2004 Bruno Giacosa Barolo Vigna Croera di La Morra, Italy, Piedmont, Wine Review

This bottle was opened and decanted for a few hours.  Still young but really blossoming.  Ruby in color, clear and bright.  The nose is gorgeous with cherries, roses, slight tar and slight dried cherries.  On the palate, this has great cherry fruit.  Light tannins.  Layers of fruit, earth and dry forest floor.  Complex.  Long finish.  Good acidity.  Better with food.  This continued to improve for the 2 hours or so it was opened.  Still some upside but a great Barolo.  

2006 Fattoria di Fèlsina Berardenga Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Chianti.  The name for some evokes thoughts of cheap wine.  Not so fast.  This is one of the best Chianti's one the market.  Not so cheap but well priced at around $45 per bottle.  This is a world class wine.    Ruby/purple in color.  The nose is great.  Cherries when young but with time it develops tea leaves and forest floor notes.  Also some sandal wood.  On the palate, this has a great backbone of acidity.  It really needs a decade or so to hit its peaks but even young is delicious.  With time, it has layers of cherries, dried cherries, hay and earthy notes.  Great with food but can be

2001 Paolo Scavino Barolo, Italy, Piedmont, Wine Review

This is really drinking quite well right now.  I had been told it might be past prime, but this bottle, bought on release and well cellared was about as good as one could expect.  Ruby in color.  Very pretty nose of cherries, tar, and slight roses.  On the palate, this has layers of fruit, dried fruit and earthy forest floor.  Great acidity.  Nice finish.  Worked perfectly at the dinner table.  No hurry on this but this is at or close to peak.  

1997 Castelgiocondo (Marchesi de' Frescobaldi) Brunello di Montalcino, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

I wondered if this were past prime, but no, it is drinking beautifully (at least this bottle).  Ruby/purple in color.  The nose has cherries, dried cherries, sandalwood and tea leaves.  On the palate, this is medium bodied.  complex and layers of cherries, dried cherries and forest floor.  Great acidity.  Perfect at the dinner table.  Long finish.  Everything I want out of cellaring a wine for 20 years.  Still fresh and vibrant but also mature and complex.  Certainly no point in waiting on these.  

2005 Gravner Breg Anfora, Italy, Friuli, Wine Review

It can be hard to find a time to open these kinds of "orange" wines.  I love them but they are not for everyone.  This is a white blend of grapes that is fermented, on the skins in amphorae and then finished in barrels.  It has Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio and Riesling.  These kind of wines are best served at cellar temperature.  Golden brown in color.  The nose is oxidized but also has some apple cider, slight citrus and even a floral note.  If oxidized wines bother you, stay away.  I found the nose vibrant.  On the palate, this is also vibrant and full of energy.  Apple cider

2007 Vietti Langhe Nebbiolo Perbacco, Italy, Piedmont, Wine Review

This is always one of the best values out there in red wine.  It drinks like a mini-Barolo.  Ruby, clear and bright.  The nose has roses, slight earthiness and cherries.  With air, some sour cherries emerge.  On the palate this is complex and layers of sherries, earth and tobacco are found.  Great acidity.  Nice finish.  At eleven years from vintage, this seems at peak but has at least five or six years left.  Current vintages are still available all over for under $25 per bottle.  Great with food.  

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

This is Cabernet Franc from Italy.  It is really quite good if a bit on the riper side.  Purple in color.  The nose has dark cherries, roasted herbs, and slight cigar box.  On the palate, this has a juicy acidity.  Plenty of dark cherry fruit.  Some tannins.  It is just getting to maturity at this point but not quite.  Certainly plenty of life left.  Food friendly.  Showing some complexity, it unwinds in the glass.  Has some upside for improvement.