Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cantina Valpantena Torre del Falasco Valpolicella Ripasso 2010

A blend of Corvina Veronese, Corvinone, Rondinella from Verona with a 10 day maceration time, the second fermentation on Amarone Torre del Falasco marc and aged in oak casks. 

Ruby red colors, aromas of cola and vanilla, dark berries violets and chocolate on the palate with a ripe, smooth silkiness and alcohol content of 13.50 %

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Arnaldo Caprai, Collepiano Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCD 2005, Umbria

Last month, to celebrate Umbria Month here in NYC, I got a chance to sample a delicious Sagrantino from producer Marco Caprai, who also talked about his wines with palpable passion.

Made with 100% Sagrantino grapes of the finest quality, aged for 30 months in French oak barriques followed by six months or more in bottle before release. Intense and dark ruby in color, the aromas fly out of the glass on wings of vibrant earth, leather and vanilla. The palate shows delicious ripe fruits atop deep spices and violets. Full bodied with intense flavors, beautifully balanced and complex, and a long finish that is most memorable. I was astounded at the perfect pairing of Porchetta con Lenticchie Umbre, especially the before and after. Tasting was held at La Scuola di Eataly.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Vina Ventisquero Pinot Noir Reserva 2011, Chile

This very nice Pinot Noir is from the Vina Ventisquero Vineyards of Casablanca Valley in Chile where it's fermented in open tanks, then 70% of the juice is aged in French oak while 30% in stainless steel tanks for ten months.

Colors in the glass are a cool ruby tone, aromas are fresh strawberry and cherries with vanilla and mild minerality. Spices appear on the palate along with vanilla bean and bing cherry and a really good finish. The $12.99 price tag makes it a smart but inexpensive choice to accompany a Christmas dinner, and would pair well with roast pork or turkey.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Great Holiday Gift Ideas: Three Excellent Reds for Under $40 Each

Every once in a while you need to splurge a little, and now is the perfect season to buy that really good wine you've been wanting to try. Well, here are picks of three of my favorite reds to treat yourself to.... (or bring as gifts for the holidays) for under $40 each.

Castello di Gabbiano Alleanza 2009 IGT, Italy
Sourced from the best Merlot and Cabernet vines on the Gabbiano estate, this blend is made from 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, fermented in stainless steel and aged for 18 months in new French oak.

Starting with rich ruby red colors, a beautifully complex bouquet of roses, fresh herbs, black pepper and mild spices, while delicious flavors wind through a blend of blueberry, blackberry, ripe dark cherry, leather, raspberry and especially cloves.

Very balanced, mild sweet tannins with fresh acidity and a dark fruit finish. Love this wine! $40

Termes 2009, Spain

100% hand harvested, 4 months in stainless steel tanks, then aged in French oak barrels for 14-16 months. (The 2008 was expressly fresh fruit, while the 2009 was slightly warmer vintage like 06, 03 with a level of intensity, and lots of character). Aromas of raspberry, strawberry, fruity, sweet lush tannins, lively vibrant fruit character. nice structure, toasted, cedar, layered juicy texture on palate. Pairs beautifully with salumi, which rounds out the tannins. SRP $30

Macari Vineyards Merlot 2005, Long Island

soaked in a perfume of damp earth, green peppers, currant, blackberry, vanilla and ripe plum enmeshed with an herbaceous and lush mouth-feel surrounded by caramel candy and lively tannins redolent of leather and a long toasty finish. $36

Monday, December 3, 2012

Six vintages of Soldera Wines Destroyed

One of the better producers of Brunello di Montalcino, Soldera/Case Basse, has been vandalized by unknown assailants who entered the winery and emptied all of the barrels of the wine from the 2007 through 2012 vintages, according to Gianfranco Soldera. There is talk in the wine trade that organized crime might have been responsible.

First reported by and Jeremy Parzen of DoBianchi.