Feudi di San Gregorio 2010 Rubrato

Posted in Italian Wine Reviews, Wine Reviews

Background Feudi di San Gregorio is on of the top three wineries in the Italian province of  Campania. I recently reviewed  a winery in neighboring Molise that hired Riccardo Cotarella as their consulting enologist.  That is the case here, too, and it shows in the bottle. These are exceptional wines. The winery is located in the village of Sorbo Serpico in Irpina. Its top Aglianico is named “Serpico” after the town and nearby ancient vineyard. That is one of the...

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Di Majo Norante 2011 Ramitello

Posted in Italian Wine Reviews, Wine Reviews

The Background Di Majo Norante is an Italian winery located in Molise, just off the Adriatic coast. The property dates back to 1859, and was the farm and vineyard of a local nobleman, the Marquis Norante.  The current owner, Alessio Di Majo, has been producing great wines for well over a decade now. One of the reasons for the Alessio Di Majo’s  success was hiring Riccardo Cotarella in the very beginning. Known as “Il Mago (the Wizard)” Riccardo is arguably...

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Cantina Firriato 2011 Quater Bianco

Posted in Italian Wine Reviews

This is not the first time we have reviewed a Firriato wine, and it probably won’t be the last. They bring classic Sicilian wines to the American market in a way that makes everyone happy. They use indigenous varietals and focus on classic wine styles. The winery is not technically in Sicily;  it is located on mountainous  island of Favignana, which is part of the Sicily DO. Winemaker Giuseppe Pellegrino has put together a fantastic portfolio of wines since the winery...

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Poggio Scalette 2012 Chianti Classico

Posted in Italian Wine Reviews

The Greve Valley is lined with terraced vineyards. Looking across the valley from this winery, those stone walls can look like a giant scallete (ladder, in Italian).  At least it did for the wineries original owner.  We will never know where he thought that ladder would take him. He disappeared a long time ago and his winery fell to ruin. Only much later, in 1991,  was Poggio Scalette  raised again, by none other than Vittorio Fiore, one of the greatest living winemakers...

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Salviano 2012 Orvieto Classico

Posted in Italian Wine Reviews

Orvieto used to be huge. I still am surprised when younger sommeliers and students don’t recognize the name.  In the 80’s, it was  one of those bottles that white zin lovers could relate to: innocuous, cheap and vaguely sweet. On second thought, maybe it’s good they don’t know about it’s sorted past. Well, it’s history  goes way further back  than that. The wines come from the borderland of Umbria and Lazio in Italy, and they date back to...

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Villa Cafaggio 2006 Cortaccio

Posted in Italian Wine Reviews

This is not my first rodeo with Villa Cafaggio. When I was the national sommelier for Bacchus Selections, I was a huge fan of their Chianti Classico.  It was a great balance of old world style and modern winemaking. Oh, and the label was awesome, too. It’s one of the great values for Tuscan wines under $20.  I bought up all I could. I even let our customers buy some of it.  I know, I am a saint. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the Cortaccio is the winery’s Super...

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Coppo 2011 Moncalvina Moscato d’Asti

Posted in Italian Wine Reviews

Moscato has been a popular bubbly for centuries, but the last few years has seen it’s fame skyrocket in America.  It’s one of the best gateway wines: it’s bubbles and grapey sweetness is an easy entry point for new wine drinkers.  This shouldn’t be surprising. Once a generation, wine finds a new audience, and that audience always demands a bit of sweetness. The last time was in 1984, when the most popular wine (with over 11 million bottles sold) was...

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Villa Cafaggio 2010 Chianti Classico

Posted in Italian Wine Reviews, Wine Reviews

The winery dates back as far as the 14th Century. At the time, it was labelled the “Cahago,” the Tuscan term for a walled field. It was bought by the Farkas family in the 1960’s and has gone through consecutive rounds of modernization and revitalization under their care. Four generations tilled the vineyards at this villa. However, the winery was bought in 2006 by La Vis, a winery cooperative. Despite that, quality levels have continued to rise. A tight balance...

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Villa Mora 2007 Sagrantino di Montefalco

Posted in Italian Wine Reviews

With a grape as rare and wonderful as Sagrantino, a wine drinker may want to know a little more about its history. It’s been growing in a corner of Umbria for more than a century. It may have been brought into the region by ancient Greeks millennium ago, or possibly, it was a more modern crossing of a few wild grapes. And that’s the extent of our knowledge today. What we do know is that before 1976, it was used for a passito dessert wine. By the early 80’s...

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