Monday, March 15, 2010
Italian Wines - Inexpensive Reds
First up was a 2008 J Hofstatter Pinot Nero Meczan from the Alto Adige region in the far northwest corner of Italy. Basically this is mountain grown pinot noir. Here was a wine that looked like pinot noir, soft transparent color and more garnet than purple for a young wine. The aromas were true pinot cherry fruit and good clean dirt. The taste was all about the same earth more than it was about the cherries. Medium weight, but alive with good acid and just a suggestion of oak at the end. At a lesser price this would be a good buy, but at $20 a bottle it was a pass.
Next up was a 2008 Quattro Mani Montepulciano D'Abruzzo. The aroma was good young fruit, raspberries and other berries over some damp earth. The taste was fruit forward with the earth paying second fiddle here. Medium weight and body, good acid, good medium purple color and a $9.99 price tag made this wine a keeper. This wine would be a great hot weather red and a good red for grilled salmon. Putting a slight chill on it in the summer would not hurt this wine. Easy to drink and at the price an easy wine to buy. A few bottles of this came home with me.
The next wine was a 2008 Soleto Primitivo from Puglia in southern Italy. Lots of berries and briers in the nose along with a good dose of white pepper. Lots of that same fruit up front with good acid and a healthy dose of tannin. Cherry fruit near the end and a decent length of finish made this $11.99 wine a complete bargain. A grilled steak and this wine would be wonderful together.
Next in line was a 2007 Corte Sant'Alda Valpolicella Ca Fiui from Veneto in northeast Italy. Dark berries and deep fruit in both the nose and taste of this wine. Very little else going on here except for a slight green taste. Not a bad wine, not a good wine, just a wine to drink. At $21.99 it was a pass.
The last of the inexpensive wines was a 2007 Mirabile Nero D'Avola from Sicily. This wine had a funky nose of eucalyptus and fruit along with the nose of a strong, aged and fully ripe cheese. One taster in the group thought it smelled of sauerkraut. Deep color and good fruit in the taste, and after some intense swirling the eucalyptus smell started to abate a little. Up front there was a full flavored taste but in the middle the wine just simply died. Tannic finish with little fruit. At $14.99 not a wine I liked, and my least favorite of the reds.
From that point we moved on the bigger and much better things, but that's another post.