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David M. Bueker

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Re: Wine Focus for April 2018: The rest of Italy

by David M. Bueker » Mon Apr 23, 2018 2:38 pm

I have no issues finding the Paolo Bea Sagrantino, but it’s not cheap!
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Steve Kirsch

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Re: Wine Focus for April 2018: The rest of Italy

by Steve Kirsch » Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:59 pm

2015 Angiolino Maule Rosso Masieri (Veneto IGT)
Shared with some decidedly non-geek friends at a Pittsburgh BYO (yay, BYO!) last weekend, before the Chianti below. Fresh, bright, with earthy/mushroom aromas, very much in the "natural" wine paradigm, but maintaining its own character. Delightful. Newbies were mostly perplexed. $18 in Michigan.

2014 Chianti Classico, Villa Calcinaia
I'm becoming a big fan of this wine. And curiously I like it in large part because of its indifference...to anthropomorphize, it doesn't seem to care whether you like it or not! Aromas are still a bit shy, but classic Sangiovese stuff here. Medium bodied, good length. $20 in Michigan.
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Robin Garr

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Re: Wine Focus for April 2018: The rest of Italy

by Robin Garr » Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:49 pm

Marchese di Barolo 2014 "Maraia" Barbera del Monferrato ($13.99)

Clear dark purple, this 100 percent Barbera shows garnet glints against the light. Scents of fresh red cherries, blackberries and dried cherries plus a light whiff of smoke carry over on the palate with bright, tart fruit shaped by crisp acidity and soft, fuzzy tannins, with a moderate 13% alcohol. Cherry-berry notes and zippy acidity linger in a very long finish. U.S. importer: Frederick Wildman & Sons Ltd., NYC. (April 21, 2018)

FOOD MATCH: Great with juicy sausages; the importer suggests "pasta with red sauce and light meats" or on its own.

WHEN TO DRINK: There's no real rush to drink it, but it's not a candidate for long-term cellaring either. Enjoy over the next few years, assuming you have a cool place to store the bottle on its side.

VALUE:
My local price is just over Wine-Searcher.com's $13 average retail. It's a fine value in the lower teens.

WEB LINK
Here's the importer's fact sheet on Marchese di Barolo "Maraia" Barbera del Monferrato.

FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Find vendors and compare prices for Marchese di Barolo "Maraia" Barbera del Monferrato on Wine-Searcher.com.

Here's a long list of links to vendors for other wines from Barbera del Monferrato, as well as information about the region.
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Robin Garr

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Re: Wine Focus for April 2018: The rest of Italy

by Robin Garr » Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:50 pm

Cleto Chiarli 2016 Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro Secco Vigneto Enrico Cialdini ($13.99)

This fine, artisanal Lambrusco is made from Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro grapes. Dark purple, it pours with a frothy mousse that falls back fast. Fruity aromas of plums and prunes on the nose carry over intact on the palate with a fizzy mouthfeel. It's bone-dry, in pleasing contrast with sweet mass-market Lambruscos, and a distinct but not unpleasant tannic bitterness lingers with notes of dried plums. Light 11% alcohol makes for easy quaffing. U.S. importer: Cleto Chiarli USA, Napa, Calif. (April 26, 2018)

FOOD MATCH: It would be good with tomato-sauced pasta and its region's iconic prosciutto. Good with spicy fare, it was a treat with a light dinner of uova in purgatorio, the Italian version on the Middle Eastern shakshuka, eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce.

WHEN TO DRINK: Even artisanal Lambrusco is not a wine meant to last. Drink up, and watch for the next vintage.

VALUE:
My local price matches Wine-Searcher.com's $14 average retail. It's well worth a mid-teens price to discover the artisanal side of a wine that's usually defined by its mass-market producers.

WEB LINK
Here's the producer's fact sheet on the Cleto Chiarli Vigneto Enrico Cialdini

FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Find vendors and compare prices for Cleto Chiarli Vigneto Enrico Cialdini on Wine-Searcher.com.

