Saturday, March 1, 2014

A Few Italian Reds from 2008

This week I’m focusing on a diverse foursome of 2008 Italian reds. Unfortunately, there were only four of these beauties, so the wines were tasted sighted. These wines were received as samples and tasted as part of a report for Terroirist, the daily wine blog. 

2008 Azienda Agricola Montevetrano Montevetrano Colli di Salerno IGT - Italy, Campania, Colli di Salerno IGT
SRP: $80
A magenta purple color. Quite perfumed for a young wine, with roses, sour cherries, red currants and dusty soil. On the palate, the acid is bright and the tannins are like granite. Lovely tart currant and sour cherries mix with an endless display of non-fruit flavors: oregano, black pepper, chestnut, green olive and soy, all seamless and integrated. Oak nuances add complexity. Pure, fresh, sure to be long-lived (easily 10-15+). But even as such a young wine, it’s simply beautiful. A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 10% Aglianico. (93 points)

2008 Damilano Barolo Cannubi - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
SRP: $77
Deep aromatics, plums, black currants, cedar, smoke and an aroma that reminds me of a freshly paved road. Gritty tannins but the acid rips. This wine is full and packed with red and black currants and cranberries. More sweet oak and cedar than I would expect, but it’s matched with loamy soil, granite, leather and tar flavors. Green olive and incense notes come out with time and linger on the long finish. Young but beautiful. (91 points)

2008 Altesino Brunello di Montalcino - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino
SRP: $65
A medium ruby-cherry color. Red and black currants and cherries on the nose mixed with floral perfume, lavender, black olive and oregano notes. On the palate, the cherry and currant fruit has a fresh, tart feel. Firm tannins for structure, medium+ acid. Lots of earthy-herbal flavors (olive, granite, tobacco, leather). Long, graceful finish with complex mineral notes. Surprisingly expressive at this age, the wine shows a lot of elegance but will easily improve over the next five to ten years. (91 points)

2008 Zenato Amarone della Valpolicella Classico - Italy, Veneto, Valpolicella, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico
SRP: $70
That beautiful deep purple-black Amarone color. Richly floral on the nose (violets, rose petals), deep black cherry and currant notes, lots of mocha-toasty goodness. Firm tannic backbone, medium- acid, richly textured. Full of black cherry and red currant fruit, a bit of sweet raisins. The roasted coffee, charcoal, caramel, tobacco and Brazil nut flavors are long and complex. I keep coming back to this Brazil nut flavor, it’s crazy, but I love it. Big and bold for sure, but well-done. 16.5% alcohol, a blend of 80% Corvina, 10% Rondinella and 5% each Croatina and Oseleta. (90 points)

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