Snooth - Articles Read the opinions of wine professionals en-us Fri, 25 Jul 2014 05:35:33 -0400 Fri, 25 Jul 2014 05:35:33 -0400 Snooth Grilling for a Change Gregory Dal Piaz <p>So, here I am trying to compile a few compelling grilled beef recipes and you know what I find? A ton of Filet Mignon recipes. That is so 1960 folks. Today we&#39;re grilling up the tough cuts. Well not really. I love a good Filet now and again but it has to be aged and funky to hold my interest.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Instead of the obvious cuts I&#39;l find myself grilling up plenty of kalbi ribs, the rather unglamorously named flap meat(!), and flat iron steaks. I&#39;ve even been playing around with boneless short ribs, a cut better suited to braising but when properly aged and cooked to perfection, which is quite medium rare, can be stunning!<br /><br /> <br /><br /> So let&#39;s get inspired. Grab a bottle of great Zinfandel, like one of the ones from yesterday&#39;s little blind tasting write up, find your favorite &nbsp;recipe, and just get grilling. I&#39;m cooking up Kalbi ribs tonight, and a few lamb loin chops as well, but we&#39;ll just keep that to ourselves now!<br /> </p> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0400 article5488 Blind Tasting 2012 Zinfandel Gregory Dal Piaz <p>As you may know, Zinfandel is my favorite American grape variety. The wines produced tend to span a wide range of fascinating styles and can reveal fabulous terroir. I belong to a grand total of three winery lists, two of which are primarily for Zinfandel. From two of the the greatest producers of not only Zinfandel, but the great field blends that are such an integral part of the history of viticulture in California. They are of course Carlisle and Bedrock.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> I met recently with one of my regular tasting groups to sample some of the current releases from both, sort of hoping to compare apples to apples ad oranges to oranges by blind tasting pairs of comparable wines from each. Eight wines were chosen and the results were, shall we say both challenging and surprising?<br /> As a group this was a uniformly high quality and distinctive set of wines. A really elegant portfolio of Zinfandel if there ever was one, due both to the respective house styles as well as the vintage itself which was close to perfect with high quality and high yields. Those high yields helped keep the fruit ripe but very well balanced and harmonious. It&#39;s looking to be a fabulous vintage and these Zins are just the first examples that I&#39;ve had to really examine it in detail.&nbsp;<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> We tasted the wines blind, and then we each ranked them and scored them by rankings. One fascinating quirk of this system, at least on this go round, was that the group&#39;s first place wine did not receive any first place votes and conversely the last place wine was not awarded any last place votes. I think this helps to illustrate how tightly grouped these wines were in a qualitative sense, and in the end how difficult it is to draw clear conclusions from our results.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> It was also somewhat challenging to tell the Bedrock wines from the Carlisle wines, which frankly was a little embarrassing for me, but the quality of neither was ever in doubt so there is that consolation. We may occasionally look like fools, but we do drink well along the way!&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> For me at least, and I believe for the group as well, the immediacy of the broader appellation wines was obvious, and responsible for the great showing, in my opinion, for the 2012 Carlisle Zinfandel Sonoma County. A terrific introduction to the Carlisle style and just flat our delicious today. It was my 1st place wine.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> This might surprise many, seeing as this is what one might be tempted to call an introductory level wine, but that is exactly why it showed so well. It&#39;s ready. Ready to introduce one to the house style and the vintage.. The single vineyard wines on the other hand were less ready. Probably with more complexity and depth, but requiring a year or three to really show at their best.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> With that in mind I present the list in order of my preference &nbsp;followed by my tasting notes in the order of tasting. By another quirk of fortune on this quirky night, the wines, placed randomly in lettered bags, managed to order themselves into a logical tasting progression. Truly bizarre!&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <em>2012 Carlisle Zinfandel Sonoma County</em></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>2012 Bedrock Zinfandel Kirschenmann Vineyard</em></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>2012 Bedrock Bedrock Heritage</em></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>2012 Carlisle Zinfandel Sodini Vineyard</em></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>2012 Carlisle Zinfandel Montafi Vineyard</em></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>2012 Bedrock Zinfandel Sodini Vineyard</em></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>2012 Bedrock Zinfandel Sonoma Valley</em></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>2012 Carlisle Zinfandel Kirschenmann Vineyard</em></div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2012 Carlisle Zinfandel Kirschenmann Vineyard</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> My 8th place wine and the group&rsquo;s tied for 5th</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Creamy oak and cedary fruit greets the nose followed by a fairly complex and elegant array of wild red berry and red currant fruit and a hint of beefiness. Light, with a gentle roundness on the palate, this is fairly elegant with lots of raspberry fruit supported by stiff little tannins and great acids that lend a citrussy tangelo note to the fine finish. Has the feel of an old vine wine. Could use a year to better knit together and shows a whisper of heat on the finish. &nbsp;89pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2012 Bedrock Zinfandel Kirschenmann Vineyard</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> My 2nd place wine and the group&rsquo;s 1st</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> There&rsquo;s some gentle cocoa and mocha on the nose but this is dominated by sweet raspberry and boysenberry fruit that is very fresh with lightly floral and smoky top notes. Medium light on the palate and with a touch of aggressive tannins early on the palate followed by pure, light and transparent red berry, raspberry and red currant fruit. The finish is just a touch short but this is really so pure and light that I can forgive that minor detail. 93pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2012 Carlisle Zinfandel Sonoma County</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> My 1st place wine, the group&rsquo;s 4th</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> A bit creamy on the nose but very deep and perfumy with hints of toasty spice, briar, &nbsp;and orange oil supporting sweet, slightly plummy and leathery fruit. Supple, with a nice blend of power and freshness, this is bright and zesty on the palate, full of black raspberry fruit and gorgeously detailed leather, plum skin, wood spice and creamy coffee notes that stick to the palate and linger on the long finish. Absolutely ready to go and delicious. 93pts&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2012 Bedrock Zinfandel Sonoma Valley</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> My 7th place wines and the group&rsquo;s tied for 2nd</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Fresh and spicy on the nose with hints of orange peel and sweet carob but not a lot of fruit and rather simple. Easy drinking in a round, supple style, this is rather full on the palate with plenty of very ripe cherry fruit. There&rsquo;s nice depth and concentration to the fruit, and some engaging tannin on the finish, but this feels a bit simple and weighty to me. 89pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2012 Carlisle Zinfandel Sodini Vineyard</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> My 4th place wine, the group&rsquo;s tied for 5th</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Tight on the nose with light and elegant aromas of strawberry, soil tones, and suggestions of floral perfume. Finely textured and bright on the palate, this shows gorgeous fruit, all red and dusty with savory base notes and fine, taut tannins lingering on the long spicy finish. This will probably improve for several years but is already showing nicely layered complexity. 92pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2012 Bedrock Zinfandel Sodini Vineyard</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> My 6th place wine, the group&rsquo;s 7th</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Dark strawberry fruit greets the nose with darker berry accent notes and plenty of savory, slightly beefy complexity. There really is fabulous purity to the fruit here on the nose. Bright, round and intense in the mouth, there&rsquo;s a fine mineral streak to this on the palate along with plenty of bright, slightly jammy, plummy and cooked berry fruit, but there is also a bit of heat and the tannins build on the finish lending this a bit of a aw feel on the finale. This is the only wine tonight that really needs to be aged. 91pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2012 Carlisle Zinfandel Montafi Vineyard</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> My 5th place wine, the group&rsquo;s tied for 2nd</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> jammy, spicy and chocolatey on the nose, this has obvious vanilla oak and some dried jerky spiciness on the nose along with very pure and bright aromas of raspberry jam. Supple, seamless and almost soft in the mouth with tannins that caress the palate with a hint of creaminess. This fills the mouth with black cherry and black raspberry fruit all framed by subtle hints of briary spice and cocoa. The most Zinfandel of the wines tonight, this shows fine length on the finish, but the midpalate intensity is what sets this apart. 92pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2012 Bedrock Bedrock Heritage</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> My 3rd place wine, the group&rsquo;s 8th</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Really powerfully scented with jammy fruit, a hint of orange peel, nuanced oaky spice and dark earthy notes on the nose. One is struck by how soft this is in the mouth. It really is low acid and while that is not my thing, this does delivery great earthy, chewy flavors that are savory, mineral and gamy along with layers of rich black fruit and black spice. Quite floral on the finish and a bit nutty there is a lot here to like and while I might not finish a second glass the quality is undeniable. &nbsp;93pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> </p> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0400 article5485 The Ultimate Summer refreshers! <p>As we work our way through summer, a summer that has been absolutely beautiful here in the northeast, or at least for the few days I&rsquo;ve been here, I know that many of us have revisited our favorite white wines and are now ready to move on to something more refreshing. That is afterall, one of wines main responsibilities in the summer. Wine should always be delicious, but when it&rsquo;s hot out, and our food is light and fresh, our wine should fit into our lifestyle.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> It is always fascinating to see what other folks are drinking, and to get recommendations from their learned palates. Today we have five or our favorite wine writing friends sharing some of their favorite summer whites. Will you be refreshed? Check out some of these fine wines and we&rsquo;re sure you will be!<br /> </p> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0400 article5484 2009 Brunello di Montalcino Bob Fyke <p>January 27th saw the arrival of the Benvenuto Brunello road show, from The Fortezza in Montalcino, to Gotham Hall in Manhattan. The purpose of the event was to showcase (and welcome) the 2009 vintage of Brunello Di Montalcino, being as it was, the January five years after the harvest year.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Approximately thirty producers were present to pour the wines of Montalcino: 2009 Brunello, 2008 Brunello Riserva, various Rosso Di Montalcino (Mostly 2012), Sant&#39;antimo DOC.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Many bottles have now found their way to store shelves, so I thought it a good time to share my thoughts on the vintage.&nbsp;<br /><br /> <br /> <strong style="font-size: 16px">The 2009 Brunello Vintage</strong><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Officially rated at four stars, out of a possible five, 2009 was a season that provided challenges for producers, but seemed to have a relatively happy ending.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Here is the official description of the vintage from the Corsorzio Del Vino Brunello Di Montalcino:&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <em>&quot;During the first phase, there were many rainy days which resulted in a large accumulation of water reserves in the land. This was in the Spring, at the beginning of the vegetative development of the vines. This mainly rainy phase lasted longer than normal, until the middle of July. During the second phase, the summer season, the weather was very dry and hot. The water reserves, accumulated during the first phase, proved very useful. The ripening speeded up from the second half of the month of August and followed a steady rhythm, as is clear also from the analytical data collected by the Consorzio. The potential alcohol contents of the grapes are quite high, but with excellent levels of total acidity and extracts. The amounts of polyphenols are both substantial and well balanced.&quot;</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> My General Impressions of the Wines Tasted</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Lovely fruit was a frequent characteristic, with many showing especially rich spiced cherry that lends itself to early drinking. Many wines ended up with slightly higher alcohol levels as well. That said, there is still good balance and structure in many of the wines that I tasted, which bodes well for some aging potential. One pitfall of the vintage was the heat that lingered into late summer. Poor timing during harvest could result in poor balance, and weak structure. As always, these generalities are subject to the practices of individual producers. Sadly, some producers never quite meet the mark of this noble wine, for one reason or another, but there are many fine examples in the class of 2009.</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Notes on several 2009&#39;s tasted, at Benvenuto Brunello and elsewhere.