My wife and I are wrapping up our own little Tour of Northern Italy this weekend, but over the course of the last week we have put a little dent in the supply of Italian wine available. Here are a few of the bottles that we have enjoyed.
2013 Anselmi Capitel Croce: Restaurant Il Maseneni 28€. 80% Garganega, 20% Sauvignon Blanc. I had this a couple of years ago in NYC with Lisa Anselmi and it was my favorite of her wonderful wines. I wrote at the time that it needed a couple of years and here we are a couple of years later. I had to order it. Initially a bit cold. Great tropical fruit on the nose with great pineapple and a touch of oak. Really nice. On the palate a bit rounder than I remember but the flavors are intense and captivating. It paired beautifully with my pasta with veal and chanterelle mushrooms. The most remarkable aspect of the wine might just be the finish which lasts for minutes. I think I was right. The age has served it well. Bravo. Outstanding. 92-94 Points.
N.V. Mezzacorona Müller Thurgau Vino Spumante Brut: Retail 5€40. Pale golden color with a fine bubble (even though slightly less than the pressure of a Method Champenoise). Fresh and fruity with lemon, lime, and a bit of white peach. On the palate? Lively, with a joyful vivacity and intense citrus flavors. For less than $7?? Are you kidding me? This tastes like a wine 2-3 times its price. Bravo Lucio, bravo! Very Good to Outstanding. 88-90 Points.
2011 Rocca di Castagnoli Poggio a’Frati Chianti Classico Reserve: Restaurant 28€. My wife had just arrived in Italy, and by dinner she was running on fumes. I had wanted a slightly less expensive Chianti Classico, but the waiter pointed us in this direction. I am glad he did. Stewed cherry, a bit of tobacco and hints of anise and crème de cassis. The palate might be more impressive with delicate fruit upfront, plenty of weight thru the mid-palate, and a longer than expected finish. Might be just short of a whoa. My wife was not all that interested in drinking, all the better for me. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
Saturday night while watching the Buckeyes I wanted something cold, and preferably with some bubbles. After a bit of a fruitless search I found this: N.V. Cà Roveri Rosato Frizzante: Retail 3€90. I could not locate the varietal breakdown of this wine, which is probably better. You know? For the price? Not completely horrible. In fact it checked all my boxes, had a bit of fruit, and was not overly heavy (10,5%). While I would not buy a ton of it if it were available in the states, I might keep a bottle on hand the next time I’m watching the game solo. Good. 85-87 Points.
N.V. Nino Franco Rustico Prosecco Valdobbiadene DOCG: Retail 9€90. 100% Glera. My wife and I were in Venice and wanted a little sparkle for our apperitivo our first evening there. I ran out to the wine shop a couple of canals away and picked up this. Normally I eschew Prosecco as I find them either overly sweet or overly bitter/nutty (or both). But not the wines from Nino Franco. I first tasted Nino Franco’s wines with the lovely Silvia Franco back in May, and the wines made me realize that it was possible to make world-class wines in the region (why there are so few top-notch wines in the region is another issue to be explored). We were also slated to visit Silvia and Nino Franco in a couple of days, so this was the natural choice. A wonderfully inviting nose of citrus and a bit of yeast led to a completely delightful wine–nice fruit, acidity, and just the slightest indication of sweetness (and no bitterness to be found). My favorite Prosecco to date. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
2015 Cordero di Montezemolo Arneis Langhe: Restaurant 29€. 100% Arneis. On our first night in Venice, we went to a neighborhood place recommended by our host. While it turned out to be a bit more touristy than advertised, the food and wine were fantastic. I ordered the crab tagliatelle, and the homemade pasta was exquisite. Melt in your mouth kind of exquisite. The wine was a beautiful match. Pineapple and lemon with plenty of snap, the wine was weighty without being flabby and commanded that I return to the pasta after every sip. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.