Italian Red wines

Of all the wine regions, Italy is under-represented in my cellar. In my opinion, too many Italian red wines tend to be harsh and acidic. But things seem to be getting better in recent years.

When we vacationed in 2003 in Tuscany, we had really great local wines: Vino Nobile de Montepulciano, and Brunello di Montalcino. When we returned home, we found some of these wines were $40 and up, or impossible to get locally.

Description

$ / *

Tasting notes
2008 Avignonesi Vino Nobile de Montepulciano

35
***

05/2015 Nice wine - medium body and fruit. This has good balance, and is a very good example of Vino Nobile.
2010 Montsant
Chianti Classico

18
**

07/2014  Nice wine - medium body and fruit. This has good balance, and is a very typical Chianti Classico. We tasted this against the 2009 Sassoalloro, and it was no contest.
2009 Jacopo Biondi
Santi Sassoalloro Toscana IGT

26
***

07/2014  Nice wine - medium body, very nice fruit. This has great balance for both fruit and flavor.

Thinking this might be too young, I decanted it for 2 hours. Lots of fresh fruit, with a plump and juicy mouth feel. Not very complex, but a very tasty bottle. At the end of the night, this was all gone - most of the Montsant Chianti was still in the bottle.

2010 Il Poggione
Rosso di Montalcino

14
***

10/2013  Nice wine - medium body, good fruit. This has good balance for both fruit and flavor.
2007
Cameron Hughes
Lot 374
Maremma Toscana

40
****

10/2013  Very nice - big body and good fruit. This is a Super Tuscan blend, which we tasted with the other two CH wines from Italy. This wine disappeared quickly - the clear favorite. I was tempted to buy more, even at $40.
2007
Cameron Hughes
Lot 372
Brunello do Montalcino

40
**

10/2013  Nice wine - medium body, light fruit. This is a very typical Brunello, too light and not very interesting. This might be worth $20, but not a very good wine at $40!
2010
Cameron Hughes
Lot 312
Nero d'Avola

14
***

10/2013  Nice wine - medium body, good fruit. This has good balance for both fruit and flavor. Note that it was unexciting when I first opened it - even after decanting for an hour. I poured it back in the bottle, used Private Preserve, and tasted it again a week later. It was MUCH better the second time around.
2010
La Massa
Toscana

13
**

06/2013  I like this wine better than most inexpensive Italians. This seemed to hit the right notes for both the fruit and the flavor. Parker says 92 points, seems overly generous. At this price, I will buy more.
2010 Il Poggione
Rosso di Montalcino

20
**

05/2013  Nice wine - medium body, good fruit. This tastes pretty good - a typical Rosso di Montalcino. Not exciting enough to buy more at the $20 price.
2010 Renato Ratti Colombe
Dolcetto D'Alba

15
**

01/2013  I have had some Dolcetto that were unbalanced. This seemed to hit the right notes for both the fruit and the flavor.
2010 Bran Caia - TRE

17
**

12/2012  I have had some other Bran Caia wines that were more interesting. This seemed a bit generic in both the fruit and the flavor.
2006 Monteti Toscano

21
****

03/2012  Very nice - medium body, good fruit. The nose on this wine is nice, but the fruit is even better. A very well balanced wine, with nice depth of flavor. It is an excellent value!
2006 Sandrone Dolcetto d'Alba

20
**

03/2012  I was excited that I still had a bottle of this wine left in my cellar. But my joy was short lived - this wine was quite faded, and definitely lost a lot of the fruit and flavor.
2005 Tommasi - Poggio Al Tufo - Rompicollo

11
**

05/2009  Fair wine - medium body, good fruit. This is a balanced wine, with some nice depth of flavor. I liked it much better when I tasted it six months earlier.
2006 Sandrone Dolcetto d'Alba

20
****

04/2009  Very nice - medium body, good fruit. The nose on this wine is great - it is very seductive. This is a very well balanced wine, with some nice depth of flavor. It is an excellent value!
2007 FontanaFredda Briccotondo Barbera

12
**

04/2009  Nice - medium body, good fruit. This is a young wine, and fairly priced. This is the second vintage I've had, very similar to the 2006.
2006 Archeo
Nero d'Avola - Sicilia

6
**

09/2008  Nice - medium body, good fruit. It starts off fairly lightweight, and a bit too fruity. After it airs out a bit, it acquires some deeper flavor. This is a Trader Joe's wine - not terribly complex, but tasty, and easy to drink. I'm buying more at this price!
2006 Tommolo
Montepulciano d'Abruzzo

7
*

09/2008  Nice - light body, good fruit. This tastes much like other Montepulciano d'Abruzzo wines I have had. This is a Trader Joe's wine, and is quite inexpensive. Compared to the 2006 Archeo, this wine isn't exciting enough for me.
2005 Frescobaldi Nipozzano Riserva 
Chianti Rufino

30
***

06/2008  Very nice - medium body, good fruit. This is a mature wine, and nicely balanced. I'm guessing on the price - it cost $50 at a restaurant.
2006 FontanaFredda Briccotondo Barbera

13
**

05/2008  Nice - medium body, good fruit. This is a young wine, and fairly priced. It is the first Barbera that I liked enough to buy more. Another rustic Italian red.
2006 Di Majo Norante
Sangiovese

16
**

05/2008  Nice - medium body, good fruit. This is a young wine, and fairly priced. It is less smooth, and a bit more rustic than the other Italian reds we tried this month.
2005 Biagini
Chianti Colli Senesi

13
**

05/2008  Nice - medium body, good fruit. This is a mature wine, and a good value. This is a typical (good) Chianti.
2006 I Perazzi
Morellino di Scansano

16
**

05/2008  Medium body, good fruit. This was the least favorite of three wines we tasted over two nights - and the most expensive!
2004 Recchia Valolicella Ripasso - Le Muraie

28
**

03/2008 Medium body and fruit. This is the first Ripasso I've tasted, and I did not like it much. Not recommended
2001 Crociani Riserva Vino Nobile de Montepulciano

28
**

03/2008 Somewhat tired - medium body, little fruit. Definitely not a good example of Vino Nobile! Not recommended
2006 Paolo Scavino
Vino da Tavola

20
***

01/2008  Very nice - medium body, good fruit. This is a mature wine, and nicely balanced. It was a tad lighter than the Banfi 2005. I will buy more of both wines.
2005 Banfi Rosso di Montalcino

20
**

01/2008  Very nice - medium body, good fruit. This is a mature wine, and nicely balanced. It had a bit more depth than the Paolo Scavino 2006. I will buy more of both wines.

Wine Ratings: * Fair, ** Good to Very Good, *** Excellent

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