</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2009 Palazzo Brunello Di Montalcino 14.5% ABV $70&nbsp;</strong></em></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Subtle smoke and incense overlay dusty dried red cherry skins on the nose, with a pleasant little note of smokey candle wax. Nicely structured and well balanced, the palate shows red cherry skins, dark Earth, and flinty stones, with dried herbs and a fine mouth coating finish that lingers. Elegant and solid at the same time. 92 Pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2009 Le Ragnaie Vigna Vecchia Brunello Di Montalcino 14% ABV</strong></em></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Aromatic and rich with solid depth to the dark spice red cherry fruit.Notes of espresso beans are pronounced on the nose with delicate dried flowers on top. Soft textured, and elegant in weight in the mouth. More aromatic action energizes the red cherry fruit with dried herbs and dusty charred Earth. The finish has good length, more espresso, and a very fine grained texture. At over 600 meters elevation, the Le Ragnaie vineyard is the highest in the Montalcino zone, which seems to have helped in the high temperatures of the 2009 summer.. Only 2200 bottles produced. 92 Pts&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2009 Uccelliera Brunello Di Montalcino 14% ABV $45</strong></em></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Fragrant, dried black cherry, with Asian spice notes, flinty Earth, and a subtle dairy notes, comprise the nose on this welcoming wine. The palate shows fresh, red cherry, some anise, with mouth coating dusty tannins and long, mouthwatering finish. Well built, and really easy to drink. An excellent value. 91 Pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2009 Gianni Brunelli Brunello Di Montalcino 14.5% ABV $60</strong></em></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Red cherry skins, and dried flowers lead the way on the nose with some clay Earth, mineral, and meatiness. The palate is nicely balanced, with finesse, showing more firm red cherry and floral notes, followed by a long, dusty finish. This is the full package, complete, satisfying, and likely to last in the cellar for a while. &nbsp;91 Pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2009 Tenuta Brunelli Brunello Di Montalcino 13% ABV $60</strong></em></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The nose is dark and firm, with black cherry skins, mineral Earth, and serious floral notes on top and a suggestion of spearmint. The palate is finessed, with great strength underneath, showing elegant red cherry, and raspberry, with Asian spice, and fine texture. Notes of charred Earth accent the structure, which is complete and balanced, albeit a bit disjointed at this young age. The finish has good length and a fine grained grip. There is a depth to this wine that draws you in to focus your attention. No riserva was made in 2009, so all of the Brunello grape production went into this wine, and it shows. Luca told me that the challenge in 2009 was deciding when to harvest. The heat in the summer was substantial, and carried through into September, harvesting too early in September had to be avoided; Luca harvested late in the month. 91 Pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2009 Le Ragnaie Brunello di Montalcino14% ABV, $60</strong></em></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Rich Earth and aromatic red cherry skins with underlying minerality and notes of dried herbs (thyme?). Later green tobacco and sandalwood appear on the nose. The palate is delicious being somehow rich and lean at the same time.Spiced red cherry leads the way with nice freshness and juicy acidity. The finish is long and finely textured. Satisfying, and complete. 91 Pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2009 Tenute Silvio Nardi Brunello Di Montalcino 14.5% ABV, $70</strong></em></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Forward, warm and toasty, spiced cherry leads the way on the nose. Like a roasted cherry cobbler, with aromatic herbs, dried flowers, and forest floor. Very nice complexity. The palate has firm, fresh, &nbsp;black cherry,with solid tannins, some espresso notes (which also develop later on the nose) and a long clean finish. Quite a nice ride. A blend of grapes sourced from twenty different vineyards, with an average vine age of 20 years. 12 months in barrique (new &amp; used) followed by 18 months in botti. 150,000 bottles produced. Yummy and serious at the same time. 91Pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2009 Siro Pacenti &nbsp;Brunello Di Montalcino 15% ABV $75</strong></em></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The nose first shows firm masculine black cherry and black berry fruit with aromatic wood and some incense. On the palate, solid black cherry, some sweet tobacco and Earthy underbrush lead into a long, mouthwatering finish that has fine grip, and lingering tobacco notes. 91Pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2009 Siro Pacenti &nbsp;&quot;Pelagrilli&quot; Brunello Di Montalcino 15% ABV $40</strong></em></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Beautifully rustic on the nose with cedar, forest floor, warm Earth, dried herbs, and firm black cherry fruit and skins. The palate has firm black fruit, more forest floor, and acidity in good measure that melds into the firm, fine tannins. The finish is long and interesting with some funk, and fine, mouth-coating tannins. 90Pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2009 Livio Sassetti Pertimali Brunello Di Montalcino 13.5% $50</strong></em></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Here is a wine that is consistently solid, ready to drink, and well balanced. The 2009 is no exception. Starting with a core of dark, spiced, black cherry flesh and skins, the nose draws you in. The presence of mineral and bramble notes provides added complexity as dried flowers float over it all to punctuate things. The palate has nicely aromatic fruit, black cherry skins and a bit of strawberry, with some anise, and dried herbs. Well balanced, with plenty of acidity to carry things, and medium grained tannins framing it out. Complete and easy to drink now, and likely to improve in the short term. 90 Pts.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2009 Ciacci Piccolomini Brunello Di Montalcino 14.5% ABV $50</strong></em></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;Fine, black cherry, and black berry fruit, with elegant dried floral notes are the focus on the nose, along with burnt orange, iron, and a subtle richness. The palate has a fine grain, and elegant weight, with flavors of black cherry skins, anise, and some dried herbs. A bit awkward at this young age, with plenty of upside. 90Pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2009 Il Grappolo - Fortius Brunello Di Montalcino 14.5% ABV&nbsp;</strong></em></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The first impression on the nose is of beautiful spiced, red cherry fruit, followed by tobacco, some forest floor notes, orange rind, molasses, and dried flowers. The palate has lean red cherry, with more spice, mineral, dried herbs, and a moderately long finish. Well balanced, with good structure. 37,000 bottles produced. 90 Pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2009 Capanne Ricci Brunello Di Montalcino 14.5% ABV $55</strong></em></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Quite Earthy on the nose, with roasted black cherry flesh and a grilled meats. The Earthy quality continues on the palate along with spiced black cherry, the acidity is a bit understated, being upstaged by the solid fruit and pronounced,but fine tannins. 89 Pts.</div><br /> <div><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2009 Col D&#39;Orcia Brunello Di Montalcino 14.5% ABV $55&nbsp;</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> First out on the nose is warm, spiced, dark cherry with a bit of tangerine rind, clay earth, and pretty floral notes. The palate has an elegant weight, and is a bit subdued, showing subtle flavors of spiced red cherry, dried herbs, tobacco, and mineral Earth. Perhaps a bit shut down at this time, and likely to open and improve with time. 3 years in Slavonian oak and a year in bottle. An organic producer since 2013. 200,00 bottles produced. 88-90 Pts&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2009 Loacker Corte Pavone Brunello Di Montalcino 15% ABV &nbsp;$75</strong></em></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Rich spiced red cherry is dominant on the nose. The palate shows bright acidity, lots of rich cherry, with a hint of sweetness, all supported by a subtle firmness. Easy drinking. 89 Pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2009 Mocali Brunello Di Montalcino 14% ABV $50</strong></em></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Fresh red cherry and red cherry skins, with smokiness, and Earth. On the palate, lean red cherry, some green herbs, and &nbsp;good structure. Straightforward and ready to drink now. 87 Pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2009 Pinino Brunello Di Montalcino 14% ABV $50</strong></em></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Iron, dried herbs, tobacco, red cherry skins, and some vanilla bean on the nose. The palate consists of tart red cherry fruit that is a bit lean, accented by sparse Asian spice. The brief finish is firm and rustic. 87 Pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2009 Tenuta San Giorgio Brunello Di Montalcino 14.5% ABV $55&nbsp;</strong></em></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Sweet wood notes on the nose with cranberry, dried herbs, black pepper, and some cinnamon candy. The palate is fresh, and light in weight with clean red cherry, moderate acidity, and fine grained tannins. 87 Pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2009 Castello Romitorio Brunello Di Montalcino 14% ABV $50</strong></em></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The nose is understated, with Earthy notes and some fragrant wood and fine red cherry skins. The palate is much more pronounced with tart red cherry, and bright acidity with sandalwood and subtle dried herbs. Most enjoyable was a fine green tobacco aroma late on the nose and also in the long, finessed finish. Perhaps a bit closed, I think it needs to be revisited in a year or two to see how it settles out. 12 months in French oak, and 14 months in Slavonian. Only 24,000 bottles produced.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> </p> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0400 article5481 Getting to know: Jon Thorsen Gregory Dal Piaz <p>We continue our ongoing interview series with the friends of Snooth today by introducing Jon Thorsen. Jon maintains one of the most focused blogs on the block. The perfectly named, You see Jon is out there looking for wines for himself, mostly everyday wines that offer great QPR. His tasting notes and discoveries deserve to be on everyone&rsquo;s short list of references when it comes to these wines, and the occasional splurge wine but Jon is indeed a bit of a snob. Big ticket wines are simply not his focus, and while that may seem odd to some, the truth of the matter is that if you&rsquo;ve gone someone searching for value among modestly priced wines you&rsquo;ll find that there are plenty of terrific wines out there.&nbsp;<br /><br /> <br /><br /> So what drives Jon thorsen? Let&rsquo;s get to know him and find out!<br /> <strong style="font-size: 14px; color:maroon">Snooth:</strong> How did you get involved in wine and wine writing?<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 14px; color:green">JT:</strong>&nbsp;My wife and I decided a few years ago that we would like to start having a glass of wine each night, mainly for health reasons since there is a history of heart disease in her family. Not knowing much about wine and thinking you had to spend north of $20 a bottle to find anything good, I went on a search for affordable daily drinkers. I was rather amazed at the quantity and quality of wines available with a little effort. Thinking there were probably a lot of other people out there like me, who didn&#39;t drink as much wine as they would like because they thought it was too expensive, I decided it would be a good topic for a blog.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 14px; color:maroon">Snooth:</strong> Do you have any professional background in wine?</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 14px; color:green">JT:</strong> Zero, zilch, nada.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 14px; color:maroon">Snooth:</strong> What is your favorite wine region and why?</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 14px; color:green">JT:</strong> Oh boy, I don&#39;t know if I can name just one. How about I just keep it really large and say Italy? Truthfully though there are so many regions out there producing exciting wine, it&#39;s extremely difficult to name one. From the Calatayud in Spain to Portugal to Sicily to Rhone Valley to Dry Creek Valley out in California or Columbia Valley in Washington -- it&#39;s the great thing about being a wine lover, there are so many regions to explore!&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 14px; color:maroon">Snooth:</strong> Desert Island wine? You have to drink it for the rest of your life so let us know why this is your choice.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 14px; color:green">JT: </strong>Well, if you&#39;re looking for a variety here I&#39;d have to go with Syrah because it can expressed so well in so many different ways. If you&#39;re looking for something more specific then maybe Aglianico from Taurasi. Wait, change that to Sangrantino di Montefalco. No, make that Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero...I mean from Rioja. But I do love a good Petite Sirah from California too. We could be here awhile.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 14px; color:maroon">Snooth: </strong>Would you characterize your palate as new world, old world, or something in between? Why?</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 14px; color:green">JT: </strong>In between I guess -- I like both although I don&#39;t make a point distinguishing between these styles as I think the average wine consumer doesn&#39;t care, they just want tasty wine.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 14px; color:maroon">Snooth: </strong>What do you think of wine writing today? What do you like about it and what would you like to change?</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 14px; color:green">JT:</strong> I like the way it is expanding and that there are more and more people writing with an eye towards the consumer. For too long it was mainly wine insiders writing to an audience of other wine insiders. I&#39;m not in the wine industry, I&#39;m just a consumer. (The Reverse Wine Snob is just a hobby for me, it&#39;s not my day job.) And as a consumer I&#39;m turned off by a lot of the wine writing out there as it tends to be elitist. I&#39;m not sure that&#39;s intentional in most cases, but that&#39;s the way it comes off and I&#39;m happy to see it changing gradually. <a href=""><strong></strong></a> and <a href=""><strong></strong></a> are great examples of sites talking directly to consumers and doing a great job. And as someone who works in analytics I love sites like <a href=""><strong></strong></a> as well.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 14px; color:maroon">Snooth: </strong>What wine do you look forward to trying each year?</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 14px; color:green">JT:</strong> <a href=""><strong>Andrew Murray Vineyards Tous Les Jours Syrah</strong></a>. One of my favorites year after year. Such lovely aromas that absolutely suck you right into the glass.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Also, the <a href=""><strong>Evodia Garnacha</strong></a>. This wine is an absolute value superstar. Less than $10 for vines as old as 100 years? You gotta be kidding me!