Monday, June 30, 2008

2005 Tua Rita Rosso di Notri

Tua Rita is a winery that has become very well known in wine-circles over the last decade or so mainly due to it's high-end Redigaffi Merlot (retail price: way more than anything I can afford), but I recently discovered that they also produce a reasonably priced IGT as well. The 2005 Rosso di Notri is a blend of predominately Sangiovese, along with Merlot, Cab, and Syrah. As 2005 is shaping up as a great vintage in Tuscany, I didn't hesitate to pick up a bottle when I found it recently, and I wasn't disappointed with the wine.

The Rosso di Notri is exactly what I'm looking for in a good mid-range Italian wine - it offers some nice forward fruit flavors with a little weight, but isn't a heavy, concentrated "international" style either. It went perfect with pasta and my homemade tomato and meat sauce (actually made with veal). I immediately made sure to go pick up another bottle over the weekend. It's about $20, but is worth it in my mind - it's similar to a good Rosso di Montalcino, and priced accordingly.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

2004 Ridge Nervo Zinfandel

Ok, so first let me say for anyone out there checking this out I haven't stopped blogging - I just went on a 2-week vacation to Austria for Euro 2008. I did not drink any wine on the trip either, as this was strictly a beer-drinking event (and there was a lot of it).

Anyway, back home now, and back to the wine. I went with BBQ chicken as my dinner choice to start the week, so that of course meant Zinfandel. I chose one of the Ridge bottles I got when my friend Loudoun and I were on their ATP mailing list (we've since stopped for now due to all the Zins we've accumulated), the 2004 Nervo Vineyard Zinfandel. I've rarely met a bottle of Ridge I didn't like, but this one really tested me. Coming in at 15.2% alcohol, this was one of those times where you weren't surprised at the high level. Over 2 nights, the wine never really seemed to settle and integrate fully, always carrying just a bit too much of the alcoholic heat on the palate. You could tell there was some nice fruit in there, but the wine just never fully came into balance. It was drinkable, but overall a disappointment for me compared to the levels I usually expect from Ridge. You always fear this with some of the Zins that creep up into the 15-16% range, and unfortunately this seems to be one time that the formula didn't work out.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

2004 Feudi di San Gregorio Rubrato

Feudi di San Gregorio is probably one of the best-known wineries in Southern Italy, but mainly for their white and their Serpico red. Last summer in Amalfi, I discovered this lower-end Aglianico and have been pleased to find it some in the States. The 2004 Rubrato is really a great wine, certainly unique and showing what potential there is from the region and the Aglianico grape. The wine isn't a heavy, full-bodied fruit bomb, but it possesses more of an elegant flavor with just a bit of bite. I loved it even with the lighter pasta dishes of Campania, and drank it this week even with a light herb roasted chicken and penne with pesto. It can work with those dishes or something heftier. For anyone looking for something different from Italy, I highly recommend this wine, especially for the price (around $18).

Thursday, June 5, 2008

2004 Palazzone Rubbio

Over the weekend I opened up an Umbria IGT I had picked up for about $18, and was quite pleased with what I got from the 2004 Palazzone Rubbio. The Rubbio is a Sangiovese wine, but delivered a lot more body than what I was expecting for something that was priced like a decent Chianti. The color definitely showed a more serious presence, and there was lot more dark fruit than expected. Overall, this was the type of wine that I love to find becasue it certainly overdelivers on the price and is also somewhat unique (in a good way - it's not an international-styled wine). I've got one more bottle already that I'm going to let age a bit, but I'll probably search out more for current drinking as well.