Gregory Dal Piaz

Location: New York, NY

Top Value Organic Wines Tasted 3/14

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Omero Moretti Terre di Giano (2011)
Comments: 50% Sangiovese, 25% Ciliegiolo, 25% Merlot. Dark on the nose and slightly oaky with aromas of maduro tobacco, licorice and carob that drift up with spicy nuance to frame a tight core of black fruit and fresh leather. An initial rush of candied herbs flows across the palate pushed along by a wine of great power, and clarity. There’s excellent detail and cut on the palate, showing off tart and slightly bitter black fruits of plums and, tobacco, bitter chocolate, and berries. Turning chewy and dense on the backend, this saturated that operate with bitter cherry fruit before seguing to a firm, slightly tannic and cherry pit finish which shows off a hint of prune. A powerhouse, and a brick house of a wine. 91pts
Previously available for $19.99
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2 Luis Pato Colheita Seleccionada (2011)
Comments: 70% Baga, 30% Touriga Nacional Deep, leathery and subtly spicy with notes of white pepper and cardamom on the nose, this gains layers of complexity with air running the gamut from pressed flowers to vegemite, peppercorn to sweet pipe tobacco. A bit firm in the mouth, though without the explosive acids Baga sometimes have. Still this is bright and superbly balanced with mineral framed slightly jammy red currant and raspberry fruit on the alate. Hints of tea and dried flowers add detail and the tannins, firm but fully ripe, keep everything in their place. This is an impressive wine, definitely something that can age well for probably up to a decade, there finish is bright and edgy with slightly spicy red fruits that show excellent persistence. The violets and blue fruits of Touriga emerge with air, though the do play second fiddle to Baga’s bright, rusty red flavors. What a buy. 89pts
Average price: $13.99 from 3 stores
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3 Tenuta di Ghizzano Il Ghizzano (2010)
Comments: A touch reticent on the nose but some swirling brings out an attractive bouquet of wild herbs, earth, almost violet floral notes and small wild cherry fruits with hints of blueberries and grilled meat adding subtle complexity. This enters the mouth with real energy, great concentration of fruit that is rich and powerful but neither sweet nor fruity is immediately cut by vibrant acids that lend this a mineral edge. The tannins have a touch of pine nuttiness to them, but are ripe and soft adding further detail in the mouth and contributing to the wines lush, fullish feel. The finish is pure and long, a bit rusty with red cherry and currant fruits. Medium full, elegant and nuanced this is delicious and has a great texture, Serve it with bistecca alla Fiorentina. 89pts
Average price: $17.99 from 21 stores
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4 Natalino del Prete Salice Salentino "Torre Nova" (2010)
Comments: Decidedly funky on the nose and very ‘natural’ smelling. This shows of an array of medicinal, barnyard and earthy aromas that are super complex but not what many wine drinkers are looking for, all savory and spicy as opposed to being fruity. Light and fresh on entry, this offers subtle fruit, rather bright and juicy for Salice Salentino, with cranberry and sour cherry flavors laced with dried herbs, leather, fennel fronds and a touch of children’s vitamin. The backend gains a nice light, fresh tannic bite and some steely mineral notes. Fairly long on the finish, this remains a bit tannic but the fresh fruit, nicely strawberry toned, pops on the finish and lingers on the juicy finale. Smells like a hippy but is a brilliant little wine. 88pts
Previously available for $13.99
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5 Emilana "Natura" Carmenere Valle Colchagua (2012)
Comments: Really Lovely on the nose, this is full of green tomato, red currant and mossy, earthy aromas that are fresh and bright. Round and fresh in the mouth, this is just past being full bodied and is a touch thick in the mouth for my tastes but delivers a very attractive core of black currant fruit that gains a whisper of oak contributing complexity and a little sweetness on the palate. Fruity, rich and with really attractive clarity and length to the flavors and a late arriving hint of pepperiness, I do like this but just wish it was a touch lighter on its toes. 87pts
Previously available for $9.87
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6 Michel Torino Cuma Malbec Cafayate Valley (2011)
Comments: Herbs, particularly rosemary, and black plummy fruit greet the nose followed by decidedly balsamic and bitter aromas of quinine and Chinato. Light, fresh, and energetic in the mouth, there’s a nice blend of power and clarity here and unlike much Malbec with is nicely dry. At its core there is that faint bitterness and touch of black spice that Malbec is capable of and this gains complexity in the mouth while retaining the fresh perfumes of crushed berry fruits, most notably mulberries and blackberries. Clean, fresh and clear on the finish, this lacks a touch of length but does gain some nuanced oak influenced complexity as the fruit, now turning red and a touch austere, fades from the palate. A lovely wine that may lack the power some look for but offers complexity and nuance at a great price. 87pts
Average price: $13.99 from 1 store
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7 Monte Bernardi Fuoristrada Sangiovese (2010)
Comments: Moderately fruity on the nose at first then earthy, leathery and gently sweet with ripe herbal notes and some dusty mineral and nutty tones. Bright acids greets the mouth followed by attractively pure and wide open flavors of raspberry and strawberry that are supported by slightly wiry, stemmy tannins. the wine has at its core a gentle sweetness and is quite transparent with just a suggestion of rusticity that plays out on the fairly long, herb, leather, and earth inflected finish. rather ripe and chewy for Sangiovese, there’s a lot to like here but it’s a bit one dimensional. 86pts
Previously available for $14.40
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8 Fontaleoni 'Colli Senesi' Chianti (2012)
Comments: Reticent on the nose and herbal with aromas of dried graasses, hay and subtley spicy red fruits. Light, fresh and zesty in the mouth, this is laden with bright, clear and slightly sweet cherry fruit. It’s a simple wine but round and yet bright in the mouth. Very refreshing and gaining some savory complexity on the backend, this goes down dangerously easily and has just enough tannin to add some mouthgrab. 86pts
Average price: $12.00 from 6 stores
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9 Chateau Tire Pe "Diem" (2012)
Comments: Soft and subtle on the nose, at first this shows off a quite fruity side with sweet notes of grapes and currants but air brings out some sweet nutty oak tones along with hints of tomato leaf, sun dried tomatoes, little flecks of black olive and a touch of sassafras. Soft and almost elegant on entry, this shows off brilliantly pure and fresh fruit in the mouth. So young it remains a touch grapy, but with cherry and strawberry flavors growing in the mouth and even gaining a little mineral and earthy streak and notes of briarwood on the backend. The finish is short with angular little tannins, but fresh and sapid, almost with a hint of saltiness to the fresh fruit. Simple but pure and fresh. 85pts
Average price: $13.00 from 1 store
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