Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Castello di Bossi Chianti Classico 2010

From Castelnuovo Berardenga in the Chianti Classico appellation of beautiful Tuscany, an area in which I stayed on for a few days, comes this supple red wine.

Made with 100% Sangiovese grapes by Mario Bacci, dark ruby colors the glass with aging warmer tones around the rim. Aromas of coffee, leather and mild spice while on the palate tart red cherry with a bright acidity and good finish. I tasted this very nice red at Il Poeta.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Antonin Rodet Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2011

Tasted this French Bourgogne, Antonin Rodet Pinot Noir 2011 at Domaine Wine bar on Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City.

Attractive gamey aromas of barnyard and underbrush with red fruits and floral undertones, the palate is dry but with healthy tannins showing red cherry, raspberry, muted strawberry and chalky floral notes on the back of the tongue. Very light and balanced... the fruit holds it's own against the tannins, good long finish.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Carraia Aglianico Beneventano IGT 2012

From the Campania region in the south of Italy, the warm summers allow for excellent ripening, Carraia hand picks these ripened Aglianico grapes, then they are fermented in stainless steel tanks.

In the glass showing dark ruby colors with aromas of slate, wet stone and raspberry, complementing flavors of ripe blackberries, raisin, glycerine, blackberry and licorice. Nice acidity with tartness and very soft tannins, followed by a decent finish. This is a beautiful value at under $10.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Three Italians to Bring to Thanksgiving Dinner. Sofia Loren, Robert DeNiro and Mario Balotelli?!?!?!

Well, you could try, but here are three Italians that might be easier to find... and will definitely work with your next Thanksgiving Dinner.

'IL' Spr!z... it's an Apertivo modeled after the Venetian Spritz recipe blending semi-sparkling wine with blood orange. The flavors and aromas are natural bold blood orange with herbal hints. This will pair perfectly at the beginning of the day with cured meats and cheeses.


Castello Di Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG
Estate grown blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Colorino & Canaiolo hand picked, stainless steel fermentation, aged in French oak barriques for 18 months followed by three months in bottle. Nice acidity and tannins, ruby colors in glass, with exotic aromas of cherry and spice, wood and dark fruits. Full body with tobacco notes and black cherry flavors, and a good long finish, this will work well with Turkey Dinner along with the following Rocca.

Rocca Sveva Ripasso Valpolicella Superiore DOC
70% Corvina, 25% Rondinella and 5% Molinara blend is "re-passed" for 11 to 14 days over the freshly fermented grapes that have made the Amarone, giving it added structure, depth and roundness. 30% of the wine is aged in oak barrels while 70% is also aged separately in large oak botti for 12-18 months before bottle aging for 6 months. Dark ruby colors with deep aromas of vanilla, black cherry and cassis, Dark fruits on the palate and floral notes and a smooth long finish.


Monday, November 10, 2014

Collazzi Liberta Toscana 2012 IGT

From Collazzi Estates, a few miles south of Florence, where Michelangelo constructed a villa on the estate, comes this Super Tuscan blend of 55% Merlot, 30% Syrah and 15% Sangiovese. Part of the estate lies within a natural amphitheater with a warm south-western exposure making for excellent ripening of the grapes. Each varietal is harvested and processed separately before fermentation in stainless steel vats, then aged partly in barrels and partly in stainless steel for 10 months before bottle aging for another 2.

In the glass dark cool ruby with rust around the rim, wholesome rich aromas of ripe blueberries, earth and vegetal notes. On the palate lively tannins expressed by blueberries, blackberries and raspberries, slightly balsamic edges with black pepper, spice and a very long juicy finish. SRP $23.99.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

GOTG First Look Series: Barollo Wines

I recently had the good fortune to try the new line of wines soon to be available in New York from Barollo (not Barolo) wines from the Veneto region of Italy.

The first white wine up was the 2013 Barollo Sauvignon Blanc made from 100% of the same. Stainless steel fermentation. The first thing I noticed about the aromas was the absence of cat pee, which frequently appears in varied quantities in many Sauvignon Blanc's. There are nice grassy base aromas layered below herbaceous nuances of citrus, while the palate displays a verdant earthy slate minerality along with more citrus fruits like grapefruit and lime. A very fine acidity with balance and juicy finish.

Paired perfectly with a first course of shrimp with yellow squash, baby kale, tomato confit with a champagne vinaigrette dressing.



Barollo Pinot Bianco 2012
Similar to a Chardonnay but slightly dryer, aromas of buttery apple pie and tropical fruit partnering well with a palate of ripe apples and hints of banana. Very food friendly with lively acidity which pairs well with a second course of pumpkin risotto.

Barollo Manzoni Bianco 2012

Manzoni Bianco, an indigenous grape from the province of Treviso, which was originally a cross-breeding of Riesling Renano and Pinot Bianco in the 1930's. Usually used as a blending grape, Barollo is one of a handful of wineries presently producing Manzoni as a single varietal.
Pale golden colors in the glass, on the nose a floral bouquet with nuances of apricot, apple and marzipan. On the palate notes of pears and powdery flower petals. Delicate but with texture and structure showing minerality that also works very well with the pumpkin risotto.

Barollo Frater Rosso 2013
Stainless steel fermentation and 3 months in bottle. Deep purple in the glass, animal and underbrush on the nose, exotic spices, super ripe cherries, violets and an overall floral bouquet. Flavors are intense but not overpowering with gamey notes, red bing cherries, and a lingering finish of violet candy and nutmeg. Beautifully balanced and complex... but, easy drinking, and as someone at my table pointed out, "... bridges the gap between new and old world reds".

The Frater (above) and Frank (below) both paired well with 3rd course of Grilled Hanger Steak with Caramelized Onions & Oxtail Marmalade.

Barollo Frank 2010 Cabernet Franc
Late harvested for ripeness, the stems are removed early to eliminate any green taste. Aged 12 months in French barriques before bottle aging for 6 months, resulting in an elegant, well structured, mouth watering Cab Franc with smooth, even aromas. Ruby red colors with warmer colors around rim, on the nose ripe cherries, tobacco and cocoa. On the palate a soft, elegant balance of acidity and tannins, with earthy flavors of coffee and red berries and a wonderful long finish.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Lieb Cellars Bridge Lane Red Blend 2012

Lieb Cellars produces this excellent affordable red blend from the North Fork of Long Island. A second label for Lieb, Bridge Lane is a Bordeaux style blend of 46% Merlot, 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Petit Verdot and 5% Malbec aged 12 months in French oak barrels.

Dark red cherry colors with intense aromas of balsamic, vanilla, and root beer candy, flavors of ripe raspberry jam, black cherry, cola, and spice with a long, smoky, cedar finish. SRP is $20 and 12.9% alcohol.

Besides the 750 ml bottle, it is also available in 3 liter boxes (equal to 4 bottles), and... get this... a 19.5 liter Keg! which is equal to 26 bottles or 130 glasses. Sounds like a great idea for any big event.