so many people who share my passion and I need to take a minute to thank all of you who follow my posts and show so much interest in the wine world. Thanks for getting involved and commenting on posts, whether or not you agree with them. Thanks for linking to my page, friending me on Facebook, Twitter, Stumble Upon, etc. Thanks for keeping me on my toes, and trusting me to find what's out there at a bargain.

It's been a total blast for me!

I look forward to the new decade and promise I will try to do more to help find the perfect wine for you! And please, I will gladly take any suggestions about how to improve the site.

Grazie Mille,
Dave Trieger

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Poggio al Casone Chianti Riserva DOCG 2005

This organic vineyard is located in the Hills of Pisa, in the district of Crespina of the Colline Pisane production zone in Tuscany.

This 100% Sangiovese Chianti Riserva is aged in large oak casks for two years with further aging in bottle. On the nose heady herbal notes preview earthy aromas laced with blackberries, dark chocolate, licorice, and a medium weight. Flavors of ripe sour cherries, roasted nuts, dark perfumed summer fruits, then coming full circle back to the licorice on the back-end. Finishes with a bright acidity and a pleasant balance with mild tannins... a very easy drinking but delicious wine, 12.5% alcohol.

I paired this with a dinner of Peruvian roasted chicken with a spicy green salsa and avocado salad, and saved some wine to try with a wedge of Peruvian dark chocolate. I know chocolate and red wine isn't the easiest pairing in the world but I thought this one worked really well.

Full disclosure: This bottle was a complimentary sample for Vigna Uva Vino from Poggio al Casone.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Francis Coppola Diamond Collection Black Label Claret 2007 California

Grapes from Napa, Sonoma and El Dorado make up this Claret (or English Bordeaux) blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot, 4% Merlot, 4% Malbec and 3% Cabernet Franc. Aged 16 months in French oak, oozing aromas of licorice, and vanilla, with an almost perfect contrast of flavors showing dark chocolate, strawberries, roasted coffee, chalk or white pepper, ripe sour cherries and prunes. A very generous finish displays itself via a robust rich texture and silky tannins. 13% alcohol and in the $15-20 range. Very nice.

Winemaker's notes:
The 2007 vintage got underway earlier than most years as a result of premature bud break. This occurred because of an unseasonably warm winter. The season lasted longer than normal as well because of prolonged moderate temperatures. These conditions were ideal for creating physiologically perfect fruit, which is why winemakers have declared this one of the best vintages of the decade. Our Claret is always elegant, but this year it’s a true show stopper; lush with a beautiful tapestry of smooth tannins, intense flavor, and seductive aromas. With a deep crimson color, this wine gives way to aromas of blackberries, plums and vanilla cream while flavors of wild berries, cherries, spice and mocha dance on the palate.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Dinner & Tasting with Eric & Deborah

We were invited to dinner this weekend by my friends Eric & Deborah along with their two beautiful girls, Violet and Dahlia, while Eric put on his chef's hat to make a simple, but delicious made-from-scratch penne alla vodka. Throughout the evening we sampled a broad spectrum of 5 wonderful wines, 1 Italian white, 3 Italian reds and 1 California Cab. Rita and I enjoyed the evening and the company too much to take extensive tasting notes, but I did text myself a few lines. Well, here they are.

Trentino Traminer Aromatico Casato Montfort 2004
Varietal: Gewürztraminer
Region: Trentino
Aged 5 months in steel vats and 3 months in bottle. Good body, with intense aromas of lychee, pineapple, apple, incredibly balanced and smooth, the nose and palate interact very well.

Cataldi Madonna Montepulciano 2007 DOC
Varietal: Montepulciano
Stewed prunes, raisins, ripe cherries, granny smith apples, and spices with a brisk acidity.

Andrea Oberto Barbera d'Alba 2008 DOC
Cherry pie, red berries, blackberries, tobacco, polished.

Feudo di San Nicola Negroamaro 2004 IGT Puglia
Smoky candy, ripe cherries, blueberries, strawberries, and spicy on the finish.

