Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cavalierino Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2007 DOCG

Snuggled between the historical towns of Montepulciano and Pienza just south of Siena, Cavalierino wines are produced by Aurelio Busani and family. Organically farmed Sangiovese, Prugnolo Gentile, and Canaiolo are fermented in steel vats, aged in Tonneau barrels for 3 years with a minimum of 6 months in bottle.

Deep ruby colors, this is a rich complex red, the blend lending opulent fresh fruit character, echoing the fruits in berries, raspberries, and then plum... mingling with a musky farmyard aroma, hints of cinnamon, pepper, and vanilla with firm tannins and a fine finish.

Sampled this at Vino 2010 Italian Wine Week at the Waldorf Astoria.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Cantina Bergamasca's Akros Valcalepio Rosso Riserva 2005 at Enoteca Di Palo

This week I attended a tasting at Enoteca Di Palo where Lou Di Palo and son Sam run a well stocked wine shop loaded with hand picked value driven Italian wines. Sam visits Italy quite often and has the opportunity to pick his favorites. They showcased wines from Cantina Bergamasca, Valcalepio vineyards located in the area between Lake Como and Lake Iseo in the province of Bergamo, in the region of Lombardy. And DiPalo's matched the wines with polenta, salumi, cheeses, panini's, rice balls and many other small dishes that complimented the wines perfectly.

I really enjoyed the Valcalepio Rosso Riserva which is a 50-50 blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, vinified separately in stainless steel tanks, then a minimum aging of 3 years in French oak casks, and finally 3 months in bottle. For the Riserva they selected several vineyards where the growers reduced the crop quite significantly to improve quality. Only the best ripened grapes were used to make this wine, since the long maceration during the winemaking process allow to extract all the poliphenolic compounds from the skins.

Exhibiting deep ruby colors mingling with a rich texture, there is a dense vibrancy of aromas ranging from cassis and blueberry to marzipan, and herbs. The palate shows a sturdy structure with cola, toasted vanilla bean, spice, a lively acidity and a fine finish.

There were 4 other wines represented and I will talk about them later.

Enoteca is right next door to Di Palo Fine Foods Store at 200 Grand Street in Little Italy, NYC.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Campochiarenti Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG Riserva 2006

From Colli Senesi in Tuscany, this blend of hand picked 85% Sangiovese, 8% Canaiolo, 5% Colorino and 2% Merlot grapes is fermented in glazed cement basins, aged for 20 months in oak barrels, then refined in bottle for at least 4 months.

Compact textures with aromas of mild spices and dried violets, supported on the palate by blueberry, vanilla, and sweet wood mingled with powdered cherries, and an opulent, lingering finish.

Sampled this at Vino 2010 Italian Wine Week at the Waldorf Astoria.

Santa Sofia Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico Gioe 2003

From one of the most prestigious DOC regions in Veneto, the Valpolicella, the Begnoni family produces this fantastic Amarone by drying the grapes for 90 to 120 days, aging for 36 months in Slovenian oak and then 12 months in Allier oak, and finally 8-12 months in bottle, the blend is 65% Corvina, 30% Rondinella and 5% Molinara with 15% alcohol.

Vibrant ruby red in the glass showing powerful aromas woven with black cherries, floral accents and vanilla laid over spicy smoked dried fruits and licorice, nicely balanced, cherry pie and chocolate lingering on a velvety finish.

Sampled this at Vino 2010 Italian Wine Week at the Waldorf Astoria.

Friday, January 21, 2011

M. Wells: a Diner... but also a Culinary Gem... in Long Island City

Opened in July of 2010 by husband-and-wife team Hugue Dufour from Montreal’s Au Pied de Cochon, and Sarah Obraitis, M. Wells is a rebirth of an old Long Island City diner. Right out of the chute the word on the street was all good, and six months later they were cited by the New York Times in a piece called “10 Restaurants Worth a Plane Ride”. It’s taken me as long to finally go there, but today at last I managed and was glad to see my friend Brian working the grill.

Ranging from breakfast dishes like Egg & Sausage Sandwich, Bacon & Hash and Maple Syrup Ploye (Buckwheat Crepes), to American/Comfort dishes like Hamburger, Hotdog, and Maine Shrimp, to ethnic dishes like Cubano Sandwich, Fish n’ Chips, Tortilla Espanola, Beef Tartar, and Tourtiere, to salads, desserts, and Wine & Beer.

Chef Brian Jones started me out with Grilled Pickled Pork Tongue with Mustard and Soda Crackers, followed by a delicious twist on a Cubano sandwich, that’s Roasted Pork, Mortadella, Pickles and Gruyere, paired with a glass of Morgon Cote du Py, a fresh Beaujolais with aromas of red fruits and flint and acidic flavors of pomegranate and raspberries with mild tannins and finish. I’m no authority on Cubano sandwiches, but I have had a few in my lifetime, and can honestly say this was the best one I ever had.

Interior space has its share of stainless steel, mingled with a light and cool pastel color palette, blue formica countertop, a modern chandelier, and a great old wall of herbs and spices.

The service is spot on, friendly and warm, and prices are very fair. Presently they’re open from 10am-4pm Tuesday to Sunday, but soon will be open for dinner… I will keep you posted on when that will be.

