Archive for the ‘Italy’ Category

Spitting: OptionalURVB

Umani Ronchi Villa Bianchi Verdicchio 2012

Style: Dry white

Country: Italy

Region: Marche

Tasting note: Not familiar with Verdicchio? Don’t worry, it’s not uncommon (*cough* freak *cough*). If you are looking for an introduction to the variety then pick up a bottle of this lovely specimen. It displays all the hallmark Verdicchio characters of straw and fresh citrus acidity with richer flavours of melon and lemon pulp. A really nice balance of fruit richness and elegance, finishing with delicate jasmine petals and a salty edge.

Final Say: Hide your shame in the shadows no longer, grab it for $23 a bottle and be excluded from the world of Verdicchio no longer.

Score: 17.5 out of 20

For any questions or feedback feel free to email me on spittingoptional@gmail.com

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Spitting: OptionalMaretti Langhe Rosso Barbera Nebbiolo

Maretti Langhe Rosso (Barbera/Nebbiolo) 2012

Style: Medium bodied red

Country: Italy

Region: Piedmont

 

Tasting note: Vibrancy all round, colour, nose and palate. Highly aromatic with white pepper, blueberry and smoky hints. The Barbera brings lifted fruit characters to the palate, blackberry, blueberry and a touch of pepper while the Nebbiolo adds a savoury, herbal edge. Grainy/chalky tannins.

 

Final Say: A fantastic cheapie packed with Piedmont charm. $17 a bottle

 

Score: 16.5 out of 20

For any questions or feedback feel free to email me on spittingoptional@gmail.com

Artigiano

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Artigiano Primitivo  2011

Vintage: 2011

Style: Medium-full bodied red

Country: Italy

Region: Puglia

Overview: The urge to write ‘Primitivo is a variety steeped in controversy’ overcomes me but then I remember that in this instance the word ‘controversy’ maybe synonymous with ‘incredibly, and blindingly mundane’ to the average wine drinker. Long story short, Primitivo is an Italian variety that was grown for a long time in California as Zinfandel. It was believed that Zinfandel was unique to America but DNA testing was performed on Zinfandel in 1993 and ermahgerd! Zinfandel turned out to be Primitivo. So there is your controversy. Its also a b#@$%&d to grow due to its large bunches that ripen unevenly. This means that there can be under ripe grapes as well as very ripe on the same bunch. Some producers let the entire bunch ripen which means that by the time the under ripe grapes reach the right baumé (sugar level) the already ripe berries have a higher concentration of sugar which often translates to higher alcohol levels. This method eliminates the chance of harvesting under ripe berries that would add bitterness to the finished wine.  Others hand pick the bunches to discard of the under ripe berries so they can achieve the right baumé.  This wine has actually achieved a nice balance between big, juicy and powerful and lean and restrained, probably due to larger scale harvesting.

Tasting note: A nice blend of sweet and savoury on the nose, plum, five-spice and cedar. The palate is quiet full and dense with characters of plum and subtle blackberry with under lying notes of white pepper and grainy tannins.

Final Say: Fantastic value, you can pick it up for $15-20 a bottle.

Score: 16 out of 20

For any questions or feedback feel free to email me on spittingoptional@gmail.com

Sensi Chianti

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Sensi Collezione Chianti 2010

Vintage: 2010

Style: Medium-bodied red

Country: Italy

Region: Tuscany

 

Overview: Sangiovese seems to be a bit of a ‘buzz’ wine at the moment. A hipster’s favourite tipple when visiting their funky local wine bar that no one has heard about with vintage bicycles hanging from the roof. Not that I’m complaining, Sangiovese is a great variety that has taken a while to gain some traction in the Australian wine market. Chianti is arguably the most recognised Italian wine growing region. Chianti must be at least 70% Sangiovese and other, approved red wines can be added to the mix, e.g. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Lately they have been playing with adding white varieties in small quantities in a Shiraz/Viognier fashion. This wine is a great, simple Chianti which is a fantastic introduction to the style.

 

Tasting note: Typical notes of cherry, cherry-cola and crushed rosemary on the nose. A pretty, juicy palate with characters of cherries, sweet spice and violets. A simple style but incredibly enjoyable.

Final Say: Buy a bottle and complain that you liked Sangiovese before it was cool. Fantastic value, sells for around $16-$20 a bottle.

 

Score: 16.5 out of 20

Art Grillo

Spitting: Optional

Artigiano Grillo 2011

Vintage: 2011

Style: Dry white

Country: Italy

Region: Sicily  

 

Overview: Grillo is not a variety that I am overly familiar in so I won’t rattle on for too long. It’s a variety that is native to Sicily and is quite delicate and neutral. This wine reminds me of those great value Italian table wines that won’t take the world by storm with their complexity but are a great drink for the price.

 

Tasting note: Soft aromas of fennel, straw and talc. A savoury palate, with a zesty acid, lemon, lime and finishes with delicate talc. Fresh and simple.

 

Final Say: Well worth trying if only to say you have tried Grillo as a variety. $12-$16

 

Score: 16 out of 20

For any questions or feedback feel free to email me on spittingoptional@gmail.com

Barone Chianti

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Barone Ricasoli Chianti 2011

Vintage: 2011

Style: Medium bodied red

Country: Italy

Region: Chianti

 

Overview: While this wine lacks some of the complexity that other Chianti’s have it is a great introduction to the variety Sangiovese and Chianti as a wine. It can also be said that in life sometimes all you need is the simple things. That being said you do not often hear anyone saying that they need Paris Hilton or Brynne Edelsten, other than those seeking mental euthanasia. The fruit charecters are lifted and in your face and there is an under-ripe, ‘green’ character but with food this becomes imperceptible.

Overall it ticks all the boxes for the price point and is a pleasant, uncomplicated drink.

 

Tasting note: Great colour, vibrant ruby hues. A dusty nose with lifted cherry and flint. The fruit characters vie for attention on the palate, cherry, strawberry and rhubarb with light undertones of cinnamon and menthol. A touch under ripe but clever food matching will mask this.

Final Say: As mentioned, if you are looking for an introduction into Chianti than look no further. $25 a bottle.

 

Score: 16 out of 20

For any questions or feedback feel free to email me on spittingoptional@gmail.com