<br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> On a side note, I don&#39;t think people realize just how hard it is too make an excellent wine that retails for under $10. When you add in the cost of the labor, the bottles, the corks, labels, shipping and then tack onto that the substantial cut taken by the syndicate, I mean the distributors, and then also by retailers -- there&#39;s almost nothing left for the winery. In my mind creating a great $10 wine is a much bigger achievement and worthy of much more praise than creating a great $50 one.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 14px; color:maroon">Snooth: </strong>What wine do you just not seem to like? Why?</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 14px; color:green">JT:</strong> Beaujolais Nouveau. I just don&#39;t get it. At all. Fantastic marketing though! It&#39;s too bad you can&#39;t transplant their marketing savvy into some of the other regions in France that have much better wine but go relatively unnoticed here in the U.S.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 14px; color:maroon">Snooth: </strong>Recommend three wines, a red, a white, and a rose that will tell our audience the most about your palate, your likes, and your dislikes and please share a few of those likes and dislikes.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 14px; color:green">JT:</strong> Another hard question to narrow down but I&#39;ll give you three recent favorites.</div><br /> <div><br /> <br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong>Red:</strong> <a href=""><strong>2009 Bodegas Peique Ramon Valle&nbsp;</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> Besides being an excellent wine the thing I really like about it is that it is made from a grape I had not yet tried, Mencia. I&#39;ve reviewed something like 170 different varieties at The Reverse Wine Snob and I&#39;ve only scratched the surface of what&#39;s out there and that&#39;s awesome.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong>White:</strong> <a href=""><strong>2012 puklavec &amp; friends Sauvignon Blanc &amp; Pinot Grigio&nbsp;</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> This one is going to be hard to find as it is from Slovenia and does not have much distribution in the U.S. yet but I&#39;m really hoping that changes. I had the opportunity to go to Slovenia last fall and I was blown away by the wines they are making, which shouldn&#39;t be a surprise given it&#39;s location right next to Italy and below Austria. (I was also blown away by the white wines they made back in the 50s, 60s, and 70s that are still going strong. Sauvignon Blanc from 1963, you gotta be kidding me!)&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong>Ros&eacute;: <a href="">2012 Sorelle Winery Bella e Rosa&nbsp;</a></strong></div><br /> <div><br /> A delightful blend of 50% Sangiovese and 50% Barbera from Lodi. I love the texture on this wine as well as all the wonderful fruit and then the mineral streaks on the finish.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 16px">Jon Thorsen</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Look for my book &quot;Thumbing Your Nose At Bottles Over $20: The Reverse Wine Snob&rsquo;s Guide To Buying Cheap, Quality Wine&quot; coming on Skyhorse Publishing early 2015!</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> </p> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0400 article5470 Cariñena’s ready to Take Center Stage <p>The wines of Cari&ntilde;ena may be unknown to you, as they were to me until my recent trip to the region which i reported on here: &nbsp;Now that I am more familiar with these intriguing wines I&#39;ve spent some time sharing them with my wine writing friends to get their impressions of the wines, and to see how they might position the wines in the US market.&nbsp;<br /><br /> <br /><br /> You might ask why this is interesting, or even remotely important, which would be fair questions. With easy answers. Wine writing today is no longer the private domain of privileged experts who compare everything they taste to fine Bordeaux or Burgundies. Now that the internet has opened the world of wine writing up to so-called citizen bloggers we&#39;re finding actual consumers are writing about wine. Imagine that, the folks who buy and drink wine, instead of the professional junketteer class, are now writing about wine and talking to vast audiences at that!&nbsp;<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Real consumers enthusing about new wines to audiences cumulatively number over 100,000 wine lovers. Reason enough? Oh, and the wines are terrific to boot! Don&#39;t take my word for it, check out what these writers had to say about the wines of Cari&ntilde;ena.<br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 16px">Benjamin Carter</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> I&#39;ve been drinking Spanish wines for the past twenty years of my personal grape journey, yet I continue to be surprised. Spain is like a massive old library: just when you think you&#39;ve seen everything, you walk through a door and there is an entire wing of books you&#39;ve never heard of before. &nbsp;Such was the case with the wines of Cari&ntilde;ena from the northeast corner of Spain. The region is named after the Carignane grape (or Mazuelo, or what they call in Lodi &quot;Kerrigan&quot;), though I found that the best wines came from more well-known Spanish varieties.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> My favorite of the tasting was the 2009 Castillo de Mons&eacute;ran Garnacha ($12, 14.5% abv.), which shows a lot of classic Old World elements. Initial elements of prune and stewed fruit with great earthiness. &nbsp;Yet in the glass it is austere, and it has great potential to develop for the next few years to blossom far beyond its bargain price point. Serve with a dish of garlic-studded pork loin braised with dried apricots and paired with couscous. &nbsp;The temperature is right for a Mediterranean meal and you will not be disappointed.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <div><br /> <strong>Ben Carter</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>Benito&rsquo;s Wine Reviews</strong></a></div><br /> </div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 16px">Dezel Quillen</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> I thoroughly enjoyed the recent Cari&ntilde;ena Google Hangout tasting. All of the wines we had an opportunity to taste and exchange thoughts about offered extremely good value. I think the eye-catching packaging of the Beso de Vino and attractive price point (under $10) would be particularly appealing to millennials. The label would hook them and the quality would reel them in. Both of these wines are fun, easy-drinking, juicy and berry-driven, and perfect for backyard cookouts with family and friends. The Agoston 2013 Tempranillo and Cabernet blend, which was similarly priced, is approachable and satisfying, with clean red and purple fruit flavors, notes of spice, and balanced acidity. It has an overall soft and smooth character and is a solid red wine for everyday drinking that won&rsquo;t break the piggy bank. The Castillo de Monseran Old Vine Garnacha, in my opinion, over delivers for its price point. It shows good depth of fruit, range and integration with focused red and purple fruit flavors &ndash; both fresh and dried. I found it a bit more substantive than its counterparts in structure and weight, but equally as filling and enjoyable. Besides good value, the other common trait these wines share is a food-friendly nature. With summer upon us, and grills fired up, these wines will go great with just about anything coming off the grill. Thanks again for the invitation; the wines of Cari&ntilde;ena were an eye-opener and confirm that it doesn&rsquo;t have to be very expensive to taste good!<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <div><br /> <strong>Dezel Quillen</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>My Vine Spot</strong></a></div><br /> </div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 16px">Nannette Eaton</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Not one to bury the lead, let&rsquo;s cut to the chase, shall we? This wine is a delicious <a href=",3815,1559872_6759258_6759254_0,00.html">redwine from Spain</a> for $7 USD at Trader Joe&rsquo;s. Now, go! Scamper off with your sawbuck and score a bargain bottle of vino.<br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Spanish wines, in general, are undervalued, which make them a terrific deal for wine drinkers. If you&rsquo;re not familiar with <a href="">D.O. Cari&ntilde;ena</a>, it&rsquo;s a wine region in northeastern Spain in heart of the Ebro Valley, 225 miles west of Barcelona and 180 miles east of Madrid. Since the travel budget coffers are low at Wine Harlots, and a trip to Spain isn&rsquo;t in the cards this summer, the lovely folks at <a href="">Snooth </a>shipped a half-case of wines from D.O. Cari&ntilde;ena to explore during a video Google Hangout with a group of other wine writers. We had a great time, but it wasn&rsquo;t the same as a trip to Spain, but, then again, I wasn&rsquo;t struggling with a nine hour time zone jetlag, so I guess it&rsquo;s a wash.<br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> All of the six we tasted were tasty, quaffable bargains, but this was the standout. Monte Ducay Reserva is produced by <a href="">Bodegas San Valero</a> and is a juicy, fruity wine, perfect for summer barbecues and patio grilling. It tastes like a $15 wine, and it&rsquo;s dressed up in a golden paper wrap that makes it look fancy &mdash; during our tasting, <a href="">Gregory Dal Piaz</a> of Snooth unwrapped the paper and demonstrated that it can double as a bib for eating, or can be crafted into a hat for protection from any summer downpours. Yep, wild and crazy fun.<br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> What&rsquo;s the perfect pairing? Any thing that comes off the grill &mdash; <a href="">burgers</a>, ribs, paella or even grilled vegetables will complement this easy-drinking red. The music match is &ldquo;Lady in Spain&rdquo; by Ingrid Michaelson. If you can&rsquo;t actually be in Spain, this is the next best thing.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <div><br /> <strong>Nannette Eaton</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>Wine Harlots</strong></a></div><br /> </div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 16px">Clifford Brown</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> In late June I had the extreme good fortune of being invited to participate in an online tasting of wines from Cari&ntilde;ena, a region in Spain. &nbsp;This event was organized by Snooth and Greg Dal Piaz. &nbsp;This wasn&#39;t your usual online Twitter based tasting or even one with someone in front of a camera leading the event and doing all the talking. &nbsp;This was a true roundtable event. &nbsp;We all connected to a Google+ Hangout with our own audio and video feed. &nbsp;Whenever one of us talked, everyone&#39;s video feed would switch to the person &quot;with the floor&quot;. &nbsp;This was my first experience with this format, but I&#39;m sure it won&#39;t be my last. &nbsp;There are limitations in the number of concurrent video feeds allowed in the session, but for events with under a dozen participants, this platform should be outstanding.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <div><br /> <strong>Cliff Brown</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>Cliff&rsquo;s Wine Picks</strong></a></div><br /> </div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 16px">The Wines</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <em><strong><a href="">2011 Beso de Vino Cari&ntilde;ena Selecci&oacute;n&nbsp;</a></strong></em><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> This is a blend of 85% Syrah and 15% Garnacha. &nbsp;The wine has 13.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The wine is a medium ruby red color. &nbsp;The intriguing nose has cherries, minerals, white pepper, blackberries, licorice and dried violets. &nbsp;This is barely medium body with moderate tannins and crisp acidity. &nbsp;On the palate tart cherries and minerals jump out first with licorice and a floral note coming in later. &nbsp;The finish has decent length with a cranberry note joining the show. &nbsp;This needs some food to help keep the acidity in check. &nbsp;(88 pts)</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <em><strong><a href="">2013 Bodegas Virgen del &Aacute;guila Cari&ntilde;ena Agoston Tempranillo &amp; Cabernet</a></strong></em><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> This is a 50-50 blend of Tempranillo and Cabernet. &nbsp;The wine has 13.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The wine is a medium to deep ruby red color. &nbsp;The inviting nose has cherries, cassis, dried herbs, crushed stone minerals, baking spices, dark chocolate, fresh thyme and a touch of cedar. &nbsp;This has medium body with soft tannins and slightly soft acidity. &nbsp;Juicy cherries and berries with baking spices coat the palate with minerals and dark chocolate coming in on the back end. &nbsp;The sappy finish adds some cedar. &nbsp;I&#39;d like a bit more grip on the back end and finish, as is it gets a touch soft. &nbsp;(88 pts)</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <em><strong><a href="">2009 Castillo de Monseran Cari&ntilde;ena Old Vine Garnacha</a></strong></em><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> This wine has 14.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The wine is a deep ruby red color. &nbsp;The appealing nose has cherries, white pepper, vanilla, wild flowers, baking spices and a touch of dark chocolate. &nbsp;This has medium body with moderate tannins and good acidity. &nbsp;Spicy cherries and white pepper pop out first on the palate with a floral note coming out on the backend. &nbsp;The finish has decent length with a touch of earthiness adding some depth. &nbsp;Not bad but not really showing anything special at this time, I&#39;m sure this will be better down the road. &nbsp;(89 pts)</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <em><strong><a href="">2011 Beso de Vino Cari&ntilde;ena Old Vine Garnacha</a></strong></em><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> This wine has 13.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The wine is a bright ruby red color. &nbsp;The inviting nose has cherries, blackberries, white pepper, crushed stone minerals, mint, vanilla, plums and candied violets. &nbsp;This is barely medium body with moderate tannins and very good acidity. &nbsp;On the palate zippy fruit and white pepper jump out first with minerals, plums and mint coming in later. &nbsp;The finish has good length with a nice floral note entering the picture. &nbsp;This is a solid effort. &nbsp;(90 pts)</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <em><strong><a href="">2012 Alto Cinco Garnacha Cari&ntilde;ena</a></strong></em><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> This wine has 14.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The wine is a medium garnet color. &nbsp;The impressive nose has cherries, black raspberries, licorice, white pepper, cocoa powder, vanilla and candied violets. &nbsp;This has medium body with soft velvety tannins and decent acidity. &nbsp;Rich, ripe berries, spice and cherries coat the palate initially and grudgingly allowing some white pepper and cocoa powder to slip through on the back end. &nbsp;A candied floral nose enters the picture on the finish which has decent length. &nbsp;This is an easy drinking wine with slightly low acidity and just a touch of sweetness. &nbsp;(87 pts)</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <em><strong><a href="">2009 Monte Ducay Cari&ntilde;ena Reserva</a></strong></em><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> This wine has 13.