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.

NV Valdo Prosecco Marca Oro Brut, Italy, Wine Review

Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$16.00USD

This is a sparking wine made in the Prosecco DOC using the Charmat method.  silvery green/gold in color, clear and bright.  A nice mousse with medium sized bubbles.  The nose is interesting with pine, apples and some minerality.  Medium bodied.  Medium acidity.  On the palate apples with some minerality.  Moderate finish.  This is nice on its own and very food friendly.  It will work with most foods and would be a great pairing with fried appetizers.  Drink now.  

2012 Giuseppe Campagnola Amarone della Valpolicella Classico

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+

It was nice to revisit this after 6 years of so.  It really hasn't improved that much.  It is a proper Amarone that is a good value and a good wine.  Ruby in color. The nose has cherries, roasted herbs and raisiny. Dry. Tannins mostly resolved at this point.  Good acidity. Cherries and dried cherries with some char. It won't get better but should drink well for another five years.  

2006 Pio Cesare Barolo, Italy, Piedmont, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2006
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$95.00USD

This was tasted blind among a group of Cabernet based wines.  Upon opening this was off a bit, perhaps showing some oxidation.  However, with about 30 minutes of air, it really came back strong.  Purple in color, opaque but flat.  The nose has black cherries, cedar, earthiness and dust.  Soft texture.  Firm tannins.  On the palate, this has depth and complexity.  A bigger in style Barolo.  Black cherries and spice.  Good acidity.  Long finish.  This will benefit from getting some air at this point if just to blow off bottle stink and revive a bit.  It worked great with a Portobello Quesadil

2020 Masciarelli Trebbiano d'Abruzzo Marina Cvetić Riserva, Italy, Abruzzi, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2020
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$60.00USD

It was nice to revisit this after an off bottle.  This one was singing.  Pale gold in color, clear and bright.  The nose is great.  it starts out simple but then opens to show lemon peel, slight lime, lots of minerality, salinity and a slight pineapple.  Medium bodied with light tannins.  Good acidity.  On the palate, this took about an hour to open.  It has a bit of lemons, some pineapple and deep minerality.  Long finish.  This is delicious on its own but better with food.  It would work well with lemon pasta.  It seems like this could be interesting as it ages so if you have a few, maybe

NV Alessandro Viola Sicilia Blanc de Blancs Pas Dosé, Italy, Sicily, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2024
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$42.00USD

it looks like a release date of 09/23.  This is a sparkling natural wine from Sicily made from 100% Catarratto grapes.  Pas Dosé means No Dossage.  Golden in color.  A nice mousse of smaller bubbles that quickly disappears in a wide rim glass.  The nose is apple cider with a bit of salinity.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, the apple cider notes continue along with a nice minerality.  Some cinnamon on the finish.  It is a different wine that seems food friendly.  Probably best to drink sooner than later.  

2007 Arnaldo-Caprai Montefalco Sagrantino 25 Anni, Italy, Umbria, Wine Revivew

Vintage: 
2007
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A

One of the top wines coming out of Italy.  This is made from 100% Sagrantino grapes in Montefalco, Italy.  Just now really entering its drinking window.  Deep purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is big with plums, black raspberries, clove, and slight leather.  Full bodied.  Firm tannins.  Good acidity.  On the palate, this is complex and layered.  Flavors of black cherries, black raspberries, char, spice and just a hint of forest floor.  Long finish.  This is delightful on its own, but better with food.  It went great with Eggplant Lasagna.  Drink over the next ten to fifteen year

2005 La Collina dei Lecci Brunello di Montalcino La Tanuta, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2005
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$27.00USD

This is a solid Brunello that is at peak.  Ruby in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose is nice with cherries, some black cherries, tea leaves and spice.  Medium bodied.  Tannins resolved.  On the palate, cherries with some forest floor.  Good acidity.  Nice finish.  There is some complexity.  Better with food at this point.  A nice match with a plate of mushroom pasta.  Drink up over the next few years.  

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