Values from Italy
Posted: April 30, 2009
Italian Wine Month here at Binny's is drawing to a close French Wine Month is on its way but I don't think it's too late to point out a few great values from Italy I've been lucky enough to taste lately. These wines all represent good everyday values, and are in good enough supply that you should be able to actually find a few bottles to try. Five Italian Reds For Cheap 2004 Guadagni Arielle This Tuscan red shows a pretty, light,perfumed nose. On the palate it is autumnal in nature light tannin supporting soft fruit. Compared to the younger wines at this tasting, the Arielle shows a lot of grace. 2007 Guadagni Chianti $7.99 The Chianti is the younger yet bigger sibling to the Arielle. The nose is immediately deeper, with a big herbal quality. Less intricate but more powerful, with big tannins, this is an inexpensive Tuscan red built for aging, or enjoying now with foodlike hearty cheese. 2004 Silvio Grasso Nebbiolo d'Alba $15.99 The main focal point of this fantastic value is the tannins rough, almost sandy, or jagged like a distorted guitar. The good red fruit shines through on the nose, and is present on the palate, but only under those massive, grippy tannins. It's still quite youthful. Available in somewhat limited quantities. 2007 Valle Reale Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Vigne Nuove $12.99 An interesting nose with hints of crème brulee floating just above blueberry and pepper. I suspect there's an amount of residual sugar; the Vigne Nuove is heavy and thick and almost sweet, sort of like a little Amarone. While there are some tannins, it's softer and easy to drink.The real beauty in this great value is in the nose. 2007 Morgante Nerod'Avola $16.99 Another wine that catches my attention with an interesting nose showing brighter fruit than I expected (comparing this to the 2006 Colosi Nerod'Avola, which I found underwhelming, heavy and maybe a little baked...bleh) with a meaty, gamy spiciness from my childhood my dad's venison summer sausage. On the palate is big fruit, healthy amounts of earthiness and BIG tannins. From my scribbled notes:WOW. And Just for the record I'm a pretty cynical guy when it comes to inexpensive Italian reds. Maybe I've just been exposed to too many imbalanced cheap Italian wines with low fruit and high acidity. So when I say that these are good values, and are worth the time and money, I actually mean it.