Sophie's Choice Italian Beauties
1. I Fuedo di Romans, Pinot Grigio, ISonza del Fruili DOC 2003
warm, caramel. Good acid, good aromatics, creamy. Cold
ferment, single vineyard. Maker is Matt Thomson, NZ. 12.5%
2. Inycon, Fiano, Sicily IGT
was served blind. A deep greeny gold. The Campagna grape, from
Sicily. Fiano is a classical grape of Southern Italy with a rich,
complex full-bodied character and lovely aromatic flavours. Unfortunately,
this one has a big gap in the middle, but it's still worth buying at the
3. Villa Tonino Baglio Curatola, Nero d'Avola, Sicilia IGT, 2002
deep red. Dense and concentrated. Big, beefy, cherry and prune
flavour with refreshing acidity. Rich and ripe with plenty of spicy
fruit. Good bitter finish. A food wine with a modern feel.
Very good. 13.5%
4. A. Mano Primitivo, Puglia IGT, 2002
light with a hint of brown. Smells of tobacco. Smoky, hints of
cherry. Ripe. From the heart of the Primitivo area, in the low
hills east of Taranto. The region is an old sea bed. Wine maker is
Mark Shannon, an American. A mano means hand-made. Another excellent
5. Cascino Vano, Langhe Nebbiola DOC, 2001
Purple with an orange edge.
Quite light, crunchy tannins, tar. A burgundy style?
Enoteca de la Langhe €18
6. Cascina Vano, 'Carulot' Barbera d'Alba DOC, 2001
purple, deep. Different, heavier, smoother, more leathery tannins.
Lively, muscular. 14.5% Shame about the price.
Enoteca de la Langhe €20
7. Isole e Olena, Chianti Classico DOCG, 2000
red, orange. Slight tobacco on nose. Good fruit and a bitter
twist. Quite elegant. In oak for a year but not too woody.
Very nice but way too dear. Better half loved it. 13.5%
8. Alpha Zeta 'V', Valpolicella DOC, 2002
light orange-red. Nice fruit, cherries, bitter finish. Young,
a tingle on the teeth, but quite ripe. Corvina 80%, Rondinella 15%,
Molinara 5%. 12.5% alc.
9. Allegrini, Palazzo della Torre, Veronese IGT, 2000
Great bitterness; black
cherries, tar. 70% Corvina Veronese, 25% Rondinella and 5%
Sangiovese; a smooth, full-bodied cru made in a ripasso style. 70% of the
grapes picked are vinified immediately. The remaining 30% are left to dry
until the end of December when they are vinified and re-fermented with the
wine from the fresh grapes. Sacrifices its DOC status by replacing the
Molinara grape with Sangiovese. Beautiful. 15%
10. Zenato Ripassa ValpolicellaSuperiore DOC, 2000
Much darker than the
Allegrini, and lovely as always. This is 80% Corvina, 10% Rondinella, 5%
Sangiovese, 5% Molinara (or possibly 10% Sangiovese depending on who you
11. Allegrini, La Grola, Veronese IGT, 2000
Deep red, not a huge nose,
Fruity with bitter cherries. Fine grained tannins. Some
pepper. Great food wine. Complex and structured. 70%
Corvina, 15% Rondinella, 10% Syrah, 5% Sangiovese. La Grola is the
12. Corte Sant' Alda, 'Mithas', Valpolicella Superiore DOC, 1999
Deep, dark and clear.
Concentrated. Wood. Rounded. Hint of mint, good leathery
tannins, complex, grippy. Shame about the price; I don't think I'd
pay that much for it. 13.5% 18 months in French oak.
13. Contro, Moscato d'Asti di Strevi DOCG, 202
Grapey, gently fizzy, max one
atmosphere (Asti Spumante is 4 atm.) Good acid, refreshing, peachy.
Lovely. Muscat Blanc a petit grain.15%
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