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On a Sunday afternoon

Punta Crena 2008 Colline Savonesi “Cruvin” (Liguria) – For an hour or so after opening, this is surly and decidedly incomplete, its astringency scraping any notion of fruit or pleasure from the palate. Things change, though. While it’s never other than chalky, that quality becomes a lot more interesting when it’s a textural counterpoint to a richer mélange of black fruit and porcini. This is a wine of soil. (1/12)

Pigato in a poke

Terrebianche 2010 Riviera Ligure di Ponente Pigato (Liguria) – Almond flesh and pine nuts, hearts of palm, vibrant but ripe acidity, white pepper. And inside, a beige-toned and bony skeleton of structure. It’s worrisomely short, but that’s really carping about a generally quite decent wine. (10/11)

Richard Crena

Punta Crena 2008 Riviera Ligure di Ponente Vigneto Isasco Vermentino (Liguria) – Delicious. Simultaneously arboreal and saline, with a sizzle of structure helixed with minerality. This is a wine that’s both fun and an intellectual pleasure. (8/11)

It’s time to put your Massaretti away

Fèipu dei Massaretti 2009 Riviera Ligure di Ponente Rossese (Liguria) – Light, airy, saline, and somewhat insubstantial in the midpalate. The fruit that’s there is light in the fashion of, say, a Sancerre or Alsace rosé, but with less acidity and a softer expression. I almost like this, and in a less critical context I probably would, but the wine needs to exert more of an effort towards my affections. (11/10)

Benjamin Isasco

Crena 2008 Riviera Ligure di Ponente Vermentino Vigneto Isasco (Liguria) – People who insist Italian whites are worthless are…well, they’re idiots, but they’re apparently also idiots who’ve never tasted a vermentino. Even in its paler, more industrial expressions, there’s plenty going on. When given a little more attention and terroir, I fail to understand how anyone could not, at least, appreciate the goings-on. Here, there’s grayish-tan soil, a lot of sun (but with shadows lurking in corners and crannies), a light oxidativeness that adds rather than detracts, and plenty of complexity and interest to hold attention. Not a great vermentino, but certainly a good one. (9/10)

Bitter Mary

S. Maria al Monte Amaro (Liguria) – Complex, citrusy, and achieving equilibrium between its bitter, sweet, and aromatic elements. Very pleasant, with just enough bite. (8/10)


Bisson 2007 Golfo del Tigullio “Ciliegiolo” (Liguria) – More interesting than good, with an unfocused burst of random florality and fabric softener luridness. Makes an impression, but I’m not sure what that impression is. I keep wanting to like this, but it never quite lives up to its price…which is high for a rosé. (5/10)

Professional Golfo Association

[label]Bisson 2007 Golfo del Tigullio Bianchetta Genovese “Ü Pastine” (Liguria) – Standoffish, detergent-textured froth and whiteness, slightly floral and pinched. The foam is spicy, in the manner of a less aggressive txakolina, but the finish is short. Among the four people sharing the wine, it proves controversial: two in favor, two opposed. Which makes me like it even more. (7/09)

The heart has its Bissons

[vineyard]Bisson 2007 Golfo del Tigullio Ciliegiolo Rosé (Liguria) – Delicate perfume poised between sea, sky, and slope. Fine-edged strawberry, floral but not overly perfumed, with flinty minerality. Quite pretty. (7/09)

Frankie Ponente

Giobatta 2007 Riviera Ligure di Ponente Rossese di Albenga “U Bastiò” (Liguria) – Mercaptan-dominated. There seems to be some rather gorgeous, barn-floor earth and soft red fruit underneath, but for me the stink is not quite penetrable. The less-sensitive (among which are numbered my dining companion, whose wine this actually is) will find less fault, and in fact said dining companion rhapsodizes about the wine. (6/09)

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