Wines from a Busy Winter (Other Italians)
Silvio Grasso Barolo 1995
Mostly clear, medium ruby, amber at the rim. Floral and cherry perfume over dark earth, with whiffs of dill, chocolate, and VA. Light to medium-bodied. Tart red fruits with black tea and tarry notes, sprightly acidity and firm but understated tea-like tannins. Neither great power nor great finesse, but enough of each to be interesting. Light-medium sediment. I don’t foresee this improving, but I bought it about five years ago from a place with risky storage, so this bottle may not be typical. $20 (close-out price). 13.5% alcohol.
Masi “Campofiorin” 2001 (Rosso del Veronese IGT)
Semi-clear, medium-dark garnet. Dried cherry, leather, and spiced tea aromas. Medium-bodied, with more dried cherry and sharp cranberry flavors. Scratchy finish. Disappointing. These folks could spend a little more time improving this wine, methinks, instead of arguing over who invented the term “ripasso.” That said, this was signifcantly richer on day two, with raisiny (in a good way) and chocolate tones added to the mix and a softer finish. Maybe worth a second try. $15. 13%
Masciarelli Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2002
Medium-dark, semi-opaque garnet. Warm, plummy spice on the nose. Medium-bodied, with ripe, juicy red and dark cherry flavors. Almost jammy, but with bit of bite and structure. Soft tannins. Good QPR quaffer, uncomplicated maybe, but with a degree of depth and character that puts the Yellow Tails of the world in their place (or rather, lack of it). $8. 13% alcohol.
Villa Matilide “Rocca dei Leoni” Falanghina 2004 (Beneventano IGT)
Ultra-clear, medium gold. Wet stone and grapefruit rind aromatics, with hints of white flowers and beeswax. Medium-bodied with a nice round mouthfeel, despite the refreshing acidity. Yellow citrus flavors mix with green herb and cracked pepper. Finishes with a gingery tang. Gives a textbook example of white wine gaining complexity as it warms. My current house white. $10. 13% alcohol.
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