Top Ten Italian Red Wines - 2016

I tend to taste and drink a lot of wine over the course of a year. I am in a few tasting groups, sometimes the wines are consumed at various local wine store tastings and a number drunk with friends and family.

Fattori 2020 Valpolicella Superiore Col de la Bastia

Vintage: 
2020
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$35.00USD

Fattori began making wine in 1900 in this Northeastern region of Italy. Now, as a 5th generation run operation, they are turning out wonderful wines. Made from 85% Corvina along with Rondinella, Molinara and a few other varieties, this offers light, bright cherry, black cherry, pomegranate, rhubarb and plum notes. This fairly simple wine is an ideal companion with a diversity of foods. It’s not an aggressive, heavy tannic thing, but a mellow, warm and delightful wine meant to work well with others. Briefly aged, the fruit is perky and beaming.

2006 Fontodi Flaccianello della Pieve Colli della Toscana Centrale IGT, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2006
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$196.00USD

Amazing wine.  It is 100% Sangiovese.  Inky purple in color with some ruby around the rim.  The nose is great with black cherries, sandalwood, slight green olive note (in a good way), and spice.  Full bodied.  Medium tannins.  On the palate, this is still youthful but to the point where it is worth opening if you have more than one bottle in the cellar.  Loads of black cherry and cherry fruit, some anise, slight underlying forest floor.  good acidity.  Long finish.  No hurry, this has another ten to fifteen more years.

2015 Renato Ratti Barolo Rocche dell'Annunziata, Italy, Piedmont, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$125.00USD

This was purchased at the winery and brought back by a friend.  Ruby in color, clear and bright.  The nose is classic with cherries, tar and slight baking spice.  Medium to full bodied.  Medium tannins.  On the palate, this is surprisingly open.  Cherries with underlying asphalt.  Good acidity.  Long finish.  This is obviously young but drinking well already.  It should drink well for the next twenty years.  Nice on its own, this would be better with food.  Pasta in a cream and mushroom sauce would be great.  

2013 Fattoria di Fèlsina Berardenga Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$43.00USD

This is not your regular Chianti.  Deep garnet in color, mostly clear and bright.  The nose is great with cherries, slight anise, slight tea leaves and spice.  Full bodied.  Great backbone of acidity.  On the palate, lots of bright cherries with some anise.  Long finish.  Deep and complex.  Light tannins.  Drinking great now and will continue for another ten to fifteen years.  This works great with food, pasta with a tomato sauces is a classic choice.  

2007 Poggio Antico Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2007
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

Purchased at the winery.  Garnet in color, clear and bright.  The nose is nice with cherries, tea leaves, and coffee.  Full bodied.  Good acidity.  On the palate, bright cherry fruit.  Plenty of depth.  Layered.  Underlying tobacco/forest floor notes.  Long finish.  This is nice on its own but better with food.  A big plate of pasta is the obvious choice.  Drink over the next five to eight years.  

Vento di Mare 2021 Grillo

Vintage: 
2021
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$11.00USD

Fortunately for all of us Grillo is becoming a more popular wine. Best known in Italy, (there is some belief it originated here, but that is not conclusive) imports to the US are up and that makes for a great new wine to discover if you’re not familiar with wines from the Sicily region of Italy. This wine offers soft lemon-lime resin, lychee, light papaya, with back and supporting notes of stone fruit, melon and mineralogy.

Val Delle Rose 2018 Aurelio Maremma Toscana

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

Located in Southern Tuscany, Val Delle Rose is one of the largest wineries in the region. Their 2018 Aurelio, something of a flagship wine, offers superb quality fruit - muted pomegranate, rhubarb, black cherry, blackberry, along with a judicious use of oak that brings out cedar notes. There are vague back notes of dusty cocoa. This is a nicely balanced wine that combines all the necessary elements of oak, fruit, tannin and acidity, making for a wine that would be very complementary for any number of foods.

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