Wine Tasting Report



 

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New Marc de Grazia releases
Packing a case and a half of brand-new Marc de Grazia Italian wine releases, most of them literally just off the boat, Vintner Select's David Schildknecht came to town Wednesday, offering a tasting of the new items for Louisville's Party Source store; I was fortunate enough to wangle an invitation to join in.

De Grazia is a respected source of Italian wines, who works with a sizable group of wineries from all over the country to fashion an export portfolio. His wines are represented in the U.S. by Michael Skurnik in New York and Vin Divino in Chicago, as well as several local importers, including the Cincinnati-based Vintner Select in Ohio, Kentucky, North Carolina and the District of Columbia.

Random notes: David had opened these bottles the previous afternoon for a tasting at Party Source's Northern Kentucky (Cincinnati) store, so they had seen some exposure to air before we tasted them; however, they had been topped off with inert gas and kept cool overnight and generally didn't seem "tired." These new arrivals should begin showing up at retail stores in coming weeks. Prices noted are the importer's estimate of retail based on their wholesale price.

Whites

I Campetti 1999 l'Accesa Malvasia di Toscana ($9.99) - Clear straw. Floral, perfumed. Tart, fresh white citric fruit.

Bisci 1998 Verdicchio di Matelica ($9.99) - Clear straw; light peach scent, fresh peach and herbal flavors, crisp and textured.

Bisci 1997 Verdicccio di Matelica Vigneto Fogliani (12.99) - Clear light brass color. Chalk and white fruit; crisp and citric, tangerines and spice.

Gini 1999 Soave Classico Superiore ($11.99) - Clear straw. Aromatic, floral and perfumed tropical fruit. Rich and tart, big for a Soave.

Gini 1999 Soave Classico Superiore La Frosca ($14.99) - Clear, light greenish-gold. Honeysuckle and musky melon, ripe and fresh. Mouth-filling, honeyed but dry; musky aromatics in a long finish. Impressive.

Palazzone 1998 Campo del Guardiano Orvieto Classico Superiore ($14.99) - Clear light brass, Pineapple and almonds, attractive aromas. Very tart and lean, flavors follow the nose, clean and bone-dry in a very long finish.

Rosato

I Campetti 1999 Monteregio di Massa Marittima Rosato ($7.99) - Light berry red, very dark for a rosé. Delicious ripe-cherry aroma carries over in a ripe fruit flavor with delicious earthy overtones. Great buy.

Reds

Piazzano 1998 Chianti Rio Camerata ($9.99) - Dark garnet. Surprising smoky scent and taste over ripe black cherries, pleasant but a bit idiosyncratic. Good buy.

Podere Le Cinciole 1998 Chianti Classico ($15.99) - Dark garnet. Perfumed black cherries and a hint of fennel. Deep and brooding. plums and sour cherries and a hint of bitter almond. Much potential.

Casale-Daviddi 1996 Vino Nobile de Montepulciano ($18.99) - Very dark garnet. Ripe cherry-berry aroma; full, ripe cherries and sweet oak, very appealing.

Uccelliera 1998 Rosso di Montalcino ($22.99) - Dark ruby. Earthy black fruit and spicy oak aromas. Big and spicy, forward fruit and integrated oak, easy drinking.

Santa Lucia 1997 Vigna del Melograno Castel del Monte (Puglia) Rosso ($7.99) - Clear garnet. Earth and anise, tart red-fruit flavor, fresh fruit and citric snap. Troia grape variety. Very good buy.

Santa Lucia 1997 Castel del Monte (Puglia) Rosso Riserva ($23.99) - Inky dark purple. spicy aromatics, cinnamon and cloves; noticeable oak. Full and bright, big fruit but also big oak. Dense, soft tannins, blockbuster style.

Boschis 1998 Dolcetto di Dogliani Vigna Sorì San Martino ($14.99) - Very dark garnet. Delicious black fruit and toasted almonds. Tart and full; tar, smoke and intense black fruit.

Correggia 1998 "Anthos" Vino da Tavola ($12.99) - A dry, still Brachetto d'Aqui (Black Muscat) that can't be called that because it's not sweet and sparkling. Ruby with an amber glint. Muscatty golden-raisin aroma; flavor consistent, with its full, tart and bone-dry quality and lightly bitter finish coming as a surprise.

Silvio Grasso 1995 Barolo ($29.99) - Clear ruby with an amber edge. Black fruit, flowers, tar and smoke, classic Barolo. Big and earthy, balanced and long.

Corino 1996 Barolo Vigneto Rocche ($49.99) - Very dark ruby, almost black at the center. Big, heady floral aromas, chocolate-covered cherries and smoke. Ripe and tart, fruit, minty notes, full but accessible tannins. A big and ageworthy Barolo.

Paolo Scavino 1997 Barbera d'Alba Affinato in Carati ($29.99) - Inky blackish-purple, aromatic perfume. Odd but attractive flavor, leather and anise - David adds "walnut oil" - intriguing.

Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona 1997 "Ateo" Rosso di Toscana ($29.99) - Blackish-purple, opaque. Black fruit and dark chocolate. Ripe, slightly herbal fruit, sweet oak, mouth-filling and long. Half Sangiovese, half Cabernet-Merlot blend.

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All my wine-tasting reports are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I purchase all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores.

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