Browse Tag


Castellani Anderson

Castellani 2003 Valpolicella Classico “Superiore” San Michele “Ripasso” (Veneto) – Dense and concentrated, with a good deal of ripe structure and a dried-fruit darkness at its core. Licorice over strawberry, perhaps a bit blacker at heart than a Valpolicella (even a ripasso) should be, but then that may be the vintage. Add this to the tiny handful of appealing 2003 reds from Western Europe. (2/08)

Vini, vidi, Vece

Le Salette 1999 Amarone “Pergole Vece” (Veneto) – Prunes. Structured and balanced, with a gorgeous purity of immensity. Just terrific. (2/07)

From the oven

dal Forno 2000 Valpolicella “Superiore” (Veneto) – Ultra-dense, dark, and chewy. Nuts, roasted violet-tinged fruit tending towards the ultraviolet. Stunning or too much? It’s hard to say. (2/07)

Just a Secco

Secco-Bertani 2003 Valpolicella Valpantena “Ripasso” (Veneto) – Dead fruit on the nose. The palate is flat, sour, and tannic. Yuck. (2/07)

Nicene Crede

Bisol Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Crede Brut (Veneto) – Soft and yeasty; a pleasant froth of melon and honeydew. Pretty but ultimately insignificant. (2/07)

Capitel idea

Anselmi 2003 Capitel Croce (Veneto) – Dry lemongrass, lime leaves. Very, very ripe, but carrying good acidity, which renders it sharp and clean. An excellent effort from this bizarre vintage. (2/07)

San clause

Anselmi 2005 San Vincenzo (Veneto) – Clean and fresh, showing lemon and crisp Golden Delicious apple. Summery and pretty. (2/07)

Righetti foundation

Righetti 2004 Valpolicella Classico “Superiore” Ripasso “Campolieti” (Veneto) – Strawberry and anise seed, but also a touch of bubblegum; I’m served this blind, and waver back and forth between Valpolicella and grenache for a while, finally settling on the former due to balanced alcohol. It’s good, if somewhat slick, and lacks the concentrated, paste-like consistency of most modern ripassos…whether that’s a good or bad thing I can’t quite decide. (1/08)

Shopping Maule

[label]Maule “La Biancara” 2004 Gambellara Pico (Veneto) – Stunning. Breathtaking. And not for everyone. This is waxy and incredibly intense (more a matter of texture and feel than aromatics), and virtually pulses with long-macerated energy, bringing petals, leaves, sticks and stones to the palate and then abrading them into liquidity, which lingers and coats for a surprisingly long time. I do think, however, that people who prefer their fruit and their structure to be a little more obvious or familiar might have difficulty with this wine. Too bad for them. (1/08)