Tiny Bottle Tuesday – Getting Really, Really Small Again

OK, it is not Tuesday, but I had every intention to publish this yesterday, so I am rolling with it.

A while back, I was asked if I wanted to participate in a “unique opportunity” to taste “over 50 of Italy’s finest wines” on Zoom over the course of a few days.

I said “sure” thinking I would be swamped with several cases of wine, but I would be partaking for the sake of the greater good, naturally. When I got the notice from UPS that a singular package was on its way, weighing in at just over a kilogram, I thought they were sending along some accompanying materials (tech sheets, promotional materials, and such).


That was the wine. All of it.

This is what showed up:

One rosé, six whites, and 23 reds.

Truth be told, I have been sitting on these tiny bottles for two main reasons: there were sooo many of them (52 20ml “bottles”) and, well, 20ml is roughly 2/3 of an ounce (not even a “shot” worth) and I found that pretty darned stupid.

I was not able to attend the online Zoom session for these wines however many months ago, so the 46 tiny little vials (I really can’t call them “bottles” with a good conscience) sat in my office for a while.

Then, one day, in hopes of making some semblance of order in said working space, I opened the box to see what it might contain. I discovered two very important facts: there were two of the tiny vials of each wine (which amounts to a whopping 40ml or 1.33 ounces of wine, still not much, but…), and there were some pretty impressive names printed in 3 point font on their teeny labels.

So I thought “What the heck?” and decided to crack a few to see how it went.

To quote Larry David: “Pretty, pretty good…”

While the wines were all quite good, there was not a lot of it…

Thus, I decided to offer up a few of these wines on this Tiny Bottle Tuesday for your perusal. If their bigger (really, really bigger) iterations hold true to these minuscule samples of their potential goodness? Yeah, I could sign up for that.

2017 Ronco Blanchis Collio Blanc de Blanchis, Italy: Retail $35. From two 20ml tiny bottles. Riserva. Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Friulano, Malvasia. Delving back into my collection of *really* tiny bottles, this Blanc de Blanchis is one of the more aromatic wines I have stuck my rather large beak into in quite a while. A plethora of fruit, from the exotic realm as well as tree fruit, there is also a bit of almond and white flower. Yowza. The palate is initially quite round with a bit on an oxidative note, but then releases a lovely tartness on the mid-palate. One of the more interesting white blends I have tried.
Excellent. 90 Points.

2018 Monte del Frá Custoza Superiore Bianco Cá del Magro, Italy: Retail $20. From two 20ml tiny bottles. 40% Garganega, 20% Trebbiano Toscano, 15% Incrocio Manzoni, 10% Cortese, 5% Tocai Friulano, 10% Chardonnay, Riesling Italico, Malvasia. A real kitchen sink kind of white blend here that is practically golden in the glass with intense honey blossom, ripe Golden Delicious apple, and a bit of gooseberry. The palate is quite tangy, but also possesses a round, full quality that quickly coats the mouth, leading to a lengthy finish. Excellent. 91 Points.

2018 Azienda Agricola Lorenzon Cabernet Franc i Feudi di Romans, Friuli Isonzo, Italy: Retail $20. From two 20ml tiny bottles. 100% Cabernet Franc. A moderate to dark ruby with some dark berry fruit, a splash of vanilla, and just a hint of an herbaceous character found in many a Cab Franc. The palate is fairly lean initially, with the acidity at the forefront but then the rich fruit comes in (although far from a fruit-bomb) along with a bit of heft on the mid-palate. It finishes quite dry with some noticeable tannins. Very nice. Excellent. 90 Points.

“You have to be messing with me” was my original thought.

2018 Argiano Non Confunditur Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy: Retail $22. From two 20ml tiny bottles. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese. A bit of a classic Super Tuscan blend (if there is such a thing) with a couple of Bordeaux varieties teaming up with the local Sangiovese. Medium ruby color with black and blue berries on the nose. Add in some oak (very mild), vanilla, and even sarsaparilla into the mix. The palate is fruity and nicely balanced with just the slightest hint of tannin on the finish. This is not a world-changer, but it would be perfect with a homemade Margherita pizza. Delicious. Very Good. 88 Points.

2018 Gabriele Mazzeschi Foramacchie Toscana IGT, Italy: Retail $30. From two 20ml tiny bottles. 95% Sangiovese, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. A brilliant ruby in the glass with plenty of red berry fruit (wild cherry, raspberry) along with a floral component (red rose), and hints of spice (cardamom, black pepper). Fresh and fruity on the palate with a zingy tartness from the jump. Rich, layered, with some drying tannins on the finish. I find this wine particularly compelling and while there are much more robust Super Tuscans out there, they will cost 5-10 times more than this beauty. Excellent. 91 Points.

2016 La Rasina Brunello di Montalcino, Italy: Retail $50. From two 20ml tiny bottles. 100% Sangiovese Grosso. Whoa. A delectable nose of black and blue fruit (plum, blackberry, blueberry) with some spice (could that be a bit of ginger), just a slight touch of oak, and enriching vanilla. Yowza. The palate is a bit shy at first, but with some time, the fruit really comes out to play with the acidity, leading through several layers of complexity, and finishing with some drying, healthy tannins. I wondered how a bigger, bolder red would hold up in these tiny bottles but, at least with this wine, there was no reason for worry. Outstanding. 93 Points.


About the drunken cyclist

I have been an occasional cycling tour guide in Europe for the past 20 years, visiting most of the wine regions of France. Through this "job" I developed a love for wine and the stories that often accompany the pulling of a cork. I live in Houston with my lovely wife and two wonderful sons.
This entry was posted in Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Cortese, Friulano, Garganega, Malvasia Bianca, Merlot, Riesling Italico, Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc, Wine and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Tiny Bottle Tuesday – Getting Really, Really Small Again

  1. Brings to mind the tiny model school scene in “Zoolander”. What is this? Wine for ants?


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