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.

2016 Mauro Molino Barbera d'Alba Legattere, Italy, Piedmont, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-

Everytime I drink a Barbera likes this I think I need to drink more Barbera.  This is outstanding and while this vintage is mostly gone, newer vintages are good and sell for under $40.  Deep garnet in color, mostly clear and bright.  The nose is nice with cherries, black cherries, anise and baking spices.  Medium bodied.  A nice backbone of acidity.  Light tannins.  On the palate, fresh pure black cherry fruit with some spice.  Long finish.  This is made for food and will work great with pasta, mushrooms, and especially pizza.  Drink over the next seven to ten years.  

2020 Cantine Giacomo Ascheri Roero Arneis Cristina Ascheri

Vintage: 
2020
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$17.00USD

Light golden/straw in color.  The nose is nice and mostly mineral driven but also a bit of pears and slight almond note.  Light bodied.  On the palate, this has strong acidity.  It begs for some food to pair with.  The minerality comes thru with some pear.  Medium finish.  Pasta with a cream sauce would work well.  Drink over the next couple of years.  

2020 Massimo Daldin Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2020
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$17.00USD

Anyone who has ever visited San Gimignano probably has a soft spot in their heart for it.  A beautiful picturesque hillside town, famous for its towers.  This winery has been making wines here since 1996, so how come I am just now hearing about it?  So it goes in  the world of wine.  But this wine is excellent!  Light yellow/gold in color, clear and bright.  The nose is nice with apples, some minerals and slight pine.  Medium bodied.  But the tension in this wine.  It's precision.  Tight layers.  Bright acidity.  It wakes up the palate and then satisfies it.  The palate has great minerality

2013 Renato Ratti Barolo Marcenasco, Italy, Piedmont, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$170.00USD

This one is drinking very nicely at 9 years from vintage.  Ruby in color, clear and bright.  The nose is nice with cherries, slight black cherries, rose and slight menthol.  Medium bodied.  Medium tannins.  On the palate, nice cherry fruit with underlying char and a bit of woodiness (sticks?).  Good acidity.  This is accessible now and may still improve but no reason to wait.  It should easily go another seven to ten years.  This drinks nicely on its own but will be better with food.  Pasta with mushrooms in a cream sauce should be excellent.  

2011 Romano Dal Forno Valpolicella Superiore Vigneto di Monte Lodoletta, Italy, Veneto, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$110.00USD

From one of the top producers in this part of the world,  His Valpolicellas are better and more serious than most Amarones (and more expensive, too).  This is a blend of 70% Corvina,  20% Rondinella, 5% Croatina and 5% Oseleta grapes.  Purple in color, opaque and flat.  This is a dense, concentrated wine.  The nose has cherries, cedar, leather, dark chocolate and a hint of VA (just enough to raise the aromatics without being off putting).  Full bodied.  Concentrated.  Firm tannins with a lush texture.  On the palate, this is teeth staining and delicious.  Cherries, black cherries, with some

1999 Scarpa Barolo Tettimorra, Italy, Piedmont, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1999
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+

Another really nice treat.  1999 was an excellent year and the better wines are in great shape.  This had a surprisingly deep purple color to it, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose is nice with black cherries and slight forest floor.  Medium bodied.  No real tannins.  On the palate, there is vibrant black cherry fruit.  Not a lot of complexity for a 22 year old Barolo but still drinking well.  Drink over the next few years, it certainly won't get better.  It will work better with food.  Pasta with mushrooms and a cream sauce would be good.  

1970 Giacomo Borgogno & Figli Barolo, Italy, Piedmont, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1970
Grade: 

What a fun treat.  This was decanted for sediment and served.  The label carried the name Banfi as an importer, so it would appear this is an original bottling.  Iced tea brown in color, clear and reasonably bright.  At first it appeared as though it might be corked but it was intermittent so perhaps just bottle age.  While this bottle seemed past prime, it did have some to offer.  Dried cherries, forest floor and mushrooms on the nose.  Medium bodied.  Tannins all resolved.  On the palate dried cherries, some stewed fruit with some forest floor.  There is a complexity to it and the acidity

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