Vintages Release February 6, 2016 Part 3: Red wines from Italy, Greece and Spain

In Part 3 of my review of this release, I recommend four wines from Italy, a Xinamavro from Greece, and two wines from Spain. The first two Italian wines are Nebbiolos, the 2010 Poderi Colla Dardi Le Rose Bussia Barolo, and the 2012 Marchesi di Barolo Barbaresco. The third and fourth wines are both from Tenuta Monte del Frá’s Lina di Mezzo vineyard: a 2014 Valpolicella and a 2013 Valpolicella Ripasso. The first is a pure expression of Valpolicella, while the second has the addition of a second fermentation on the pressed skins and pulp from the production of Amarone — hence Ripasso. Although the two wines are from successive vintages, they still provide a very graphic illustration of the effects of the Ripasso process, and you can judge whether you like the effects of it or not.

The fifth wine is the 2013 Boutari Naoussa Xinamavro, always a great value wine. The last two reds are Spanish: a Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, the 2007 Doce Linajes Riserva, and an interesting offering from the southern DOP of Utiel-Requena made from the Bobal grape, the 2012 Pasión de Bobal.

4043

2010 PODERI COLLA DARDI LE ROSE BUSSIA BAROLO DOCG

Vintages #596890 • $51.95 • 750ml. • 91/100
This is a complex Barolo that hits all the notes. It is medium garnet, with a nose showing rose petals and then aromas of earth, mushrooms, leather and dried herbs, before you start to find the fruit underneath. The wine is driven by chalky tannins, and is supported by elevated acidity and alcohol. The savoury and earthy components surround a narrow core of berry and cherry fruit on the palate, that expands into leather, cloves and dried fruit on the long and tannic finish. Decant for early drinking, or cellar for another three to five years.
Tasted Feb 2, 2016 • GLENCAIRN WINE MERCHANTS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



4041

2012 MARCHESI DI BAROLO BARBARESCO DOCG

Vintages #155408 • $29.95 • 750ml. • 90/100
This is an entry level Nebbiolo from Barbaresco. The wine's medium garnet hue seems to foretell the pretty, ripe strawberry, raspberry and cherry fruit aromas that are accompanied by notes of violets and vanilla. The elevated acidity and alcohol, with some buildup of heat, are balanced by grippy and persistent tannins. Fruit, dry earth and dry leaves linger on the chalky finish. This is a very good starting point for those who don't get much opportunity to explore Nebbiolo.
Tasted Feb 2, 2016 • MAJESTIC WINE CELLARS (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



4051

2014 MONTE DEL FRÁ LENA DI MEZZO VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO DOC

Vintages #160226 • $17.95 • 750ml. • 88/100
This is a pleasing, simple wine. Just medium ruby in the glass, the nose shows vibrant and youthful cherry, blueberry and blackberry fruit, with lightly floral and herbal notes. Crisp acidity enhances the bright fruit, and the palate also picks up a light dry earth element. This is a cheerful, fun and easy-drinking wine that ends with a brisk, fresh finish.
Tasted Feb 2, 2016 • SIGNATURE WINES & SPIRITS (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



4052

2013 MONTE DEL FRÁ LENA DI MEZZO VALPOLICELLA RIPASSO CLASSICO SUPERIORE DOC

Vintages #165662 • $19.95 • 750ml. • 89/100
This is a Ripasso version of the Valpolicella from Monte del Frá. It is fermented in the same manner as the Valpolicella, but a second fermentation is started when the skins from their Amarone pressing are added to the base wine. The wine is also barrel aged after it undergoes malolactic conversion. The nose has a core of blackberry and plum fruit, with chocolate, dry herbs and dry earth. Elevated acidity and alcohol shape the character of the wine, and tannins are soft but persistent. On the palate the fruit takes on a slightly concentrated and raisined character, and there is a light menthol lift on the finish. A good representation of the style.
Tasted Feb 2, 2016 • SIGNATURE WINES & SPIRITS (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



4039

2013 BOUTARI NAOUSSA XINOMAVRO, Naoussa

Vintages #23218 • $13.95 • 750ml. • 88/100
The wine is medium ruby-red, showing garnet on the rim. You'll find cherry, raspberry and blackberry fruit, with just a hint of herbs and dry earth. Acidity is crisp, alcohol is moderate, and tannins are fine, but elevated and persistent. The cherry and berry fruit on the palate is framed by earthy-savoury notes, and lingers on the dusty finish. The structure of Xinomavro is well displayed here, despite its incredible value pricing. A must-try wine.
Tasted Feb 2, 2016 • THE KOLONAKI GROUP INC (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



4061

2007 DOCE LINAJES RESERVA, DO Ribera del Duero

Vintages #437681 • $34.95 • 750ml. • 90/100
There is depth here: nuances of blueberry, blackberry and plum fruit meld together with a lightly earthy and toasty underpinning. Acidity and alcohol are slightly elevated, and tannins are still persistent, but after some years in bottle are dusty and smooth. The palate still holds its core of fruit, although the savoury and earthy elements are ascending. Very much worth trying for those who want to explore a slightly older wine. Drink over the next few years.
Tasted Feb 2, 2016 • VINOLUNA (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



4064

2012 PASIÓN DE BOBAL, DOP Utiel-Requena

Vintages #439679 • $16.95 • 750ml. • 88/100
This is a very attractive, easy-drinking wine from southern Spain near Valencia. It is made from the Bobal grape, that is widely planted in the south, but is little known outside of Spain. Bright blueberry, blackberry and plum fruit, with a slightly liqueured note, are complemented by smoky oak and dry earth. Acidity, alcohol and tannins are all slightly elevated, but balance nicely, as the blueberry fruit centres the palate, and leads to a pleasant, lightly tannic finish. A very good value.
Tasted Feb 2, 2016 • DU CHASSE WINES & SPIRITS (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



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