available in Ontario after May 27, 2017
Italy is well-represented in my recommendations from this release, with six red wines and two whites. The first three reds are fine wines from Tuscany that are well into the ultra-premium category of price, and probably deserve it. They are the 2007 Fattoria Dei Barbi Riserva Brunello Di Montalcino, the 2011 Antinori Badia A Passignano Gran Selezione Chianti Classico, and the 2011 Silvio Nardi Brunello Di Montalcino.
The remaining three reds are attractive wines from Sicily, northern Piedmont and Campania. While I haven’t rated these as highly, for me they bring some real interest to the table, and at much more attractive prices. These are the 2014 Le Casematte Peloro from IGP Terre Siciliane, which is an interesting take on Nerello Mascalese, the 2011 Travaglini, which is a Nebiolo from Gattinara in northern Piedmont, and the 2015 Camporeale Aglianico, a cheerfully youthful IGP wine from Campania.
The final two wines are whites from Sicily and Campania: the 2015 Feudo Maccari Grillo — an IGP Terre Siciliane — and the 2015 Vesevo Beneventano Falanghina.
FATTORIA DEI BARBI RISERVA BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO DOCG 2007
Vintages #496091 • $76.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 92/100The wine is medium-depth red-garnet, with a garnet rim. Nuanced cherry and blackberry aromas are complemented by an herbal, cedary undertone. It is dry, with firm acidity, elevated alcohol and very fine, silky tannins. There is a real depth of fruit and flavour, with a core of freshness still remaining in the raspberry, black cherry, blackberry and plum fruit, but with significant evolution towards a drying and more bitter incarnation, while the oak influence has receded into the earthy, leathery and balsamic undertones. Quite lovely.
Tasted May 16, 2017 • NOBLE ESTATES WINES & SPIRITS INC. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
ANTINORI BADIA A PASSIGNANO GRAN SELEZIONE CHIANTI CLASSICO DOCG 2011
Vintages #384552 • $49.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 91/100The wine is deep red, showing some garnet on the rim. Mild oaky-resin overtones with dry earth and dried herbs presage a core of ripe black cherries and plums, and a hint of violets. It is dry, with firm acidity, elevated alcohol and fine tannins. The ripe fruit has a faint lift of menthol, and is surprisingly fresh on the palate, with just the beginning of some drying and leathery evolution. Somewhat extracted, and the oak treatment of Gran Selezione is significant, but the wine carries it off quite well. More power than elegance, but quite balanced.
Tasted May 16, 2017 • HALPERN ENTERPRISES (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
SILVIO NARDI BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO DOCG 2011
Vintages #922054 • $48.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 90/100The wine is medium-depth red-garnet, fully garnet on the rim. On the nose, delicate spice, cherry and plum aromas are complemented by notes of leather, resin and dry earth. Dry, with bright acidity, elevated alcohol and fine, chalky tannins, the fruit on the palate is a pleasing mix of fresher and drying fruit, with hints of leather and a savoury, balsamic finish. Rather elegant.
Tasted May 16, 2017 • MAJESTIC WINE CELLARS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
LE CASEMATTE PELORO 2014, IGP Terre Siciliane
Vintages #487991 • $22.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89.5/100This blend of 70% Nerello Mascalese and 30% Nocera is from the Faro area of northeastern Sicily. It is medium-depth, bright red with glints of garnet. Aromas of ripe cherry, raspberry and blackberry fruit are complemented by violets, damp earth, and just a hint of oak spice. Dry, with bright acidity, moderate alcohol and fine tannins, the ripe fruit and berry flavours are lucid and transparent on the palate, and the finish is lengthy, with a stony-mineral character. A very nice introduction to Nerello Mascalese.
Tasted May 12, 2017 • WOODMAN WINES & SPIRITS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
TRAVAGLINI GATTINARA DOCG 2011
Vintages #713354 • $29.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89/100This Nebbiolo from Gattinara in northern Piedmont reflects the cooler climate of the region. The wine is medium-depth red-garnet in colour. Subtle aromas of raspberry, blackberry, and red cherry fruit are complemented by a floral note, and just the beginnings of a leathery evolution. The wine is dry, with bright acidity, and firm, grainy tannins. The fruit is fresh on the palate, and a mineral undertone emerges on the lengthy finish. The oak treatment — Slovenian casks of various sizes — has added depth to the palate, but is not a taste factor. Perhaps less fruit-forward than the previous vintage, but still a good introduction to the wines of northern Piedmont.
Tasted May 16, 2017 • S. SCHIRALLI AGENCIES LTD., (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
CAMPOREALE AGLIANICO 2015, IGP Campania
Vintages #475251 • $13.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89/100Rather deep ruby-red in colour. Pretty aromas of blueberry, blackberry and black cherry fruit are graced by notes of green herbs and underbrush. The wine is dry, with vivid acidity, moderate alcohol and elevated, fine tannins. The fruit is just ripe, and the tannins are edgy and angular. This is an interesting take on Aglianico, unoaked I believe, with the expected acid and tannic structure of the grape, but less ripe fruit — meant for earlier drinking. An excellent value indeed.
Tasted May 12, 2017 • GRAPE BRANDS LTD. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
FEUDO MACCARI GRILLO 2015, IGP Terre Siciliane
Vintages #477877 • $14.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100Grillo is an indigenous grape from Sicily, often used in the production of Marsala. This table wine is medium yellow in colour. Smoky and herbal aromas underlie ripe and rich-smelling lemon and yellow apple fruit. Dry, with firm acidity and moderate alcohol, there is a creamy richness that gives the palate some weight and heft. The fruit is pleasantly ripe, and then dries into a stony, mineral finish. Very pleasant indeed.
Tasted May 12, 2017 • TRIALTO WINE GROUP LTD. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
VESEVO BENEVENTANO FALANGHINA 2015, IGT Beneventano
Vintages #289538 • $16.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100The wine is bright, pale straw. Rather pretty floral notes lead into aromas of lemon, green apples, melons and pears. Just off-dry, with crisp acidity and moderate alcohol, the fruit and floral notes repeat on the palate, where the fruit adds a white peach note. It is lively, juicy, with a crisp finish. Pleasant and fresh.
Tasted May 12, 2017 • BARRIQUE WINES & SPIRITS IMPORTS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation