Italian Wine Reviews

Posted by Keith Wallace

It’s been a month since the holidays and I’m just now going over my notes for some of the wines consumed during those festive evenings, and some of the bottles subsequently emptied to ward off  Seasonal Affective Disorder. As if anyone needs an excuse to drink…

So… brief reviews of four reds from the Mezzogiorno and a classic white from Marche…

Messapicus 2004 Copertino Riserva …Smooth, easy drinking Puglian blend of Negroamaro, Malvasia Nera, Montepulciano and Sangiovese defined by focused flavors of plums and dark berries with touches of leather, herbs, figs and spice. There’s even a burst of liqoury cherries bathed in licorice in this food-friendly wine.

Odoardi 2004 Savuto…A Calabrian Meritage? Gaglioppo, Greco Nero, Cappuccino, Magliocco Canino, and Sangiovese present the typical southern profile of tar, herbs, new leather, and funky forest floor. Tasty, smooth, and rustic all at once with balanced dark fruit flavors and balsamic undertones. Unique and interesting.

Santa Lucia 2006 Vigna del Melograno Castel del Monte…rings true for this DOC in Puglia – spicy and fruity with mildly gripping tannins and intense aroma and plum, black flavors cherries, raspberries. Juicy acidity keeps the tannins at bay, allowing the herbal and floral notes to hang around through a balanced finish.

La Sibella 2008 Piedirosso…Still showing its youthful ruby red color and Pinot-like reserve. Undercurrents of sour cherry are overtaken by wild, forest fruits and the earthiness of Campania. Terroir-induced dried herbs and a “piney” quality are evident and persistent in this light-bodied, slightly tart offering that could use a little time to evolve.  

Sartarelli 2007 Verdicchio Castelli di Jesi…Stylish and classy, a well-made expression of this DOC, it’s all about flavor and texture, with mouth-coating varietally correct fruits that effortlessly roll around the palate. Not as saline as other versions from this area, it nonetheless evokes the qualities you’d expect from a maritime wine. Mint, an invigorating wave of minerals, and the aftertaste of roasted almonds. This is a lot of wine for less than $20!

Next week we’ll add some northern whites and reds from Friuli and Piemonte, as well as revisiting an old friend from Abruzzo. Check out our wine reviews here.

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