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Tim York

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Re: Wine Focus for February 2017: Wines of Italy

by Tim York » Mon Feb 06, 2017 6:27 am

Tom, thanks for that excellent note on an Amarone. I have never got on with Amarone della Valpolicella, probably due to the combination of the Corvina grape and the warmish Verona climate. On the other hand, I have appreciated wines made by the same technique from the Nebbolo grape in the Alpine Valtellina valley (a horizontal line right at the north on the map to which I provided a link). Here is a TN from close to three years ago -

1997 Conti Sertoli Salis Sforzato di Valtellina Canua - Italy, Lombardia, Valtellina, Sforzato di Valtellina (10/5/2014)
I'm not a big fan of Amarone from Valpolicella but this wine made by the same technique in Valtellina from Nebbiolo almost convinces me. The grape variety and Alpine terroir contribute a backbone and class without which the others tend IMO to cloy quickly, however impressive the first mouthful.

The nose here was well developed with notes of violet and hints of varnish on an underlying liqueur tinged richness. The palate was rich, slightly sweet and quite full but still bright with some attractive primary and well as candied fruit together with tar and herbs and firmness on the finish. I chose it to pair with quail in a sweetish sauce made with grapes and sweet Muscat wine; the pairing worked well as it did with Roquefort cheese which followed. Nevertheless towards the end, like Amarone albeit further into the bottle and after the food, the richness and high alcohol began to pall. Very good in limited quantity and with the right pairing.

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Tom NJ

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Re: Wine Focus for February 2017: Wines of Italy

by Tom NJ » Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:32 am

Tim York wrote:
1997 Conti Sertoli Salis Sforzato di Valtellina Canua - Italy, Lombardia, Valtellina, Sforzato di Valtellina (10/5/2014)
I'm not a big fan of Amarone from Valpolicella but this wine made by the same technique in Valtellina from Nebbiolo almost convinces me. The grape variety and Alpine terroir contribute a backbone and class without which the others tend IMO to cloy quickly, however impressive the first mouthful.

The nose here was well developed with notes of violet and hints of varnish on an underlying liqueur tinged richness. The palate was rich, slightly sweet and quite full but still bright with some attractive primary and well as candied fruit together with tar and herbs and firmness on the finish. I chose it to pair with quail in a sweetish sauce made with grapes and sweet Muscat wine; the pairing worked well as it did with Roquefort cheese which followed. Nevertheless towards the end, like Amarone albeit further into the bottle and after the food, the richness and high alcohol began to pall. Very good in limited quantity and with the right pairing.

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Thanks for that, Tim. If I ever come across a bottle I'll definitely give it a try. Be interesting to experience the comparison first hand.
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WTN: 2015 Cataldo Nero d'Avola IGT Sicily

by Peter May » Mon Feb 06, 2017 11:15 am

2015 Cataldo Nero d'Avola IGT Sicily

Its one of the wines they sell in carafe in an Italian restaurant (Osteria Buzo) we've used a few times for lunch and dinner here in Barbados and last night we bought a bottle.

Its another of the understated Italian wines that are so food friendly. Bright colour in glass, fresh juicy fruit flavours, I found it a little sharp when swallowing at first but either it or I mellowed out during the course of dinner.

Very nice. 13%abv closed with a plastic 'cork'

$30 USD in restaurant, about $10 in USA retail.
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Re: Wine Focus for February 2017: Wines of Italy

by Ted Richards » Mon Feb 06, 2017 2:00 pm

Rahsaan wrote:
Bob Parsons Alberta wrote:
No..LOL. Was in a cool spot in the basement. Have no real Barolo knowhow Rahsaan.


I'm no expert, and I believe 88 was not the 'best' year. But Barolo is one of the more long-lived wines in the world, easily needing 20 years to start to show. Fontanafredda is not very highly regarded these days, but I have heard people speak highly of earlier vintages.


Two or three years ago, I opened an almost-forgotten bottle of '82 Fontanafredda Barolo, just the generic, not a single vineyard one, and it was just fine. Not stellar, but a pleasant drink. I think Bob's '88 should be fine.
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Re: Wine Focus for February 2017: Wines of Italy

by Patchen Markell » Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:01 pm

Eight or nine months back, I had a glass of a Hauner 2014 IGT Salina Bianco, a blend of Inzolia and Catarratto from the Aeolian islands, off the coast of Sicily. Last night, wanting a white to go with a cioppino of swordfish, crab, squid, and shrimp, I grabbed a bottle of the same wine and opened it before I'd had time to chill it down fully; it was perhaps at 45-50F. I was convinced it was a different wine: sour, bitter, even slightly oaky? So I opened something else instead, but put the Hauner back in the fridge; and behold, an hour later, it was in good form, with the combination of lemon-oil and sea-foam crispness with oily richness I remembered from the earlier glass, and not a trace of bitterness or wood. Nothing spectacular, but a solid performer for $19. A little went in the cioppino (which, yes, I know is canonically made with red), and we'll have the rest with leftovers tonight.
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Re: Wine Focus for February 2017: Wines of Italy

