Allegrini Palazzo della Torre 2014

Allegrini Palazzo della torre

A home run for sub $20 red. But not surprising as Allegrini Palazzo della Torre wine has over-delivered for the price for many years. This Veronese red (from near Verona, Veneto region, northeast Italy) is a blend of local grapes Corvina, Rondinella plus a splash of Sangiovese. Ripe dark cherries, sweet spices, pick-me-up acidity, gentle […]

Poliziano Rosso di Montepulciano 2015

Poliziano Rosso Montepulciano

A delicious red for drinking anytime, the Poliziano Rosso di Montepulciano is around 80% Sangiovese and 20% Merlot. Flavors of briary, dark red raspberries and strawberries plus red currants, black tea and tarragon. Nice and intense in the mouth with soft tannins, bright acidity, no oak, and a big rush of white pepper-dusted berry fruits […]

CARLO REVELLO Barolo “RG” 2013

Revello Barolo RG 2013

Called “RG” because this is a blend of two of Revello’s Cru vineyards:  Rocche dell’Annunziata and Giachini. Shows a depth of fruit, richness, underlying soil, earthy spice and firm, fine tannins that puts it in the conversation with all the best from the region. Boasting power, great structure and complexity, the Revello Barolo RG will […]

REVELLO Barolo 2013

Fratelli Revello Barolo 2013

Red cherry liqueur, black tea and musk on the nose moves to ripe plums, black truffle and dried violets in the mouth. Relatively soft and quite approachable (the vintage made a more accessible style in Barolo, which is nice), The Revello Barolo 2013 is one to enjoy now through at least 2023. I would call this a […]

MASSERIA VENDITTI Sannio Bianco 2015

Venditti Sannio Bianco

This esoteric white wine is from Campania, southern Italy (the shin-Mediterranean side). It is 70% Grieco di Castelvenere, 30% Cerreto. Cold soak for 3 days, then pressed off for a 2-3 week fermentation. Really cool wine…lemon zest, candied orange peel, fresh green olives, grapefruit, coriander, white pepper. It has medium/high acidity and an oily texture. […]

RONCHI DI MANZANO Ribolla Gialla 2017

Ronchi Manzano Ribolla Gialla

A delicious skin-ferment white wine, this spent 4 months on the skins, half the time fermenting. While it fits into the “orange wine” category by its ferment, the Ronchi di Manzano Ribolla Gialla is not orange. It’s a light lemony-yellow color with an ever-so-slight haze. Let’s get to the important stuff-smell and taste. Smoked whole […]

Podere SAPAIO “Valpolo” 2015

Podere Sapaio Volpolo

From Bolgheri (Maremma) Tuscany. A “Super-Tuscan” in every sense except the price. It’s a bargain. Mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with a smidge of Merlot and a dollop of Petit Verdot. This rich, dense, strong Tuscan Cab Sauv also shows licorice, French roast coffee and cola flavors. It’s a little monster in the mouth – the kind of […]

GRACCIANO DELLA SETA Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2015

Gracciano della Seta

Strong, earth-first, “old style” Sangiovese (known as Prugnolo Gentile in these parts). Earthy dark cherries and blackberries are covered by black tea, dry tarragon and rosemary, tobacco and black olive in the Gracciano della Seta Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2015.  Tannins get big on the mid-palate, then, gracefully soften at the finish. This is not a […]

TORRE ZAMBRA Cerasuolo d’Abbruzzo 2017

Torre Zambra Cerasuolo

A Rosé with a darker hue…Cerasuolo is the grape (the name comes from cerasa, which is cherry in the local dialect…gives you an idea of the taste). Yep, the wild red cherry pops out along with fresh raspberry, pomegranate, fresh violets and a little black pepper on the Torre Zambra Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo. Very fine tannins […]

LE MARCHESINA Franciacorta Brut

Le Marchesina Franciacorta

The Le Marchesina Franciacorta cuvée is 70% Chardonnay followed by Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc. It’s fresh and lively with floral (jasmine) and fruit basket (peach, nectarine, apple, Meyer lemon) smells and flavors. Light texture, dry, very easy to enjoy. I’m definitely going to buy some of this for my home…delicious Franciacorta (which is a […]

IL BORGHETTO “Monte de Sassi” 2013

Il Borghetto Monte de Sassi

The Il Borghetto Monte de Sassi is 100% Sangiovese from Estate property within the Chianti Classico region (see below). Delicious, quite rich and ready to enjoy. Smell and taste dark red cherry liqueur, violets and red roses, nutmeg and new leather handbag. Fruity, round and gratifying in the mouth with just enough old world savory […]

PIEVALTA Verdicchio Castelli di Jesi 2016

Pievalta Verdicchio Castelli di Jesi

This is a delicious, light, crisp white wine from the Le Marche region in central Italy, Adriatic Coast on its east side. It’s a go-to fish wine of the area, and for Italian white drinkers everywhere. Smell and taste lemon zest, orange blossoms, tangy green apple skins & flesh, kiwi and nectarine. Bright for sure, […]

