Sunday, November 24, 2013

Tasting Through a Grab Bag of Italian Wines

This week, I’m looking to Italy. Since my last post on Italy, I’ve tasted some fun and tasty wines, all of which came in at less than $30. These wines were received as trade samples and tasted blind, unless otherwise noted.

2006 Ferrari Perlé - Italy, Trentino-Alto Adige, Trentino, Trento
SRP: $35
Tasted sighted. Could’ve fooled me for Champagne on the nose. Lots of doughy, yeasty, lemon-lime notes and apple peel. Tangy acid, fine bubbles, a good amount of creaminess on the palate. The key lime is mixed in with a pleasantly bitter crab apple note. Toasted bread and mineral accents linger on the finish. A solid sparkling Chardonnay for $35. (88 points)

2012 Folonari Pinot Grigio Venezie IGT - Italy, Venezie IGT
SRP: $8
Medium yellow color. Some golden apple and honey on the nose, but also some brighter floral and citrus components. Medium acid, with yellow and green apple, and there are some floral notes, but overall it’s a bit bland. Short finish. (79 points)

2012 Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi “Tenuta dell’ Ammiraglia” Toscana IGT - Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
SRP: $18
A light straw color. The first thing that comes to mind upon sniffing this is banana peel, like the inside of a perfectly ripe banana. There’s also some lemon zest and seashell. On the palate, this wine is plump and generously textured, with green melon, pineapple and banana fruit. Medium acid keeps it reigned in. A white tea and honey note rounds out the fruit, and there’s a shot of minerals and crushed rock flavors. Quite complex. Rich, but not too much, and the flavors are clean and fresh throughout. A delicious Vermentino. (90 points)

2012 Folonari Chianti - Italy, Tuscany, Chianti
SRP: $8
Juicy, dark fruit on the nose, blackberries, candied cherries, as well as some earth and tobacco. Creamy texture forms from the fine tannins, fresh fruit and moderate acid. The plums and blackberries taste pure and juicy, and they’re backed up with notes of cracked pepper and some tobacco and toast. Surprisingly pleasant for the price. (86 points)

2011 Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi “Terre More dell’ Ammiraglia” Maremma Toscana IGT - Italy, Tuscany, Maremma Toscana IGT
SRP: $14
Aromas of plum sauce, rich earth, allspice, currant jam, roasted coffee. Juicy red plums and black cherries on the palate, with an overall jammy profile. Medium acid and firm tannins provide structure. Pepper and floral tones mix in with toasted oak, roasted coffee, cedar and caramel. Very rich and bombastic, perhaps not the most food-friendly Italian red blend, but very tasty. 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot and 5% Syrah. (87 points)

2010 Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi Morellino di Scansano “Riserva Pietraregia dell’ Ammiraglia” - Italy, Tuscany, Maremma, Morellino di Scansano
SRP: $23
A bit restrained on the nose, but it opens up to show violets, black currant, vanilla and rich coffee. On the palate, the tannins have grip but also a round feel. Significant tartness, with flavors of black cherry, currants and snappy plums. Mocha, hazelnut and vanilla flesh the wine out. I also get a light sense of mineral and graphite on this wine. Put together well, and quite delicious, this wine has quite a few years of refinement ahead of it. 85% Sangiovese, 10% Ciliegiolo and 10% Syrah. I dig this, especially at the price. (89 points)

2012 Allegrini Valpolicella - Italy, Veneto, Valpolicella
SRP: $15
Red and black cherries, some raisin and smoke note on the nose. Light tannins, soft acid, this wine takes the road of simple, easy-drinking pleasure. Flavors of black cherry and currant, snappy, but the fruit also has some coffee and earthy aspects. A juicy blend of 65% Corvina, 30% Rondinella and 5% Molinara. (85 points)

2009 Allegrini “Palazzo della Torre” Veronese IGT - Italy, Veneto, Veronese IGT
SRP: $20
A kicking mix of sour and dark cherries on the nose, along with some dusty earth, tobacco and roasted coffee. Firm tannins for structure, and the acid keeps it clean. The sour cherry and red plum and currant fruit is tangy and delicious, backed up by roasted herbs, violets and rich coffee. Rich and velvety, but the focus and zip to this wine is impressive. I bet it will have even more to show soon. 70% Corvina, 25% Rondinella and 5% Sangiovese. (90 points)

2009 Allegrini “La Grola” Veronese IGT - Italy, Veneto, Veronese IGT
SRP: $28
Bright cherry color. The cherry and plum fruit smells rich but fresh, along with some sweet herbs, dried flowers. Loving the aromas here, and it opens up more with time. The tangy acid plays off the rigid tannins. Tastes like sour cherries mixed with some ripe blackberry, and there’s a nice mix of spice, cedar, coffee and a flavor that reminds me of a smoky Islay Scotch. Dense and earthy, this will open up more over the next few years. 80% Corvina and 20% Syrah. (90 points)

This post first appeared on the daily wine blog Terroirist.

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