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.

2006 Le Macchiole Paleo Rosso, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2006
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

This is a Cabernet Franc from Tuscany.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is great with black cherries, black raspberries, dark chocolate, slight floral notes and a hint of cigar box.  On the palate, this is ripe and a big wine.  Despite being 14 years old, it still shows medium tannins and fresh fruits.  Black cherries, some blueberries, chocolate and tobacco.  Nice balance.  Smooth finish.  This can compete with Cab Francs from anywhere.  It will easily do another decade.  A nice match for a steak or roast.  

2001 Elio Altare Barolo Vigneto Arborina, Italy, Piedmont, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2001
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

Great showing for this wine.  Decanted for sediment and air for about 4 hours.  Light ruby in color, clear and bright.  No browning.  The nose is pretty with cherries, slight cherry juice, roses, black cherries and slight forest floor.  Medium to full bodied.  On the palate, the black cherries come thru a bit stronger.  Mild tannins.  Underlying forest floor.  Great acidity.  Long finish.  This has layers of fruit and earth.  It seems to be drinking close to prime now, but well stored bottles should easily have another decade.  This will work great with pasta, mushrooms or more savory meat

1958 Giacomo Borgogno & Figli Barolo Riserva, Italy, Piedmont, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1958
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$185.00USD

A birth year wine for me.  Light ruby in color, clear and bright with a slight, slight browning.  On the nose, there are fresh cherries, cola, slight tar and dried roses.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, the fresh cherry fruit comes thru.  Light tannins.  Nice acidity.  Round.  This is drinking older, but I would not have guessed 62 years.  it has a nice complexity and depth.  At this point, all bottles are a crap shoot, but this one could have gone a while longer.  Better with food.  Pasta in a cream sauce with mushrooms would be great.  

2018 Azienda Agricola Bucci Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore, Italy, Marche, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$22.00USD

This is a lovely white from the Adriatic coast in central Italy.  Light golden in color.  The nose is very nice with minerality, apples, slight oak and some pear.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, this is plenty of depth.  Rounder but enough acidity to bring it all together.  Pears and minerals on the palate.  Nice finish.  This is one of those white wines that could use a bit of time.  This should improve with some short term cellaring.  It should be good for another five to seven years after that.  Drinks well on its own and will work well with pasta dishes in a cream or oil sauce or soft c

2008 Antinori Solaia Toscana IGT, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$240.00USD

it's always a treat to drink Solaia, especially with a few years on it.  It is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Sangiovese and 5% Cabernet Franc.  At age 12, this seems to ageing a bit faster than many vintages, but that puts it in a great place now.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has cassis, cherries, chocolate and slight tarragon.  On the palate, this has such wonderful balance.  A bit on the  voluptuous side but enough acidity to balance it off.  Cassis  and black cherries layered with an earthy/roasted herb quality.  Complex.  Nice finish.  Drinking well now, it sh

2006 Parusso Barolo Mariondino, Italy, Piedmont, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2006
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

This is another mid-tier Barolo that savvy shoppers should be on the lookout for when it goes on sale.  These wines, especially in top vintages are really excellent.  This one was picked up for $42 which  is great for a Barolo of this quality.  Ruby in color, clear and bright.  The nose has cherries, rose, and roasted herbs.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, this still has firm tannins.  It opens more with air.  Cherries over a scorched earth with nice layering.  Great balance.  Very elegant.  Long finish.  This is close to peak but should do another ten to twelve years.  A great match with p

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