January 25, 2015 § Leave a comment
Score: 8.9 – Over Delivers
If you are a regular reader you will know that great values are often found in the shadows of ‘celebrity’ regions. This wine is no exception. The Montecucco DOC of the Maremma appellation in South of Tuscany. It is central Tuscany (Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino) that gets most of the attention, however for those in the know, and watch vintages carefully, Montecucco is a place where you can find some amazing values. By the way this wine also certified organic.
Tasting Notes Sipping: You will immediately notice the colour of this wine; it is dark, dark ruby red which gives you a clue to the depth of this wine. The nose shows dark ripe cherry and berry, with some dried herbs and lavender highlights. The palate is deep and complex. Layers of flavours including the above and hints of earthy leather, unfold across the mid-palate right through the dark fruit and slightly hot finish. There is definitely a little grip or tannin on this wine, but the tannins are in check, but do ask for food.
Tasting Notes with Food: I had this wine Roasted Rosemary Chicken, which, like it sounds is a whole roasted chicken stuffed with rosemary, lemons, carrots and onions. One of my favourite dishes and really easy to do. The wine was a perfect match for this dish, right from the aromas through the flavours. The weight of wine kept the palate fresh and alive, while the rosemary and citrus made the fruit flavours pop. The slightly hot finish vanished and was replaced with a long, complex finish that included dark berry, herbs and spices and just a hint of purple flowers like lavender and violets.
Value: If you are a fan of Chianti Classico or Sangiovese based wines in general, this is a keeper. I have chosen this over straight up Chianti at $16/$17 many times. I have even put down some Chianti Classico at $20 for this wine as it is in limited supply and really, really enjoyable. The depth and character of this wine is a good starting point for anyone looking to dip their toe into the pool of European wines. It’s just a small step from $13-$17 California or Aussie wines into this wine and the enjoyment is truly there.
Added Value: This wine really shines when the Foodies come over and it is a great option for Sunday dinner kinds of Comfort Foods like Roasted Chicken, Roast Beef, or Roast Pork.
More To The Story: 2009 through central and northern Italy, like that in the Rhone Valley and Bordeaux in France was one of the best vintages on record. The result is that there was a ton of top quality wine on the market meaning that many wineries in relatively unknown regions were having a tough time selling their stocks. The Rosso Del Gello is a one time buy here in BC. Once it is gone there is no more, and certainly not at this price. The winery was staring the bumper 2010 vintage in the face and needed to move through the last of the 2009. Fortunately the enterprising importer was Johnny on the Spot and grabbed whatever he could. In fact the 2009 sold out in the UK at £11-£13.
Service: Pull the cork and let this wine breathe for a good 30 minutes. Alternatively run it through your Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator
a few times and enjoy.
Grapes: Sangiovese Grosso Store Section: Italy Appellation: Maremma
Available: Everything Wine Buy Online: Everything Wine
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January 24, 2015 § Leave a comment
Score: 6.5 – Good Drop
Proof that pricing is not always a great indicator of value. Fluctuations in currency values can have a huge impact on the price of a wine. Take this wine for instance. Note the variation in price. Over the last number of months the price of this wine has climbed due to the increasing value of the Euro against the Canadian Dollar. I really like this wine as it is a step back in history to a time when wine was made to go with food, be refreshing and, in Italy, was consumed more often than water. For those looking for a wine experience this wine Over Delivers. For those looking for big, powerful, fruit driven wine, look elsewhere.
I have found this wine at $14.99 and for that price, under the scenario noted above, this wine Over Delivers… at $16.99 it’s a Good Drop.
Tasting Notes Sipping: The nose shows bright red cherry, some red berries and dried herbs (classic old school Chianti), while the palate has a light-medium body, is fresh and bright flavours of sour cherries and purple flowers. The finish is relatively short and shows some grip.
Tasting Notes with Food: I had the good fortune of having this with the Margherita Pizza from Pizza Prima Strada and it was tremendous! The fruit flavours came to the front and the freshness of the wine brought the heavenly flavours of the fresh basil and subtle creaminess of the Buffala Mozzarella. With simple foods this wine over delivers.
Value: This wine has great value and is worth the money as long as you are looking for a wine experience that takes you back in time. Setting out a red & white checkered tablecloth, have some mandolin music playing in the background and share a simple pasta or pizza and you have it nailed. If you are having the group over for a get together, stick with your usual Crowd Pleaser choice.
Added Value: As I said above this wine shows added value for Date Night, Comfort Foods or for the Foodies.
More To The Story: What do you think of the package? Classic hey? Did you know that for many years most wine was packaged like this. The basket allowed the rounded bottom bottle to stand on the table making it easier to serve. That all changed when along came a glass blower who figured out that if you push in the bottom you can have a bottle that will stand on its own.
Service: Pull the cork and let this wine breathe for about 30 minutes or run it through your Vinturi. You will notice how much more expressive the aromas are and the tannin, or grip, won’t be as pronounced on the palate.
Grapes: Sangiovese, Ciliegiolo
Store Section: Italy
Appellation: Chianti DOCG
Available: BC Liquor Stores, Everything Wine, Legacy Liquor Store, Metro Liquor Tuscany Village
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January 8, 2015 § Leave a comment
Score: 8.2 – Over Delivers
About the Wine: What a delightful wine. Classic notes of sour cherry and fresh plum, dried herbs and violets. Hints of leather and oak combine with the fresh fruit on the finish.
Value: Pay the extra dollar or two, and buy this by the case. Most Chiantis are priced $14-$16, but most Chianti Classico is over $20 which means this could have been a dud, but it way over delivers for the price.
Added Value: There is added value to those who are foodies. This wine seems to have been made to have with a meal, break some bread and dream of tomorrows to come.
Service: Let breathe for at least 30 minutes or run it through your Vinturi and serve at room temperature. If you live in the desert and it is over 25C in the house/on the patio chill it down a few degrees. As for a food pairing, I had this wine with a simple plate of prosciutto, olives, baguette and Asiago and it was divine. Sometimes simplicity is the best thing when it comes to food and wine pairing.
Store Section: Italy
Appellation: Chianti Classico
Available: BC Liquor Stores (Multiple), Everything Wine , Hillside Liquor Store (Victoria), Beverly Corners Liquor Store
Buy Online: Everything Wine (Multiple)
January 5, 2015 § Leave a comment
Score: 5.5 – Dead Average
About the Wine: The colour is on the lighter side of ruby-red while the nose shows some simple cherry and some dried herbs. The palate is pretty thin and straightforward. Flavours of sour cherry, some black pepper and violets. The finish is short and dry which means you definitely need to have food with this wine. As wine goes this is dead average. It’s fairly priced given its region and how far it has come to get here, but there are better options on the market.
Value: This wine needs food and then it can be okay, but the food should be really simple like pasta with a ragu sauce. I wouldn’t be trading up from $12-$14, or down from $17-$20 for this wine.
Added Value: Where this wine could shine is with a simple dish and perhaps some comfort foods like pizza or pasta.
Service: Let it breathe for at least 20 minutes or use your Vinturi. If you don’t the tannins are going to get you.
Store Section: Italy
Appellation: Chianti DOCG