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork. &nbsp;Per Greg this is only$7 but appears to be available only at Trader Joes. &nbsp;If you see this wine at that price, grab a case, you won&#39;t be sorry.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The wine is a medium to deep ruby red color. &nbsp;The enticing nose has black cherries, raspberries, minerals, baking spices, cedar, white pepper, and dried violets. &nbsp;This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity. &nbsp;On the palate spicy cherries and raspberries hit upfront with minerals and spicy oak coming in later. &nbsp;The finish has good length with some subtle earthiness and white pepper adding nice depth. &nbsp;(90 pts)</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 16px">Conclusion</strong><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> I was already fairly familiar with the region and in fact have had prior vintages of half these wines. &nbsp;This is a very unique region, some of the wineries are very &quot;old school&quot; and others are adopting the practices of the &quot;new world&quot; regions.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Every one of these wines were distinctive. &nbsp;They had the &quot;personality&quot; and nuances to satisfy any wine lover but would easily satisfy even a novice wine sipper in any friendly gathering.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> </p> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0400 article5480 Delicate and Delicious! Gregory Dal Piaz <p>While much of summer&rsquo;s oohing and awing seems reserved for dry aged, grass fed and locally grown beef these days, not that I am complaining, eating beef on a daily basis can grow tiresome. We need variety in our lives, and while there are many options like the other white meats, a veritable world of choice awaits us, under the sea.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> I have gone on record before decrying the depletion of our once vast resource of fresh fish. I can remember breaking down tuna and swordfish in the 1980s that were huge. Fish we just don&rsquo;t see these days with any regularity, but that does not mean I am against the responsible management of our fish stocks, fortunately for me. You see I love fish. I eat from the wide variety of fresh fish available to me with some regularity, and in the summer, with the grill going, the light, delicate flavors of fish enhanced with a bit of char and some smoky goodness become a regular treat at my dinner table. Delicious, nutritious, increasing expensive, and rightly so. I can&rsquo;t resist a good fish dinner and with recipes like these it&rsquo;s easy to see why. Just please eat fish responsibly. You can find a wide selection of lists for <a href=""><strong>Sustainable Seafood here</strong></a>. Please have a look and help preserve our seafood stocks for future generations!<br /> </p> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0400 article5475 Great Value Sauvignon Blanc Gregory Dal Piaz <p>Value among wines is of course relative, though there are a few factors that help keep prices down and values compelling. For example, the use of oak barrels adds to the cost of a bottle of wine and if you are able to move wines out of the winery quickly, and crop your vines so that they provide a robust yield, while not impacting quality of course, you can further reduce your expenses. Many grapes fit this model, but none faces a more competitive marketplace than Sauvignon Blanc. That means great values for consumers!<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Sauvignon Blanc if a gorgeously refreshing wine produced in a small variety of styles, at this price point, that tend to emphasizes freshness, crispness and ease of drinking over complexity or winemaking style. All that translates into wines that offer huge bang for the buck at the lower end of the price scale. While the wines featured today are not among the least expensive, they do fall within the sweet spot for Sauvignon Blanc where quality starts hitting some impressive highs yet the prices remain under $15 a bottle, and mostly clustered around $12.<br /> These are not big, powerful and infinitely complex wines but rather are the crisp, clean, fruit and acid driven examples that work wonderfully when the weather turns hot out. Chill a few bottles, prepare a nice casual lunch or antipasto spread and invite over your friends and family for a delicious treat by the beach, pool, or patio. That, after all, is what the wines are meant for, and what the do best. For a non fussy summertime evening it&rsquo;s tough to beat great Sauvignon Blanc for value, and for fun!<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2013 Montes Limited Selection Sauvignon Blanc Leyda Valley Chile 12.5% $15</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Really very attractive on the nose with nicely layered roasted green chiles, a hint of jalapeno, cut grass ands sweet lemon and lime aromas. In the mouth this displays big acids up front supporting fresh and nuanced flavors of grapefruit and guava with some of the green herbal qualities emerging aromatically in the mouth. the texture is medium full bodied but rather seamless with a hint of austerity asserting itself on the backend as this flashes a hint of peach leading a moderately long and well focused finish. 89pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2013 Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough N.Z. 13% $12</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Intensely aromatic with that classic gooseberry, cut grass, asparagus and grapefruit nose that typifies Marlborough Sauvies. Bright and juicy on the palate with good energy and attractive complexity to the asparagus and green pea framed fruit flavors that hint at peach then receded back into a more classic grapefruit and lime profile. Finishing with good length and lovely purity, this is quite delicious and very refreshing. 88pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2012 Wente Sauvignon Blanc Louis Mel Livermore Valley CA 13% $14</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Creamy tones emerge on the nose followed by subtly sweet layers of fresh herbs, grapefruit, cactus leaves, hints of figs, and pithy citrus notes. elegant on entry and seamless with some riverstones early on the palate followed by a rich, slightly creamy midpalate filled with nuanced herbal accents over a core of slightly candied pink grapefruit and fig flavors. There&rsquo;s fine acids here, though they are nicely wrapped up in the fruit and the herbal edge pops on the backend and leads to a somewhat modest finish. Fairly complex and bright I do wish for a bit more length here. 88pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2013 Steven Kent Sauvignon Blanc Lola Ghielmetti Vineyard Livermore valley CA. 13.9% $15</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Tight and focused on the nose with gentle suggestions of white flowers followed by notes of lemongrass and lime. Seamless in the mouth with refreshing acidity and a touch of gravelly minerality supporting lithe, elegant green plum, lemongrass and green apricot fruit. this is lovely in a rather elegant style with a moderately long, zesty lemony finish. 88pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2013 Yalumba The Y Series Sauvignon Blanc South Australia 12% $12</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Cut grass and hints of poblano chilies greet the nose followed by lemon and pineapple fruit. This is bright and zesty in the mouth with just a hint of trapped CO2 adding a little prickle on the tongue. the flavors are quite pure in this refreshing style with soft notes of slightly creamy pink grapefruit pith and lime blending on the palate and lingering nicely on the finish. 87pts</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2013 Domaine Paul Buisse Touraine Sauvignon Blanc 11.5% $15</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> A hint of mint or tarragon greets the nose followed by dusty mineral notes, a touch of green tomato and some sweet apricot undertones. Lean and focused, this is rather austere style of Sauvignon Blanc with fine acids supporting a veil of green tomato and lime flavors. the texture here is attractively fresh and light, though the flavors are &nbsp;clear and bright with a nice mineral note on the backend leading to a moderately long, clean finish. Pure and subtle on the palate with grapefruit flavors emerging with air. 87pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2013 Buitenverwachting Beyond Sauvignon Blanc Western Cape S.A. 13.5% $12</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> A bit simple but intense on the nose with a one-two punch of cut grass and gooseberries. Simple on the palate as well though crisp and juicy with lovely if delicate fruit that shows flashes of golden raspberries surrounding gooseberry and grapefruit pith flavors. Finishing with a nice bracing edge and good length this is a bit small scaled by very refreshing. 86pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2013 Twin Islands Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough N.Z. 13% $12</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Lots of cut grass and lime greets the nose along with a hint of white pepper. This is juicy and bright in the mouth with just a hint of fleshiness and relatively pure flavors of lime and gooseberry accented with a touch of green herb. A refreshing style that is simple yet bright with a lovely, refreshingly citrus limeade finish. 86pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2013 Rutherford Ranch Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley 12.5% $14</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Peach pit and hints of minerality greet the nose followed by faint freshly cut grass and green fruit aromas with a hint of yeastiness. Broad and bit soft in the mouth, this is nicely transparent with soft flavors of white peach, lemon, &nbsp;and green mango. A soft, and somewhat creamy style of Sauvignon Blanc, some bitter citrus oils appear on the backend, with a hint of salty minerality adding a touch of complexity to the modest finish. 86pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2013 Bogle Sauvignon Blanc California 13$ $9</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Lightly aromatic with small grapefruit aromas and a nice streak of lime on the nose. followed by late arriving grassy notes. pretty crisp on entry if just a bit thick on the plate. This displays attractive white peach and citrus flavors in a medium full style with plenty of refreshing acidity. There&rsquo;s not much follow through on the modest finish but this is varietal and fairly refreshing. 85pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2013 Kendall-Jackson Vintner&rsquo;s Reserve Sauvignon Blanc California 13.5% $12</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Lime and lemon emerge on the nose along with a touch of lemon verbena. Medium bodied, a bit soft and round for Sauvignon Blanc, this delivers clean slightly guava toned citrus flavors without any of the classic herbaceous character of Sauvignon Blanc. it&rsquo;s easy to drink if just a bit heavy on the modest finish. 82pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2013 Kendall-Jackson Avant Sauvignon Blanc California 13.5% $12</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Subtle on the nose with vague herbal notes married to hints of mineral water and slightly candied lime and peach aromas. tart on entry and quite simple with a lemonade like flavor profile. There&rsquo;s some weight on the palate but his is a neutral example of Sauvignon Blanc. Pleasant but no more and with very modest varietal character and almost no finish 80pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> </p> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0400 article5471 Wines We’ve Loved in June! <p>And we are back with what is proving to be one of your favorite features. As our favorite wine writers share their finds of the month with us we get to learn more about their palate and get to discover some fabulous under the radar wine finds. What have your favorite wines of the past month been? Leave us a comment and share your finds with the snooth audience!<br /> </p> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0400 article5472 2010 Barolo Gregory Dal Piaz <p>So what&rsquo;s not to like? 2010 Barolo is in the hype machine right now and as much as i would like to say that they hype machine is in overdrive, which it perennially is, this is one time where much might be warranted. that&rsquo;s not to say that 2010 is a universally fabulous vintage. It simply is not with more than a handful of wines showing under-ripe tannins and flavors, but if you stick with the top producers you will be in for a treat, at least if you have the patience to let these wines mature. Which by my reckoning is going to take a full 20 years for the top wines.&nbsp;<br /><br /> <br /><br /> I was able to visit with Burlotto and Brovia twice this past spring and much of my opinion of the vintage is framed by their wines. In March of this year the wines, 2010 Barolo in general, were hard, a bit lean and showed the character of a barely ripe, but energetic and complex vintage. Red currants and herbs abounded. &nbsp;The wines were leaner than they had been in 2013, and showed signs of closing up tight as a drum.<br /> Upon tasting these wines first in March and then again in May of this year I found some flesh and fruit had returned to the wines and they resembled the barrel samples tasted in May of 2013 much more than the wines tasted just two months earlier. It just goes to show you that timing is terribly important with these sorts of things, tasting barrel samples and immature examples of particularly age worthy wines.<br /><br /> <div><br /> <div><br /> So what are the wines like? They are mostly brilliant though some wines do lack some flesh and have tannins that are too hard for their own good. It&rsquo;s a vintage that reminds me very much of a hypothetical blend of the structure and weight of 1996 with the freshness and purity of 2008. An enviable combination to be sure but neither of these vintages was met with early acclaim, and for good reason. Both vintages are the true aficionado&rsquo;s vintages, and that is where 2010 is likely to run into some difficulty.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> We are in an age where one cannot simply comment on the high quality of a vintage, but one must exalt it. It&rsquo;s the best ever! Which may be true in some cellars, but the style, the hard style sure to shut down and require many years of cellaring, that is simply not terribly popular. We all suffered when the Spectator awarded 100pts to the 2000 vintage. It&rsquo;s a foolhardy task awarding perfection to an entire vintage, but the wines delivered hedonistic pleasure, and continue to do so. They are not the best wines to ever emerge from Piedmont, but on another level, the level of approachability and sheer ease of enjoyment, they very well might be.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Using those criteria the 2000 vintage is a better vintage than 2010, and 2009 might also be, and 2011 certainly is shaping up to be the best hedonistic vintage ever for this region. As you can see, even I am not immune to some exaltation! So while we&rsquo;re all ranting and raving about 2010s you should beware. Sadly this seems to be my shtick. warning about the vintage, but in all honesty I just don&rsquo;t see balance in the reporting available for the wines of Piedmont. All I see are folks competing to award the highest scores and to call the vintage as early as possible, not really concerned about their accuracy, for as I&rsquo;ve said before wine critics are never held accountable for their words.