Italy… so many good wines!

Giunco Piccolo Bianco Vermentino – Cantina Mesa, Sant’Anna Arresi, Sardegna. My favorite summer white in Italy! Lovely aromas of peach or mango yet not sweet, a refreshing medium dry flavor with very good body and a delicate acidity that adds elegance. Excellent as an aperitif or with food. Highly recommended as an alternative to another favorite cantina, Argiolas.

2010 Valpolicella – Azienda Agricola Brigaldara: Valpolicella is in the Veneto area, east of Verona, made from Corvino, Rondinella and Molinara grapes. Brigaldara is a producer renowned for excellent Amarone, made from the same grape varieties. The wine has a bright red ruby color, completely translucent so that it appears light but don’t be fooled! The nose is lively with aromas of unripe red berries, herbs, wet grasses, violets and a hint of wood. On the palette, the flavors are very tightly centered but not quite so lean as it may seem. It’s a nice medium-bodied wine where the immediate aftertaste is delectably tart yet dense for a Valpolicella. Excellent, one of the best I’ve had. Not too complex, but not a light drinking wine, nor an average Valpolicella either, this example has a dark density that makes it very attractive. The flavors linger for just a moment, and it’s so easy to drink!

Cantina Calasetta, Aina Carignan Sulcis 2007, Riserva DOC (Sardinia): Aina in tabarchino dialect means “sand”. This area this wine comes from is in the southwest part of Sardegna near the port of Calasetta where you take the boat to the island of Carloforte. It’s a beautiful place to have a fresh seafood lunch and watch the waves on the shore, the wind often kicking up quite a show. Calasetta was once a colony of Liguria and the empire of Genova, hence the unusual dialect. Made from the Carignano grape, the vines were orignally planted in sandy soil not far from the sea. They are small vines that grow close to the ground.

Dense red w/ an alcohol content of 14%. Aromas of very ripe fruit: blueberries, raisins, blackberries and aromatics. It takes time to open up, then it displays a very attractive bouquet. The taste is a good balance of dried fruit and tannins that have a grip on the tongue, leaving a dryness that gives way to a nice finish. With two years in French oak, it’s very well structured and refined, with more elegance and complexity than many wines from  Sardegna. 91: love it! March 2012 w/ Luciano in Bergamo.

Paolo Bea Montefalco Rosso 2000. A “Super Umbrian” like a Super Tuscan, lies outside a precise DOCC (appellation). This one is 70% Sangiovese, 15% Montepulciano, 15% Sagrantiono.  Bottled in 2002. Reddish orange color. Nose is very bright berry w/ herbs. The Sagrantino dominates, a quirky but interesting grape. Later, the Sangiovese comes out and it’s unusually dry like a Chianti, but w/ that nose that has star anise, even cinnamon or clove. Very nice finish, makes you want another. The first bottle I drank years ago, the flavors of the different grapes had not yet achieved a harmony. Now it’s all there and would go much longer. ON his label, Bea states that 2000 was an “interesting year” and “this wine will last for years.” 6/12

Il Paradiso di Manfredi – Bianco 2007. An unusual wine from a great producer of Brunello di Montaclino, Florio makes this outstanding white on his property right under the town of Montalcino overlooking the estate of Biondi Santi where his father-in-law used to work before establishing his own vineyards. Manfredi’s Bianco is made from Malvasia and Trebbiano grapes. It has a beautiful transparent golden straw color, and a powerful, clean nose of herbs and grasses, dried fruits, minerals and floral scents. The taste is full bodied and enjoyable, a fresh acidity and minerality that leaves a lively finish of dried fruit and herbs. Absolutely rare and stunning, put it away for a few years and expect to be rewarded as it matures to a more round, full complexity. 95+  You must try his Brunello, both regular and Riserva bottlings. Twice as good at less than half the price of over-priced Brunellos!


2 Responses to “Italy… so many good wines!”

  1. Hi, I found your page of Manfredi’s bianco.
    I really want to have that bianco!
    Do you know where to buy?

    • Il Paradiso di Manfredi is a producer of the finest Brunello di Montalcino. His winery is on the hillside of the town of Montalcino. On the main road going up the hill there is a road to the right near Valdicava where you can visit Florio Manfredi and his family.

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