Monday, August 31, 2009

Local Italian Tasting

Well, I've been waiting a long time for this...the Italian tasting. Since some Italian wines typically start at $40, I was happy to sample some of these at the Italian tasting at the Wine Warehouse. The tasting featured 13 Italian wines--two were whites and the rest were reds. These days there are so many wines that are made using modern methods that are best when drunk alone but this tasting really showed that Italian wines are some of the best in the world at balancing fruit, acidity and tannin. And for this reason they are some of the most food-friendly wines in the world--all of the wines below will pair well with food, e.g., dry cheese, grilled meats simply prepared, charcuterie, or Italian food (of course). All of the wines tasted were either light- or medium-bodied. The flavor profile trend for the reds was dark cherry (sometimes cough syrup-like...not in a bad way), honeycomb, cinnamon and almond paste. Although almost all of the wines were well-made, none of them really stood out as significantly superior than any of the others. The wines mentioned below are the best values (FYI: all prices are sale prices at the Wine Warehouse):

1. Jermann Vinnae IGT 2007 (90% Ribolla, 5% Tocai, 5% Riesling) $25. Medium, smooth mouth-feel, pear, nut & a hint of sweet, roasted marshmallow. Try for a change of pace from the traditional Italian whites. 91/100
2. Falseco Montiano IGT 2003 (100% Merlot) $30. Light-medium bodied, stikes a great balance between fruit (cherry), acidity and tannins. Long finish. 91/100.
3. Orlando Abrigo Nebbiolo 2005 (100% Nebbiolo) Cherry cough syrup, bittersweet chocolate, honeycomb. Well-balanced, well-integrated elements. 91/100
4. La Meridiana "Vitis" Barbera d'Asti 2006 $14 Anise, clear cherry cough syrup, bittersweet chocolate. 86/100
5. Coppo Brachetto d'Acqui 2006 Red sparkling dessert wine with caramel, dark cherry and nut. Paired perfectly with dark chocolate. Interesting alternative to the common dessert wine. 91/100

The tasting also featured the following wines that were very good or excellent but in my opinion not significantly better than the 90-pointers above and so were not worth the money. But if you have the money and love Italian reds, by all means go ahead and pick up a bottle:

Feel free to leave a Italian wine-related comment....

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