Browse Tag


CC de Ville

Castello della Paneretta 2001 Chianti Classico (Tuscany) – So massively better than the 1999 Riservas (which are dead or dying) that I almost have to wonder if oak can be damaging. Oh, no. Couldn’t possibly be, could it?

Strawberry sharpness, with a lash of acidity and barky undertannins, yet perfectly cohesive. The fruit isn’t done maturing, yet I think the wine as a whole has gone about as far as it should; the structure has evaporated, leaving the shells and superstructures rather exposed, and I don’t believe further cellaring will improve the view. (12/11)


Castello della Paneretta 1999 Chianti Classico Riserva (Tuscany) – Ashen red fruit, wan and fading. Drink up a few years ago. (11/11)

Terri Ciampolo

[vineyard]Montevertine 2005 “Pian del Ciampolo” (Tuscany) – Wow, is this pretty. I thought I’d lost my enthusiasm for sangiovese, but wines like this could re-energize it. Dusty strawberries, flecked with earth and structured by their seeds, with tiny-leafed herbality and a long, faintly buzzing finish full of rocks and light foam. Really, really approachable, but there’s enough structure to eliminate near-term worries. So, hold it for a while? I answer: why? (7/09)

Teddi bare

Poli-Julliard 2007 Patrimonio Clos Teddi (Corsica) – 100% niellucciu (sangiovese). Strawberry and dirt, a bit blackened (not in the Cajun sense, thankfully), with a heady column of liqueur-like fruit (blueberry, perhaps) minus the alcohol. Despite this, the overall impression of the wine is fairly light and relatively simple. This is the sort of sangiovese you’d want with a very slight chill, served on a beachfront patio as a red wine accompaniment to seafood. (7/09)


Dei 1991 Rosso di Montepulciano (Tuscany) – Dead, decomposing, and in no danger of reanimation. No, I didn’t expect a different result. (4/09)

Rubesco, before you get hurt

[bottle]Lungarotti 2005 Rosso di Torgiano “Rubesco” (Umbria) – Spiced strawberry (light on the former, heavier on the latter) as tasted through a gravel filter; not that the wine is stripped in any way, but that it picks up the taste and texture of choppy rocks, to its benefit. There are some richer soil notes as well, and perhaps a dusting of black pepper later on. Solid. Not inspiring, but there’s a fair suggestion of balancing structure as well, and based on history it would probably be worth holding this for a while to see what develops. (3/09)


Bonny Doon “Ca’ del Solo” 2005 Sangiovese (San Benito County) – There are dollops of nero d’avola, cinsault, and colorino here. What do they add? I’m not sure. An intense nose of mixed jellies – plum, blueberry, blackberry – fades to simpler multi-hued cherries by the finish, there’s a tannic bite that grates with underripeness as the wine lingers, and a fairly significant amount of acidity adds to what eventually becomes a general and growing sensation of off-putting weediness. Eh. (9/08)

Red & grey

[bottle]San Felice 2003 “Il Grigio” Chianti Classico “Riserva” (Tuscany) – Some strawberry jam (with seeds) threatens to stick its neck out here, but mostly this is clumsy structure and fruit the wine doesn’t know what to do with, except step on with a heavy foot. Dull. (8/08)


Bosco 1997 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo “Pan” (Abruzzi) – Much more advanced than the previous bottle, likely due to cork failure. It’s past mature, in fact, with a dried-out character that’s not very appealing, and the bare bones of acidity and light, drying tannin are left naked to the palate. (8/08)


Villa Rosa 2004 Chianti Classico (Tuscany) – It’s been a long time since I’ve smelled a Chianti like this: strawberry, game, a touch of herb and a little bit of earth. There’s plenty of dense structure, but it’s all nicely balanced with crisp yet persistent fruit. To drink now with the right food, perhaps, but I really think this wine would prefer a little time in the cellar. Classic Chianti, and immensely appealing to those of us who have almost forgotten what that’s like. (5/08)