Gregory Dal Piaz

Location: New York, NY

Italian Whites 4/12

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Li Veli Askos Verdeca (2010)
Comments: Quite the nose here with honeysuckle, lychee, orange marmalade and lemon drop candy it’s intense and distinctive. This is perfumed and complex. Another wine that turns out to be leaner on the palate than one might guess from the aromatics. This is absolutely lovely, transparent yet with a certain richness. The fruit on the palate is more grapefruit than orange with some citron notes over a floral bed and notes of lime leaf and sage. The orange tones return on the moderately long finish accompanied by some fine mineral accents and an edge of bitter pear. Absolutely lovely wine, if note exactly mainstream. 91pts
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2 Librandi Efeso Val di Neto IGT (2007)
Comments: Showing a touch of wood on the nose, this displays attractive aromas of lemon, prosciutto, sage, lemongrass and a hint of hickory. A bit of sweetness up front doesn’t detract from the voluptuous, extremely attractive mouthfeel of this. This really caresses the mouth with gossamer richness. It’s got some attractive flavors as well, kind of subtle and layered with a creamy, nutty cashew edge to the core of sweet apple fruit and green melon. There’s a nice spice top note but this is note the most complex wine around, it’s just complex enough to keep it interesting, and seductive enough to please anyone. The finish shows a grassy side to this with herbs and another flash of hickory making an appearance over a base of melony fruit. I don’t think I’ve ever had this before, a neat discovery! 91pts
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3 Luigi Cecchi & Figli Litorale Maremma Toscana IGT (2009)
Comments: Waxy and herbal on the nose, this is assertively aromatic if in an earthy, dried floral, roasted chestnut, pine resin and butcher’s wax kind of way. Rich and rather powerful in the mouth, this is intense yet not terrible complex with chunky dried fruit, apricot and citrus, flavors. This exhibits a rare rusticity for a white wine, which many might find attractive. It certainly opens up significant food pairing options with the pronounced acid and faint touch of tannin this possesses. Great for a change of pace, though this isn’t a sipping by the pool kind of white. The fruit, apple blossomy and slightly bitter and citrus scented lingers on the long, slightly grainy textured finish. You may not like this, but you will not tie from it. 89pts
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4 Monte Faliesi Fiano di Avellino (2009)
Comments: Almond and granite greet the nose here along with light notes of heather and ginseng. In the mouth this is all business, very crisp and focused, almost strict with a fine balance of crisp bitter apple fruit interlaced with mineral, and gentle herbal tones. There’s a touch of toasted herb on the backend along with notes of almond extract and minerals that flow on to the long finish. This is lovely, really poised yet with plenty of rich fruit, a lovely expression of Fiano. 88pts
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5 Rapitala Piano Maltese Bianco Sicilia IGT (2010)
Comments: Grapefruit and guava greet the nose followed by nutty, barrel aged chardonnay like tones. This is tense and focused on the nose with those tropical tones but no sense of over-ripeness or overt sweetness. Round, lush and very creamy on entry with stoney white peach and pear fruit that tense up considerably on the mid-palate revealing fairly pronounced mineral notes. The finish is a touch bitter and short, kind of clumsy but with a nice underlay of citrus pith and green pear skin. Ending with a licorice finale. Lots of wine here, will please those looking for an alternative to powerful chardonnays, though the flavor profile is quite different. 88pts
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6 Librandi Cirò Bianco (2010)
Comments: Lovely nose full of apple fruit topped with notes of hawthorn, cream and light floral notes. Light and crisp in the mouth yet with lovely intensity of yellow apple fruit up front and flavors that allude to sweetness. This is round, yet not soft with fairly intense fruit flavors draped over a lean framework that powers through on the finish delivering refreshing quartzy mineral flavors. This is really quite attractive and nicely balanced as an everyday drinker; complex enough to be interesting and yet simply delicious. 87pts
Average price: $5.91 from 1 store
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7 Mastroberardino Fiano di Avellino (2009)
Comments: This is fairly fruity on the nose, and could be easy to dismiss with the prominent apricot fruit but further inspection reveals lovely fennel, honeycomb, and jasmine undertones. Rather lean on the palate, fresh and direct with an impression that is very similar to the aromatics, apricot with fennel edges and some light hazelnuts tones picking up the backend along with a light dusting of minerality. A subtle wine, nicely balanced and fresh but one that doesn’t push too hard, though there is a lovely aromatic lift on the moderately long finish, which lets this end on a high note. 86pts
Previously available for $25.99
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8 Zenato Lugana San Benedetto Veneto (2010)
Comments: This is very floral on the nose at first, then gaining a low nutty base and some meaty ripe fruits. Light and fresh, this is surprisingly light and crisp on the palate; the nose prepares you for a bigger wine. Bright, juicy and fairly tense, this delivers some white peach, melon and green gage plum fruit in a lean, bracing, and frankly refreshing package that shows solid length. Not particularly complex, but lively 86pts
Previously available for $14.54
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9 Carpineto Dogajolo White (2010)
Comments: Nice low apricot and pear fruit slowly fills the glass with a subtle leafy underlay. This is decidedly medium bodied and soft yet it has a certain richness to it. The flavors on the palate lean a bit more towards lime and grapefruit though they do retain a core of almost peachy orchard fruits. Very clean crisp and somewhat short finish. This is clean and simple, though for my tastes I might look for more acid. 85pts
Average price: $16.00 from 1 store
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10 Leone de Castris Salento Bianco Verdeca Messapia (2009)
Comments: Rich with aromas of pineapple, melon, orange gel candies and a certain light waxiness this is attractive if a touch simple. Round in the mouth with good acid and a refreshing feel while delivering simple yet attractive lemon, candied lime and light honeydew flavors. The modest finish is acid driven and lemony. 83pts
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11 Poggio Al Tesoro Solosole (2009)
Comments: Seashells, dried melon, dried lime peel and shadings of chive come together on an appealing bouquet. On the pale this offers up an odd blend of mineral, almost salty seashell flavors with a rather rich, and slightly viscous core of apricot fruit. A touch heavy and clumsy on the palate with a certain creaminess up front, this just doesn’t come together for me. 82pts
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12 Castello Montauto Vernaccia di San Gimignano (2010)
Comments: Not much on the nose here, maybe a touch of spice over waxy apricot fruit but this is pretty subdued. With time there’s a touch of pine nut here as well with some sweet citrus oil tones. In the mouth this is bright and lean with modest citrus flavors and nice refreshing feel that shows a touch of steely minerality on the backend. Finishes quite short. A rather innocuous wine. 80pts
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