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:45 pm

Sounds like a great white!
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Re: Wine Focus for February 2017: Wines of Italy

by Jenise » Tue Feb 07, 2017 2:16 pm

I'm currently doing inventory control in my cellar. That means I print a 'report' from Cellar Tracker on a given area of the cellar, then go freeze my buns off, pen in hand, until every name on the list is confirmed or lined out. I started with Italy. Which made me thirsty for Italian wines as had the 2001 Caparzo Brunello we'd had earlier in the week hence Italy as a starting place. I decided it was time to try one of the basic Produttori barbarescos from 2008 so decanted that and put together a three course dinner with cacio e pepe made from mushroom paparadelle for a main course.

Italy really isn't a very big part of my cellar. Before inventory I thought I had seven cases but afterward, it was just five, though most are at least ten years old and about half are real gems. This is because more than any other type of wine, I tend to buy young barberas and chiantis and we just blow through them. And it's been awhile since I replenished (my youngest chiantis are 2009s.)

2008 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Nebbiolo
Decanted for one hour. Initially seemed very complete for a young barbaresco but oddly, later in the meal, seemed to drop acidity going somewhat soft and flat even with remaining assertive tannins. Pretty identical to a note same week from another CTer. A pleasant drink but did not seem to have the fruit needed for further cellaring.

Over the weekend we also enjoyed:

2012 Giorgio Pelissero Barbera d'Alba Piani
This bottle is what two previous bottles should have been but weren't. Big fruit, chunky tannins--a ready and able pizza wine. Disturbing to open three bottles in which no two were alike. I have a fourth--will be a crapshoot.
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Re: Wine Focus for February 2017: Wines of Italy

by Joe Moryl » Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:53 pm

2015 Maresa Falanghina, Roccamonfina IGT, Masseria Starnali (Calabria):
Trying to get out of my comfort zone by trying some Italian whites. This is a wine from organically grown grapes, that sees some aging (in stainless) on the lees. Alarmingly golden color, with a slight haziness. On the palate there are spicy (ginger?) pears, a pretty full body with some waxy texture and a touch of bitterness on the finish. Great length: mineral and harmonious. Roccamonfina is an extinct volcano northeast of Naples - quite an obscure appellation. This is really good wine, but I doubt it is widely available (a Chambers St. import - there is also a red Aglianico that I am now keen to try). $16, 13% abv.
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Re: Wine Focus for February 2017: Wines of Italy

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:04 pm

Bravo Joe..a Falanghina! There are a few around here but guess better selection in your area eh. Look forward to hearing about the Aglianico.
I am just about ready to post on a very good $20 Nebbiolo!
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Re: Wine Focus for February 2017: Wines of Italy

by Jenise » Wed Feb 08, 2017 6:08 pm

Joe Moryl wrote:Roccamonfina is an extinct volcano northeast of Naples - quite an obscure appellation. This is really good wine, but I doubt it is widely available (a Chambers St. import - there is also a red Aglianico that I am now keen to try). $16, 13% abv.


You've probably just doomed that volcano to be the next to blow. Seismic activity has been disarmingly active all over that region.
But cool, I've not heard of the appellation at all. I'm jealous of your proximity to Chambers St. We don't see many obscure wines up here, though I'm about to try a Torbato from Sardinia. Yup, that's a grape. And there's exactly one vineyard of it in the whole world.
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Re: Wine Focus for February 2017: Wines of Italy

by Jenise » Thu Feb 09, 2017 3:35 am

2009 Mario Lucchetti Lacrima di Morro d'Alba Superiore Guardengo

In 2013 I said: "Strange wine. Inky black, bizarre nose, floral but like no flower I actually know. On the palate, the flavors are black--sparse fruit with black radish and vinyl. If that makes no sense, well, neither does the wine. Garagiste, I hate you." In 2016 we had another, very cherry red-fruited with good flavors reminscent of a young Cornas--we loved it. Tonight's bottle? Back to black and identical to 2013 in spite of the fact that four years passed. It hasn't aged a day. Possibly extreme bottle variation as another CTer was positive about the wine in 2016--yeah sure, different tastes and all that, but no one would like the wine we opened tonight.
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Re: Wine Focus for February 2017: Wines of Italy

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Thu Feb 09, 2017 3:53 pm

TN: 2013 Matteo Correggia Roero, Piedmont.

$20 Cdn, 100% Nebbiolo, 13.5% alc, SC, decanted one hour.

Have to admit I have never been too keen on Nebbiolo, guess misguided info! But this handsell downtown was great and I really enjoyed this wine.