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> We&rsquo;re also in a time when warm is bad, so 2011s are not worth paying attention to, and cold is always better, even if it might have been just a little too cold, as was the case in 2010. So these are not wines for every palate. they are however wines for the palate that prefers medium weight wines, wines sleek and seamless with terrific purity of fruit and great energy supported by high acids and rich tannins. Powerful wines that are not easy wines to understand, and will disappoint many folks out there, though at this price level many folks are just drinking the points and not the wine and will derive their pleasure from draining a 96pt wine no matter what they actually experience in the glass.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> A note about pricing. In some parts of the Langhe 2010 was a short crop, but this cannot seriously be suggested as the reason for the rise in pricing at some wineries. It is painful to watch, the greatest values on earthy becoming just values, but Barolo is the world&rsquo;s greatest wine and the fact of the matter is that the top examples have been underpriced for decades. The market has finally caught on to the never better quality to be found here, and as Burgundy continues to explode in pricing, following small harvest after small harvest, and my heart does go out to the producers once again devastated by hail in this past month, those buyers will look elsewhere for fine wine values. There is nowhere else to look my friends. Everything else, save some obscure wines such as those from Mount Etna for example, is fully priced and not as good as the best barolo.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> As I wrote on january 5th of this year:</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;This year we&#39;ll see the hot producers gain momentum as they receive ever higher scores and ever more attention from collectors. It should be the turning point for the Burgundification of Piedmont. I think we&#39;ll see price increases of about 50% for the great traditionalists, Monfortino having shown the way. The next tier will see similar increases, maybe 35% or a bit more. The rest of the pack will slowly filter their way to where they should be driven as much by traditional critical acclaim, which will remain more influential at the top of the market, as by vocal consumers.&rdquo;</div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]<br /><br /> While my 50% increase might be a tad on the high side we do have 35% increases for Monprivato, Conterno&rsquo;s Cascina Francia, and Vietti&rsquo;s crus, though these last driven as much by incredibly high scores as some price increases ex-cellar. Giuseppe Rinaldi&rsquo;s Barolo and those of Cantina Bartolo Mascarello look likely to follow suit, and even my favorite value producers such as Burlotto and Brovia can&rsquo;t be far behind.&nbsp;<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> So whereas a few years ago we had all of these wines available to use for roughly $100 or less, today we are looking at $150 and up for these top wines. Fair considering the quality, but what about for buying and popping? Will these wines perform well early in their lives? No, I don&rsquo;t think they will. Will we all have confidence in buying them and laying them down in our cellars. Those comfortable with the price have already shown that they are equally comfortable with the &lsquo;assurance&rsquo; professional criticism affords, and I believe that many folks will be disappointed with these wines when it comes time to drink them. Even more likely is that folks will become disappointed with these wines well before it comes time to drink them as we continue to say that they are closed and still need more time!</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> So what should you do? Think very carefully before buying these wines. Do you have the proper cellar to age these wines the 15 years or more that they will need to reach their apogee? if not, skip them. Vintages like 2011 will prove much more rewarding early on and fully mature vintages can be had for just a bit more than this most expensive ever set of current releases. Of course I write this as both a consumer and a reviewer of wines. I love Barolo, classic Barolo, hard and austere Barolo and I love the 2010 vintage, prices be damned. As I near my 50th birthday I must begin to consider when enough is enough, I have a cellar full of the stuff, and how long do I need to keep buying vintages such as 2010?&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> 2010 is undoubtedly a great vintage, though no greater in many ways than a handful of other vintages. It is though, a throwback vintage with weather that the region had not seen for decades. Pair that with the advances in viticulture and winemaking that have transpired since last we saw such weather and you have some of the greatest expressions of classic Barolo you are ever likely to come across. As a reviewer I can lament the price increases but as a consumer I am stocking my cellar with these gems. Though in truth I did trim my purchases just a bit to allow both space for and the money to buy more 2011s than expected.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> So there you have it. I love the vintage but it is not without some trepidation that I recommend it. They are expensive wines and they are austere wines, a combination that rarely succeeds in the marketplace. The top wines will no doubt sell through their first tranche of pricing, and I doubt we&rsquo;ll see much in the way of discounting for a year or at least until the 2011s start showing up en masse on these shores. I look forward to trying these wines, both again in October before they go to sleep and then in a decade or so when they might just be waking up. Something you should keep in mind when buying 2010 Barolo.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> One last point worth making regarding the vintage is that this is the sort of vintage, just barely ripe in many ways, where the top crus not only outperform the lesser sites, but also exhibit their terroir in all their glory. Vineyards like Cannubi, Rocche, Villero and Brunate, along with a few spots in Serralunga really show why they are so well considered in a vintage like this. The elegance of Rocche and Cannubi in particular make wines from these two top vineyards particularly compelling in 2010, a vintage built as much on elegance and finesse as it is on power. &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> And one final word. Just yesterday, July 8th as I finish writing this, Barolo was hit by a rather wide ranging and potentially damaging hail storm. By the time this is published the extent of the damage should be better understood but if history is any guide one thing is certain. the reduced crop from this hailstorm with be used as a reason to further push up pricing. While these 2010s seem expensive today it is likely that in the not too distant future they will be looked upon as good values on release.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> And while I am ending on the notion of value, I look forward to trying the base Barolos from many producers come this October. Often overlooked by collectors who are convinced that Crus by their very nature must be better, these wines remains quite compelling values and should be a terrific barometer by which to judge the quality of this fascinating vintage. please don&rsquo;t overlook these wines when stocking up on 2010 Barolo! &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The order of the wines that follow are simply chronological and do not represent any sort of ranking.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> My list of top wines is also fairly predictable, but then again I get to visit the producers who I feel are making the best wines so this should not be surprising. Nor should the fact that scores here are, on the whole, rather high.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 16px">Burlotto</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> As you most likely know I am very fond of the Burlotto style, going so far at to name Burlotto my winery of the year in 2013. The style here capture the concept of enlightened traditionalist perfectly. The wines are fresh and bright with incredibly pure fruit on medium weight frames. These are wines that mature fairly quickly and should be enjoyed roughly between 10 and 25 years following their respective vintages, though the wines certainly can last longer.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Burlotto Barolo</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Wild strawberries with a slightly jammy cast are joined by notes of muskmelon, cinnamon, and rose petals with just a hint of cooling mint and tar on the nose. &nbsp;Bright in the mouth, this has a &nbsp;super fine tannin structure contributing gorgeous texture to the super sour cherry and slightly red currant tinged fruit. Snowing nice length, and gaining savory accents on the strawberry seed finish with a hint of red fruit on the return, this does show a bit of walnutty tannin on the finale. Fairly big power and excellent freshness. 91pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Burlotto Barolo Acclivi</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Smoke, Incense, olive wood, a deep black fruit extract, and black cherry fruit emerge on the nose. This is a big wine for acclivi, with deep fruit, lovely cherry skin notes and incense in the mouth, over a fine minerality, with ripe tannins. The deep fruit is both a little inky a little nutty but this remains finely balanced through the long, elegant finish which shows fruit that is just barely yet perfectly ripe. &nbsp;92pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong><em>2010 Burlotto Barolo Monvigliero</em></strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Cinnamon, strawberry, along with hints of sage and olive come together on the classic Monvigliero nose. &nbsp;Bright and rich, this powers through the palate, with a great mass on entry that dissolves elegantly on the palate. &nbsp;The tannins here are like the big bang, constant acceleration away from each other making the palate larger and yet lighter as the move and powering the olive and wild strawberry flavors on the palate deep into the corners of your mouth. There is huge incipient complexity on the backend, which shows a hint of peachy freshness. A beautiful expression of Monvigliero. 94pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Burlotto Barolo Cannubi</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Tight on the nose with fine, subtle perfumes of rose petals, white soil, leather, and sandalwood. Rich on entry, powerful and deep fine grained tannins On the palate this is so lively with deep darker raspberry and spicy cherry fruit. Today this lacks some complexity but has the grace of Cannubi with the long, thin, firm tannins of the vineyard leading to a long, dusty finish. Really well put together and fairly elegant already. 93pts<br /><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 16px">Sordo</strong><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Sordo is one of the largest producer in Barolo, and while the wines are classic old school Barolo they also show a bit of a modern style in the precocious nature. With fruit from some of the top sites in their portfolio it&rsquo;s fascinating to taste through these wines. Each cru is distinct and true to their roots, though they are a bit lighter and less complex than some of the top examples from each. These are excellent wines for early consumption and a real find for restaurant lists.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong><em>2010 Sordo Barolo</em></strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Attractive nose shows classic evolution, subtle, good macerated herb, roasted chestnut and dried sour fruit aromas with mushroom and &nbsp;tobacco top notes. Clay earthiness on entry leads to a nice blend of delicacy and complexity, and while this Feels a touch dry on the palate there is fresh herbal nuance framing small,tart dried berry and red currant flavors that are almost electric with their razor sharp acids. Dusty and ripe, this is an acid lovers dreamer. 87pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Sordo Barolo Rocche di Castiglione</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Tight, rosehip, rose petals, a little underlying spice, some sandy soil tones, incipient leather, and bookbinders glue are given nice lift on the nose by a hint of VA. Nicely textured on entry this is fine, elegant, and rounded on the attack. Almost opulent in the mouth the texture is already fairly evolved with flavors of nice tart cranberry and wild cherry fruit that lacks some nuance on the palate but is thoroughly satisfying, picking up some sweetness on the moderately long finish. Quite a classical interpretation. 88pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Sordo Barolo Monvigliero</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Smoky, and a little nutty on the nose with very fine small black fruit and floral aromas that are fairly compact and precise Fruity, soft and elegant on entry this is quite representative of verduno with being quite as perfumed as one might expect. There is good fruit on the palate, red fruited, though this is a bit loose in the mouth with tannins that are perhaps a whisper dry, and a bit lean, almost leathery and narrow on the palate and through the modest finish. 87pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Sordo Barolo Gabutti</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Deep on the nose with an earthy base and smoky nuance laid over dark fruit with slightly medicinal, fine jerky, spicy, camphor aromas. In the mouth one finds good depth and complexity to the nicely presented wild cherry fruit which is clean and tight with very good tension. While not as firm as one might expect a wine from Serralunga to be this does have great acids, nice tannins that are firm but not massive and certainly not dominant, and a finish that is quite clear and pure. 90pts</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 16px">Ferdinando Principiano</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> A small producer in Monforte, Ferdinando has made a 180 degree turn over the past few years. Once distinctly tilted towards the modernist camp, today the Principiano wines wines come from exceptionally well tended organic vineyards and the style of the wines himself has become &nbsp; much more nuanced and complex. While not yet in the top tier of producers, the wines of principiano are definitely on the rise and worth paying close attention to in the coming years.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Ferdinando Principiano Barolo Serralunga</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Peach and apricot marmalade base notes slide under superb floral notes that recall alpine flowers dotted with a cool minty note and slow to emerge leather, licorice and medicinal accents. Tight on entry, this shows ripe tannins on the palate supporting a fine burnished fruit early on the palate, wild cherries supported by fine acids. The tannins build in the mouth, showing nice minty power on the backend with more white cherry fruit, and decent length to the mineral tinged finish. This builds nicely in the mouth and shows good complexity. 