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Mionetto “Sergio” (Veneto) – Full and rich…perhaps also sweeter than some…with lightly-spiced pear. Thick and complex, but freshness is sacrificed as a result, and there’s actually a bit of heat on the finish. (6/08)

Brut force

Mionetto Prosecco Brut (Veneto) – Bright lemon, crisp ripe apple, and a drying finish. The powdery texture shatters and sparkles late on the finish. Fair. (6/08)

Red I

Mionetto “Il” Rosato (Veneto) – Plum, blood orange, strawberry, and old raspberry pushed past its ideal maturity. Heavy and deep. Quite striking, and very much a light red wine more than it is a sparkler. (6/08)

Speri Top-Siders

[vineyard]Speri 2006 Valpolicella Classico “Superiore Ripasso” (Veneto) – Big acidity, strawberry, chocolate, and butterscotch. Oak? Whatever it is, it’s nasty. I can’t possibly imagine what they were thinking here. (9/08)

Bony Amarone

Masi 1990 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico (Veneto) – Prune and roasted meat, but “balanced” in the context of this very particular style. There’s a bit of offputting rot, but it doesn’t really distract. Nor does the expected VA. What I’d like is a little more complexity, but that’s not easily found in Amarone. (9/08)

Casale & pepper

Castellani 1995 Recioto della Valpolicella Classico “Il Casale” (Veneto) – Dominated by its volatile acidity, with sweet syrup, sweat, and a sticky, nasty finish. Recioto rides such a fine line between drinkability and utter failure, and this crosses the line. (9/08)

Siffredi’s mom

Pieropan 2004 Soave La Rocca (Veneto) – Melon and metal. All primary – pre-primary, actually – and promise, with absolutely nothing indicating current drinkability except in the pursuit of academic curiosity. (9/08)

The pink

Mionetto “Il Rosé” Rosato del Veneto (Veneto) – This is a strange bird; it’s a little sweet and frothy, but the redness of the fruit is of a darker hue than one expects in a pink sparkler. There are better pink sparklers out there, to be sure, but at a party where there might be red-wine-friendly food, this does better than something more light-minded. (8/08)


Corte Sant-Alda 2005 Soave Vigne di Mezzane (Veneto) – Sandy, dusty, lithe, cute…and a little boring. Soave needs something – either Pieropan-style minerality or Anselmi-style richness – that this wine doesn’t deliver, in order to be other than wan. (8/08)