Snooth - Articles http://www.snooth.com/articles/?of=rss Read the opinions of wine professionals en-us Thu, 18 Sep 2014 10:23:11 -0400 Thu, 18 Sep 2014 10:23:11 -0400 http://www.rssboard.org/rss-specification Snooth webmaster@snooth.com 5 GREAT GRENACHE WINES http://www.snooth.com/articles/5-great-grenache-wines/?viewall=1 Louise Hurren <p>To celebrate the fifth International Grenache Day (Friday September 19, 2014) we&#39;re reviewing five wines from the south of France that showcase the diversity of the world&#39;s most widely planted red grape. Grenache, Garnacha, Garnatxa or Cannonau: this versatile grape goes by many names and can be found dotted around the globe, from Australia to South Africa via Spain, Italy and the south of France. &nbsp;In 2010, over 250 top Grenache producers, journalists and retailers from 23 countries gathered in the southern Rh&ocirc;ne valley at the Grenache Symposium, and from this think-tank was born an international association that promotes this lesser-known but remarkable variety.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> From white to ros&eacute; to sweet fortified wines, as light varietal reds or complex blends, Grenache has historically been hidden in blends from regions like Ch&acirc;teauneuf-du-Pape and Priorat. However, with its juicy, luscious fruit, warm spice, balanced acidity, supple tannins and versatility, Grenache has a good deal going for it. It can be a great gastronomic wine, thanks to its broad spectrum of winemaking expressions, and it&#39;s this diversity that Grenache Day aims to communicate. September 19, 2014 will see many Grenache Day activities being organised around the world; to join in the fun, check the updated list and Googlemap <strong><a href="http://www.grenache-association.com/grenacheday-2014-enjoy-grenache">here</a>.</strong><br /> </p> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0400 article5571 Zinfandel: Yea or nay? http://www.snooth.com/articles/zinfandel-yea-or-nay/?viewall=1 <p><div><br /> I made my thoughts regarding inexpensive Zinfandel known yesterday, and today we get feedback from some of our favorite wine writers. i feared that people might have a negative impression of Zinfandel, based on the style of wine that seems to dominate the bottom of the market, and the bottom of my ratings yesterday.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> To my surprise many of the writer polled for this article came back with rousing recommendations and support for this most American of domestic wines. So if you like Zinfandel, fear not. Not only can you get recommendations for the best of the value priced bunch on Snooth but you also have suggestions across the pricing spectrum from our favorite wine writers to look forward to!</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> And if you haven&rsquo;t heard about the <a href="http://www.lodinative.com/"><strong>Lodi Native</strong></a>&nbsp;project yet, don&rsquo;t be surprised if you&rsquo;ll be hearing much more about it in the future. Terrific Zins well worth hunting down!</div><br /> </div><br /> <br /><br /> <br /> </p> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0400 article5568 Common Wine Questions http://www.snooth.com/articles/wine-questions/?viewall=1 Gregory Dal Piaz <p><em>Originally published in September 2010, it&#39;s time to revisit these timeless answer to our most commonly asked questions.</em><br /><br /> <br /><br /> There&#39;s no doubt that wine can be confusing, with so many wines, with so much to learn about each one. But the most common questions I get tend to be about wine in general, and the answers to some of these questions are surprisingly simple. Should you worry about the crystals in your white wine or the sulfites on the label? Of course not, because wine is good for you, right? So, which one is the best for me then, and which is simply the best?<br /><br /> <br /><br /> So confusing and so many questions! Take a look at the answers to 10 of the most common wine questions!<br /> </p> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0400 article1218 5 Miraculous Wine Grapes that Escaped Extinction http://www.snooth.com/wine-grapes/5-miraculous-wine-grapes-that-escaped-extinction-5567/?viewall=1 <p>There are more than five thousand different grape varieties in existence. It&#39;s not hard to imagine that some would face extinction. But as you will see, second chances aren&#39;t always out of reach. The following five wine grapes beat the odds and ultimately defied the woolly mammoth&#39;s fate. They currently thrive in soils around the world. Let&#39;s celebrate their triumphant resurrections! &nbsp;<br /> </p> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0400 article5567 The Secret to Safely Cutting Wine Bottles for DIY Crafts http://www.snooth.com/articles/the-secret-to-safely-cutting-wine-bottles-for-diy-crafts/?viewall=1 <p>It goes without saying, you should obtain both safety goggles and cut-resistant gloves before you embark on this project. You will need a high quality glass cutter as well. Other things you will need include: two pots, a stove, ice, some water, a long candle, a candle holder, tongs, and some sandpaper. And of course, an empty wine bottle!<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Hold your bottle and the glass cutter at a 90 degree angle. Gently score the part of the bottle you&#39;d like to cut in one long, uninterrupted motion. &nbsp;Do not apply a lot of pressure. You are making a very thin line.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Now, take your two pots and candle. Fill one pot with ice water, and the other pot with heated water (just leave it on the stove at a simmer.) Ignite your candle and slowly glide its flame across the line you scored on the wine bottle. After that, quickly dip the bottle into your ice water for a good 5 seconds. Then, glide the flame across the score line once again. Continue alternating between gliding the bottle over the flame and plunging the bottle into your ice water until the score line begins to buckle. It should take about 5 rounds.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Next, alternate between placing your bottle in hot water for 5 seconds, and cold water for 5 seconds. After about ten alternations, the bottle will crack inside the water! Be sure to have your tongs within reach so you can safely pull the broken glass out of the water. Lastly, use your sandpaper to smooth out any rough areas of the cut.&nbsp;<br /><br /> <br /> </p> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0400 article5570 Value Zinfandel $15 and Under http://www.snooth.com/articles/value-zinfandel-dollar-15-and-under-5565/?viewall=1 Gregory Dal Piaz <p>As you may know I love Zinfandel. I think it&rsquo;s the greatest domestic wine produced in this country, both for its historic significance as well as for the exquisite expressions of variety and terrori that the great examples are capable of.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> As these great examples continue to become more expensive, many are above $40 now, certainly remaining good values for wines for their quality, though no longer cheap as aficionados have come to appreciate the inherent quality of these wines, it becomes ever more apparent how difficult it is to produce truly fine Zinfandel. there are plenty of lovely wines in eh $20 to $40 range, though the lack the great terroir of the more expensive single vineyard bottlings, but when you dip under $15 a bottle something drastic happens. many wines turn into formulaic, wood soaked abominations. caricatures of all that Zinfandel has to offer.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Now you could say that about many wines, but it&rsquo;s just not as true. Inexpensive Merlot can be terrific, Cabernet quite good, Syrah stunning, Chianti, Rioja, and portuguese reds off the charts. It&rsquo;s only when you get to Pinot Noir that you run into these same problems. the base wines is just not that good. Cheap Zin, for the most part and there are of course exceptions, tends to be over-ripe, over-cropped, over-oaked, and barely drinkable. It seems that there is a theory that states cheap Zinfandel should be alcoholic, a little sweet, laden with vanilla and woody flavors and a bit jammy to success. Sadly that seems to be true.&nbsp;</div><br /> <br /> Consumers seem to like these wines, or rather I should say that they buy these wines. I&rsquo;m not sure they actually like them, with some of these examples there is so little to like that I think it&rsquo;s merely massive national distribution that keeps these things selling. I did find wines that were well made and delicious, and some came from one of the biggest brands out there. the Ravenswood Appellation series of old-vine Zins was really fascinating to taste and as a group represented the best wines of the tasting. I sampled three wines, from lodi, Sonoma, and Napa and while they spanned a pair of vintages all three wines were classic expressions of their appellations and terrific wines. Significantly all three typically come with a heavy dose of Petite Sirah which helps to form some of the classic Zinfandel based field blends and is one of the most fortuitous of pairings out there.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> That they are not pure Zinfandel should not be held against them, neither was my top rated wine, one which was a little less Zinny than some of the other wines of this tasting, but still remained instantly recognizable as Zinfandel. And that is all we should be asking of these wines. While $15 is not terribly inexpensive, it&rsquo;s not a lot of money once you realise what goes into these wines. And while the term &lsquo;Old Vines&rsquo; is unregulated in the USA, if producers are really using the Old Vines they claim to be, yields from these vineyards should be fairly modest. When all is said and done producers don&rsquo;t make a lot of money from $15 bottles of Zin, which makes the better ones even more precious and important.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The wines that follow can essentially be divided into two groups. the first are wines that have something unique and distinctive to offer, the second rely on the magic recipe for cheap commercial wines with varying levels of success. That some of the biggest brands bottle wines that are undrinkable to me might indicate that i am woefully out of touch with today&rsquo;s consumer. On the other hand it may also simply indicate that today&rsquo;s consumer is being sold a bill of sales. I wonder what would happen if they were given access to the wines I see as being better and that access came with thoughtful and intelligent commentary on the wines. Perhaps we do just face a problem of education in the wine world, but with the powers that be in a position to lose market share and money if consumer catch on to their ploy, I don&rsquo;t think we&rsquo;ll ever see any meaningful efforts towards mass consumer education when it comes to wine. &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The best we can do is stand out ground and beg, cajole, and even shame enthusiasts into trying something new. There are great wines out there at nearly every price point, but perhaps they can never be great until someone important, someone with a voice and an audience takes a stand and says; &ldquo; Come on folks, you CAN drink better!