89pts&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 16px">Canonica</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Gianni Canonica runs one of the smallest operations in Barolo out of his incredibly modest basement winery. Working organically, he produces miniscule quantities of wine, a single Barolo and a single barbera, from his immaculately tended organic vineyards. The wines are superbly expressive and bright on the palate and while a challenge to buy there will be marginally more available in coming years as he brings a tiny new vineyard, locating in Grinzane Cavour, on line. A distinct style of Barolo, everyone should try these wines to see what truly unfettered Barolo is all about.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Canonica Barolo Paiagallo</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Jammy red berry fruit pops with spicy depth and deep balsamic notes on a nose that already shows great integration. Fine ripe tannins greet the palate in this pretty big wine that retains great tension. There is a lot of body and backplate density here, though this is not terribly weighty. Already showing great wild cherry fruit up front accented with a hint of citron peel and a touch of floral complexity on the back palate this is going to be long, full and powerful when fully mature. Even with all the power evident here this remains transparent and bright in the mouth. Really delightfully clear and fresh. 93pts</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 16px">Oddero</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Long laboring away in the shadow of the great traditionalists, Oddero has consistently produced fabulous barolos over the years but the last decade has seen a slow but constant climb in the quality of the wines, or I should say the nebbiolo based wines. This is one house where the Nebbiolo seems to outpace the so called lesser varieties by a wide margin each year. There is a lot of barrique used here, primarily for malo, and while some oaky nuance may show up in some fo the wines, these remain wonderfully traditional expressions of Barolo.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Oddero Barolo</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Huge sweet herb stem, carob, dark, slightly earthy and slightly prosciutto scented aromas are joined by a hint of wood smoke on the nose. With big, ripe tannins, this shows density on the palate, and fine balance with the potential for elegance. There is lovely freshness to the fruit, mineraly and dark, with slightly jammy wild strawberry, and a little black currant displaying superb tension on the palate and through the finish which shows some slight toughness to the tannin. A super 2010 Barolo. 92pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Oddero Barolo Villero</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Huge rose hips on the nose followed by big clay aromas, superb raspberry fruit, a hint of nuttiness, and just a touch of smoke. Another big wine, though smooth and bright, with juicy power to the tart red fruit, rhubarb and raspberry flavors. While fairly tannic this is a touch loosely knit and remains airy on the palate with lots of red fruit flavors and spice before turning earthy on the backend as the tannins close ranks. There&rsquo;s lots of red fruit and spice on the finish, which is long and precise with lingering red fruit and a menthol note on the finale. &nbsp;93pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Oddero Barolo Rocche di Castiglione</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Very pretty on the nose with hints of mineral, tight little rose and iris notes, and gorgeous precision with a subtle liquory quality to the fruit. Round, ripe so complete on the palate, the texture here is seamless. The fruit is subtle and tight with dusty red fruits and nuanced hints of herb and mineral adding a touch of bitterness on the palate which adds some detail. Tight and sapid on the finish, this is reticent today but the texture is smashingly good, nuanced and faceted and just regal. 94pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Oddero Barolo Brunate</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Spicy smoldering herbs pop on the pointy, direct and slightly high toned nose which shows shoe black, strawberry seeds, camphor, smokey, balsamico, grilled beef, and allspice aromas. While the acids are well present in the mouth this is a bit supple in the mouth, though it turns very direct and taut on the midpalate. One finds lovely minerality, layered fruit, and breadth in the mouth, which is clean and fresh with floral and red fruit flavors. Finishing with good length and some mineral notes this shows less weight but more power than the 2009 with impressive precision for Brunate, and really fine length, nuance, and complexity. 93pts</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 16px">Elvio Cogno</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> While Elvio Cogno has stayed under the radar for the most part these traditional wines deserve broader attention. Coming from an expansive hillside in southern Monforte, there are a variety of expressions of Barolo here the pay testament to the wide ranging soil types and clones available within the region. These complex, transparent wines that show early approachability as well as the ability to age well for decades are among the top wines from Monforte.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Elvio Cogno Barolo Cascina Nuova</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Three youngest parts of Ravera</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Intense on the nose with scents of leather, slightly dried fruits,a bit of biscuit, dried peach, some subtle toasty spice and bresaola notes, and a little funghi. Aromatically this is quite complex, fairly fruity, and a little spicy. Opulent on entry, this quickly finds its center with layers of vibrant red fruits, zesty with some faint blood orange/lemon oil character adding brightness. The flavors are quite pure and rather fruity with perfumed red cherries and a little herbal extract, almost something medicinal going on on the palate. The tannins are slightly chewy but this remains well balanced and eminently drinkable with a long, dusty finish bright with rosehips, and sweet/tart cranberry and raspberry fruit. A very fine introductory classic Barolo. 91pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Elvio Cogno Barolo Ravera</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Fabulous aromatics are precise and mineral with complicating notes of dried fungi, coffee,sweet red berries with a hint of blueberry, a hint of menthol, all in a fresh, tight, and complex package. Almost supple on entry before turning rich, bright and crystal clear on the palate with a hint of rose petals accenting the core of lightly candied black cherry and wild strawberry fruit. Perhaps not the most complex wine of the vintage, &nbsp;this is however texturally excellent with ripe tannins and integrated bright acids supporting the fruit and lending great snap on the backend before the tannins cut in. Crisp and fine grained. 92pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2009 Elvio Cogno Barolo Bricco Pernice</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Cough lozenge, brownie, baked fruit, smith brothers black cherry fruit fruit and even a little blackberry shows up on the nose. This is very fresh in the mouth, &nbsp;a little round up front then the tannins kicks in, a bit hard and angular but entirely appropriate. This is very fresh for a 2009 with very pretty, chiseled red currant and cranberry fruit supported by mineral laden, dusty tannins. Today this is a bit tough but it promises to reveal gorgeous perfumes with air and the limestone cut of the tannins keeps this nervous and finely balanced in the mouth. There is great length and purity of fruit on the finish. This reminds be of Rocche or Cannubi, chiseled like a marble statue. 94pts</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 16px">Bartolo Mascarello</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The epitome of tradition, the wines of Cantina bartolo Mascarello undergo very little work in the cellar and continue to be produced from a blend of vineyards, Cannubi, &nbsp;Rue and San Lorenzo in Barolo as well as Rocche in La Morra. This vineyard blend was, until the early sixties, the way that Barolo had historically been produced, building upon the base cru&rsquo;s wine and adding complexity by including complimentary cru&rsquo;s. In the past decade this wine has moved from strength to strength and is typically one of the most elegant, complete wines of the region.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Bartolo Mascarello Barolo</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> 54 days on the skin</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Pale and delicate in color, surprisingly so. This is superbly focused on the nose with high toned floral peony and iris notes, gorgeous fruit, precise red currant and small lingonberry aromas framed with something delicately sweet, and bay leaf like. Superbly focused in the mouth, this has fabulous purity and is precise and elegant with this delicate layering of flavors. Fresh red fruit, peach skin, so bright and pure with penetrating aromas on the long finish. The tannins here are so precise, fresh, and ripe, there&#39;s great power here but you can taste right through this to the base of soil tones Deceptively small in the mouth, this is packed with such flavor that it is a bit of a shock. Long on the finish with some hint of red plums, this is fabulous. 95pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 16px">Barale</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Barale has been virtually overlooked in the US and that is due as much to the media&rsquo;s omission as to the fact that the wines have had exceptionally spotty distribution. They remain one of the last great secrets of Barolo and as a recent tasting back to 1964 that I hosted showed, their wines can stand toe to toe with many of the traditional producers we are more familiar with. the wines have taken on greater aromatic precision and freshness on the palate since 2008 or so, and today are offering compelling examples of their crus in a very fresh, clean and aromatic style of traditionalism. &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Barale Catellero</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Tight and leathery on the nose with a hint of something nutty, dried strawberry, and nice herbal base notes along with &nbsp;a little soil, italian plum and rose petals aromas. &nbsp;Classically austere, fresh, and very elegant in the mouth, this displays awesome potential with gorgeous, length and fine richness to the tightly wound strawberry and dark cherry fruit on the palate which is packed with ripe tannin and fine underlying acids. This has the most striking feel of ripe fruit under pressure in a cage built of lacy yet strong tannins. 93pts</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 16px">Vietti</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Vietti has been one of the pioneers of cru bottlings for Barolo and with superb vineyards in many of the top crus, they have been a benchmark producer for years. One issue one might have with these wines though is that, more so in the past, the crus were subjected to a variety of stylistic treatments that lent some wines more of a modernist cast. Today the wines are &nbsp;treated quite similarly and while still showing a hint of that past, they are returning to their traditionalist roots, particularly as the wines age.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Vietti Barolo Castiglione</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Compact and savory on the nose with waxy, spicy fruit that is ripe and very floral, minty and bright. Full on entry, and very round with supple tannins and bright acids in the mouth, this displays lovely astringent lingonberry fruit with sweeter cherry skin notes on the backend and through the long, bright and slightly chewy finish. The tannins really build on the palate and while fine grained, become quite assertive if fully ripe and quite suave. A lovely base barolo 90pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Vietti Barolo Brunate</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Big fruit greets the nose, dark fruit, cocoa tinged and spicy topped with dark macerated floral notes. While large scaled in the mouth, this is seamless with tons of strawberry seed, plum skin and spicy berry fruit on the palate. The fine grained tannins lend this a gorgeous texture, long, fine and tight, with a finish that is focused and pure. A bit tight today and not showing tremendous complexity, this has all the raw materials it needs to blossom beautifully. 93pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Vietti Barolo Lazzarito</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Very complex on the nose and somewhat dark and muscular with aromas of pipe tobacco, plum, iron, dark turned earth and cut flowers showing excellent freshness and precision. In the mouth this is very rich with lot of fruit and a seamless texture. Rich with both power and delicacy, there&rsquo;s gorgeous clarity on the palate to the big, dark strawberry fruit and earthy mineral flavors with hints of macerated flowers and licorice adding detail as this drifts off on the long finish which shows great energy and drive. The tannins here are very precise and offer great cut on the palate. As complete an example of Lazzarito as I&rsquo;ve ever had. 94pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Vietti Barolo Rocche</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Vegetal and very floral on the super high toned that&rsquo;s a little candied but filled with fine raspberry and dark strawberry fruit that shows just a hint of oak. Big fruit greets the palate showing nice cut and the great tension of Rocche tannins. The midpalate turns a little creamy before the acids kick in showing tremendous brightness to the fruit With excellent drive and energy on the palate and decent length this does show a touch of hollowness on the midpalate today before powering through on the finish with terrific acid cut and perfumes of licorice, rose petals and strawberry seeds. A bit unformed today, this should prove to be particularly long lived and will most likely be the benchmark for Vietti&rsquo;s Rocche for decades. 95pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Vietti Barolo Ravera</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Intensely aromatic with &nbsp;a touch of nuttiness on the nose along with minty, polleny floral notes, nettles, a powerful herbal extract note, scents of men&rsquo;s cologne &nbsp;and small berry fruit on the nose. There is nice power up front then this turns a little drying on the midpalate with good cut on the long finish. The tannins are also a little dry on the finish which shows lots of licorice and red fruit character. Those tannin clip the finish, which then shows a touch of heat. The aromatics are very attractive hee but the tannins are a bit worrisome. 92pts</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 16px">Brovia</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Brovia has become one of my favorite producers in barolo. Not only do the wines remain very fairly priced, but they are simply terrific expressions of each cru. With work in the cellar basically identical for each cru, and rather minimal and staunchly traditional a that, this is one cantina to follow if you want to become familiar with the terroir these crus bring to the wines. These 2010s seems to be cut from a slightly more rustic cloth than other recent vintages, but that is the nature of 2010, not the wines of brovia. the 2011s to come from Brovia are also stunning wines. Along with Burlotto, Francesco Rinaldi, and Oddero, Brovia is how you build a world class barolo cellar on a relatively modest budget.