2010 Cantine del Notaio Aglianico del Vulture La Firma, Italy, Basilicata, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$43.00USD

From the arch in the Italian boot.  This wine is consistently a great value.  It does takes some time to mature, so finding the 2010 was a treat.  Made from the Aglianico grape.  This is deep ruby in color.  The nose has black cherries, smoke, slight anise and a nice minerality.  Full bodied.  This is ripe with nice black cherry fruit.  Underneath is a nice smoky minerality.  Very nice texture.  Good acidity.  Long finish.  This is a tasty wine that will work well on its own (not common for Italian wines) or with food (the way Italians drink wine!).  It might improve a bit more but should b

2015 Cantine del Notaio Aglianico del Vulture Il Repertorio, Italy, Basilicata, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$40.00USD

This is a very nice wine made from the Aglianico grape in southern Italy (think the arch of the foot).  Aglianico can be one of the more tannic grapes.  It often needs a lot of cellaring to come around but also can be quite long lived.  Purple in color, slight ruby rim.  The nose is nice with black cherries, black pepper, roasted herbs, and slight anise.  On the palate, this has strong tannins.  Bright black cherry fruit with good acidity.  This will need at least five years to show much and better to give it ten.  It should be good for another ten to fifteen, at least, after that.  It is v

2015 Ruffino Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$18.00USD

This is such an underrated bottle of wine.  It gets so easy to dismiss Chianti and especially those that are not the top bottlings of good producers.  This is a really good bottle of wine and its available for under $20.  Ruby in color.  The nose has cherries, tea leaves, char and slight anise.  On the palate, this is medium bodied with light tannins.  A nice backbone of acidity.  Flavors of cherries with some underlying forest floor.  Good finish.  This should be good for the next ten years.  It went great with pasta and will work with most foods.  A great pizza wine.  

2004 Renato Ratti Barolo Marcenasco, Italy, Piedmont, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2004
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$56.00USD

This is in a great place right now.  Ruby in color with slight browning.  The nose has cherries, slight raspberries, slight tar and slight forest floor.  Medium bodied.  Tannins are mostly resolved.  On the palate, nice cherry notes with some forest floor underneath.  Good acidity.  Nice finish.  This is at peak.  it should be consumed over the next five to seven years.  It goes great with pasta and cream sauce and will work well with meat based dishes too.  

2016 Fattoria di Fèlsina Berardenga Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

This is one of my favorite Chianti's.  Normally, I let the Rancia's rest a bit while I drink the "lesser" Felsina wines.  But, I had been hearing such great things about this wine, that I wanted to try one young.  Good move.  While this should improve, this was wonderful.  One of the top Chianti's I have ever had.  And, while this is not inexpensive for Chianti, it is for a wine of this quality.  Deep ruby in color, a bit lighter at the rim.  The nose has cherries, black cherries, some anise, and some tea leaves.  On the palate, this has juicy acidity.  Big cherry fruit over a forest floor

2016 Ruffino Chianti Superiore, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$10.00USD

Chianti doesn't get enough credit.  The better producers consistently make wines that are great values especially in the great vintages.  And, 2016 is a great vintage.  Deep ruby in color.  The nose has nice cherries, with wet tea leaves and dust.  On the palate, nice cherry fruit layered with some forest floor qualities.  Great acidity.  Long finish.  This is a perfect wine to pair with pizza or pasta.  It should be drunk in the next five to seven years, but it will probably still make good drinking in ten years.  A great value at around $10!

2010 Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona Brunello di Montalcino, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

This is drinking well if still not yet at peak.  A nice, more modern styled BdM.  Purple in color.  The nose has black cherries, dust and tea leaves.  On the palate, this has light tannins.  Black cherry fruit over a forest floor.  Good acidity.  Depth and tight layers.  Nice finish.  Give this wine another 4 to six years and it should be closing in on peak.  It should be good for ten to fifteen years after that.  It will work with a wide variety of foods from pasta to fowl and roasts. 

2013 San Biagio Barolo Sorano, Italy, Piedmont, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-

This is an affordably priced Barolo ($30 on release) that is reasonably modern in style.  Ruby in color, mostly clear and bright.  The nose is nice with cherries, slight floral nose and baking spice.  On the palate, this is accessible if not at peak.  It has nice cherry fruit.  There is a fair amount of oak showing and medium firm tannins which suggests another three to five years would be beneficial (and what one should expect for a Barolo in this class).  It is food friendly with a nice bit of acidity.  Pasta in a cream sauce would work well.  This should be good for the next ten to fifte

2005 Castelgiocondo (Marchesi de' Frescobaldi) Brunello di Montalcino, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2005
Grade: 
A

This is drinking quite well at the moment.  Seemingly at peak, no reason to wait.  Deep ruby in color, a bit lighter at the rim.  The nose has cherries, dried cherries, forest floor and slight hay.  On the palate, this has layers of cherries, dried cherries and a damp forest floor.  Really lively acidity.  Nice texture.  Good finish.  This will work well with meat, fowl or pasta dishes.  It is better with food.  Still should have five to seven more years and then slowly fade.  

1999 Valdicava Brunello di Montalcino, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1999
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$130.00USD

Deep ruby in color, a bit of browning at the rim.  The nose is nice with cherries, dust, some earthiness and tea leaves.  On the palate, cherries and black cherries over a bi of char and forest floor.  This has a nice complexity.  At prime or possible slightly past.  Worked quite well with a mushroom risotto.  No hurry, but these should be consumed over the next five to ten years.  

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