&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Let&rsquo;s start today with these top value priced Zins, shall we?</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/xyzin-old-vine-zinfandel-2012/"><strong>2012 XYZin Zinfandel Old Vine California &nbsp;14.5% $14</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Almost black peppery on the nose and decidedly spicy in a subtle and nuanced way with some sweet oak emerging with air along with aromas of sour plum and strawberry jam. &nbsp;Smooth and focused on entry with nice tension in the mouth and fine clarity on the palate. This is light and bright in the mouth but with plenty of Zinfandel muscle to show off. the flavors recall the strawberry of the nose with well integrated wood spice and a fine mineraly vein that lends this some green peppercorn spice right through the fairly long finish. A bit beefy in the mouth, this reminds a bit of Syrah but if really very well balanced and shows a wonderfully refined and detailed finish. &nbsp;89pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong><a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/ravenswood-zinfandel-old-vines-napa-valley-2012/">2012 Ravenswood Zinfandel Old Vines Napa Valley 14.5% $15</a></strong></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> A touch balsamic on the nose with warm, powder sugar covered black berry and raspberry aromas and just a hint of wood smoke adding detail. A bit thick and chewy on entry, this shows lovely depth on the palate with a bit of black spice and hints of briar wood layered over brambly fruit. A bit on the tannic side, but certainly remaining in harmony, this is clear ands fresh on the palate with some of that tannic weight adding a little austerity to the moderately long fruit and savory earth toned finish. Serious and well balanced and worth checking in on in a year as well. 88pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong><a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/ravenswood-zinfandel-lodi-old-vine-2012/">2012 Ravenswood Zinfandel Old Vines Lodi 14.5% $15</a></strong></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Effusively fruity on the nose with briar toned blackberry and plummy fruit along with streaks of vanilla, caramel, and a hint of coconut. This is wide open in the mouth yet not opulent with a touch of chewiness to the rich, ripe briar and tar tinged cherry and blackberry fruit that shows remarkable clarity on the palate at this price point. &nbsp;A little spicy on the backend, then dropping off a bit on the finish which shows a hints of sandy soil tones that linger on the palate. This is a little on the fleshy side but well balanced and fresh with a rather long, acid driven red cherry finish. &nbsp;88pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/project-paso-zinfandel-old-vine-2010-2/"><strong>2010 Project Paso Zinfandel Old Vines Paso Robles 14.9% $11</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Smoky and decidedly oaky on the nose, redolent of vanilla, ginger, toasted baking spices and cola along with some zinberry fruit. &nbsp;Smooth and supple in the mouth with a nice blend of bright acids and polished little tannins supporting juicy and very fresh brambly raspberry fruit flavors. the oak is obvious in the mouth as well but it plays mostly a supporting role allowing the fruit here to shine. This is definitely easy to drink and while not a classic Zinfandel it&rsquo;s easily identifiable as Zin and a great value at this price. People should love this. 87pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/bliss-zinfandel-2010-1/"><strong>2010 Bliss Zinfandel Mendocino 14.5% $12</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Fresh and precise on the nose with a lovely array of boysenberry pie, slightly used wood, sandalwood, and gentle allspice aromas. Cool on entry and a little dull at first, this does turn itself around showing attractive hard candy like flavors of red fruits on the palate that are taut and transparent with lovely nuanced wood spice and earth and herb tones emerging on the backend. A subtle and elegant Zinfandel that finishes with lingering hints of warm baking spice and sour cherries. This really is very well balanced and eminently drinkable, though it remains a subtle wine. &nbsp;87pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/kendall-jackson-zinfandel-vintners-reserve-mendocino-2012/"><strong>2012 Kendall-Jackson Zinfandel Vintner&#39;s Reserve Mendocino 14.5% $14</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Sweet cherry fruit laced with vanilla, cola, and softly toasted spicy aromas greet the nose. An interesting wine that is perhaps a touch sweet but offers an attractive blend of very-ripe plum date and black cherry flavors that are backed up with complicating notes of bitter spices and herbs and well integrated wood. The tannins build on the palate and this has a hint of black currant in the mouth, which along with the herbal character lends this a slightly Cabernet like tone on the palate, but this remains distinctly Zin like with power, weight, and complexity in the mouth and a rather long if slightly stick finish. 87pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/ravenswood-zinfandel-sonoma-old-vines-2011/"><strong>2011 Ravenswood Zinfandel Old Vines Sonoma County 14.5% $15</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> A bit tight on the nose with slightly smoky and toasty wood spice aromas layered over slightly beef, plum framed medicinal cherry fruit. rather light and fresh in the mouth with an ease about it and lovely flavors of raspberry and cherry layered over the well judged wood notes. The acids are nicely done here, supportive and helping to drive the fruit across the finish but remaining well integrated through the long black cherry finale. There&rsquo;s a little briar here and mostly red cherry fruit on the palate but you know you are drinking Zinfandel and this does show pretty good length on the palate. The oak is a little obvious here. &nbsp;87pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/mud-pie-zinfandel-2010/"><strong>2010 Mud Pie Zinfandel Mendocino 14.4% $12</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Low aromas of blackberries and earth greet the nose followed by handfuls of strawberries and hints of dried herbs. &nbsp;Just a hint of sweetness is apparent on entry then this follows up with rather full throttle yet bright Zinfandel berry fruit that is both slightly spicy and aromatically a bit herbal and certainly brambly in the mouth. This is a bit forced texturally with the tannins being a touch out of balance and aggressive, but pair this with some grilled ribs and that would be an advantage not a problem. On it&rsquo;s own though the tannins dominate the finish just a bit and that smidge of RS lends a sticky feeling through the finale. Still this is a lot of fun for a full blown Zin that is not at all over the top. 86pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/kenwood-zinfandel-sonoma-valley-2011/"><strong>2011 Kenwood Zinfandel Sonoma County 14.5% $13</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Interesting on the nose with obvious oak influence that is actually fairly subtle and well integrated into the perfumy, heather tinged cranberry and lingonberry fruit aromas. Easy and supple on entry, this has some fine little brushy tannins and good acidity lending it a rather open yet authentic feel. It&rsquo;s Zinfandel as Zinfandel was. Nothing remarkable here, just perfectly drinkable, well balanced, and unfettered Zin with hints of peppery spice and brambly fruit on the palate that transitions something slightly rustic and a bit drying on the backend and through the moderately long cherry/vanilla finish. Not a remarkable wine but in some way a true classic. 86pts&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/plungerhead-lodi-old-vine-zinfandel-2011-1/"><strong>2011 Plungerhead Zinfandel Old Vines Lodi 14.5% $13</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Assertively oaky on the nose though this still allows the candied red fruit and sweet herbal aromas of the wine to emerge through the smoke and toasted oak notes. Bright and juicy on entry, this is easy to drink and it unfolds nicely on the palate with brisk red cherry and raspberry fruit nicely supported by oak that is surprisingly well integrated. There are some gentle tannins lending support and acids that are bright, if integrated, bringing a hint of orange rind to the appellate. There&rsquo;s a little toasty pie crust thing going on here and that turns into a full blown vanilla note on the backend as this transitions to a clean if modest finish. Easy going with nice balance and solid fruit. 85pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/blackburn-zinfandel-2012/"><strong>2012 Blackburn Zinfandel California Central Coast 14.4% $14</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> A bit dusty and meaty on the nose with candied red fruit, candied watermelon notes and some raw wood notes with latex base notes. A bit of a weird we in the mouth with very little upfront fruit followed by building flavors of strawberries and slightly unripe fruit on the backend that carries with it some green fruit acids. Round and sticky on the finish, even plump with black fruit and hints of licorice before the tannins and acids kicks in, this is simple and disjointed but not entirely without appeal. The fruit is tarry and sunbaked lending this a Southern Italian feel and in that vein it has some appeal. 85pts</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/gnarly-head-old-vine-zinfandel-2012/"><strong>2012 Gnarly Head Zinfandel Old Vine Lodi 14% $10</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Sweet on the nose with strong notes of vanilla, ginger, toasted coconut and cherry cola. &nbsp;Smooth and supple in the mouth, though the acids do stick out a bit here on the palate. There are some attractive briary and balsamic flavors on the palate, along with light raspberry fruit, then this picks up a bit wood spice on the backend before wrapping up with a brief, clean finish. The tannins seem a bit dry on the finish, and while the wines is pleasant in the mouth, as the fruit fades this will probably just turn dryer and tougher. 84pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/danny-seo-philosophy-zinfandel-mendocino-2011/"><strong>2011 Danny Seo Philosophy Zinfandel Mendocino 14.3% $15</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Organic Grapes</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Brushy, earthy, and somewhat leathery on the nose with savory aromas that are quite floral at times and then reflective of ageing in older wood at others. Soft on entry but very front loaded with rich, expressive and aromatic fruit in the mouth filled with herbal nuance, green peppercorn spice, and wild raspberries and strawberries all supported by bright acids and fine, brushy fruit tannins. On the backend this fades away and the finish is short with only the attractive tannins remaining. Would show better with a burger. 84pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/joel-gott-zinfandel-california-2010-1/"><strong>2010 Joel Gott Zinfandel California 14.4% $15</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Spicy with a candied note of green herb and sweet american oak notes on the nose along with some hickory smoky, ginger and light notes of jammy black cherry fruit. A bit lacking in fruit and moderately structured with some late arriving black berry and black cherry fruit supported by well integrated toasty oak notes and some wood tannins. rather well balanced, restrained and almost elegant, this lacks some oomph but makes for pleasant drinking, though it does finish in an instant. 84pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/rock-face-zinfandel-2012-3/"><strong>2012 Rock Face Zinfandel Lodi &nbsp;13.7% $13</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Smokey and coarse on the nose with weedy aromas and raw wood, along with a big hit of fish sauce obscuring the spicy, red berry fruit. Noticeably sweet on entry, then the acids kick in and keep this fresh in the mouth, with a fine, glycerine rich slippery texture. there are some pleasant red cherry and raspberry flavors here but they are rather subtle with more of a briary toned backend leading to a candied red fruit and sweet toasted oak and vanilla &nbsp;finish. Training wine that is relatively easy to drink. 83pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/bogle-zinfandel-old-vine-california-2011/"><strong>2011 Bogle Zinfandel Old Vine California 14.5% $11</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Smokey and weedy with a coffee/over-steeped tea quality on the nose. Easy drinking and attractively bright in the mouth with some black plum skin and candied raspberry flavors immersed in cocoa and mocha flavors on the palate. There&rsquo;s a whisper of tannin here that adds some textural contrast to the bright mouthfeel. In the end though this feels a bit out of kilter and extracted in the mouth with black cherry flavors that are attractive if simple but that can&rsquo;t really get past the tannins and extraction. 80pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/cycles-gladiator-zinfandel-lodi-2011-1/"><strong>2011 Cycles Gladiator Zinfandel Lodi 15% $11</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Smells like I&rsquo;m sawing wood, that slightly smoky note as the blade heats up, raw wood, piney and resiny. I don&rsquo;t know why I would ever put this in my mouth after smelling this nose. A bit thick on entry and fairly tannic, this is moderately rich though a bit on the tough side with some thick flavors of plum and blackberry fruit embedded in raw, deep and sappy wood flavors. The finish is all toasty wood, vanilla, caramel and burnt marshmallows, though it is quite long it is also filled with woody tannins. 78pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/rosenblum-zinfandel-vintners-cuvee-xxxvi-nv/"><strong>NV Rosenblum Vintner&rsquo;s Cuvee Zinfandel XXXVI 13.9% $10</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Reticent on the nose with rather raw aromas of toasted wood. Smooth, soft and broad in the mouth, this delivers some cherry fruit with hints of briary spice all wrapped up in rather assertive and slightly minty wood. The tannins build on the backend, and clip the finish, which is decidedly dry. 78pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/renwood-california-zinfandel-2011-4/"><strong>2011 Renwood Zinfandel California 14.5% $13</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Blue plums, sour cherry, peach, &nbsp;and some play-doh like notes greet the nose along with a sticky vanilla note. Just a suggestion of sweetness here lends a soft roundness to this in the mouth. the flavors are simple and candied, jammy even with streaks of caramel and a hint of mushroom running through the flavors of dates and dried strawberries. A bit short and compact, with a simple brief finish. A bit stick and disjointed, this is tough to drink with dry tannins and sweetness making for an odd couple. 75pts&nbsp;</div><br /> </p> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0400 article5565 Vintage Update: 2011 Napa Valley Cabernet http://www.snooth.com/articles/vintage-update-2011-napa-valley-cabernet-5563/?viewall=1 Fred Swan <p>Napa Valley grape growers and winemakers wore out their worry beads in 2011. Rain came early, often and didn&rsquo;t want to go away. It was a cool year as well, forcing winemakers to spend even more time walking the vineyards than usual.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Napa Valley is accustomed to dry, warm, sunny growing seasons. It&rsquo;s Cabernet Sauvignon wines are widely known for ripe, forward fruit and a rich, full-bodied palate. Consequently, many wine writers freaked out about 2011, some declaring it a disaster before the first of June.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> They should know better. Cool, even wet years in other regions often result in complex, elegant wines with food-friendly freshness and excellent aging ability. And, while rare, 2011 wasn&rsquo;t the first cold and damp vintage Napa has seen.</div><br /> <br /> <div><br /> To illustrate the impact weather had on Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon in 2011, we&rsquo;ll focus on one sub-region, the Rutherford AVA. Rutherford is, with Oakville and Stags Leap District, considered to be one of the very best sites for Cabernet Sauvignon in Napa Valley. It is also a good reference point because, while it&rsquo;s one AVA, it is diverse.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Rutherford includes some of the oldest and most-respected wineries and vineyards, such as Inglenook and Beaulieu Vineyards. It has high-production wineries as well as many boutique wineries that make just a few hundred cases. There are large, commercial vineyards and small ones practicing organic or biodynamic viticulture. There are volcanic soils and sedimentary gravel, slopes and flats, lean soils and fertile, sun exposures to the east, south and west. And, being somewhat centrally located in Napa Valley, Rutherford is middle of the road for both temperature and rainfall.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Before we get to Rutherford&rsquo;s wines though, let&rsquo;s look at what rain and cold can do to grapes. During Spring, vines undergo &ldquo;fruit set.&rdquo; This is when all the tiny little flowers clustered on the vine begin turning into grapes. Those flowers are sensitive and vulnerable. Heavy rains or winds can damage the flowers, preventing their transition to grapes. The result, called &ldquo;shatter,&rdquo; is that the vine will bear fewer grapes. Some Napa Valley vineyards were unaffected by shatter, others suffered a 30% loss.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Cool weather, exacerbated by chilling rain and the dark clouds from which it falls, slows down vine productivity and grape ripening. Photosynthesis requires sun and warmth. UV rays help grapes create thick, chewy skins that provide color and tannins. In Rutherford and throughout Napa Valley, the cool weather necessitated a long growing season for grapes to achieve acceptable ripeness.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Damp grapes are prone to mildew and various types of rot. Mildew can be treated. Rot is harder to deal with in a frequently cool, wet year and can quickly take over whole grape bunches. Even Botrytis, the &ldquo;noble rot&rdquo; that creates wonderful dessert wines when it affects certain white wine grapes, ruins Cabernet Sauvignon. If it&rsquo;s present at harvest the only options are extremely careful sorting of the grapes on each bunch or completely discarding afflicted bunches.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Rot was definitely a problem in 2011. As a result, yields were down and a great number of wineries made less Cabernet Sauvignon than in a typical year. Some of discarded fruit was sold to bulk producers. Be cautious when you see surprisingly low-priced, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from a label you&rsquo;ve never heard of. The bottle may contain wine made from grapes more familiar wineries refused to use.</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> That brings up a key point. Napa Valley isn&rsquo;t just famous for wine because of Robert Mondavi, the Paris Tasting of 1976, etc. It&rsquo;s famous because the wine is good, every year. The respected wineries of that region find a way to make tasty wine in a vintage even if that means very low-volume. A winery&rsquo;s long-term reputation can suffer for decades after one lousy year.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Fortunately, 2011 wasn&rsquo;t lousy. There were bright spots, chiefly a long sunny spell in late summer that allowed grapes to begin ripening at a normal rate. Harvest was late, but not tragically so. In the end, you might say 2011 gave Napans a taste of what it&rsquo;s like to work in Bordeaux. And, since many of the valley&rsquo;s winemakers have extensive experience doing exactly that, 2011 was a hassle but not a puzzle.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> 2011 Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon, and those from the rest of Napa Valley, will give consumers a taste of Bordeaux too. A great many of the wines are quite good, including all of those I review below. But few are typical for Rutherford or the larger valley.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The wines may have aromas of ripe fruit, but that fruit will be more tart on the palate. Some will be fruit-forward, but most have a distinctly savory bias with flavors of earth, herb, meat, etc. And, since they are less dominated by fruit, they tend to be more complex. Less sun means both color and tannins are lighter. Since grapes were less ripe than usual, the wines taste less sweet and have much more acidity. Alcohol percentages are down, substantially in some cases. None of these things are bad, really. And, if you like Old World wines, you may be very happy indeed.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> What about terroir? In the recent tasting seminar, &ldquo;Napa Elevations,&rdquo; led by master sommelier David Glancy, it became clear that where you picked in 2011 was more important than when you picked. Usually, you can count on mountain wine to be deeper in color, more tannic and, often, higher in acidity than that from the valley floor. East side and west side wines differ because the setting sun is hotter and more harsh than the rising sun. But those differences are most obvious when the wines being compared have similar levels of ripeness.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> In 2011, some wineries picked much earlier than others in order to minimize rot or miss incoming, mid-harvest rains. Those wines are very different from the ones made by vineyards which picked after that November rain. They are distinctly greener with pronounced aromas and flavors of green bell pepper, tomato leaf, pine needle, etc.