2012 Famiglia Pasqua Amarone della Valpolicella, Italy, Veneto, Wine Review

This showed quite well and was quite well received.  Purple in color, with some ruby swirls.  The nose is dusty with cherries, black cherries and baking spices.  On the palate, this has fresh cherries and black cherries.  It is slightly sweet/ripe.  It did take a few minutes to open and then kept opening.  There is an underlying forest floor note.  Good finish.  Very food friendly but drinks well on its own.  Has a decade left in it.  

2014 Pieropan Soave Classico La Rocca, Italy, Veneto, Wine Review

It was nice to try this blind, having tried it a couple of weeks ago.  There was some bottle variation for whatever reason.  This one had a deeper gold hue to it.  The nose was more mineral driven and less fruit with a crushed sea shell quality to it.  On the palate, this is dry with good acidity.  A bit of orange pith which wa quite nice.  In general it seemed a bit more advanced, but then with some air as it sat in the glass, it seemed to get a second life.  Some honey came out on the palate.  It got a bit more energy but that great minerality was still there.  This bottle had apparently

2004 Antinori Chianti Classico Pèppoli, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Another in a series of 2004 Chianti Classicos.  This is also drinking quite well.  At peak or ever so slightly past but still with freshness and life.  Ruby in color.  The nose has cherries, dried cherries, sandalwood and dry tea.  On the palate, this has lively acidity.  Nice texture.  Lots of cherries with underlying spice.  Good finish.  Food friendly.  Drink in the next three to five years.  

2004 Marchesi de' Frescobaldi Chianti Rùfina Nipozzano Riserva, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

This bottle retailed for around $25 on release.  At age 14 years from vintage, it is drinking quite well.  It is certainly at peak (or just past) and won't get better from here, but what a nice experience.  Ruby/purple in color.  The nose has cherries, dried cherries, black cherries, dried tea leaves, slight spice and some dried leather.  On the palate, this has vibrant cherries fruit along with some dried cherries and forest floor notes.  No tannins left.  Some layering.  Moderate complexity.  Nice acidity.  Works well with pasta, pizza and medium bodied foods.  Drink up in the next few ye

2010 Fontodi Chianti Classico, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

As basic Chianti's go, this is one of the best.  It is also one of the most expensive at around $30.  It is drinking quite well right now but needs a bit of air still.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has black cherries, tea leaves, dust and spice.  On the palate, this has a lovely texture.  Juicy black cherry fruit with underlying bits of damp forest floor.  A nice backbone of acidity.  Deep and complex, it unwinds in the glass.  Nice finish.  This works with a wide variety of foods.  Still about 3 to 5 years from peak I would think and it will be good for a while after that. 

2014 Pieropan Soave Classico La Rocca, Italy, Veneto, Wine Review

Pieropan makes some amazing Soave wine from the Garganega grape.  This one is dry and works quite well at the table.  Light golden in color.  The nose has slight under ripe peach, some honey and a bit of spice.  On the palate, this is dry.  Crisp acidity.  Peaches and honey carry thru but more about the minerality.  Nice texture.  Drank over two days without any change.  Has a decade left easy.  

2014 Pieropan Soave Classico Calvarino, Italy, Veneto, Wine Review

Some wine regions get a but of short shrift.  How great can a Soave be?  Isn't it just a simple white wine?  Well, truth be told, they can be outstanding.  And this one is.  Golden in color.  The nose is great with melons and peaches but also a crisp minerality that while not at the forefront, gives great structure to the aromas.  On the palate, this is almost seamless.  How can that be?  That descriptor usually comes into play for wines well above the $100 mark.  Lots of minerality.  Not sweet but almost sweet; probably just under the threshold.  Some peach and melon.  Nice finish.  Drinki

1958 Ruffino Vino Liquoroso Salento, Italy, Puglia, Wine Review

This was cool.  Although made in 1958 it had a screw top.  Metal on glass with no visible o-rings, etc.  The wine was a bit oxidized but really drinking quite well.  It is fortified.  Brown in color, somewhat like Vin Santo.  On the nose, this was like a liquified Tootsie Roll.  Chocolate, slight raisin, confectionery sugar.  Nice.  on the palate, this is fun.  Chocolate candy with good acidity, a bit of caramel.  Slightly sweet.  Nice finish.  Way above expectations and this seems like it has plenty of life left.  Well done.  

2006 Tenuta San Guido Bolgheri Sassicaia Sassicaia, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Wow.  Great wine.  Pop and pour, this got better or at least kept opening up all night.  Purple in color with a ruby rim.  Gorgeous nose of cassis, cigar box, nutmeg, and cherries.  On the palate, this has great layering that unwinds in the glass.  Cherries, cassis, earth and tobacco.  A nice backbone of acidity helps it work well with foods.  Delicious but complex.  If still youthful, not too far from peak but at least a couple of decades of life left.  Long finish.  

2012 Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

This was drinking quite well although it has years left.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is very nice with black cherries, cedar, chocolate and cigar box.  On the palate, this is youthful but ageing well.  Layers of cherries, black cherries and tobacco.  A nice back bone of acidity.  Good finish.  This can be drunk along but shines with food.  Obviously Italian food but really a wide variety.  Probably about 5 years from peak and should be there for 8 to 10.