Monday, February 28, 2011

Realce Bobal Reserva 2004 at Wines From DO Manchuela

The Manchuela region has been an overlooked wine producing area of Spain, but last week I got to experience some of their outstanding wines. Even though they have been making wine there for centuries, it was only in 2000 when they became recognized as a (D.O.) Denomination of Origin.

The first grape you should know about is the Bobal, which really defines the region. It is a grape with medium size bunches, spherical dark blue berries, and generally high in tannins and with medium acidity. Even though the Bobal is very well suited for the production of Rose wines, the first one I'd like to talk about is a red called Realce Bobal Reserva 2004.

Made from 100% Bobal grapes, fermented in stainless steel tanks, then in French and American oak barrels for 18 months before bottling, ruby colors and burnt umber around the glass rim, initial aromas are of stewed fruits with cola and ripe cherries. On the palate intense raisins but as if reduced in a vanilla sauce, supple with spices and fruity texture and nice long finish.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Il Bastardo Sangiovese Rosso di Toscana 2009 IGT

From the Rufina area of Tuscany, near Florence comes this good everyday wine with dark ruby/purple colors. Made from Sangiovese grapes by consulting winemaker Paolo Masi, having aromas of cranberry, blackberry and raspberry with flavors of green pepper and prune, and showing medium acidity with decent tannins and fruit finish. About $8 at Pops in Island Park, NY.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Vinos Santa Ema Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 D.O. Maipo Valley Chile

Harmonious aromas of vanilla, glycerine, black cherry and plum set against semi sweet flavors of ripe blackberry and dried fig. What follows are indulgent finishing touches of eucalyptus, bacon and cinnamon.

For such a young and inexpensive ($8) wine this is a super value, I'd call this a very good everyday wine.

Barone Ricasoli Chianti Classico Castello di Brolio 2007 DOCG

Recently selected by Wine Spectator as one of the five best wines in the world, made with grapes grown in the area of Gaiole in Chianti, Tuscany, this blend of 80% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon is matured in new barrels and casks for 18 months.

Violets with spicy aromas, plump ripe fruits, and nuances of chocolate and cherry echo a wafting of smoke, while complex flavors of caramel, tar and mineral mingle in an elegant expression of this historic vineyard.

Sampled at the Gambero Rosso "Tre Bicchieri" event at the Metropolitan Pavilion in NYC.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tenuta San Guido Guidalberto 2008 IGT Tuscany

The Tenuta San Guido Guidalberto is a supple blend of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot and 10% Sangiovese, aged for 12 months in French and American barriques and refined for three months in bottles, intense violet colors with contrasting subtle floral aromas of dark fruit, ripe cherry, violets, caramel, vanilla, while on the palate vibrant raspberry, blueberry, and licorice. Excellent balance, round and soft.

Sampled at the Gambero Rosso "Tre Bicchieri" event at the Metropolitan Pavilion in NYC.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tenuta San Guido Bolgheri Sassacaia 2007 DOC

The blend is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc, aged in French Oak Barriques for 24 months and six months in bottle.

Enticing aromatics of cigar box and spicy smoke, a ripe fruit bouquet of black cherry and plum, with seductive vestiges of herbal sachet, vanilla, glycerine, spices, and even earthy hints of tar.

Complex and perfectly balanced tannins, ending with an extremely long and velvety finish.

Sampled at the Gambero Rosso "Tre Bicchieri" event at the Metropolitan Pavilion in NYC.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Marchesi Antinori Solaia 2007 IGT

From vines adjacent to the Tignanello vineyards this Super Tuscan is made from 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Sangiovese with 5% Cabernet Franc, and only produced in exceptional years. Aged for 12 months in new French oak barriques and 12 months in bottle.

Full bodied with intense aromas of plum and summer fruits, black pepper, coffee, chocolate, and flavors of vanilla, wet slate, black cherry and licorice. On the tongue tannins are soft and expertly balanced with a long captivating finish.

Sampled at the Gambero Rosso "Tre Bicchieri" event at the Metropolitan Pavilion in NYC.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Fattoria di Felsina-Berardenga Chianti Classico Rancia Riserva 2007 DOCG

Back in 2006, when I took a cycling trip through Tuscany, I spent a few days in the quiet countryside of Castelnuovo Berardenga, where Sangiovese reigns. The Felsina tradition of exploring the full potential of that noble grape is expressed in this aromatic and complex, but balanced red wine. And this being a Riserva, a moniker given to only the best of vintages, harvested by hand, aged in small and medium oak barrels for 12-18 months and in bottle for 6-10 months.

Rich and aromatic, with spices, tobacco and coffee on the nose, an underlying floral freshness, hints of cappuccino, chocolate and vanilla laid over caramel, red berries and varnished wood on the back of the palate. Finely structured with an opulent quality.

Sampled at the Gambero Rosso "Tre Bicchieri" event at the Metropolitan Pavilion in NYC.

I didn't have a useable photo of the 2007, so I took one of a 2006 I had in my stock (above left).

Label photo on right contributed thanks to Eric Guido at Gambero Rosso Event.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Castello Monsanto Chianti Classico Il Poggio Riserva 2006

Located in Monsanto-Barberino Val d'Elsa, Florence, produced mainly with grapes of Sangiovese (90%) but with a blend of Colorino and Canaiolo (10%), swirling floral aromas of violets mingle with cigar box and plummy cola, attractive flavors of black cherries, dark berries and cassis, detailed by beckoning hints of bacon. Aged in French oak tonnaux for 18 months and another 12 months in bottle.

The floral beauty of this wine is just overwhelming.

Sampled at the Gambero Rosso "Tre Bicchieri" event at the Metropolitan Pavilion in NYC.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Arnaldo-Caprai 25 Anni Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG 2007

Made with the best grapes of 100% Sagrantino, aged 2 years in French Oak Barrique and a minimum of 6 months in bottle. What is immediately apparent is the very deep dark opaque colors, with strong and vibrant vanilla concentrates on the nose, laid over violets, earth and spices. Flavors of ripe fruit woven with spices and vanilla, a bit tight but with great aging potential.

Sampled this today at the Gambero Rosso "Tre Bicchieri" event at the Metropolitan Pavilion in NYC.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Feudo Maccari Nero d'Avola ReNoto 2006 Sicily

This Nero d'Avola & Syrah blend shows deep violet colors with a floral signature on the nose, woven with fruity blackberry preserve, black plum, black pepper and smoke.

Flavors of ripe cherry, a tangy balsamic sweetness and lingering dark chocolate on the finish supported by silky and soft tannins and a vibrant acidity.

Tried this by the glass at Accademia di Vino on 64th Street and Third Avenue in NYC.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Castelli Martinozzi Brunello di Montalcino 2006 DOCG

Made from one of my favorite varietals, Sangiovese Grosso, this Brunello is aged a minimum 36 months in French or Slavonian oak barrels, and in the bottle for a minimum of 4 months. Painted with colors of deep rose, complex and delicious aromas of rhubarb pie, dried fig and caramel, with a hint of underbrush. Following through with verdant flavors of black plum, violets, dried cherry, and rose petals and ending with a lingering finish of black currant and dark chocolate.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Hauner Carlo Salina Rosso Sicily 2008 IGT

From the Salina region of Sicily this subtle and earthy blend of Nerello Mescalese and Nero D'Avola grapes is macerated on the skins, aging 3-6 months in barriques and another 3 months in bottle.

Beginning with deep violet rose colors with fragrances of cassis, anise and vanilla followed by toasted oak and a fruitful balance, velvety smoothness and delicate finish. Featured at The Wine Room of Forest Hills.