This week, we have three Italians, showcasing a Tuscan blend, an ancient white, and a Piemonte Dolcetto.
Barone Ricasoli Casalferro 2006
Although I should know better, I couldn’t resist an early peak at this now five year old Super Tuscan. A blend of Sangiovese (70%) and Merlot (30%), the wine spends 18 months in French oak and is definitely a modern style Chianti wine. It had a while in the decanter, but could have done with longer as it continued to improve in the glass over the evening. The oak is prominent on the nose, along with berry and floral characters. The palate is a mixture of sour cherry and cranberry, with a little earth and chocolate peeking through. Nice structure and mouthfell, I’ll be doing my best to enjoy my remaining bottles over the next five years or so.
Terredora di Paolo Greco di Tufo Loggia della Serra 2009
The Terredora winery, based in Campania, makes a wide range of wines including this excellent single vineyard white from the Greco bianco grape. Apparently named for its introduction by Greek colonists nearly 3000 years ago, along with its preferred locations around the town of Tufo, the grape can produce aromatic yet weighty wines showing a nice mineral streak. Terredora have produced a winner here, with a well balanced wine marrying a backbone of acidity, good palate weight with stone fruit and a dry, almost nutty finish.
Giovanni Manzone Dolcetto d'Alba Le Serra 2008
The winery's website might suggest they're on the modern side in Piemonte, but perhaps it is Giovanni Manzone's son, Mauro, who is responsible for the very flash internet site. Giovanni is well known as a respecter of the region's history, going so far as to make a small production run of a white from the rare Rossese Bianco grape. The Dolcetto from the La Serra vineyard has plenty of old school about it too, with some tar and violet aromatics, plenty of structure and weight, and a slightly grippy finish. Definitely a wine to take you into winter, rather than a slightly chilled summer red.