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Brovia Barolo&nbsp;</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Mid aged vines and old vines, 70% from Brea in Serralunga</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Superb aromatics show hints of asphalt and dried beef with nuanced black pepper and sweet rose petal notes accentuating core of sweetness to be found here. Cool, compact and a bit medicinal in the mouth, with a bed of packed tannins supporting subtle shadings of dried fruit, burnished fruit, dried orange peel and earthy flavors. elegant if tannic and nuanced, this is a little old school powerhouse with hints of mint and herbs on the long if tough and savory finish. This will reward cellaring. 91pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Brovia Barolo Rocche</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Seeds, smoke, and huge soil notes come together on the tight, refined nose which gains aromas of tobacco, leather, nettles, herbs, and slow to emerge small berry plum fruits and rocky minerality on the nose. Opening with big spice notes on the palate, this shows such &nbsp;purity and superb balance in the mouth. It&rsquo;s all about the balance today and the big aromatic follow through because on the palate this is slow to open, showing dark, wild raspberry fruit and macerated herbs in a strict way that is dominated by limestone. This is almost supple in its closedness, but it has absolutely huge power and tannins on the finish, offering classic, cut and vibrancy to die for on the long, aromatic finish. A tough wine but one that is elegant and refined at its core. 95pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Brovia Barolo Villero</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Big aromas hint at chocolate and red licorice over wild berry, almost boysenberry fruit, and coal, on the nose with hints of rosehips and flowers emerging with air. A gorgeous wine, almost supple, though packed with earthy, rosepetals, rhubarb,small wild strawberry fruit and red cherry fruit. Broad and full in the mouth though with excellent focus, ripe fine tannins and integrated elegant leaving an elegant impression on the palate. This has terrific purity and a lovely feel with the tannins buffered by the fruit. 93pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Brovia Barolo Garblet Sue</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> First vintage 100% organic</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Rosehips greet the nose followed by spicy, slightly nutty, and intense aromas of incense, beeswax, sweet face powder, waxy red fruit, and almost cedary base notes dark red fruits and a hint of blood orange. Round, powerful, and seamless in the mouth this has a fine structure built on bright acids and super fine grained tannins. The palate is supported by nice savory base notes, a little beeswax, very ripe strawberry and cherry fruit. This is very tannic but the tannins are very supple, Buckyball tannins that get a little kinky on the finish. This is a fabulous Garblet Sue, just stunningly complete with gorgeous layered savory and fruity flavors, a well knit texture, and a long finish. At maturity I&#39;ll prefer the texture of Rocche but the Garblet Sue is just more complete. 95pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Brovia Barolo Brea Ca&rsquo;Mia &nbsp;</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> With the new labelling laws implemented with the 2010 vintage the wine formerly known simply as Ca&rsquo;Mia will now also include the name of the Brea cru on the label.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Dark, earthy and spicy on the reticent and medicinal nose which picks up aromas of dried plums, dark cherry, dandelion greens, leather, asphalt, and rose petals with air. Big and powerful in the mouth, the palate truly mirrors the nose here with flavors of earthy, dark burnished fruit, bit of dried plum, and almost a hint of blue fruit. Very lively on the palate, transparent and alive in the mouth with fine acids, medicinal fruit, and round balls of powerful lending this a seamless feel. This is going to be a stunningly complex and long wine with hints of dried fruit and espresso foam already emerging on the long finish which ends with real lift. On the palate this feels so gothic, all detail and symmetrically while be lacey and tall. 94pts</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 16px">Giacomo Conterno</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> What can one say. This is the most consistent and high quality producer of Barolo. Impeccably tended vines, juice that is treated with the utmost care and a philosophy that seems to prefer to do as little as is needed in the immaculate cellars continues to produce wines that are just stunningly beautiful. Last year when I was fortunate to taste the 2010 Barolo Cascina out of barrel it was undoubtedly the top barrel sample I&rsquo;ve yet had in barolo. This year the wine has already tightened up a bit and some of the spectacular aromatic have receded but this remains the benchmark for me when it comes to classic barolo. One could argue that the Monfortino should play that role in but in reality Monfortino is almost beyond barolo and it&rsquo;s pricing puts it in another category of wine entirely.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Cascina Francia</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Powerful on the nose which shows a little prune, classic cherries in alcohol with a sweetness to the fruit and gorgeous framing notes of sandalwood, damp tobacco, sweet rose petals and fine mineral background notes. Powerful and packed with ripe tannins, this exhibits incredible cut on the palate, packed with laser edged tannins, so elegant and fine with remarkable purity to the red fruit on the palate which has a slightly wild and exotic edge to it. This is so elegant and yet so powerful, and long. The purity and persistence here is jaw dropping, but today this is a bit hard and so focused that you could miss all the detail. Another 1989 in the making? 96pts&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Cerretta</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> A bit smoky on the nose and with a hint of vanilla and lots of plums and red fruit over nuanced prosciutto, blueberry, lingonberry, and herbal background notes. After the rather spicy nose this shows lots of powerful, rich earthy, cherry fruit on the palate. the tannins are quite obvious, vying with the sweet fruit for one&rsquo;s attention on the palate. The edgy powerful tannins win out on the long, little nutty slightly dry finish. A fabulous wine with more obvious stuffing and less nuance and focus than one finds in the Cascina francia. Roberto explained that the vanilla note seems to be a part of the terroir of the Cerretta cru. 93pts</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 16px">Francesco Rinaldi</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Long a traditionalist who did not receive their due, the wines of Francesco Rinaldi have remained a collectors secret, though they certainly are getting more attention these days now that their distribution has improved. These are wines that lack the sheer mass of many of their compatriots, and tend to be a bit lean and dry in the mouth, but that is classic Barolo and with time in the bottle these wines really blossom. I love this expression of Barolo and find them refreshing to drink and wonderfully easy to pair with food.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Francesco Rinaldi Barolo</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Stemmy, smoky, and dotted with tobacco, baking chocolate, and &nbsp;little coffee notes over a base of beef blood and astringent red fruit, and dried citrus peels. Almost a bit soft on entry, then turning broad and juicy with lots of ripe tannins supporting nice red raspberry and cherry fruit. This is a bit chunky in the mouth with earthy, complex and nuanced flavors supported by juicy acids and tannins so well packed together they add an almost spherical impression in the mouth. Just a bit of a tough bird still though with plenty of potential. 89pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Francesco Rinaldi Barolo Brunate</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Camphor, sliced plum, and dark cherry fruit greet the nose followed by hints of cocoa, mineral and subtle smoke notes. Really a super fine, fresh and focused Brunate nose. Classic Brunate on the palate as well with layers of dried wild cherry fruit wrapped around the core of fine grained tannins leading to a long finish of burnished fruit and and spiced tobacco notes. There&rsquo;s a slight hole in the middle today, but that should fill out with a bit of age. 92pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Francesco Rinaldi Barolo Cannubi</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> This smells women&#39;s perfume, all floral and subtly citrusy with a core of plum in alcohol over white soil tones. Really so floral, pretty and pure on the nose, it&rsquo;s quite remarkable. Tight, on entry with superb focus, this is fabulous and seamless, if a bit short today. You can feel that this his has big fruit in reserve on the gorgeous, spicy herb tinged red fruited finish. A bit of alcohol becomes apparent on the finish but that too should integrate in time. This is lovely in the classic, lean style of both the Cantina and Cannubi. 93pts</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 16px">Giuseppe Rinaldi</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The wines of Giuseppe Rinaldi have basically achieved cult status, even if the winemaking is now very able being transitioned to his daughter Marta&#39;s hands. I pioneer with organic winemaking in the region, and a steadfast traditionalist, Giuseppe ably guided his wines through the 1980s and 1990s when force were pulling the region apart. His wines however have remained particularly unique, totally traditional even if they have been both more supple and fruitier than wines that we may consider traditional archetypes. Today the wines are brilliant and while the labelling has changed with the 2010 to reflect the implementation of a new set of laws, the wines have remained mostly as they were. The Brunate includes up to the 15% allowed of other vineyards, in this case le Coste. the previous versions of Brunate - Le Coste might have included 25% of that latter. The Tre Tine includes the Cannubi, San Lorenzo and Ravera wines as well as the remaining wine from Le Coste.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2010 Giuseppe Rinaldi Barolo Tre Tine</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Fine slightly jammy wild berry fruit greets the nose followed by a sharp floral note and deep leathery tobacco nuances. &nbsp; Tight, soft and supple on entry, this has a flannelly, feel to it early in the mouth, turning beautifully lacy on the back end. Another example fo the juxtaposition of power and elegance that is the hallmark of the vintage. Elegant and long there&rsquo;s just gorgeous balance and detail to this subtle and precise wine that finishes with long, chalky tannins, mineral cut and a hint of violet in the finale. 94pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2010 Giuseppe Rinaldi Barolo Brunate</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Deeply musky and earthy on the nose with hints of herb, rose petals, sliced cherry fruit, and, sweet tobacco on the nose. Round and opulent with mouth filling ripe tannins adding volume to the rich core of dark, high toned prune and tart red fruits. the backend turns tart and a bit savory with notes of cherry stems and dusty tannins. This is packed with stuffing and is going to explode one day but it will remain an elegant wine more notable for complexity than power. There is a bit of VA here that might be bothersome to some palates. &nbsp;94pts</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 16px">Giacomo Fenocchio</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> We all have much to learn. This was overwhelmingly reinforced by my first visit here to the cellars of Giacomo Fenocchio. While much of the tasting focused on wines in the cellar, and barrel tasting can always be a challenge, I was certainly impressed by the wines. there are a number of experimental wines in the work that have undergone extensive macerations of between 40 and 90 days as well as classic Riservas destined to spend 4 years in botte. All in all a producer to keep a close eye on as prices have not kept up with the quality here.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Giacomo Fenocchio Barolo Bussia atto Riserva</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> From Botte</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Little smoke shows up on the tight nose which also shows hints of camphor. Finesse and elegance on entry with phenomenal depth and length. This has fabulous power and yet remains light footed. the tannins are imposing lending this a nice dusty feel but it is compact and reticent in the mouth. Shows great potential. 92-95</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Giacomo Fenocchio Barolo Cannubi</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Huge rose petals, sandlewood, poppy seeds, and soil tones show up on the spicy nose which has delicate notes of wild strawberry. Fairly rich and structured in the mouth with the limestone edginess of Cannubi on the palate, which is quite tannic and a bit tough though rich with cherry fruit. The finish is long, lengthened by the tannins here which are a bit austere but not overly imposing. 92pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Giacomo Fenocchio Barolo Villero</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Beeswax, candle wax, menthol, and a little rubbery reduced note emerges slowly on the nose along with red fruits and hints of sage. This is round in the mouth with smaller scaled, supple tannins supporting flavors of strawberry and tar. Showing food length, again aided by the tannins, this turns a little spicy and warm on the finish.91pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Giacomo Fenocchio Barolo Bussia</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Soil driven on the nose with hints of forest floor, tight rose bud and limestone followed by camphor and huge, sweet red fruits and strawberry leaves. The tannins here are quite fine grained tannins and support impressively rich strawberry fruit that shows a bit of jamminess and hints of blue flowers in the mouth. The tannins are big but very ripe and polished, if classically dry. The finish is long and decidedly savory and while this is very young it is also the most complete of these wines. 93pts</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 16px">Prunotto</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Alfredo Prunotto, along with Beppe Colla, was responsible for some incredible good wines in the past. With the sale of Prunotto to Antinori in 1996 there was justifiable concern that the Baolo community had lost a star. While I was unable to try the Crus on my visit to Prunotto I did try their base bottling for 2010 and like the past several vintages I was duly impressed by the quality here. You could do far worse than this wine and truth be told if I were to teach a class about the varietals of Piedmont I would really have to consider including the wines of Prunotto. their are very well made, clean and precise, and show classic varietal character.