2004 Masi, Valpolicella:
A thoroughly quaffable wine that took about 15 minutes to open and weighed in at 12% alcohol. I’m not buying a bunch for the cellar but would be happy to drink this anytime in the next 6 months or so. $25, on a restaurant wine list; likely half that at retail.
1993 Rodet, Gevrey-Chambertin:
Although recognizable for its Gevrey earth tones and friendly in demeanor, this is pretty tired; not gone, but going.
2002 La Chablisienne, Chablis Cuvée LC:
Clean, straight-forward, authentic Chablis that, until I started drinking the 2002 V. Dauvissat village wine recently, was enough to quench my Chablis thirst. No longer; while this is representative and nothing to sneeze at, it is not in the same league as the Dauvissat. About $14.
2004 Tua Rita, Rosso dei Notri:
70% sangiovese, 15% merlot, 15% cabernet sauvignon, 13.5% alcohol; opens over about two hours to a smooth, concentrated, focused wine with outstanding balance; mostly black fruit and cocoa on the nose with hints of dried sage and gravel; tactile on the palate with noticeable but very fine tannins, depth, character, complexity and, after airing, integration that belies its low price tag; excellent length. At $18, this is a find and although the maker says it’s from young vines, you couldn’t prove it by me.
[A word about Tua Rita; their flagship wine is a 100% merlot named Redigaffi which, IMO, is more CA in style than Italian and outrageously expensive ($200+). The Giusto di Notri (at about $100) is 65% cabernet sauvignon, 30% merlot and 5% cabernet franc and is clearly a wine meant to be cellared – my tastes of it on release have not been especially pleasant and, of course, I haven’t had one with any age on it yet. The Perlato del Bosco is 100% sangiovese and hideously over-oaked (about $40).
But here is a wine that certainly has a cellar life, tastes terrific now, is made almost entirely in tank and is priced well below its quality.
Very highly recommended.]