2021 Donnafugata Passito di Pantelleria Ben Ryé, Italy, Sicily, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2021
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

This is from an Island located south west of Sicily.  Although part of Italy, it is actually closer to Africa (Tunisia).  It is a fascinating dessert wine. Made from Zibibbo (Muscat of Alexandria) grapes.  Amber in color with some golden hues.  The nose is great with canned peaches, apricots and candied oranges.  Viscous.  On the palate, this is sweet but not cloying.  Delicious.  Enough acidity to carry the fruit.  Also a touch of honey.  Long finish.  Great on its own, this would work well with Biscotti or shortbread.  Fun.

 

2016 Paternoster Aglianico del Vulture Synthesi, Italy, Basilicata, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$19.00USD

This is the entry level wine of Paternoster, one of the top producers in the "arch of the boot".  Although this is showing some age, their top bottlings are still quite young as Aglianico is a grape that ages quite well.  Ruby in color, mostly clear and bright.  The nose has cherries, wild thyme and char.  Medium bodied.  Good acidity.  Light tannins.  On the palate, this seems fully mature.  Cherry and dried cherry fruit.  Moderate finish.  It needs some food.  A great choice for mid-week Pizza.  Drink up.

2018 Lunarossa Quartara Colli di Salerno IGT, Italy, Campagna, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-

This is a really interesting white wine from southern Italy.  It is 100% Fiano grapes.  They are vinified in buried amphora lined with beeswax with their skins.  They are then aged for a time in wood barrels before being bottled.  Light golden in color with a touch of deeper hues.  The nose is different with dried flowers, some earthiness, and a bit of lemony notes.  Light to medium bodied.  On the palate, this has a round mouthfeel but good acidity.  Lemony notes with a bit of funk.  Long finish.  This would be excellent with most fresh seafoods.  As for ageing, it should go another few ye

2008 Contrade di Taurasi (Cantine Lonardo) Taurasi Le Coste, Italy, Campagna, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$54.00USD

This is 100% Aglianico from southern Italy.  Amazingly, the grapes are not harvested until November but the vineyards are at 1300 feet.  They are also ungrafted!  The wine is ruby in color, mostly clear and bright.  The nose is great with cherries, anise, and spice.  Full bodied.  Firm tannins.  On the palate, this is deep.  Dark cherries, cherries and black licorice.  Good acidity.  Nice finish.  This is nice on its own but better with food.  Osso Bucco would be classic but it went great with vegan "Italian Sausage" as well.  Drink over the next eight to ten years.   

2013 Fattoria di Fèlsina Berardenga Fontalloro, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$88.00USD

This is Sangiovese from Tuscany.  Gorgeous wine.  Garnet in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has cherries, some black cherries, spice, tea leaves and slight worn leather.  Full bodied.  Strong acidity.  Light to  medium tannins.  On the palate, this is delicious.  Complex and layered.  Flavors of cherries, forest floor and char.  Long finish.  This begs to be drunk with food.  Pasta with a nice meat sauce and some cheese and bread would be perfect.  Drink over the next ten years.  

1995 Tommasi Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, Italy, Veneto, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1995
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$43.00USD

This one had gotten lost in the cellar and I wondered how it held up.  Quite well I would say.  Past prime, but not by that much.  Deep garnet in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has black cherries, dried flowers, spice and some char.  Medium bodied.  Nice balance.  Good acidity.  On the palate, this is certainly drinking well.  Some depth.  Flavors of cherries, black cherries with some char.  Long finish.  This is better with a touch of food, but very good.  Fully mature.  Drink up if you have any but based on this bottle, it should go another five to ten.  This would  be great w

NV Viticoltori Acquesi Asti, Italy, Moscato d'Asti DOCG, Wine Review

Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$18.00USD

This comes in a very attractive package with a mushroom cork and wired cage.  There is no vintage noticeable although the Lot number starts with L23.  7%abv.  Silvery/green/gold in color with a thick mousse of medium sized bubbles.  The nose has pineapple, some papaya and minerality.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, this is sweet.  Refreshing.  Long finish.  This is a nice wine to start an evening or a lovely way to finish a meal perhaps with some shortbread or other plain cookie.  Drink now.  

2021 Cantine Paolini Sicilia Gurgò Frappato-Syrah, Italy, Sicily, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2021
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

This is a blend of 60% Frappato and 40% Syrah from Sicily.  Violet in color, mostly clear and bright.  The nose has raspberries, black cherries and char.  Medium bodied.  Silky texture.  Medium tannins.  On the palate, this has big fruit; raspberries and black raspberries along with char and thyme.  There is some depth as well.  Long finish.  Like most Italian wines, this is better with food.  This would work well with plate of pasta with mushrooms.  Drink over the next five years.  

2021 Planeta Frappato Vittoria, Italy, Sicily, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2021
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$29.00USD

Made from 100% Frappato grapes.  Very pale ruby/blue in color, clear and bright.  The nose has pretty cherry notes along with a bit of a floral quality and wild Thyme.  Also some salinity.  Light to medium bodied with light, silky tannins.  Moderate acidity.  On the palate, raspberries and cherries.  Clean.  Good finish.  Drink now.  This would be a lovely wine to serve at a summer party.  It seems food friendly and would be one wine that would work with a plate of Spaghetti and tomato sauce.  

2022 Pieropan Soave Classico, Italy, Veneto, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2022
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$16.00USD

One of my favorite white wines of Italy.  This is their basic Soave and while not at the level of the vineyard designated wines, this is still very good and a very good value.  It is a blend of 85% Garganega and 15% Trebbiano di Soave.  Light golden in color, clear and bright.  The nose has peaches, lots of minerality, salinity, and lemon peel.  Medium bodied.  Crisp, but with some viscosity.  Medium acidity.  On the palate, its more about the minerality although there is some peach.  Easy.  This would work well with Indian cuisine.  Drink over the next few years.   

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