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Prunotto Barolo</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Monforte, Castiglione, Serralunga, from different vineyards</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Deep and slightly astringent on the nose, tight with fresh leather, sweet herbal nuance, rhubarb and wild strawberry fruit. Cool and compressed on entry, tight on the palate but well balanced with fine early acids in the mouth highlighting an almost watermelon rind freshness. The tannins are classic but well managed, clean and fresh through the finish which is long with a nice mineral note, menthol, and sliced sour cherry flavors.This is elegant and showing terrific balance but tight, the tannins are fabulous on the finish very 2010, there are lots of them but they are so very ripe and almost sweet. 90pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 16px">Pio Cesare</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Pio Cesare is a large producer who pride themselves on both preserving traditions, as is the case with their base barolo, and venturing out with more modern interpretations of Piedmontese classics, such as with their Ornato. This however is a modest change since the wines in general have remained firmly traditional and represent a style more typical of 1970 than 2010.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Pio Cesare Barolo</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> 50% Ornato, 70% aged in botte</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Tight on the nose with floral aromas, a hint of wood spice, the sweet savoriness of fruitcake and dates and a bit of candied orange and lime rind. Showing a fair amount of power up front and fairly fruity in the classic dried fruit way, this has round ripe tannins and nice acidic cut on the palate. There&rsquo;s good complexity on the palate finishing a touch dull perhaps and with tannins that are a touch dry, leathery, and very classic style, this does retain fine wild cherry fruit, rosehips, and vitamin flavor. growing in the glass and gaining some menthol freshness, this remains a bit tough though it seems to have the stuffing to evolve well. 88pts</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 16px">Brezza</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> I have long been a fan of the wines from Brezza, though the past several vintages have left me a bit underwhelmed, particularly the notably alcoholic wines from the 2007 vintages. After a few ups and downs the wines here seem to be back on track which may be due in some small part to 2010 being the first vintage after they made the switch to farming organically. never blockbusters and always based more on bright, juicy fruit than imposing power and structure, the style seems well suited to 2010. These certainly are wines with lovely aromatics, though I might hope for a bit more depth on the palate.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Brezza Barolo</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Camphor and herb stem notes greet the nose followed by a base of black currant/blackberry fruit A bit soft and compact in the mouth, this reveals earthy, slightly herby, simple but pure and tense burnished cherry fruit with hints of sandalwood and medicinal licorice nuances. Nicely poised and modestly firm, this is elegant and perfumed in the mouth with fine length and tension, and a tissue fine texture. Small but detailed. 89pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Brezza Barolo Castelletto</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Deep bay leaf edged wild cherry fruit on the nose is joined by a bit of rosehip in a slightly jammy and slightly minty style with a top note of astringent lingonberry, antiseptic fruit. Bright with good energy on entry, this is a bit lean, transparent and light on the palate with delicate raspberry fruit. there is great tannic structure here, lacy but firm, and a long tart raspberry finish With excellent integration through the moderately long finish this is rather finely detailed and incredibly fresh with important tannins, yet it remains delicate. 91pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Brezza Barolo Cannubi</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Fine almost sweet and slightly jammy boysenberry tinged fruit pops on the nose with wispy smoke and soil notes, a hints of tar and carob adding detail. In the mouth this is seamless, classic Cannubi, with bright acids, fine grained elegant tannins, and inner mouth perfumes of rose petals, wild cherry fruit, and gentle suggest of herbs and burnt orange ring in the mouth. The tannins really build on the finish and are a bit dusty but sweet. There are lovely herb nuances through the chewy, powerful finish along with hints of tart strawberry fruit. 93pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Brezza Barolo Sarmassa</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Blended Bricco Sarmassa back in this vintage</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Big aromatic herb grasses on the nose blend with deep burnished fruit, prune in alcohol and deep burnished burnt spice. Deeper and more powerful on the palate with gorgeous dark cherry fruit that is precise and well defined with an added bit of power and ripe tannins. This is a bit dark in the mouth, though the texture is bright and almost drinkable already with a bit of chewy tannin and a fine astringent edge on the long finish. It lacks the chiseled feel and complexity of the Cannubi but packs in more fruit and a richer texture. 93pts</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 16px">Massolino</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Another producer who flirted with a more modern style, if you can call 16 years of experimentation flirting. I applaud Franco massolino for his honest assessment of these experiments and his return to a thoroughly traditional style. I feel the wines have benefitted from his return to large format wood and find the latest release to be particularly interesting. They are wines that fit my palate well, powerful, detailed and yet not heavy.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Massolino Barolo&nbsp;</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> A little hail in May in this part of Serralunga lowering yields</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> High toned and a bit vegetal on the &nbsp;clean and fresh nose which is quite zesty and almost peppery with huge polleny floral notes and a hint of peach skin. Very well integrated on the palate this is supple and rich and already showing some evolution with rosehips, burnished fruit, and a touch of leather all coming together on the palate. With fairly important tannins this tightens up considerably on the backend then finishes short and stiff with fine grained tannins. 89pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Massolino Barolo Margheria</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Planted in 1985 under the winery just north, a little sandier than the others, which lends it a floral, sweet dried floral and tobacco that sets this cru apart</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Mineral and sweetly spicy on the nose with an almost cinnamon, great Chinese five spice character and tobacco base notes and a faint marine saline accent. &nbsp;Bright and clear on entry this is elegant and full in the mouth with a very traditional feel. A fairly powerful wine, tight with reticent notes of rose petals, plum skin, and red currant fruit in the mouth, leading to a long finish replete with a deep raspberry confiture note, slight vegetal notes and a finale of wild strawberry. Lovely classic expression of Barolo. 93pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Massolino Barolo Parafada</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Very compact, calcareous soil, 70 year old vines,</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Smoky and briary on the nose which is rich with aromas of &nbsp;black fruit, and jumps around in the glass revealing sweet dried strawberry and rhubarb aromas, hints of incense, pipe tobacco, and stemmy herb notes. Deep, &nbsp;transparent and elegant on the palate this is holding back a lot in reserve with a palate that is mineraly today with finely delineated fruit. Crystal clear on the palate with ripe, powerful tannins, great purity to the fruit, great length, long extracty finish with minerality that emerges on the palate and drives the finish like a laser. This is austere and rigid today but with great potential. 94pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Massolino Barolo Parussi</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The top of the Cru in Castiglione, which one would expect to give a more supple wine, but it doesn&rsquo;t!</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Very floral on the nose and at the same time absolutely packed with raspberry, black raspberry fruit and black tea notes. Not as complex on the nose as the wines from Serralunga and more obviously fruity. Broad and supple in the mouth, there is a lot of raspberry fruit on the palate with a bit of mineral, and notes of strawberry seeds. This is rich and fairly powerful with great structure and huge ripe tannins that build on the palate lead to a dense and powerful finish. This turns into a real powerhouse in the glass. 93pts</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 16px">Guido Porro</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Guido Porro continues to fly a bit under the radar with his fairly rich and fruity style of traditional Barolo that sometimes is a bit too ripe for my palate but the wines are great values when they are on. In the coming years we&rsquo;ll see a growing portfolio of Barolo from this address with new vineyards in the Gianetto and the famed Colina Rionda crus coming on line in the near future.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Guido Porro Barolo Santa Catarina</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Dark almost opaque in the glass. On the nose with is rather tight with subtle hints of rosehips, notes of dried beef dark, macerated flowers. Elegant in the mouth, with finely focused power yet lovely transparency. This is rather elegant and refined with hints of herb, black cherry, mineral, dried leather and spice slowly emerge on the palate. Long and very detailed in the mouth, this resembles Burgundy a bit with tannins are very ripe yet firm on the long finish. 93pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Guido Porro Barolo Lazzairasco</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Rosehips, rooibos tea, and smoky tobacco come together on the &nbsp;earthy, tarry nose. Showing jammy black currant on entry, this is tight and powerful on the palate with more jammy black currant and lingonberry fruit, and a spiciness that hints at black pepper. Tight, short and a bit blocky in the mouth with huge tannins, mineral and medicinal tannins, this is a big, powerful wine that lacks the extra gear of the Santa Caterina this year. 91pts</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 16px">Elio Grasso</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> A producer whose wines have swung from traditional, to modern, and then more recently back towards a quite classic style, something special is afoot at Elio Grasso. The wines are increasingly well focused, precise, and superbly balanced. Their Riserva, Runcot, remains a modern styled wines but the two crus are gorgeously perfumed and at their best, electric as they dance in the mouth and should prove fascinating to follow as they mature.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> 12,400 bottles of each cru of Barolo in 2010 from max production of 14k</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Elio Grasso Barolo Ginestra Casa Mate</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> A bit of wood on the nose followed by aromas of clay, silica, spice, lingonberry, and deep camphor and dried herbal note emerge from the glass. Powerful with dark, rich fruit on entry, this has rather soft tannins and bright acids supporting plummy, heavy, earthy flavors that are a bit chunky in the mouth. Dense with tannins, this is quite powerful but also shows &nbsp;a bit front loaded with lingonberry fruit in alcohol on the palate, finishing a little short with some obvious alcohol poking out. 91pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Elio Grasso Barolo Gavarini Chiniera&nbsp;</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Delayed harvest a few days to get maximum ripeness , and it was already a late vintage, later than 2008</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Smoky with a hint of cocoa on the nose followed by very mineral and herbal aromas, a tight floral note and lots of lingering camphor. Fine grained tannins lend this an austere, lean quality on entry, then this turns faceted in the mouth with great power and freshness. Elegant with fairly important red fruits and chinato herbs on the palate, this is rich with tannins and quite ripe but this offers compelling complexity with gorgeous freshness and complexity built on bright, juicy acids and wonderful balanced if a touch austere and on the elegant side of things. 94pts</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong style="font-size: 16px">Einaudi</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Einaudi is a grand old name in Barolo, and one that has had its ups and downs. the wines from the 1970s are still singing while I find bottles from the 1990s being problematic. I noticed a step up in quality here with the 2001 vintage and the wines have continued to show improvement over the intervening years. Today they are in a mid-modern style very similar to those of Aldo Conterno and certainly offer an attractive addition to one&rsquo;s barolo cellar.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Einaudi Barolo Costa Grimaldi&nbsp;</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Tight and deep on the nose which is both very floral and very raw, bright with camphor and a hint of wood spice along with roses and red beryl fruit. Very cool and finely textured in the mouth, really a gorgeous texture so bright and fresh and light on the palate with slow to emerge red plum, wild cherry and spice flavors. The tannins start building on the midpalate and pile on the moderately long finish. Perhaps a bit uncomplicated but elegant and nervy with precision and length, none. This is more driven by acids than tannins. 92pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><em><strong>2010 Einaudi Barolo Cannubi&nbsp;</strong></em></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Classic on the nose with a bit of sweet cassia bark, carob, wild cherry in alcohol, bit of wood spice, and lots of camphor on the deep nose. Pretty powerful on entry, this shows lovely clarity and depth on the palate, rich with sour fruits, ripe tannins but lots of them, and emerging inner mouth aromatic complexity. The palate shows shades of herbals notes, &nbsp;a hint of minerality, edgy tannins that are dusty in the mouth, and while this lacks the elegance of the Costa Grimaldi it makes up for it with depth of flavor and complexity. Classically austere Cannubi, you can taste the hot, white earthy on the the bitter cherry toned finish, a bit spicy and almost peppery. The Costa Grimaldi is a ball point pen, this is a felt marker. 92pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> </div><br /> <br /><br /> </p> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0400 article5466