2008 Gigi Rosso Dolcetto Diano d'Alba Moncolombetto – The nose showed woodland aromas with black wild berries, hints of wood and just the right amount of undergrowth. On the palate, I found a soft and juicy expression of blackberry fruit leading to florals and hints of bitters on the finish. This Dolcetto showed just the right amount of fruit bolstered by earth to keep it very interesting and highly drinkable. (90 points) Not yet available on WIne-Searcher!
Comm. G.B. Burlotto produces some of the most unique Baroli on the market today. Bottles that can age effortlessly for decades yet still show their roots and unique terrior. However, this house also produces a number of local varietal bottles, such as Barbera, Dolcetto and Freisa. Freisa is a varietal that we are seeing more and more often on the shelves of American wine shops, and I couldn’t be happier. These are intense wines, sometimes made in a slight fizzante style, but when made in a dry style where proper attention is paid in the vineyard and winery, can produce wines of remarkable depth that are far from just daily drinkers.
2007 Terre di Sava Primitivo di Manduria Luccarelli Pazzia – The nose on this wine was massive, with dark chocolate, sweet cherry liquor, blueberry syrup, chestnut and hints of caramel. However, on the palate, it managed to play a balancing act between power and finesse as flavors of black cherry with herbs and spice bombarded the taste buds, only to be washed away by balanced acidity. The finish was long in ripe, dark red fruits. I wouldn’t have guessed Italian, but it is certainly an attractive wine that will find many fans in the market of big, internationally styled wines. (90 points) Find it: Wine-Searcher
Piaggia has quickly become one of my favorite producers in Tuscany. They can be found in the Carmignano growing area, with wines that easily give the best Chianti a run for it’s money. The 2007 Il Sasso was one of my wines of the year in 2010. The 2007, takes all the lush fruit and glamour of the 2006, but adds a brooding structure that will likely allow it to drink well for over a decade. It is a beautiful wine at an amazing price.
2007 Piaggia Carmignano Il Sasso - The nose showed cherry and herbs with undergrowth and a hint of new oak. The palate showed a medium body but with silky elegance and flavors of cherry, pomegranate and dark chocolate, with a slight austerity. The finish was long yet fresh with silky tannin. This bottle was feminine yet muscular and should drink even better after being in the cellar for a few more years. (92 points) Find it: Wine-Searcher!
What constitutes value? Is it a dollar amount or a comparison of what’s in the glass versus what tariff you pay? I would argue it’s the latter, and in the case of the 2000 Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva Il Poggio, I believe its value is absolute. I have always been a fan of Il Poggio, which is a long-lived wine that is periodically released by the winery as a “library wine” and can often command prices of $100 and up (way up). But in the case of the 2000 vintage, this wine is already showing remarkable nuance and soft resolved tannin against plush fruit, and at a price of $42, it’s a remarkable value.
2000 Castello di Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva Il Poggio – The nose showed dark vibrant red fruits with earth, minerals, spice, cocoa, old wood and a savory baked butter crust quality. On the palate, I found lush ripe strawberry, mushroom and leather with beautiful balance and a full body. The finish was long with red fruit and spice that went on and on. (93 points) Find it: Wine-Searcher!