Category Archives: Italy

G.D. Vajra | Rosso | Langhe | Italy | 2012 | $15 | 87 Points

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“Recommended” Family-owned and operated G.D. Vajra, established by Aldo and Milena Vaira in 1972 in the Barolo appellation of the Italian Piedmont, crafts wines of exceptional expression and purity. We recently had opportunity to tour the winery with Isidoro Vaira, … Continue reading

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PICK of SICILY: Cusumano | Benuara | Red Wine | Sicily | Italy | 2012 | $16 | 87 pts

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A deeply purpled blend of Nero d’Avola (70%) and Syrah (30%), this table red from Sicily offers notes of brandied dark fruit, dried blackberry, and thyme on the nose; and on the palate suggestions of pomegranate, grilled red bell pepper, espresso, and toffee, with hints of … Continue reading

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PICKs of the RACK: Two Alluring Reds from Northern Italy

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Claudio Alario | Dolcetto | “Costa Fiore” | Diano d’Alba |  Italy | 2011 | $21 | 89 pts Diano d’Alba is a rural village in the Piedmont region of northwestern Italy, roughly 30 miles southeast of Turin.  The area’s vineyards sit at … Continue reading

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ITALIAN WINE PICK: Castello della Paneretta | Chianti Classico Riserva | DOCG | 2008 | $27 | 91 pts

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Aromas: dried dark fruit; cranberry; leather; hints of cinnamon Character: dry; medium-bodied; fruit & earth balanced; firm tannins; forward acids; toasty oak; 13.5% ABV Flavors: black cherry; dried herbs; cured tobacco; hints of peppercorn & clove Food Pairing: medium-sharp cheeses; tomato-based pasta dishes; roasted … Continue reading

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ITALIAN WINE PICK: Ruffino | Modus | IGT | Tuscany | Italy | 2010 | $25 | 90 pts

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Following our recent review of Renieri’s Invetro, we discovered yet another superb-value mini-Super Tuscan (Indicazione Geografica Tipica, or IGT, classification) from the region’s 2010 vintage.  This one hails from the venerable Chianti producer Ruffino, and consists of Sangiovese (50%), Cabernet Sauvignon (25%), and Merlot … Continue reading

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ITALIAN WINE PICK: Renieri | Invetro | IGT | Montalcino | Tuscany | Italy | 2010 | $15 | 90 pts

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Invetro is a big-value mini-Super Tuscan from the Renieri Estate in Montalcino.  Comprised of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot, it is energetic and sinewy, featuring vivid aromas of black cherry, rosemary, and wet stone followed by tangy flavors of cranberry, red grapefruit, and … Continue reading

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PICK of the RACK: Campo Alla Sughera | Arnione | Bolgheri Superiore | Tuscany | Italy | 2008 | $50 | 93 pts

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Aromas:  black cherry; cured tobacco; pencil lead; anise; violets; cedar Character: dry; full-bodied & firm; elegant & velvety; smooth tannins & racy acidity; assertive oak;      14% ABV Flavors: black currant; red bell pepper; cured tobacco; clove; dried thyme; toasty oak Food Pairing: medium & sharp … Continue reading

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PICK of the RACK: Aia Vecchia | Lagone | Red Blend | Toscana (Tuscany) IGT | Italy | 2010 | $17 | 89 pts

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Aromas: dried dark fruit; leather; pepper; rose petals Character:  dry; full-bodied; firm & intense; expressive acidity; moderate tannins; mild, cedar-tinged oak; nicely balanced; 13% ABV Flavors: blackberry; bell pepper; licorice; woodsmoke; flint; musk; dusting of cocoa Food Pairing: sharp cheeses; roasted meats … Continue reading

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