Tasted these wines today with Michael Knipp from Domaine Select Wine Estates. Each of the wines listed below are, in my opinion, great tasting selections that fit the model of what I like to find – they over deliver in the quality for the money, they come from (mostly) smaller producers and they are not overly distributed in the general market.
Borgo M Pinot Grigio, 2010
Here is a great tasting PG that really has a depth in the nose – filled with fresh flavors, peaches and light apples – on the palate the wine is rich and weighty giving a nice feel across the palate that doesn’t just disappear like watery PG’s can. Love the value here as it is only $10 retail.
Primaterra Primitivo, 2010
Primaterra keeps delivering on the values. This is a brand that is owned by DSWE and gives them the ability to sell a reasonably priced “house” wine tier to balance out their ability to sell more expensive and eclectic/esoteric brands. This wine is juicy and full-ish in flavors. I like the fruitiness upfront, but the wine turns a bit serious on the finish with a bit of dryness. Best thing is that this is $8 retail.
Massolino Dolcetto d’Alba, 2010
Serious Barolo producer makes serious Dolcetto – simple equation. Fat and juicy fruit on the nose with a dry, round feel on the palate. This a perfect pasta/pizza wine. I really enjoy the wines from Massolino and they have some of the top scoring wines every year in the wine media. $20-22 retail.
Le Macchioli Bolgheri Rosso, 2009
Hold on – things get serious with this super-Tuscan entry from one of the most famed and sought after producer in the region. Easily competing and out-pricing the best from Sassicaia and Ornellaia or anything Antinori makes – Macchioli is barely available in CT as the wines are sucked up before they get here. This is the base wine from the estate and DSWE buys everything the they can get so they can get the upper tier allocations. A blend of Cab Franc, Merlot and Sangiovese. Dense and dark with rich and intense flavors, fuller flavored and big, dry finish that is loaded with dense black fruits and spice. $30 retail, and quite honestly a bit of a bargain compared to Le Volte and others of similar style.
Mirafiore Barolo, 2007
Probably the best find of the day – this is such a no-brainer – I dubbed it the “Barolo for the Suburbs”, loaded with rich, fleshy fruit, but still is unmistakably Italian and definitely Barolo. Smooth and easy on the palate, this will please the masses and satisfy those looking for a serious wine, as well. Priced at about $40/bottle retail.
Az Ag COS Pithos
Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG, 2009
Huge round nose with a number of different layers and levels to work through with herbs, leather, smoke and delicate layers of berries and flowers and all kinds of aromas. Visually the wine is somewhat paler than an American drinker would like, but in the mouth this wine is about as serious as it gets. Very complex series of flavors that just come in waves. This is made in bees-wax lined clay amphorea that are kept in the ground, all bio-dynamic and hands on - this is nearly as handcrafted as it gets. From Sicily, about $35 retail.