VILLA VARDA Friulano 2017

Villa Varda Friulano

A native grape to Friuli, Friulano flourishes next to the better known, better-selling Pinot Grigio grape (Villa Varda also makes a delicious Pinot Grigio for about the same price, by the way). Zippy and earthy (in a crushed white rock kind of way), the Villa Varda Friulano brings together a bright, citrus-driven fruitiness and a […]

VILLA VARDA Friuli Grave – Refosco 2016

Villa Varda Refosco

Starts out with aromas of brambly berries (black and raspberries), anise, black pepper and rosemary. Taste is more of the same with no one flavor dominating the others. Summertime berries, rosemary/thyme, peppercorns and black truffle. All lightly polished by gentle winemaking and brief time in barrel. Reminds me of high quality Côtes du Rhône (which […]

Trinoro “Le Cupole” Rosso 2015

Le Cupole Trinoro

Since the late 1990s Tenuta di Trinoro’s Bordeaux-style red blends have been some of the world’s buys. The 2015 Trinor0 Le Cupole Rosso is 58% Cabernet Franc, 32% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot. All “Estate” fruit located in the southeast corner of Tuscany. Powerful, dark, spiced and very structured (tannic) today, this is built […]

POGGIOTONDO Chianti “Biologico” 2016

Poggiotondo Chianti

This is a darker, riper expression of a straight-up, under $20 Chianti. That said, the savory, food-friendly acidity we like from Chianti is there. Smell and taste dark red cherries, black olives, dried Italian herbs and cocoa. This makes an excellent “house wine” to drink up with white and light red meats, sausages and tomato […]

MURGO Etna Bianco 2016

Murgo Etna Bianco

Best known for red wines, Sicily’s Etna wine region is capable of making delicious (and great value) white wine as well. This MURGO Bianco is 70% Carricante, 30% Catarratto (both native grapes of the region). This starts with a piercing, citrus zest, spring blossoms, rocky aroma. Tangy, lemon/orange acidity and exotic honeysuckle flavors. Very dry, […]

Rocca di MONTEGROSSI Chianti Classico 2015

Rocca Montegrossi Chianti

This is a fleshy, fruity, pure Chianti Classico that is sure to please all fans of the region and of Sangiovese. The wine sports a ripe, wild red cherry, red currant and raspberry nose with classic spice/floral/earth sensations of white pepper, violets, thyme and black tea. Friendly and fruity enough to drink sans food, but […]

MURGO Spumante Brut Rose

Murgo Brut Rose

A delicious Methode Traditonelle (Metodo Classico means the same thing in Italian – bubbles made in the bottle, 2nd fermentation) from Sicily. 100% Nerello Mascalese. Etna Rosso wines have had a surge of popularity in the U.S. the last 10 years. Now it’s time for Spumante Brut Rose to have its turn. Made in a […]

VADIAPERTI Coda di Volpe 2016

Vadiaperti Coda di Volpe

I love the fruitiness of this wine. From beginning to end get orchard fruits (peach, pear and apple), fresh orange and a little bit of lemongrass. Take all this and drizzle a thin stream of honey over the whole kitten-kaboodle. It’s not sweet by most definitions, but I do perceive a little more “sneaky sweetness” […]

VADIAPERTI Fiano di Avellino 2016

Vadiaperti Fiano

Zesty, zippy, “electric” white wine with an unmistakable “minerality” weaving through. Smell and taste lemon zest, citrus blossoms, Granny Smith apple (skin-on), crunchy pear and crushed chalky rocks. The best Fianos (like this) marry tangy with creamy a la bright Chardonnay (think Chablis) and dry Riesling. Similar, but different. The Vadiaperti is spot-on delicious and […]

TORRE ZAMBRA Montepulciano d’Abruzzo “Colle Maggio” 2013

Torre Zambra Montepulciano Maggio

Deep rich color and a nose of ripe black cherry and boysenberry framed by dark fertile soil is your introduction. The smells move on to the flavors along with tarragon, mint and dark tobacco. I really like how rich and mouth-filling the wine is. It expertly balances its fruit with savory earthy qualities. Drinking great […]

WASSERERHOF St Maddalena, Vino Rosso, Alto Adige 2015

Wassererhof S Maddalena

94% Schiava and 6% Lagrein, two grapes native to Alto Adige in far northern Italy. High-toned, aromatic, light-bodied and pleasantly herbaceous, this is wonderfully typical of good red wine from the region. Smell and taste tangy red plums, crushed ripe cranberries (no green ones), black tea, violets, thyme and sage. Key to this wine is […]

WASSERERHOF Pinot Bianco, Alto Adige 2016

Wassererhof Pinot Blanc

This is high-quality Pinot Bianco (aka Pinot Blanc, aka Weissburgunder) as it should be. Lovely, bright fruit, ample acidity, more mouth feel than Grigio, crisp and lingering 15 second finish. In the fruit realm get pears, green apples, Meyer lemon and nectarine. Aging on its lees is for body, not flavor. This is a great […]