[Image: Bunch of Grapes]
Today's Wine Tasting Note

© Copyright 1999 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.

Two first-rate Italians
Beni di Batasiolo Beni di Batasiolo 1995 Barbaresco ($18.99)
The conventional wisdom holds that big Nebbiolo-based reds like Barbaresco and Barolo shouldn't be touched until they've earned years of bottle age. But it's hard to keep hands off a baby as robust as this fruity, aromatic delight. Clear ruby in color, it breathes intriguing, complex aromas that mingle black-cherry fruit and a metallic note as evocative as drinking from an old tin bucket; tar and smoke fill the first taste, giving way to ripe black fruit and fragrant roses, lemon-squirt acidity and soft tannins. Roses linger in a very long finish. Absolutely delicious wine. U.S. importer: Marie Brizard USA, Bardstown, Ky. (April 22, 1999)

FOOD MATCH: Perfect with a Piemontese regional specialty from Marcella Hazan, filetto al Barolo, filet mignons quickly pan-braised with red wine.

Salviano Salviano 1997 Orvieto Classico Superiore ($8.99)
I can never drink Orvieto without happily remembering a friendly gent, who spoke no English at all -- thus matching my negligible supply of Italian -- who shared a bottle with us on a train ride from Florence to Orvieto, a city so historic that the ancient Romans themselves called it Urbs Vecchio, the old city. The white wine of Orvieto, sadly, tends to be bland and boring; but this bottle came with a more positive billing, and I'm pleased to say it lived up to it. A clear, pale straw color, it offers light and pleasant melon aromas and floral notes of honeysuckle. Crisp, fresh and bright on the palate, it shows a light and pleasant bitterness in the finish. U.S. importer: Vias Imports, NYC. (April 20, 1999)

FOOD MATCH: Fine with bluefish baked Genoa-style on a bed of thin-sliced potatoes tossed with olive oil and garlic.

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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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