M. Wells, 21-17 49th Avenue, LIC, (718) 425-6917 is definitely worth a visit.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Egervin Bulls Blood Egri Bikaver 2005 Hungary

Bulls Blood, Blaufrankisch, or Bikaver is a northeast Hungarian red blend of at least three grapes, traditionally Kadarka (but not used as much nowadays), so mainly Kekfrankos, Kekoporto plus Cabernet Sauvignon or Zweigelt. It's my first Hungarian wine, and it really impressed me as a good inexpensive ($7.99) everyday wine.

Rustic barnyard aromas, black plum, smoked bacon, and licorice with flavors of stewed prunes, blackberry jam, a spicy finish with fresh acidity and very mild tannins.

To see another post about this wine and others for under $10 see the kitchn.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Dino Torti Forza Inter Barbera 2007 DOC

This red wine from Oltrepo Pavese is aged in French barriques, shows deep ruby red hues, aromas of black cherry, toffee, and chocolate, and a bit of dried plump figs, on a lusty base of damp forest floor. The attractive bouquet is complimented by flavors of coffee, grass, tea, olive, cranberry, blueberry and black currant, and framed by a nice acidity, smooth tannins and long finish.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Three Years of Wine Tasting

Well, tomorrow will make it three years since I started this wine blog.

Looking back over 2010 I noticed a wider range of topics, besides the hundreds of wine reviews, there were many other interesting posts about private dinners and tastings, homemade wines, sustainable farming, pairing wines with Thai cuisine, new wine shops like The Wine Hut, new wine bars like Pudding Stones, restaurants like Trattoria Toscana, 6 Roses for Thanksgiving, The Gambero Rosso Tasting, the wines of Spain and an interview with Adolfo Folonari.

I'm working to cover more topics in 2011 and maybe even explore other media like video. I'd also like to invite you all to contribute any of your tasting notes this year, and wish to thank you for following so faithfully.

Happy New Year,

Dave Trieger
Vigna Uva Vino

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Gimenez Riili Perpetuum Torrontes 2010 Argentina

Refreshing and upbeat. Light straw coloring, tropical and floral aromas with hints of pineapple and lemon zest, plus a spirited, almost carbonated sensation on the tongue, and finishing with a bit of vanilla and pastry cream. Retails for about $15 and contains 13% alcohol.

Monday, January 10, 2011

McManis Family Vineyards Pinot Noir 2009 California

On the fruity side, but intriguing aromas happening here, playful Jolly Rancher black raspberry, a sweet varnish, deep barnyard, damp earth, viscous tar and soy sauce, while flavors of cranberry and dusty strawberry play on the palate with tomato and a slight acidity reflecting on sides of tongue.

Another winner recommended by Carolina at The Wine Room of Forest Hills for about $12 a bottle, not bad for a Pinot Noir, 13.5% alcohol.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Las Perdices Pinot Noir Reserva 2008 Argentina

Las Perdices (The Partridges) from Mendoza, Argentina showing dark colors of plum with ruby around the edges of the glass, this Pinot Noir has tones of red raspberry, plum, black cherry, rosewater and strawberry jam dancing on the nose along with a slightly gamey quality. A medium weight supporting subtle flavors of pomegranate, rhubarb pie, and stone dust, nice acidity, and finishing with blue fruits and white pepper. $22

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Angeline Pinot Noir 2009

This California Pinot Noir shows fresh aromas of green pepper, wild strawberry, cranberry, green olive, bacon, tar and varnish, with ripe berry flavors. A very decent $13.99 pricetag and a screwtop. Not bad at all.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Carlo Pellegrino Passito di Pantelleria DOC 2009

From the island of Pantelleria, off Sicily’s southern coast, Moscato of Alexandria (locally known as Zibibbo) grapes are grown in soil composed of volcanic black lava rocks under a thin layer of unirrigated topsoil.

The wine is made from the must of very ripe Moscato grapes whose fermentation has been stopped by adding pure alcohol. At least 20% of the naturally dried grapes are added to the must. Three junctures of Muscat grapes are used in the production, fresh harvested grapes, sun-dried grapes (uva passa), and semi-dried grapes (uva passolata), making it a very labor intensive process.

This dessert wine is extremely complex and delectable to the senses, having a substantial bouquet of honey, apricot, peaches, raisin, date, burnt marshmallow, fig, toasted almonds, marzipan, straw, orange blossom, butterscotch and caramel. The long and satisfying finish makes all that labor worthwhile.

Reference: Robert Camuto's Palmento
Can be found at The Wine Room of Forest Hills

Monday, January 3, 2011

Bressia Profundo 2006 Argentina

OMG. What a powerful first impression?! This wonderful red reminds me why I love wine so much.

From Mendoza, Argentina the Bressia family produces this blend of 50% Malbec, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 10% Syrah. Spending 10 months in French and American oak barrels, then aging in bottle for 12 months, this beauty shows dark ruby with purple undertones coloring the glass, with aromas of cinnamon, strawberry, blackberry, caramel, and chocolate. On the palate sensuous waves of nutty vanilla coming from the oak barrels, flowing over hints of tobacco, and jammy, lush red cherries. Sumptuously textured and revealing a complex and memorable finish.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Avignonesi Toscana Rosso 2006 IGT

From Montepulciano this ruby red SuperTuscan blend of 40% Prugnello Gentile (Sangiovese), 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot brings bright red fruits, ripe plums, coca-cola, prunes, blueberry, spices, pepper, smooth and balanced.