You can also find distributors in most states of the U.S. via this page from Dalla Terra Winery Direct.

Finally, learn more about Lambrusco Grasparossa, and browse dozens of links to vendors for this dry, fizzy Lambrusco from Emilia-Romagna.
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Re: Wine Focus for April 2018: The rest of Italy

by Jenise » Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:03 pm

Robin, I love good Lambruscos. A few occasionally taste a bit bubble-gummy, but those that don't are revelations.

We participated in a progressive dinner in which I presented an Italian course. Italian music, Italian wines and Parmesan-loaded cheese souffles.

We started with a fizzy white from Kermit Lynch, a delightful, fizzy non-vintage Tertero Bianco that just made everyone happy from the first sip. Followed that with:

2016 Inama Soave Classico Garganega
I buy a bottle or two every year. Vintages differ from light with screechy acids to almost overly ripe--this one's nicely in the middle. Good balance and flavor--shows garganega well.

Served this with the souffles:

2010 Tenuta Vitalonga Terra di Confine Umbria IGT Red Blend
This wine hasn't budged in two years. What I described in 2016 remains true today: All earthy red fruit, rust and leather. Fantastic evolution for a $15 wine. Should have bought more.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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David M. Bueker

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Re: Wine Focus for April 2018: The rest of Italy

by David M. Bueker » Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:39 am

2013 Tommaso Bussola Ca' del Laito - Italy, Veneto, Valpolicella, Ripasso della Valpolicella Superiore (4/29/2018)
Deep red fruit, soft palate impression, perhaps a touch of finishing heat, but very drinkable for a bargain price.
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Robin Garr

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Re: Wine Focus for April 2018: The rest of Italy

by Robin Garr » Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:26 pm

One more Italian as the month nears its end. In this age of rising prices and alcohol levels, it's good to remember that Montepulciano d’Abruzzo - like some of the more modest Chiantis – generally remains affordable, old-school, rustic, great with food, not the kind of wine to make you hear choirs of angels sing but fun and food-friendly, just like Italian reds ought to be.

Gran Conti 2016 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo ($9.99)

Dark purple, almost black, shading to a thin garnet rim. high-tone cherries and blackberries on the nose with a hint of spice in the background. Tart plums and berries on the palate, shaped by zippy acidity, with a buzz of tannins becoming more evident in the finish. Alcohol not disclosed, but it’s clearly in the normal 12-13 percent range. U.S. importer: Prestige Wine Group, Princeton, Minn. (April 28, 2018)
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David M. Bueker

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Re: Wine Focus for April 2018: The rest of Italy

by David M. Bueker » Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:38 pm

I have probably had more Italian wine in the last month to six weeks that I had in any one year since I started drinking wine.

I don't think I will be going back to my old habits.
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Robin Garr

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Re: Wine Focus for April 2018: The rest of Italy

by Robin Garr » Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:41 pm

Interesting. I came to Italian wine first in my wine journey and never really stopped, it's a running battle for first place between Italy and France for me, with everybody else in the race but trailing. Pardon the racing metaphors ... Derby week. :oops:
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Jenise

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Re: Wine Focus for April 2018: The rest of Italy

by Jenise » Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:06 pm

Like the derby week joke!

But yes, when you're concentrating on value as you do, it makes sense that Italy and France would be your primary haunts. Certainly not much new world juice that competes.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Wine Focus for April 2018: The rest of Italy

by David M. Bueker » Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:28 pm

One more

2014 Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Il Quadro delle Rose Feudo di Mezzo - Italy, Sicily, Etna DOC (4/30/2018)
I first tasted this wine as part of a blind tasting about a year ago. It showed well, but got somewhat lost with bigger wines around it. Fast forward to having a bottle with dinner, and it was a real star. Red fruit, subtle spice, hints of earth, herb and licorice created a fascinating and complex weave that kept me coming back sip after sip. It was very hard to put the glass down. Over time the tannins started to take over center stage, but there was always plenty of depth to the fruit. Letting this age a bit for the tannins to soften is no issue. Delicious wine.
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