Pride Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
70% form Napa, 30% from Sonoma with a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot. Violets, lavendar, cassis, blueberries, chewy, blue fruits, oak, balanced, nice acidity, structured tannins. This wine is an excellent fruit forward California Cabernet.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Italy's Icons and Rising New Stars

On a cold and blustery January Saturday, Italian Wine Merchants hosted a tasting series called Italy’s Icons and Rising Stars, which I attended with both old and new friends. It began as a low-key and reserved afternoon that quickly turned boisterous—complete with exploding glasses, spurting wine and contagious laughter.

Bruno Giacosa Spumante Brut 2004 DOC
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Region: Lombardia

Bruno Giacosa, known more for his Barolo and Barbaresco in the Piedmont region makes this Spumante Brut in the neighboring Lombardy region. Made from 100% Pinot Noir in the traditional Champagne style, fermented in stainless steel followed by secondary fermentation in bottle and hand riddling, the wine ages on the lees for a period of 24 to 30 months prior to release.

Loaded with ripe fruits, showing a dry minerality, citrus notes, a hint of fresh bread and heady floral aromas.

Giuseppe Quintarelli Bianco Secco Ca' del Merlo 2007 IGT
Varietal: Garganega Blend
Region: Veneto

Here we see Quintarelli, a master of wine known for his Valpolicella, Recioto and Amarone, delving into a Bianco Secco, an interesting blend of Garganega, Trebbiano Toscano, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Saorin (the last of which, meaning "flavor" in Veronese dialect, and believed to be a clone of the Tocai grape).

Crisp and full flavors abundant with fresh aromatics of green apple, lemon rind, lychee, honey and minerals, and finishing long and smooth.

Bodega Chacra Pinot Noir Rio Negro Barda 2007
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Region: Patagonia, Argentina

Piero Incisa della Rocchetta hails from one of the great Italian wine families -- the Rocchetta family is responsible for the planting of Sassacaia, and with the release of their first vintage in 1968, was able to convince the wine world of the high quality of Italian wines. In 2004, Piero purchased a vineyard in Patagonia Argentina which is now Bodega Chacra in order to produce Pinot Noir.

Hand destemmed, macerated in cement tanks, then in oak barrels for 11 months, this is a fruit forward, dense and well structured Pinot with aromas of tar, oak and smoke, textured with earthy flavors and a mineral character.

Punica Montessu 2007
Varietal: Carignan Blend
Region: Sardegna

From Giacomo Tachis of Sassicaia fame comes this Super-Sardegnian blend of 60% Carignano, with 10% each of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Syrah. Fermented in cement vats, aged in French oak barriques for 18 months and finally 12 months in bottle.

This was one of my favorites of the tasting and seems to me like a great value at $32 per bottle. A nose of violets, herbs and white pepper, and a ripe profile of plums, blueberries and even a little peach.

Talenti Rosso di Montalcino 2007
Varietal: Sangiovese
Region: Toscana

Made from grapes harvested from younger Brunello vines, this wine matures in oak barriques for two years and in bottle for one. Aromas of red ripe cherries and animal, with flavors bringing to mind Port wine, plums and cherries.

Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2004
Varietal: Sangiovese Grosso
Region: Toscana

Aged in French oak barrels for 3 years before aging in bottle for 12 months. Tar, smoke, oak, chalk, cola, leather and plums, all come together to form a fine classic Brunello.

The good company: David, Sarena, Alicia, Kathy, Robin & Allen.

(Stay tuned... Two more wines to come from this tasting, and more pix.)

Bartolo Mascarello Barbera d'Alba 2007 DOC
Varietal: Barbera d'Alba
Region: Piemonte

Deep ruby colors with complex aromas and palate of ripe cherries, chocolate, violet candies, herbs, coffee, smoked meats.

A&GN Fantino Barolo 'Vigna dei Dardi' Nebbiolo Piemonte 1995
Varietal: Nebbiolo
Region: Piemonte

Aged 12 months in stainless steel followed by 12 moths in bottle, ripe black cherries, with a spicy edge and smooth texture.