© Copyright 1999 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.
Martilde 1994 "Zaffo" Oltrepò Pavese Bonarda ($18.99)
Bonarda, an unusual red grape from the Oltrepò Pavese region in Lombardy, Northern Italy, is one of those confusing varieties in which the same name pops up in different places attached to entirely different grapes; different wines bearing the same name are also found in the Piemonte and Argentina. This one, experts say, is probably the same as Croatina. Whatever it is, this wine is good ... unusually good, with noteworthy depth and complexity. Inky dark garnet in color, it offers black-fruit and floral aromas of roses, a whiff of anise and a subtle, earthy hints of "forest floor" and restrained "barnyard." Bright sour-cherry fruit flavors are structured with tart, lemony acidity. Full yet cleansing, it's a fine food wine. As a limited-production oddity, it may be hard to find, but if it turns up in your area, it's worth the toll. U.S. importer: Elizabeth Imports, Denver. (May 18, 1999)
FOOD MATCH: Conchiglie (shell pasta) tossed with Italian sausage, mozzarella and ricotta and a bit of fresh tomato sauce.
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