</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong><a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/inglenook-rubicon-cabernet-sauvignon-rutherford-napa-valley-2011/">2011 Inglenook Rubicon Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, Napa Valley about $200</a></strong><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Opaque ruby-black coloring signals the power of this surprising 2011. The nose is dense with dusty black currant and mocha. Medium-plus body and generous acidity that harmonizes with the intense, long-lasting flavors and framing tannins (dry, slippery graphite powder and grippy light grains). The dusty black currant and mocha are joined in the mouth by violets, earthiness and ferrous minerality. The phrase &ldquo;iron fist in a velvet glove&rdquo; is often used to describe the wines of general manager Philippe Bascaule&rsquo;s previous station, Chateaux Margaux. It&rsquo;s equally appropriate here. 96pts&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/hunnicutt-beckstoffer-georges-iii-vineyard-cabernet-sauvignon-2011/"><strong>2011 HUNNICUTT Beckstoffer Georges III Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon $85</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>100% Cabernet Sauvignon</em><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Very reminiscent of a rich Bordeaux, this wine is among my favorites of the vintage and has been for most everyone with whom I&rsquo;ve tasted it. Aromas of black currants and black cherry preserves are interwoven with brown and black spices, oak and moist tobacco. Full-bodied on the palate with excellent balance of flavor intensity, acidity, alcohol and tannins (fine grain and chalk). Long-lasting in the mouth with flavors of tangy black currant, spice, earth and dry herb. 94pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong><a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/freemark-abbey-cabernet-sauvignon-bosche-vineyard-2011/">2011 Freemark Abbey Bosche Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, Napa Valley 13.5% $100</a></strong><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The unusually cool, wet vintage gave Napa&rsquo;s winemakers a taste of life in Bordeaux. This wine does the same for tasters. The nose is immediately complex and captivating with dusty, tart black currant, huckleberry, coffee, dry earth, cocoa nib, dry leaves, dried rose petals and mint easily discernible. Freshness plus fine, powdery and chalky tannins frame a palate of medium-plus body. Flavors match the nose and the long finish is punctuated by juicy huckleberry. Layered and elegant, but there&rsquo;s plenty of rich fruit. An easy choice for dinner or the cellar. 94pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong><a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/wm-harrison-vineyards-estate-cabernet-sauvignon-rutherford-napa-valley-2011/">2011 Wm. Harrison Vineyards Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, Napa Valley $55</a></strong><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Fruit-forward and delectable, the nose proffers chocolate mint, huckleberry, black cherry, brown spice and mocha. The palate is full-bodied and replete with fine, powdery and chalky tannins that frame very long flavors of oak, chocolate mint, dry herb, tart blackberry, spice and mocha. You&rsquo;ll have to wait to receive this wine, scheduled for a May, 2015 release, but don&rsquo;t wait if you want to get some. The estate vineyard is just 10 acres in total and there&rsquo;s only 400 cases of this delicious, well-priced wine. 93pts&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong><a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/mcgah-family-cellars-scarlett-cabernet-sauvignon-rutherford-2011/">2011 McGah Family Cellars &ldquo;Scarlett&rdquo; Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, Napa Valley $60</a></strong><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> This delicious and, for Rutherford, bargain-priced Cabernet brings aromas and flavors of black cherry, black currant jam, mushroom, damp forest floor and spice. Medium-plus to full-bodied on the palate with medium+ acidity, fine powdery/chalky tannins and exceptional balance. Excellent length. 93pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong><a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/freemark-abbey-sycamore-vineyard-cabernet-sauvignon-rutherford-napa-valley-2011/">2011 Freemark Abbey Sycamore Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, Napa Valley $100</a></strong><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Complex and engagingly Old World, scents of black currant, black cherry, trail dust, mushroom, drying herbs, earth, vanilla and spice waft generously from the glass. The wine is surprisingly full-bodied given the savory nose but acidity and tannins of fine powder and chalk keep things well in balance. The flavors are rich and more typical of the region: black cherry, coconut, coconut, spice and earth. More ready for drinking than many 2011, but will easily age for two decades. 93pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/peju-reserve-cabernet-sauvignon-rutherford-napa-valley-2011/"><strong>2011 Peju Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, Napa Valley 14.2% $115</strong></a>&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<br /><br /> <em>100% Cabernet Sauvignon</em><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> This is an intriguing wine interwoven with contrasting flavors working magic together. There are baked red cherries, fresh red currant, cinnamon candy, smoke, dried meat, savory spice and dark, dried flowers on the nose. The fresh palate has medium-plus body and slightly grippy tannins of fine powder. Slightly sweet, chewy red cherries are surrounded by loads of savory spice, dried meat and dried thyme. 93pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/sojourn-cellars-cabernet-sauvignon-rutherford-2011/"><strong>2011 Sojourn Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, Napa Valley 14.7% $69</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Just 169 cases were made and it&rsquo;s sold out at the winery. There should still be some at restaurants.</em><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Another unusually ripe wine for the vintage with dark ruby color and aromas of black cherry jam, both sweet and sour red cherries, dark spice, dry herb, potting soil and oak. The palate is virtually full-bodied and very fresh with moderate tannins and excellent length. Look for flavors of sweet and tart dark berries and earthy spice. 92+pts&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong><a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/staglin-cabernet-salus-2011/">2011 Staglin Salus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, Napa Valley 14.0% $90</a></strong><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> From its dark ruby color to the aromas of earthy black currant, tobacco, caramel and spice this wine exudes lithe masculinity. Medium-to-medium-plus body. Ripe but energetic black fruit and savory spice glide on a stage of very fine-grained and chalky tannins. Juicy throughout the lengthy finish. 92pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong><a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/st-supery-napa-valley-estate-cabernet-sauvignon-2011/">2011 St. Supery Estate Vineyards Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, Napa Valley $100</a></strong><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> This sensuous wine pulls you in with its aromas of black currant, black cherry, dark spice, tobacco, oak and vanilla. The full-bodied palate, surprisingly lush for 2011 but plenty juicy, is brimming with mocha, tangy black currant and spice. Fine-grained, chalky tannins are well-balanced by fresh fruit. Only 340 cases made. 92pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong><a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/2011-aiken-cabernet-sauvignon-rutherford-napa-valley-2011/">2011 Aiken Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, Napa Valley 14.5% $125</a></strong><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Joel Aiken spent 27 years making wine for Beaulieu Vineyards before leaving to start his eponymous label. His third release of Cabernet Sauvignon from the Morisoli Vineyard, surrounded on three sides by Inglenook, is a successful portrait of both site and vintage. It&rsquo;s dark ruby in the glass with aromas of tart red and black cherries, cinnamon, smoke, clove, smoke, charcoal and garrigue. The fresh, nearly full-bodied palate shows gentle tannins of very fine grain and chalk. It tastes of chewy black cherry, charred wood, dark spice, unsweetened chocolate and espresso. This a very savory and darkly masculine wine to go with grilled steak today or evolve nicely in the cellar for 12+ years. 92 pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong><a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/quintessa-cabernet-sauvignon-rutherford-napa-valley-2011/">2011 Quintessa Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, Napa Valley $145</a></strong><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> A British gentleman&rsquo;s library of aromas unfolds dried black currant, cigar box and mysterious dark spices. The full-bodied palate opens to silky and chalky tannins. Rich flavors of black cherry, medicinal herb, spice and oak complete this reserved but very handsome wine. 92pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/frank-family-vineyards-cabernet-sauvignon-rutherford-winston-hill-2011/"><strong>2011 Frank Family Vineyards Winston Hill Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, Napa Valley $150</strong></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> This wine, decadent and unctuous, may show less vintage influence than any other Rutherford 2011 I&rsquo;ve tasted. Aromas include milk chocolate, coconut, ripe black currants, brown spice and oak. It&rsquo;s full-bodied in the mouth yet balanced by acidity and fine-grained, grippy tannins. Flavors include mint, tart black currant, spice, oak and coconut. 92pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/conn-creek-cabernet-sauvignon-2011/"><strong>2011 Conn Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, Napa Valley $60</strong></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Very fetching and fruit forward with bing cherry, candied cherry, mint, cocoa, brown spice and oak aromatics. The nearly full-bodied nearly full-bodied palate features very fine-grained tannins, medium-plus acidity and long flavors of blackberry cream, spice, oak and tobacco. 91+pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/provenance-vineyards-cabernet-sauvignon-rutherford-napa-valley-2011/"><strong>2011 Provenance Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, Napa Valley $47</strong></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Another good value from 2011, this wine offers black cherry, moist cereal grain, dark spice and brown sugar on the nose and palate. It&rsquo;s full-bodied with both prominent acidity and firm tannins of fine grain and chalk. A couple of years in the cellar will soften the tannins and release additional depth. 90pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/beaulieu-vineyard-cabernet-sauvignon-private-reserve-georges-de-latour-2011/"><strong>2011 Beaulieu Vineyard Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, Napa Valley 14.7% $135</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot</em><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Upon first opening, ripe blackberry, spice, toasted cedar and vanilla rise from the glass. With extended air, aromas of forest spice and game meat emerge and gain prominence. The body is medium-plus with light-grained and chalky tannins nearly balanced by acidity. The blackberry tastes more piquant than it smelled and dark chocolate adds a counterpoint. 90pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/frank-family-vineyard-cabernet-sauvignon-napa-valley-2011/"><strong>2011 Frank Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, Napa Valley 14.5% $85</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petite Verdot, 3% Merlot</em><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Dark ruby with a very purple tone, the complex nose brings baked black cherry, black currant, dark spice, violets, tart blueberry and lavender. The moderate tannins are very fine and chalky on a fresh, yet nearly full-bodied, palate. Flavors include tangy, cooked berries, black cherry, charcoal, dill and lots of dark spice. 89pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/pina-cellars-cabernet-sauvignon-rutherford-firehouse-vineyard-2011/"><strong>2011 Pi&ntilde;a Firehouse Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, Napa Valley 15% $89</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>100% Cabernet Sauvignon</em><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Dark ruby and concentrated with an aromatic core of black cherry and prune which vacillates in the glass between jam and a bowl of very ripe whole fruit. The fruit is accented by allspice and spiced meat. The palate is medium-plus in body with matching tannins of fine grain and chalk. There&rsquo;s more complexity on the palate than on the nose right now. Flavors include tart black cherry jam, prune, allspice and other dark, dry spices, dry leaves and potting soil. This is a very solid wine and represents the vintage well. Like many 2011 Cabs from the Rutherford AVA, it&rsquo;s packed with savory complexity that will get even better with age. 89pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> </p> Mon, 15 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0400 article5563 Cooking With Quinoa! http://eat.snooth.com/articles/cooking-with-quinoa/?viewall=1 Gregory Dal Piaz <p><div><br /> <em><strong>&ldquo;I ate too much quinoa last night.&rdquo;</strong></em></div><br /> <br /><br /> <div><br /> Now that&#39;s not something you&#39;ll hear me say everyday. In fact I don&#39;t think I&#39;ve ever said that prior to earlier this week. You see in a long standing effort to eat more healthily I&#39;ve been doing things like eating less meat and more veggies, increasingly turning to beans for to get my protein and looking for alternatives to rice, pasta, and bread on the grain front. And you know what? Quinoa can be pretty darn good!</div><br /> <br /><br /> <div><br /> I do really need to write some more about beans, they are the most satisfying, least expensive, and most adaptable food in my pantry, but I bought these two big bags of quinoa, you know how Costco operates, and have been experimenting with some uses for this most healthful and nutritious grain. There have been various versions of pilaf, a really completing roasted garlic and mushroom version that elicited my leading comments and a pot fill of curried lamb with sprouted lentils and quinoa that currently sits on my stove!</div><br /> <br /> </p> Fri, 12 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0400 article5560 Barbaresco and Nebbiolo to Buy Now! http://www.snooth.com/articles/barbaresco-and-nebbiolo-to-buy-now-5559/?viewall=1 Gregory Dal Piaz <p>To welcome fall, and without a doubt the season has arrived, like clockwork, the moment our Labor Day weekend had wrapped up, I have always had a bit of a tradition of opening some Barbaresco. While my heart may belong to Barolo, the somewhat more elegant and more approachable wines of Barbaresco are perfect for times when you are looking for something lighter, and often somewhat less expensive than the best wines of Barolo.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Also worth consideration at this time are the great Nebbiolo wines that so many producers bottle at fair, though increasing less affordable prices. I have devoted quite a bit of space on these pages to Barolo and the 2010 vintage, and at the same time I have also suggested that the 2011 vintage, while not as classical a vintage as the focused and austere 2010, would provide for some remarkable drinking for those who are either not so patient, or more welcoming of the extra fruit a precocious, warm climate vintage delivers.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <br /> Barbaresco producers typically release their wines a year before those of Barolo, reflecting the less stringent requirements of the DOCG. As such we can get a glimpse of the quality of 2011 by sampling the current crop of Barbaresco as well as dipping our tongues into all the straight Nebbiolo that makes its way to our shores. While I consider Barbaresco affordable, it&rsquo;s obvious that these wines are not inexpensive. For real value your best bet in Nebbiolo are they myriad base bottlings of Langhe Nebbiolo and/or Nebbiolo d&rsquo;Alba, particularly those from some of the top producers whose Nebbiolo can compete with many Barolo and Barbaresco.&nbsp;<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Today I offer you lists of my favorite Nebbiolo and Barbaresco from my visits to Piedmont this year. You can find examples from 2010 through 2012 on shelves right now. Of these my favorite for Nebbiolo is 2011, as it is for Barbaresco as well though 2010 Barbaresco can be very exciting as well. The base Nebbiolos though tend to have benefited from the added warmth of the 2011 vintage, a vintage where the top sites yielded fruit that might be a bit over-ripe or at a minimum particularly rich in sugar and thus alcohol, but at the less well positioned sites the fruit seems for the most part to have reached perfect, if full maturity and the wines show that. The Nebbiolo and Barbaresco in bottle and the Barolo in barrel are across the board the most exciting group of Nebbiolo based wines I&rsquo;ve ever experienced from a warmer vintage.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> What this means for the average consumer is more fruit, softer tannins, and earlier approachability than usual. All of which have traditionally been issues facing Nebbiolo based wines when it comes to consumers with new world palates. Which is not to say that these wines will turn off those with old world plates. These are not 2000s, 1997s, or 2007s. They are a cut well above those vintages and one which I am thoroughly enjoying as I broaden my appreciation of these fine wines!<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/list/top-12-nebbiolo-tasted-in-2014/18439/"><strong>12 Great Nebbiolo&#39;s Worth Exploring!</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> One last note. While in Treiso I visited the Rizzi winery and tasted both from barrel and from the cellar. As further proof &nbsp;of the quality of the 2011 vintage let me say that Rizzi&rsquo;s 2011 Boito is outrageous, dark, powerful and intense. It will be a fabulous Riserva. &nbsp;Pajore is all perfume and spice and totally seductive, and Nervo is linear and elegant with the Rizzi an amalgam of all looking very promising and pretty. These were out of barrel but just about ready to be bottled. The wines out of bottles are listed below and show that while Barbaresco is ready before most Barolo, they are long lived wines that warrant more attention from consumers.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/rizzi-barbaresco-boito-2008-1/"><strong>2008 Rizzi Barbaresco Boito $NA</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Deeply burnished on the nose, with a hint of Chinato layered over dried cherries, a hint of ash and dried cherry wood. This is a big wine, a powerful wine, a bit dark and folded in on itself today but each layer seems distinct, fine and clear. Air brings out a mineral aspect on the palate with gentle medicinal tones that lead to a long finish which shows off the power, elegance, and finesse of this grand site. The &nbsp;tart red berry fruits, a bit of strawberry with lemon juice on top show fine persistence through the long finish ending with a bit of a spicy &nbsp;finale. 93pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/rizzi-barbaresco-boito-2006/"><strong>2006 Rizzi Barbaresco Boito $NA</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Already showing aromatic maturity on the nose this explodes from the glass with aromas of Crayon, damp soil, pine cone, dried raspberry, fine blond tobacco, cranberry and a bit of hightoned middle eastern spice. Still tight and focused on the palate with subtle spicy herb and sandalwood flavors on on entry, this opens on the midpalate to reveal a broad and open pool of orange rind framed wild strawberry flavors which are washed away on the powerful and focused backend which reveals a streak of brilliant red cherry fruit that shows great follow through, along with fabulously ripe tannins through the long finish which ends with a lovely pop of rosebud aromatics in the mouth. Quite tannic and almost ready, this is gorgeous. 93pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> For comparison&rsquo;s sake I list the current releases here.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/rizzi-barbaresco-nervo-fondetta-2010/"><strong>2010 Rizzi Barbaresco Nervo $40</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Smoky on the nose with slightly jammy aromas of frutti del bosco, a bit of sandalwood on the nose, and underlying aromas of blueberries and tar. Fine ripe tannins, greet the palate along with acids that lend a bit of orange rind framing notes to the very focused, gorgeous purity to the red wild berry fruit on the plate. With a little balsam notion the backend, this finishes rather tightly with furry, lingering tannins. This needs a few years to fully integrate. 91pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/rizzi-barbaresco-pajore-2010/"><strong>2010 Rizzi Barbaresco Pajore $45</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Powerful with great aromas of fresh fruit on the nose with hints of mulberry, sandalwood, spiced and flinty with an almost peachy note. In the mouth this is decidedly broad and a bit soft with supple tannins, though great acids adds some power and some weight to the rich raspberry fruit on the palate. the tannins build on the backend lending this grace and purity in the mouth. A really terrific effort. 92pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/rizzi-barbaresco-boito-riserva-2010/"><strong>2010 Rizzi Barbaresco Boito Riserva $50</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Deep and powerful on the nose with huge perfumes, spicy and rich with great woodland aromas, pine needles, icy, mineral soil, a bit of pine bark, and dark, tobacco stained berry fruit. Already almost velvety on entry, this exhibits huge structure in the mouth with a poised and faceted feel along with compelling depth and perfume to the wild black berry and blackcurrant fruit on the palate. Long tannic and savory on the finish which is replete with mineral, juniper, and balsamic accents. &nbsp;Elegant and powerful. 93pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/rizzi-barbaresco-pajore-2/"><strong>2009 Rizzi Barbaresco Pajore $45</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Big aromas of burnished sIiced cherry fruit greets the nose along with spicy, almost peppery accents and soil tones that lends this an almost animale quality. With lovely fruit on the attack this shows off considerable power and gains nice balsamic spice notes on the midpalate but this feels a bit less full on the back end, tannins are very ripe, and while there is really gorgeous fruit here the wine lacks a bit of grip through the finish. 89pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/rizzi-barbaresco-boito-riserva-2009/"><strong>2009 Rizzi Barbaresco Boito Riserva $50</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> First year for the reserva</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Tight on the nose with blueberry in alcohol and medicinal aromas. The finest focus of the wines tasted here today, this is clean and taut, tight on entry with tightly packed fine tannins fanning out broadly on the palate. remaining quite fresh and crisp in the mouth with good acids, this is savory and tight right through the moderately long finish. With the fruit is a bit in hiding today, this comes off as a bit lean but powerful and focused. 90pts</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> Wines from the Produttori del Barbaresco</div><br /> <div><br /> <br /><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/produttori-del-barbaresco-barbaresco-2010-2/"><strong>2010 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco $30</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Two weeks before harvest there were a couple of days of rain</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> 13/088</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> With sweet woodsy forest floor aromas on the nose, this is quite aromatic, with a lovely floral top note, integrated spice accents, fine apple skin, red lingonberry, and wild strawberry aromas. Not shy with the alcohol in the mouth, this is smooth and polished on the palate with &nbsp;good power and length, and real drive from the tannins, though this seems deceptively small today with astringent red berried fruit and &nbsp;a little hint of forest floor bitterness on the palate. Tight and in need of additional time in the bottle. 89pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/produttori-del-barbaresco-barbaresco-2009-2/"><strong>2009 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco $30</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Sweet herbs, slightly roasted red fruit fruit, cocoa, and an incipient truffle note appear on the nose. With sweet fruity on entry, soft tannins, big size, and great acids this makes quite an impression in the mouth but the tannins show a slight bitter edge, the sweetness comes from the rather high alcohol, and the fruit is decidedly simple in the mouth with lots of small red berry fruit that lacks detail and complexity. Fine but this is a bit short and less interesting than usual. 87pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/produttori-del-barbaresco-barbaresco-riserva-rio-sordo-2009/"><strong>2009 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Rio Sordo $55</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Big burnished fruit with a slightly roasted quality greets the nose along with a wonderfully spicy character &nbsp;bright with rosemary and menthol top notes. Smooth and silky, with some power in the mouth, there&rsquo;s a burnished, slightly spicy sandalwood quality here, a little vitamin c, slightly mineral quality as well on a palate that is pretty seamless. This shows good power, not the most complex bottling today but with good persistence and follow through on the finish. 90pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/produttori-del-barbaresco-barbaresco-riserva-pora-2009/"><strong>2009 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Pora $55</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Small raspberry fruit, sandalwood, &nbsp;and lots of rose petals with a slightly dusty edge show up on the nose which carries with a sense of sweetness to the fruit. &nbsp;Bright on the palate, and very lively in the mouth with raspberry and cranberry fruit, along with hints of wild cherry. This is really lovely with a playful balance, though it finishes a touch short with hard tannin on the cherry cough drop finish. Should be fairly elegant if the tannins soften up. 89pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/produttori-del-barbaresco-muncagota-2009/"><strong>2009 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Muncagota $55</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Big and detailed on the nose which shows wild, dark cherry fruit, flecked with bits of mint and tree bark, very detailed with an unusual, sweet creamy note, almost taffy like on the nose. packed with power and delicacy, this shows off lovely balance on the palate which is rich with cherry pit fruit, firm in texture, full of energy on the palate, even if the acids are a touch soft. Broad, fruity, and nicely fresh in the mouth thanks to the zesty tannins, this also exhibits good length, but it is not shy on alcohol. A lovely wine that shows both ripeness of fruit and a sort of windswept character. I bet this will improve though the alcohol will always be apparent. 90pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/produttori-del-barbaresco-ovello-2009/"><strong>2009 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Ovello $55</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> After a tight floral note opening note on the nose this turns very precise, &nbsp;deep and savory with a fairly strong wood smoke top notes, briar, pipe tobacco, and strawberry aromas. In the mouth this exhibits a lovely, smooth polished feel, nuanced but smooth, with fine tannins and integrated acidity supporting really precise and crisp woodsy red berry fruits. This has excellent purity this year, and good length with a balance of tannin and acid that puts this near the top of the class. 92pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/produttori-del-barbaresco-barbaresco-montestefano-2009-3/"><strong>2009 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Montestefano $55</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Burnished wood pops on the earthy nose, which is dark yet fresh fruit, with a touch of quinine spice accenting the tight, tough and clay mineral, though sweetly floral toned nose. Big rich berry fruit greets the palate here along with nuanced spice notes that are wrapped up in a smooth, lithe palate that is rich with deep mineral notes that lead to a dark tight long finish that does show a hint of warmth. The fruit really turns quite dark cherried in the mouth, supported by nice round tannins that help to drive the briar wood and strawberry seed toned finish. This is complete and deep. A real winner. 93pts</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> Additional Barbaresco wines tasted in Italy 2014</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/cascina-delle-rose-barbaresco-rio-sordo-2011/"><strong>2011 Cascina delle Rose Rio Sordo $50</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> A step up in aromatic depth and complexity from the Tre Stelle and just gorgeous with complex floral aromas rich &nbsp;with mineral flecked wild cherry, wild berry fruit and just a hint of lime zest. A little extract of fruit on the entrance with good weight and power on the palate, this is obviously a little young and chewy though long in the mouth with ripe tannins. Air brings out very pure wild cherry pit fruit, a little dusty and decidedly soil driven on the long finish, incredible emerging rose petal perfumes, serious depth to the flavors, and attractive complexity both on the nose and in the mouth. Fabulous wine. 94pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/cascina-delle-rose-barbaresco-tre-stelle-2011/"><strong>2011 Cascina delle Rose Tre Stelle $55</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Tight on the nose with very fine rose petal aromas and balsamic tinged red berry fruit, raspberry and limestone. Superbly elegant, pure and delicate in the mouth with late arriving tannins and intensity of fruit that leads to great intensity and weight on the back palate. While fairly tannic, the crisp tannins are well judged and present on the finish which is a bit tight, irony, and very aromatic with red fruit aromas with a hint of mint in the mouth. Tight and promising. 92pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/oddero-barbaresco-gallina-2010/"><strong>2010 Oddero Barbaresco Gallina $55</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Rosehips, clay, cherry and strawberry aromas all show up on the cool, mineral rich nose. Crisp on entry long, and dusty in the mouth with a young, &nbsp;tight and, &nbsp;delicate feel. Showing off hints of mint and rose in the mouth retro nasally, this remains very firm and tight on the palate with very important tannins that are superbly fine grained. A bit warm and spicy on the finish, This has a lovely nose and the structure is gorgeous, though the fruit is hiding a bit today. 92pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/barbaresco-bric-turot-prunotto-2009/"><strong>2009 Prunotto Barbaresco Bric Turot $65</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> In Barbaresco, a part of the vineyard was replanted three years ago, the last vintage with only older vine juice,</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Big on the nose, deep and rich with dried fruit, leather and spice notes underpinned with hints of autumnal herbs, candied cherries, astringent spices and dry soil notes. Round and opulent in the mouth, this shows a nice blend of freshness of flavor and bright acids with tannins that are both ripe and just beginning to soften. Fairly tense and clear on the palate this still feels firm in the mouth with mossy cherry fruit on the palate leading to a backend which gains some leathery and dry spice tones before finishing with fairly important tannins and fine length, all amarena cherry and strawberry toned. &nbsp;Pretty classic stuff with fine persistence and power. 92pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/oddero-barbaresco-gallina-2011/"><strong>2011 Oddero Barbaresco Gallina $55</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Pretty on the nose with underlying &nbsp;clay aromas topped with a little sweetness of dark fruit and nice pure macerated rosepetals and camphor top notes. This shows big yet precise fruit in the mouth with lovely, ripe tannins lending this a &nbsp;velvety feel already. A little spicy on the palate, this has good &nbsp;energy in the mouth and fine length. In an elegant style and pretty sweetly fruited, though remaining fairly complex and refined. 91pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/barale-barbaresco-serraboella-2009/"><strong>2009 Barale Barbaresco Serraboella $40</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Strawberries in alcohol and leather greet the nose which smells a bit sweet and picks up a hint of carob with air. Bright acids are obvious on entry, and this is immediately &nbsp;this is drinking quite well with small, slightly angular tannins supporting lots of strawberry fruit with little flecks of jammy black raspberry fruit that fills the palate and extends through the long finish. Well balanced, but not very nuanced and very fruit driven, this should have a long life ahead though it may never be the most complex. 90pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/prunotto-barbaresco-2011/"><strong>2011 Prunotto Barbaresco $40</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> From vineyards in Barbaresco and Treiso</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Gorgeous on the nose, rich with dried rose petals, dusty earth, menthol, nettle, chalk, woodsmoke a hint of game even and burnished amarena cherries and small plum fruits. Bright acids make this juicy and clear on the palate, perhaps a touch simple but with good concentration and lovely sour cherry, raspberry tinged fruit. The palate lacks the complexity found on the nose, but shows fine energy to the fruit and finishes with well judged but classic tannic bite, with a hint of leather and dried fruit adding some nuance to the finish. 90pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/rinaldi-francesco-barbaresco-2010/"><strong>2010 Francesco Rinaldi Barbaresco $45</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> 2 years in big wood</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Old wood, rose hips, hints of clove oil come together on the spicy nose along with slightly stewy cherry fruit, very aromatic with some newer wood here as well. Lean, fresh, and precise with tightly wound tannins in the mouth, moderately rich, with a little strawberry note on the backend. This is elegant in the mouth with a slight dip on the palate, then there&#39;s attractive richness and slightly sweet fruit notes with nice length and a hint of tobacco on the finish, which is a touch short and chunky today. This should improve as it fills out but may always be a little lean. 88pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/scarpa-barbaresco-tettineive-2008/"><strong>2008 Scarpa Barbaresco TettiNeive $NA</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Tight on the nose with a fine cigar wrapper blond tobacco note, earthy, dried, pressed flowers, and hints of mint and camfor. Very smooth in the mouth with good acids and modest, ripe tannins that float around in the pool of orange tinged, orange acid supported wild strawberry flavors on the palate. Tight and acid driven on the finish, which shows lots of mineral depth. A bit minty in the mouth, good length, warm finish. 88pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/barbaresco-bordini-elvio-cogno-2011/"><strong>2011 Elvio Cogno Barbaresco Bordini $40</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Small red fruits, sandalwood, &nbsp;and hints of cinnamon, mushroom, and &nbsp;leather appear on the nose along with a hint of peach. fairly tannic in the mouth and medium bodied, quite woodsy, savory, and a little tough in the mouth with menthol and strawberry flavors. Tannic and tough on the finish, with dry tannins that are not that well integrated. &nbsp;Strives for elegance but is weighed down by tannins today. 87pts</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Nebbiolo tasted in Italy in 2014</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/e-pira-and-figli-chiara-boschis-langhe-nebbiolo-2012/"><strong>2012 Chiara Boschis Langhe Nebbiolo $40</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> With awesome aromatics that savory, complex and deep with subtle woodsy red fruit aromas, wild strawberry, camphor, and just a hint of sweet, roasted wild cherry, this is absolutely alluring on the nose. In the mouth one finds a &nbsp;perfect middleweight Nebiolo, perhaps a bit on the sweeter side with all the fruit, camphor, and spice, and savory complexity found on the nose along with super purity. One barely notices the finely ripe tannins until they eek out past the big strawberry and orange peel flavors on the moderately long finish. Beautiful Nebbiolo. 93pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/mascarello-bartolo-langhe-nebbiolo-2012/"><strong>2012 Bartolo Mascarello Langhe Nebbiolo $55</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Rose petals, camphor, sand, and light red fruit emerge on the nose along with a hint of black spice and a low innate sweetness. Soft and supple in the mouth, this flows over the palate with lovely bright fresh fruit with small tannins add a nice hint of firmness on the palate. Complex flavors of rosehips, burnished wild cherry fruit, a hint of watermelon rind, and those firm, dusty, little tannins linger on the long finish. This is so elegant and refined showing power and delicacy with a softness here that wraps around the palate. 92pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/scarzello-langhe-nebbiolo-2012/"><strong>2012 Scarzello Langhe Nebbiolo $30</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Full west piece of Merenda, less sand, fresh hill that comes Vergne, more sand across the way in Merenda</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Barrels for malo, bottled in september</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> A hint of cherry wood spice greets the nose which is very fragrant, pure , high toned and complex with nuanced women&#39;s perfume and &nbsp;rose petal aromas. &nbsp;Light and elegant on entry, this then turns pretty powerful with bright acids and round tannins that are opulent for a Nebbiolo. There&rsquo;s great fruit here, fresh and deep yet transparent, a touch short today perhaps, but with such a fine texture. This is just beautiful Nebbiolo, gaining some complexity on the backend, a little sandalwood, savory nuance, slightly leathery and dry on the wild cherry toned finish with a hint of licorice on the finale. 91pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/cascina-delle-rose-langhe-nebbiolo-2011/"><strong>2011 Cascina delle Rose Langhe Nebbiolo $NA</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Extract like aromas of fruit and roses greet the nose, followed by soil tones and hints of darker fruit. With lovely, spicy, cocoa tinged cherry strudel fruit on the entry, this is warm and supple on the palate, soft, and seamless with lots of depth and power to the extracty and slightly jammy wild cherry fruit that leads to back palate full of gorgeous raspberry strawberry and rhubarb fruit supported by fine grained tannins that lend just a hint of spice on the long finish. i would love to try this again in two or three years. 91pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/principiano-nebbiolo-montagliato-2012/"><strong>2012 Principiano Nebbiolo Montagliato $27</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> On year of big wood, outside of Barolo zone , higher 550m still in monforte,</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> 20 days</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Aromas of cherries in alcohol, camphor, rose petal, and pollen explode on the nose. On the palate this is supple and elegant, flowing across the palate with tarry fruit that show lovely subtle minty nuance and &nbsp;fine grained tannins on the palate followed by a very long finish rich with impressive spice and drive to the slightly dark berry fruit. This really combines complexity and drinkability. 91pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/cascina-delle-rose-langhe-nebbiolo-2012/"><strong>2012 Cascina delle Rose Nebbiolo $NA</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Shows a woodsy, butchers wax, watermelon rind aroma on the nose followed by a white cherry note, and then savory, briar wood top and emerging rose petal top notes. .A little tight in the mouth with a big tannic structure that sits just above the fruit today and just clips the finish. there&rsquo;s great acidity here, which helps to lift the fruit on the plate and adds some softening material to help cover the tannins with &nbsp;big cherried fruit and spicy soil notes on the back end and through the moderately long, pure red fruited finish. Needs a bit more time but this should be very good. 90pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/poderi-luigi-einaudi-langhe-2012/"><strong>2012 Einaudi Langhe Nebbiolo $NA</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Tight and raw on the nose nose which is quite medicinal with aromas of camphor and barbershop antiseptic over a woodsy, cool, composed and focused Core. There&#39;s lovely wild raspberry fruit on the palate and fairly important tannins, great acids, but this, having been bottled in January, is still tight and a bit tough going but shows depth, power and balance, Long finish, lovely watermelon, wild,raspberry, and &nbsp;cherry wood flavors, really showing very well, this needs a bit of time but should be excellent, surprisingly rich. 89pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/vietti-perbacco-nebbiolo-2011/"><strong>2011 Vietti Perbacco $25</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Very floral on the nose, filled with rose petals, red fruit, lingonberry fruit, a little nettle and minty. Smooth, juicy and very approachable and pretty Nebbiolo, easy going with bright berry fruit supported by crisp tannins, a hint of purple fruit, youthfulness along with spicy accents on the backend. rather full on the midpalate, with good length featuring nice dry tannins on the finish. &nbsp;88pts</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/prunotto-nebbiolo-dalba-occhetti-2011/"><strong>2011 Prunotto Nebbiolo d&#39;Alba Occhetti $NA</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> A subzone of Monteroero</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Grapes are bought from a single vineyard</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> 10 months in wood, almost all botte</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Nice classic nose of rose hips, prune plum and cherry in alcohol. &nbsp;Smooth and &nbsp;nicely balanced in the mouth this is easygoing on the palate and very much in the style of the vintage. With good fruit, modest complexity, classic hints of leather appear early in the palate, this is rather a clean fresh finish, and classic Nebbiolo, with good acids and &nbsp;tannins that are notably ripe and almost soft here, typical of Roero and 2011. There&rsquo;s good persistence to the fruit, as this turns a bit more complex and even firms up a touch in the mouth with nice perfumed wild sour cherry and dried red plum on the finish. 88pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/massolino-nebbiolo-langhe-2011/"><strong>2011 Massolino Langhe Nebbiolo $25</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Just a selection of less ripe, less powerful grapes, a little Barolo one to one and a half years in botte, very Barolo like elevage</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Lovely fruity on the nose with aromas of wild raspberry in alcohol that are light and fragrant, followed by a bit of a jammy wild berry note. Opening with good acids and ripe tannins this displays lovely, burnished fruits on the palate in a super classic flavor profile. With a good hit of tannin on the finish this seems rather short and front loaded but at the same time quite complete. Should be better in a year. 88pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/burlotto-langhe-nebbiolo-2012/"><strong>2012 Burlotto Langhe Nebbiolo $26</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> A little sweet edge to the aromas of nettles, sage, crisp cranberry, and a bit of orange rind on the nose. While rather big on entry, this quickly gains some elegance in the mouth with very fine grained dusty tannins layered under rich, savory fruit, burnished red fruit. Airy, light and with attractive minerality on the palate, this reveals &nbsp;lots of soft, ripe tannins on the finish along with lingering strawberry seed and slightly chalky mineral notes. Simultaneously soft, supple and a bit four square in the mouth. 88pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/ferdinando-principiano-langhe-nebbiolo-le-coste-2012/"><strong>2012 Principiano Nebbiolo Coste $18</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> SS</div><br /> <div><br /> 40% le Coste, 60% the last rows of serralunga bosca retro, they don&#39;t age well enough to make Barolo,</div><br /> <div><br /> bottled yesterday</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Herbal and &nbsp;tight on the nose with a savory stemminess layered over frutti del bosco, wild raspberry, and red currant fruit. Delicate yet powerful in the mouth, this lacks a bit of harmony on the palate, it&rsquo;s not rough, just disjointed from bottling. It is rich, juicy, full and fairly powerful with an innate sweetness to it and lots of fruit with notes of minerality adding some complexity already and the ripe tannins lending a spicy cast to the palate. There&rsquo;s a hint of VA on the finish adding some lift but this seems to be quite an elegant expression of nebbiolo. 88pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/brovia-nebbiolo-dalba-2011/"><strong>2011 Brovia Nebbiolo d&#39;Alba $40</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Valmaggiore</em></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>SS</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Lovely aromas of rose hips, sandy soil, dark cherry, a little black tea and pollen spice come together on the very fresh nose which picks up a small prune in alcohol note on entry. This is a big, mouth filling wine that is a little hollow on the midpalate needs to flesh out. Rich, ripe and still quite structured, this shows all the ripeness of the vintage with its telltale freshness and perfume. The finish is moderately tannic and tobacco and earth laced, and while this stumbles on the midpalate today if it fills out it will be lovely. 87pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/brezza-langhe-nebbiolo-2012/"><strong>2012 Brezza Langhe Nebbiolo $20</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> All SS. &nbsp;Mostly rose clone</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Gorgeous aromatics of slightly jammy wild cherry and &nbsp;strawberry fruit are light and perfumed on the nose with rose petal accents. Pretty fresh and zesty on the palate with juicy acidity supporting just under ripe cherry and strawberry fruit framed with a hint of orange rind. Very clean, and even a bit lean in the mouth, this comes off as quite focused and refreshing with nice abundant but soft tannins emerging on the finish. Easy drinking 87pts</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/francesco-rinaldi-nebbiolo-dalba-2012/"><strong>2012 Francesco Rinaldi Nebbiolo d&#39;Alba $NA</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> 1 year in wood. Fruit from Roddi</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Rose petals and chalk pop on the nose over a peach base note with a hint of va adding lift to the classic rose hips and raspberry/strawberry in alcohol aromas. Nice raw tannins on entry support lovey burnished sour cherry &nbsp;fruit in the mouth that is framed by hint of watermelon peel, &nbsp;and sandalwood accents. With good length and nice tense tannins making this just a &nbsp;little tough on the finish, this could use a bit more time but it&rsquo;s already enjoyable for its purity and bracing, structured style. 87pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/oddero-nebbiolo-langhe-2011/"><strong>2011 Oddero Langhe Nebbiolo $26</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Soft on the nose with sandy soil tones, a hint of watermelon rind along with a touch of va adding lift to light rosemary, and even almost peppery spice notes. There&rsquo;s nice depth on the palate which shows off subtle flavors of chalk, tart red berry fruit and gentle balsamic tones. and while this is a touch tough in the mouth, it does turn fresher on the backend and through the modest finish. Subtle but the balance is quite attractive with everything rather in harmony here. 87pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/clerico-francesco-nebbiolo-dalba-2010/"><strong>2010 Francesco Clerico Nebbiolo $22</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Nice, slightly herbal, and vaguely medicinal aromas of wild black cherry cough lozenge with hints of cola and licorice greet the nose. Much cooler on entry than the nose suggest, &nbsp;though this is big and fruity and has a hint of rs most likely. The solid acids keep this in balance with the quite ripe and slightly candied fruit on the palate yielding to a flow of green herbs and old wood on the backend and through the modest finish where fresh Nebbiolo tannins add a crisp snap. &nbsp;A bit chunky and firm in style. 87pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/bric-du-nota-nebbiolo-d-alba-scarpa-2010/"><strong>2010 Scarpa Nebbiolo Bric du Nota $30</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Monte Roero</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Big raspberry aromas with a liquory edge first greet the nose followed by lots of strawberry fruit, a bit candied but fresh, with hints of black raspberry candy. Smooth and rich in the mouth with perhaps a hint of RS as well. There are rich if gentle macerated herb tinged black berry and &nbsp;raspberry flavors on the palate with just a hint of mineral adding detail through the moderately long finish, which is plush, fruity, and a bit sticky. Not my style of wine but one that has its appeal. 87pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/cavallotto-nebbiolo-langhe-2011/"><strong>2011 Cavallotto Langhe Nebbiolo $30</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Light herb stem, rose stem, and hints of mint accent the sweet fruit on the nose that has a jammy wild raspberry quality to it and hints of chocolate chip cookies,Fairly tannic on entry and bright with lots of acids, in a moderately powerful style that is very front loaded with sour cherry fruit and then tight and tannic on the backend powerful, and dry tannins on the dry, herbal, and tough &nbsp;finish, though this remains very fresh and linear. 86pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/giovanni-sordo-nebbiolo-dalba-2011/"><strong>2011 Sordo Nebbiolo d&#39;Alba $NA</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Hugely balsamic on the nose, which is quite aromatic and fresh with aromas of red frutti del bosco, camphor, and a hint of something a little spicy. With high acids on entry, this comes off as a bit lean, with sour cherry, in a simple, clean and decisive style. the finish is long and &nbsp; fresh, if simple and easy going. 85pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/produttori-del-barbaresco-langhe-nebbiolo-2012-1/"><strong>2012 Produttori del Barbaresco Langhe Nebbiolo $20</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Below 15 years old, 20-23 days on skins, 6 months in wood</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Very balsamic on the nose with a huge pine resin top note, &nbsp;some sweet woody notes, sweet red fruit and a hint of mint. Rather sweet/tart in the mouth, though mostly tart with lots of cranberry and raspberry flavors. This is less balsamic in the mouth than on the nose, but it retains some of the woodland spice character through the &nbsp;modest finish, which lacks some fruit covering the dry finishing tannins. 85pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> </p> Thu, 11 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0400 article5559 Chianti Classico Riserva - Football's favorite wine http://www.snooth.com/articles/chianti-classico-riserva-footballs-favorite-wine/?viewall=1 Callie Exas <p><html><br /> <body style="margin:0px"><br /> <table width="100%" border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"><br /> <tr><br /> <td bgcolor="#AEB4A6"><br /> <% intro_text %><br /> <table width="762" border="0" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><br /> <tr><br /> <td style="font-size:0pt; line-height:0pt;"><br /> <br /> </td><br /> </tr><br /> <tr><br /> <td valign="top" bgcolor="#FFFFFF"><br /> <table width="100%" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><br /> <tr><br /> <td height="4" style="font-size:0; line-height:0;"><br /> </td><br /> </tr><br /> </table><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <table width="100%" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><br /> <tr><br /> <td height="10" style="font-size:0; 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line-height:0;" height="10"> </td><br /> </tr><br /> </table> <br /> <!-- end main image --><br /> </td><br /> <td width="15" bgcolor="#ffffff"> </td><br /> </tr> <br /> </table><br /> <!-- end main image wrapper --><br /> <br /> <br /> <font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" color="#273038" style="font-size:13px; line-height:20px;"><br /> To understand the pedigree of these wines, you need to understand a little bit of their background and history. &nbsp;<br /><br /> <br /> </font><br /> <br /> <br /> <h3 style="text-align:center;"><br /> <a style="color: #41682d; font-size: 17px; font-style:italic; font-family:georgia,times,serif;" href="http://www.snooth.com/articles/chianti-classico-riserva-footballs-favorite-wine/"><br /> Read the Full Article »</a><br /> </h3><br /> </td><br /> </tr><br /> </table><br /> </td><br /> <td width="12" rowspan="2"><br /> </td><br /> <td width="300" valign="top"><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> </td><br /> <td width="12" rowspan="2"><br /> </td><br /> </tr><br /> </table><br /> <table width="100%" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><br /> <tr><br /> <td height="15" style="font-size:0pt; 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