A regional tour of Italian Reds
Italy – what a beautiful and hedonistic wine country! It provides wine lovers with so many distinctive, unique flavors and styles. Wines full of verve and creativity. Key to understanding Italy is to understand that it is a group of regions rather than a single homogeneous country. From the heady, often sweet, ferments of the deep south to the delicate sub-alpine essences of the north, it is possible to generalize about Italian wine styles to a certain extent. See if you can make an assessment from this batch.
Falesco, Tellus Cabernet Sauvignon Umbria 2014
92 points James Suckling
"Aromas of blueberries and lavender plus hints of currants. Medium to full body and ultra-fine and polished tannins. Long finish. Drink now."
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon. Region: Umbria.
Feudi di Guagnano, Diecianni Malvasia Nera 2017
Aromas include blackberries, dark cherries, dark chocolate, cocoa, and soy. Flavors include dark plums, dark cherries, dark chocolate, and really ripe blackberries. Complementing the rich flavors is a light to medium body, perfect balance and acidity, and an interesting and memorable finish that accentuates the rich fruit in this wine.
Grapes: Malvasia Nera. Region: Puglia.
Valpanera, Refosco Dal Peduncolo Rosso 2015
"100% Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso on alluvial clay, average age of vines 20 years. Harvested in the third week of September. De-stemmed, eight-day temperature-controlled fermentation with skin contact. One to two years in stainless-steel tanks. RS 5 g/l, TA 5.3 g/l. 50,000 bottles.
Earthy, bruised-damson nose. A wonderful pepperiness fills the mouth, lively, pizzicato. There’s a hint of damson fruit on the palate as well, but it’s the pepper and a hit of eucalyptus-like herbaceousness that dominates. Fine, tensely wired, dry tannins pucker in on the finish. Acidity is high – verging on strident – but it all starts to make sense with food. Made for the table, where the sweetness of the fruit comes to the fore and that long, bright draw of freshness whets the appetite."
Grapes: Refosco. Region: Friuli-Venezia-Giulia.
Pietra Susumaniello 2016
Classic Susumaniello. Has a deep ruby hue and aromas of red berries and plums. Concentrated wine with peppery notes as well as dark chocolate.
Grapes: Susumaniello. Region: Brindisi.
Assolati, Montecucco Rosso 2014
Montecucco Rosso is mostly Sangiovese, with small amounts of three other grapes blended in; medium-bodied, it shows bright red fruit and floral notes that are complemented by easygoing tannins and a savory, herbal finish.
Grapes: Sangiovese. Region: Tuscany.
Li Veli, Passamante Salice Salentino Negroamaro 2019
90 points Vinous
"The 2019 Salice Salentino Passamante blossoms slowly in the glass, leading off with musky dark berries and smoke, and gaining hints of cracked pepper, yellow curry and flowery undergrowth over time. This varietal Negroamaro is soft-textured, balancing bright acids with ripe black fruits and minerals to create a juicy yet pure impression. Notes of plum and lavender linger long as the 2019 tapers off lightly structured and dry."
Grapes: Negroamaro. Region: Salice Salentino.