It is time for another edition of “Random Samples”–I occasionally get samples from marketing agencies and/or producers, and these can often be grouped together into some sort of over-arching theme: Sauvignon Two Ways, Chardonnay Any Day, If It Doesn’t Sparkle, It Doesn’t Matter.
NV Azienda Agricola Corvezzo Prosecco, Italy: Retail $16. 100% Glera. Organic and Vegan. Fairly light in the glass with loads of green apple and a hint of wet rock. The palate comes off as a tad sweet but there is good acidity and a touch of depth. A solid wine in a category that frankly is often disappointing. Very Good. 88 Points.
2019 Azienda Agricola Corvezzo Prosecco Rosé, Italy: Retail $18. 85% Glera, 15% Pinot Nero. This was the first vintage that rosé Prosecco was allowed in the DOC and this is a strong effort. Pale salmon in the glass with an active sparkle of medium-sized bubbles. Strawberry is the operative word here, both on the nose and the palate with mineral notes (particularly on the nose) and just a touch of sweetness. Very Nice. Very Good. 89 Points.
2018 Ca’ Marcanda (Gaja) Magari, Bolgheri DOC, Italy: Retail $80. 60% Cabernet Franc, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot. A Super Tuscan from one of my favorite Piedmontese producers, this is really a fantastic wine. It starts with a lighter than expected color in the glass but the nose quickly changes the focus: black fruit (blackberry, cassis), a hint of tangerine, an herbal note, and a bit of spice. The palate takes it a step further; it is rich, with lovely fruit and depth, with a unifying acidity, and subtle tannins are integrated but also suggest a rather lengthy finish. Outstanding. 94 Points.
2019 Dievole Chianti Classico, Italy: Retail $20. 90% Sangiovese, 7% Canaiolo, 3% Colorino. We were playing What do you Meme? And my cards were literally the worst, the funniest being “When you’re bored and someone tells you to read a book.” Yeah. I ended up losing. But this wine was a fine diversion. Red and dark fruit on the nose with a touch of earth. The palate is perfectly fine with fruit, acidity, and a touch of earth. “Fine” is apt. Very Good. 88 Points.
2019 Domaine Carneros Pinot Noir Estate, Carneros, CA: Retail $45. I really liked the 2018 iteration of this wine (94 pts.) and this wine is not far off. Medium color in the glass with a fantastic nose (particularly on day two) of great red berry fruit (black cherry, raspberry), a cola note, and some dark earth. The palate (again, particularly on day two) is fantastically delicious with a load of that fruit, a balancing tartness, and a lengthy finish. Whoa worthy (once more, on day two). Outstanding. 93 Points.
2019 Domaine Carneros Pinot Noir Le Ciel Serein, Carneros, CA: Retail $60. Under cork. Right off the bat, this wine gets a Whoa as the nose was off the charts: fruity (ripe black cherry), dark earth, thyme, and even some cola. Yowza. The palate was surprising with really bright fruit, several layers of complexity, and depth. The driving forces here, however, are the acidity, which is magnificent, and the finish, which is quite lengthy. Out of the gate, this wine was gangbusters and really only got better as we progressed our way through the bottle. Whoa. Outstanding. 96 Points.
2019 Fontanavecchia Fiano Sannio, Italy: Retail $22. 100% Fiano. DIAM 3 closure. This is the last of a series of wines that I received from the fine folks in the Sannio DOC in Campania, and I have thoroughly enjoyed all the wines, including this one. Quite fruity on the nose with plenty of citrus and tree fruit. The palate is both tart and round with a distinct mineral note that is quite appealing and refreshing.
Excellent. 91 Points.
2019 Terre Stregate Genius Loci, Sannio, Italy: Retail $14. 100% Fiano. Sannio DOP. B.A.B. I do not drink a ton of Fiano, but those I have tried have been compelling as is this one. Pale straw with plenty of green tint, the nose is a bit shy, but eventually releases some citrus and white flower. The palate is both tart and round with tasty fruit and more than a smidge of minerality. Nice. Very Good. 89 Points.
2009 Torre del Pagus Aglianico Impeto, Beneventano IGT, Italy: Retail $45. B.A.B. 100% Aglianico. A disturbing trend is that some Old World producers (particularly in Italy) are turning to these ridiculous bottles. Ugh. The wine? It is actually quite good, excellent even, with dark fruit, earth, spice, and really nice balance. It goes to show that Aglianico really needs a bit of time–even a dozen years and a healthy decant in this case–before it reveals its potential. But. In the name of the planet, get rid of the stupidly heavy bottle. Come on. Excellent. 91 Points.
2020 Troon Vineyard Kubli Bench Amber, Applegate Valley, OR: Retail $35. 64% Riesling, 27% Vermentino, 9% Viognier. I am such a dope, I received this bottle several months ago and since it was “next up” on my samples pile, I popped the sucker and then pulled up the wine on Cellar Tracker to find that I had already written a note about this wine when I tasted it at the winery over the summer. This means I could have held onto this wine for a while to see how this would age (at least in the short-ish term). Oh well. Yowza. I loved this wine back in August, and nothing has changed (unless you count my resolution to consult CT before opening a bottle). “Clearly one of my top orange wines with great golden color, tropical notes, and, yes, orange peel. The palate is unctuous and rich with fantastic body, weight, and an incredibly lengthy finish. Whoa.” Outstanding. 94 Points.