Browse Tag


Heba, Heba, don’t dream it’s over

[bottleMagliano 2004 Morellino di Scansano “Heba” (Tuscany) – Spoofy. Deep, dark, caramelized cherry bark and vanilla-slathered jam, creamy and lush with overbearing structure and all signs of life pummeled to a brutal death by the sheer ponderousness of it all. (4/08)

Is it a castle or a villa?

Castell’in Villa 1995 Chianti Classico “Riserva” (Tuscany) – Dense. Strawberry and herbal dirt, with dense (actually, thoroughly solid) tannin. A bit hard, but long. Needs continued aging. (2/08)

Doon messiah

Bonny Doon “Ca’ del Solo” 2005 Sangiovese (San Benito County) – Hard, then tart, then absent, with a big burst of strawberries scraped from the tongue with a rasp of tannin, giving way to a puckery sourness, and eventually skipping off to parts unknown. The loony (and unfortunately given the source, unfunny) mysticism on the label won’t save the wine from its flaws. (2/08)

Little Poder

La Poderina 2001 Brunello di Montalcino (Tuscany) – Structured and mineral-laden, with a cedar overlay and a general absence of fruit. It tastes like old wood (by which I don’t mean “made in”), and decays rather abruptly in the glass. (2/07)

Lady di

Argiano 2001 Brunello di Montalcino (Tuscany) – Ungenerous. Graphite and sour, sour cherries. Soft and wussy underneath a surplus of tannin. (2/07)

Always somethin’ there to Romagna

San Valentino 2003 Sangiovese di Romagna Terra di Covignano (Emilia-Romagna) – Seeds, dark plum residue, graphite, and earth. Firm and structured, with huge tannin. It may have a good midlife, but it’s difficult before then, and balance is an issue. (2/07)

Classico music

[label]Montesecondo 2005 Chianti Classico (Tuscany) – Moderately intense strawberry stands out amidst otherwise violet-hued fruit. Structured, long, and authentic, with balance and purity. (1/08)

Isole mio

Isole e Olena 2005 Chianti Classico (Tuscany) – Fair aromatics of strawberry, tarragon and gristly farm soil, but inside it’s a little watery and somewhat of a letdown. There’s plenty of structure, but there’s not so much for it to hold up, and while it’s perfectly innocuous with food, one hopes for something more. I’m moved to wonder if it’s always tasted like this, and my tastes have just changed. For whatever reason, this sort of Chianti has left my palate wheelhouse. Hopefully not forever. (12/07)

Altesino royale

Altesino 2003 Rosso di Altesino (Tuscany) – Impenetrably tannic and clumsy, showing charred fruit and burnt walnuts, but mostly just thick, sludgy nothingness (8/07)