Category Archives: Italy

Castello Branfi ‘Belnero’ 2010

TUSCANY | ITALY | $28
Black cherry and blueberry — beautifully fruit forward — with deep floral notes, organic soil, cigar box, orange zest and a hint of Pernod. Medium bodied, shimmering silky texture and an enjoyable tannic finish that beckons for an additional taste of the evening meal, or perhaps just another sip. Drinkable indeed, one simply can’t help oneself. She’s the one at the dance the boys can’t help but ogle. Sangiovese with “small amounts” of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. A very good wine. Wine provided by Wine Chateau. (Reviewed 1/30/14)

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Filed under $21 to $50, Italian Varietals, Italy

Brancaia ‘Ilatraia’ Rosso 2010

TUSCANY | ITALY | $48
Rich blackberry and red currant with sage and bay herbal notes, licorice, cedar, organic soil, iron minerals and a hint of smoke. Slightly gamey with deep fruit flavors and an extraordinary lingering finish. Decant or give this some time in the glass to open up, and you’ll be rewarded with a complex, thoughtful and well-integrated wine. This charmer conveys a sence of the old world in every nuance, instilling confidence and trust, and yet he is youthful, in the present, unmistakenly contemporary — if you will, a hipster, indeed. A Super Tuscan blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. A very good wine. Wine provided by Wine Chateau. (Reviewed 1/5/14)

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Filed under $21 to $50, Cabernet Sauvignon, Italy

Terrabianca Campaccio 2007

TUSCANY | ITALY | $30
Dried cherry, purple plum and orange peel with flavors of licorice, allspice, bay and soil. Complex yet easily accessible and very well balanced, full of deep low notes with a silky texture and pleasantly dry, lingering finish. Not your favorite Three Tenor, but a deep baritone-basso or two — with exceptional timbre: Imagine a harmony of Johnny Cash and Barry White. 70% Saigonese, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. An excellent wine. (Reviewed 7/31/13)

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Filed under $21 to $50, Italian Varietals, Italy

Argiano ‘Non Confunditur’ Rosso Toscano 2009

TUSCANY | ITALY | $20
Concentrated blackberry and dried cherry with a savory earthy structure and notes of graphite, rosemary and citrus pith. Medium bodied and easy drinking, nicely integrated and reasonably complex with a smooth texture and a dry, tannic finish. Lean, dark and well-tailored, he moves easily and confidently through narrow, rustic streets — nothing to worry, always in the now. A Super Tuscan blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot 20% Syrah, 20% Sangiovese. A very good wine. (reviewed 12/23/12)

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Filed under $20 and less, Cabernet Sauvignon, Italian Varietals, Italy

Ruffino ‘Modus’ 2009

TUSCANY | ITALY | $25
Forward boysenberry, plum and pomegranate with flavors of dried cranberry, nutmeg, tar and camphor. A lively, medium-bodied wine showing focused fruit and nice acidity with a dry finish. Nimble on the corners, quick and responsive, a pleasure to drive — an Alpha Romeo. A Super Tuscan blend of 50% Sangiovese, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot. A very good wine. (Reviewed 12/9/12)

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Filed under $21 to $50, Italian Varietals, Italy

Cantine Valpane Perlydia Barbera del Monferrato Superiore 2003

PIEDMONT | ITALY | $18

A nose of dried fruit and wisps of barnyard and kerosene gives way to rustic berry, cherry and plum fruit with notes of vanilla, cedar and spice. Finishes with a natural bright acidity. Unrestrained and an exciting ride, but like an Alfa Romero, tiresome every day. A good wine and an excellent value. (Reviewed 1/8/11)

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Filed under $20 and less, Italian Varietals, Italy

Villa di Geggiano Chianti Classico 2006

TUSCANY | ITALY | $28

Vivid dark berry fruit with woody spice notes. Soft and approachable with a rounded but firm structure. A perk of acidity welcomes enjoyment with food. Pleasantly lacks the musty-cave quality of inferior Chiantis. And yet, a lack of bad manners does not, of its own, a debutante make. A good wine. (Reviewed 2/26/11)

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Filed under $21 to $50, Italian Varietals, Italy

Colosi Nero D’Avola 2009

SICILY | ITALY | $15

Light cherry and blueberry fruit with a backbone of earthy minerals, cedar, black tea and green tannins. Medium bodied and nicely balanced, if given ample time to breathe. Otherwise heavy, impertinent acidity and bitter tannins rule. A child, as such, would be sent to bed sans supper. Decant or allow some air, and the wine matures quickly into a well-mannered, entertaining and youthful drink. A good wine. (Reviewed 9/13/11)

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Filed under $20 and less, Italian Varietals, Italy

Punta Crena Mataossu Colline Savonesi 2009

LIGURIA | ITALY | $19

Crisp green apple and tart grape with hints of guava, Meyer lemon, grapefruit and celery. Bracing and vibrant, a very slight effervescence sparks on the finish. It’s a cold-swim-in-the-Mediterranean slap in the palate. A good wine. ( Reviewed 2/5/12)

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Filed under $20 and less, Italian Varietals, Italy

Castello d’Albola Chianti Classico 2007

TUSCANY | ITALY | $13

Cherry, rhubarb and golden currant with hints of cedar and undertones of forest floor and orange pith. Light Pinot Noir-like body and slightly tannic with an easy, natural fruit acidity. Low 12.5% alcohol and an attractive price. A real charmer — soft spoken, witty and playful, with substance. Sangiovese. A good wine. (Reviewed 12/14/11)

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Filed under $20 and less, Italian Varietals, Italy