Very light color with hint of bricking already. Nose has some oaky tones, red fruits, herbal, blackcurrant.
Initial entry thought is palate does not reflect pale color. Big meaty red here, plum, tannic, medium bodied, nice acidity. Cherry as it opens, "nice length and concentration" from across the table, also "minty". Nice balanced wine, will eagerly await next vintage.
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Re: Wine Focus for February 2017: Wines of Italy

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:36 pm

WTN: 2013 Stemmari Dalila, Sicily.

Here is a further note on an excellent Grillo blend. My original post was a while back but not much has evolved in the meantime.

This has been one of my house whites the past year, easy to drink with pork or chicken. 80% Grillo, 20 % Viognier.
Medium yellow in the glass, moderate acidity, good length. Some tropical fruit notes of melon, papaya, floral. Pretty crisp, lighter style, lemon, peach. This did convey some mineral notes but no real volcanic sign. Nice, $19 Cdn.

***next up is a 100% Grillo from Ceuso Scurati. Seems to be plenty of white wine selections here on this months Focus...bravo.
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Re: Wine Focus for February 2017: Wines of Italy

by Tim York » Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:38 am

This is my second wine this month from the area of small Tuscan town of Montepulciano (beautiful, I believe, but I have yet to go there). The previous was a quite light weight but elegant Rosso and this one was a much fuller bodied and rich Vino Nobile. The principle grape used is Sangiovese and the Poliziano website says in Asinone it represents 100% in the best years.

As I said in an earlier post, most Italian regions produce wines of very individual character, particularly where local grape varieties are used. In inland Tuscany Sangiovese typically produces food friendly reds marked by lively tangy acidity which means that they have little in common with Mediterranean rim wines from France and further south in Italy, which tend to be characterised by sweeter fruit, spices and high alcohol. Nearer the coast in Maremma, the Sangiovese based reds, such as Morellino di Scansano, tend to be rather warmer in fruit whilst still retaining some Tuscan tang.

2001 Poliziano Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Vigna Asinone - Italy, Tuscany, Montepulciano, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (2/12/2017)
Colour still deep red and nose expressive with plum and balsamic notes together with hints of graphite, leather and rusty metal. The palate was quite full bodied with generous savoury fruit, good depth and suave texture with an aromatic overlay playing variations on the aromas from the nose, lively tangy acidity and still firm structure supporting a long finish. A classy Tuscan and an excellent pairing for beef. At its peak, I guess, and very good.
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Re: Wine Focus for February 2017: Wines of Italy

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:54 am

Sounds at its peak Tim, great note.
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Re: Wine Focus for February 2017: Wines of Italy

by JC (NC) » Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:29 pm

On my trip to Tuscany in 2011, we passed by Montepulciano from a distance. It looked intriguing with the buildings on a high hill but we didn't get a closer look.
http://www.montepulciano.net/about-mont ... KHQr4WcFes
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Re: Wine Focus for February 2017: Wines of Italy

by Tim York » Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:57 am

Here's another Sangiovese derived Tuscan at a lower level than yesterday's Poliziano but food friendly and lively. Chianti Rufina comes from an area to the north-east of Florence.

2013 Fattoria Lavacchio Chianti Rùfina Cedro - Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Rùfina (2/13/2017)
A day after the classy Poliziano Asinone I though that this would be a big let down but it turned out to be a good+ basic Chianti with good colour, well developed and fragrant nose of cherry tinged red fruit with a touch of leather and a refreshing medium+ bodied palate full of fruit, minerals and tangy acidity. As Chianti should, it paired well with meat balls and cannelloni in tomato sauce. Good+ wine with a repeat purchase beckoning.
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Re: Wine Focus for February 2017: Wines of Italy

by Joe Moryl » Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:57 am

JC (NC) wrote:On my trip to Tuscany in 2011, we passed by Montepulciano from a distance. It looked intriguing with the buildings on a high hill but we didn't get a closer look.
http://www.montepulciano.net/about-mont ... KHQr4WcFes


We stayed there for several days back in the '90s - it is a lovely place, and a good base for exploring the other nearby hill towns. I recall driving down the main street, which runs along the spine of a ridge, and everyone waving. What a friendly place, I thought, until I realized I was going the wrong way on a one-way street (and there wasn't anywhere to turn around for some distance)!
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Re: Wine Focus for February 2017: Wines of Italy

