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Pellegrino 2004 Moscato di Pantelleria (Sicily) – 375 ml. Perfume with a heady edge of pine, lemon curd, and dry ice. Not as simple as everyday moscato, and an incomparably massive improvement over the horrid 2003. A fun finish. (11/08)

Balbi, ball girl

[vineyard]Balbi Soprani 2006 Moscato d’Asti (Piedmont) – Flowers and powdered apple. Soft…too soft…with more gentility than I’d like; the laughing sweetness of moscato d’Asti needs a little more self-confidence. (9/08)

Bukkuram, Dano

de Bartoli 2001 Passito di Pantelleria “Bukkuram” (Sicily) – Old flowers, coriander-spiced licorice, and leaves. Light, elegant, and moderately sweet. Good acid balance. Very slighty sun-baked. Good, but it’s been better. (2/07)

Pantelleria raid

Giovi Grappa Moscato di Pantelleria (Sicily) – Perfumed and stinging (in a good way), then softens and broadens, before narrowing to a more focused finish. (2/07)

Luli lulay, my little tiny child

[label]Chinati Vergano “Luli” Chinato Moscato (Piedmont) – Moscato from Bera, plus cinnamon, coriander, vanilla, cardamom, quince, and more. Fascinating, exotic nose, white chocolate, and while its sweeter than most chinati I’ve tasted, the balance is good. Exciting and fruity. (1/08)

Leave the body, take the canelli

Bera 2007 Moscato d’Asti “Canelli” (Piedmont) – Not moscato d’Asti as it’s commonly understood, but an almost passito expression…and not gassed, but rather allowed to spontaneously referment. Plus – unlike the vast majority of similarly-labeled wines – meant to age. Its delicate bead is soft yet surprisingly persistent, and the palate is rich with melon and grape. None of the usual flower-truck-crashing-into-a-perfume-shop stuff here. The strength and, it must be said, seriousness of this wine are as surprising as they are profound. Absolutely terrific. (1/08)

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