Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Tuesday Tasting: Italian Reds
Tuesday Tasting is a regular feature of Lyke2Drink that explores some of the best beers, wines and spirits on the market. This week we sample some red wines from Italy.
The Beyond Beer column in the current issue of All About Beer magazine focuses on Italian wine. During my visit to the country back in the fall it was clear just how important wine is to the overall culture. Even the huge wooden doors to the Duomo in Florence have grapes and vines carved into them.
There are 20 different recognized wine regions in Italy. They pretty much run from the top to the bottom of the boot. Tuscany is the best known. But regions like the Piedmont, Trentino, Umbria, Veneto, Sicily, Lombardy and others produce excellent wines. About 65 percent of all wine produced in Italy is red. Chianti is the best known style in the U.S., but Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbera and Brunello are all great reds that should be tried.
Here are tasting notes for six Italian reds:
Bolla 1995 Amarone della Valpolicella: The grapes that go into this wine dry on straw mats for 90 days before being pressed. The wine appears to be slightly burnt red and cloudy. There is a nice mellow flavor to the wine with hints of purple skin fruit and a slight smokiness to the finish.
Campomaggio 2003 Chianti Classico Riserva: This DOCG wine has some wood notes to the nose. It is light in body but has plenty of flavor. Black cherries and plum come through in the overall dry base of the wine.
Colle Maggio 2005 Montepulciano d'Abruzzo: Deep ruby red color and a nice aroma of figs and cedar. The wine’s flavor is a combination of purple plums and black currants, with a slight hint of leather in the base.
Mazzoni 2006 Toscana Rosso: This Moltalcino wine is made using 72 percent Sangiovese and 28 percent Merlot and is a collaboration of the Franceschi family from Italy and the Terlato family from the U.S. Dark purple color in a rich bodied wine. Nice plum and berry notes. Tannins are plentiful, yet soft.
Gomba Boschetti 2005 Albie Nebbiolo d’ Alba: This DOC Barolo is hearty with dark ripe berry flavors and a good level of tannins in the finish. A great red wine for lovers of red wines.
Sasso Al Poggio 2004 Toscana: This wine is a deep ruby red color. Plenty of ripe black cherry and wild berry flavor. Very smooth with an almost velvet like mouth feel. A great wine to go with a traditional pasta or risotto.