by JC (NC) » Tue Feb 14, 2017 2:37 pm

LOL, Joe. I found myself once not making a wide enough turn around a median in a several-lane street here in town and when I realized I was heading the wrong direction I pulled onto the median and settled my nerves before pulling back onto the street in the correct direction. Another time in Pacific Grove, CA I was taking a right turn to head toward the beach from a street running parallel to the beach road. The streets there alternate one uphill, one downhill all one way and I realized I had started to turn onto a street that was one-way uphill, not downhill. Rather than back up onto a busy street, I made a U-turn after checking that I would not be interfering with any other traffic. This maneuver was observed by a Pacific Grove policeman who pulled me over and ticketed me for the U-turn. I asked if I could go to traffic school to get the violation off my driver's license record and he said no because in Pacific Grove making a U-turn is considered a FELONY!! When I went through my next security exam for my Federal job and was asked if I had ever committed a felony, I said yes, I made a U-turn in Pacific Grove. The examiner laughed and cleared my security status anyway.
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Re: Wine Focus for February 2017: Wines of Italy

by Jim Grow » Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:39 pm

2008 il Fauno Di Arcanum from Toscana my first and only bottle of this 94 pt. RMP wine. I wrote on the bottle "open in 2016" per RMP probably but needed probably 4+ more years. The amazing thing about this wine was the eucalyptus note on both the palate and nose. In fact the nose was dominated by that herbal note. The fruit on the palate was black but more black berry than black current. The make-up was Merlot 62%, Cs of 23%, CF of 8%, Sangiovese of 6% and 1% PV. abv of 14.2% Wish I had more to age a further 5+ years.
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Re: Wine Focus for February 2017: Wines of Italy

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat Feb 18, 2017 6:46 pm

2013 Ceuso Scurati Grillo, Sicily.

I usually pick out the Ceuso Scurati Red and White every year. This is the second year that the white has been 100% Grillo.
Diam cork, 12.5% alc, $20 Cdn. Lime and lemon nose, pale golden color. Crisp citrus on entry, nice fruit balance and acidity. Medium length, apple, and slight grassy note. Feel sure that Grillo can be of interest if one is interested in Italian whites. I seem to remember one that was blended with Viognier?

2012 Il Poggione Rosso di Montalcino, Tuscany.

Terrific buy. $24 Cdn, 14.5% alc, decanted one hour, lot #14/119.

Medium darkish red violet color. Very nice aromatic nose with cherry and raspberry. Initial entry thought was dry, firm tannins, raspberry, hints od spice and oak. More meaty as it opened, plum, finish is lengthy with strawberry tones. Very good acidity here and day 2 saw hint of pepper and some lingering ripe fruit.
Would appear to be a nice expression of fruit, have to wonder if one can age ?
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Re: Wine Focus for February 2017: Wines of Italy

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Feb 19, 2017 7:55 am

Here is a DOCG appellation new to me... Montecucco. I spotted a Sangiovese downtown last night so splurged out $24 for this Sangiovese. Here is some info , good write up in my opinion.

http://www.campinuovi.com/2013/03/decan ... ontecucco/
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Re: Wine Focus for February 2017: Wines of Italy

by Tim York » Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:20 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta wrote:Here is a DOCG appellation new to me... Montecucco. I spotted a Sangiovese downtown last night so splurged out $24 for this Sangiovese. Here is some info , good write up in my opinion.

http://www.campinuovi.com/2013/03/decan ... ontecucco/


A new one to me too. From the Decanter article it sounds worth seeking out. I wonder if, for those without a lot of local expertise, these wines are easy to differentiate from those from Montalcino, Chianti Classico, etc
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WTN: Tenuta La Badiola "642 Il Canapone" Maremma Toscana

by Robin Garr » Mon Feb 20, 2017 5:18 pm

Tenuta La Badiola 2013 "642 Il Canapone" Maremma Toscana ($18.99)

An unusual six-way blend of organically farmed grapes, the Italian varieties Sangiovese and Montepulciano with the French varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Syrah, this is a very dark purple wine shading to a bright garnet edge. Blackberries, dried cherries and a pleasant, restrained touch of vanilla in the aroma lead into an appealing medium-bodied flavor of ripe black fruit nicely balanced with crisp, refreshing acidity, joined by palatable tannins in a very long finish. Good balance and structure carry its 14 percent alcohol with grace. U.S. importer: WinesU, Eddystone, Pa. (Feb. 5, 2017)

FOOD MATCH: It went very nicely with a rich mushroom risotto; it would certainly sing with the more traditional match of rare beef or lamb.

WHEN TO DRINK: Although this isn't the kind of cellar treasure that will gain investment value over time, there's certainly no hurry to drink it, and it might benefit from three or four years under good, constant-temperature cellar conditions.

VALUE:
My local $19 price tag is a few bucks above the $15 average U.S. retail reported by Wine-Searcher.com, with some vendors offering it around $12, so it would pay to shop around if you can. Still, it's a very good Tuscan red, and I don't feel bad about getting it for less than $20.

WEB LINK
Here's a fact sheet on the "642" from importer WinesU.

FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Find vendors and compare prices for Tenuta La Badiola "642 Il Canapone" Maremma Toscana on Wine-Searcher.com.

U.S. consumers can also find distributors in every state on the importer's "Locate Our Wines" page.
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