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 Denny Bini Podere Cipolla Lambrusco Emilia IGT, Italy, Emilia-Romagna, Wine Review

Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+

This was different and interesting.  One of the better Lambrusco's Tasted.  It is a blend of 30% Lambrusco Marani, 30% Lambrusco Salamino, 20% Lambrusco Maestri, 10% Lambrusco Grasparossa, and 10% Ancellotta.  It is made utilizing the Charmat-Martinotti method in which the secondary fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks.

2009 Cantine del Notaio Aglianico del Vulture Il Sigillo, Italy, Basilicata, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2009
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$127.00USD

This is made in the "arch" of the boot in southern Italy utlizing a similar method as Amarone.  The grapes are dried out on straw mats prior to being crushed, but the wine is fermented (mostly) dry.  This is a big fruity and ripe wine that even at age 12, is young.  Purple in color.  The nose has black cherries, cherries, tobacco, roasted herbs, anise and smoke.  Full bodied.  Dry.  On the palate flavors of black raspberries, black cherries over burnt forest floor.  Great texture.  Complex and layered depth.  Good acidity.

2018 Cadia Langhe Arneis, Italy, Piedmont, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+

This is a white from the Piemonte region of northern Italy.  Light silvery gold in color, clear and bright.  The nose is nice with a bit of pear and nice minerality.  On the palate, this took some time to open but eventually, the pear come thru as does the minerality.  Nice, slightly oily texture.  It could use a bit more acidity but nevertheless worked nicely on its own and with some Bruschetta.  Drink over the next few years.  

2004 Domenico Clerico Barolo Ciabot Mentin Ginestra, Italy, Piedmont, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2004
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$125.00USD

Great showing for this wine.  Pop and pour, it is close to fully mature but not quite.  Medium ruby in color.  The nose took about thirty minutes to open.  Cherries, slight roses, slight menthol, tar and spice.  Full bodied.  Light tannins.  On the palate, plenty of cherry fruit, some dried cherries, underlying spice and dry earth.  Lots of energy.  Nice balance.  Delicious.  Long finish.  This should easily do another ten and probably 15 more years.  It drinks well on its own, but is better with food.  It went nicely with a Spinach Lasagna.  

2017 Costaripa Valtènesi Rosamara, Italy, Lombardia, Riviera del Garda Classico DOC, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$17.00USD

This Rose is made in the Lake Garda area of northern Italy.  It is a blend of Uve Grapello, Marzemino, Sangiovese  and Barbera.  Salmon pink/orange in color, clear and bright.  Very different nose with cherries, green tea and an herbal note.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, the cherries and the herbs come thru.  Dry.  These should be consumed sooner than later.  It went nicely with Fricos with artichoke dip - not an easy match.  

2019 Poggio Anima Belial Toscana IGT, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$13.00USD

This is 100% Sangiovese grape from Tuscany grown near Sienna.  It is unclear why this is not labelled as Chianti (though it probably could be), but no matter, this is very enjoyable.  Delicious and punches way above its weight class.  Ruby/purple in color, mostly clear and bright.  The nose has bold cherry fruit with some tea leaves and a touch of wintergreen.  On the palate, the cherries come thru with a bit of spice.  Firm tannins.  Black licorice on the finish.  This is drinking well now but will certainly mature and possibly improve.  It drinks well on its own, but wines like this are m

2019 Poggio Anima Sicilia Uriel, Italy, Sicily, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$15.00USD

This is made from the Grillo grape in Sicily.  Light yellow/gold in color, clear and bright.  The nose has a nice minerality along with a touch of salinity and a bit of melon/cantaloupe.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, this is dry with a nice texture.  The cantaloupe comes thru along with a touch of lemon candy.  Enough acidity, especially on the finish to give it some energy and zing.  This is drinking well on its own but will work well with lighter summer dinners.  Drink over the next couple of years.  A very nice value at MSRP $15.  

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