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.

1997 Tommaso Bussola Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Tb, Italy, Veneto, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1997
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$180.00USD

Bussola is one of the top producers in Amarone and the top producer I can still afford (after Quintarelli and Dal Forno).  This was an older bottle that was just singing.  It had been stood up for a week and then decanted just prior to serving.  It continued to open up for the next couple of hours.  Really a gorgeous wine.  Purple in color with ruby swirls.  The nose is great.  Dusty at first, that gave way to slight craisins, cherries with some underlying smoke and even a bit of dried flowers.  With more air, a chocolate/caramel note comes out; almost sweet.  On the palate, this is still l

2009 Contrade di Taurasi (Cantine Lonardo) Taurasi, Italy, Campania, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2009
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$44.00USD

Taurasi is a grape that generally needs a long time to come around even in the less expensive bottlings.  This one is a step or two above those although it is the base wine for this producer.  A very nice example.  Deep purple in color.  The nose is nice.  Earthy with smoke, anise and plenty of black cherry fruit.  On the palate, this is complex and nice layered with earth, cherries and forest floor notes.  Firm tannins.  Good acidity.  Nice finish.  It will work with a wide variety of foods from stews to a steak to a pasta with cream sauce.  If drinking soon, it should be given time to bre

NV Camossi Franciacorta Extra Brut Rosé, Italy, Lombardia, Wine Review

Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$23.00USD

If you don't know Franciacorta, you should remedy that as soon as you can.  Franciacorta is a DOCG in Italy that makes wonderful sparkling wines.  Many are as good as all but the very finest of Champagnes and most are made using the same traditional method.  This one is a very nice value though they can be pricey.  This is very pale salmon pink in color.  Barely any color at all.  The nose has a bit of toast on it with a hint of cherry juice.  On the palate, the light cherry juice continues with great liveliness.

2000 Paternoster Aglianico del Vulture Don Anselmo, Italy, Basilicata, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2000
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

This is from the "arch" of the Italian boot area and made from the Aglianico grape.  It is possibly the best wine from this area but it does take a long time to mature.  At 19 years from vintage, this wine is now in a great place.  Purple/ruby in color.  The nose has black cherries, leather, cigar box, and dust.  On the palate, it does show some age but plenty of fresh cherries and black cherries as well over a dry earthy, tobacco quality.  Good acidity, this goes quite well with food.  Nice finish.  It was decanted for sediment and continued to improve for an hour before leveling off.  No

2017 Fattoria di Petrognano Chianti Meme, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
87
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$14.00USD

This is a nice solid Chianti for a very nice price.  Ruby in color, clear and bright.  The nose is dusty with cherries, anise and tea leaves.  Light tannins.  On the palate, sour cherries over slight forest floor.  Good finish.  This is very food friendly with excellent acidity.  Will go great with pasta, pizza and fowl dishes.  It should probably be drunk in the next few years but will probably be drinkable for five to seven if not at peak.  

2015 Tenuta di Trinoro Le Cupole Toscana IGT, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

This is a Bordeaux blend Super Tuscan wine from one of the top producers in Tuscany.  It is one of their less expensive offerings and is always an outstanding wine.  This wine is surprisingly open and drinking well already considering that 2015 is an outstanding vintage in Tuscany.  Purple in color with ruby swirls.  The nose has cassis, black cherries, slight tobacco and spice.  On the palate, this has a nice juiciness to it.  Black cherry fruit dominates at this point with some underlying tobacco/earth.  Light tannins.  Nice finish.  This might still improve but either way should be good

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