Tastings - Wine & Spirits Magazine


91             Berlucchi     Franciacorta 61 Extra Brut
Fully dry yet with a pleasant leesy richness, this sparkler mingles nervy acidity and tangy lemon and green apple flavors with notes of toasted bread. Volio Imports, Denver, CO

88             Venturini Baldini     $20     Reggiano Lambrusco Ca' del Vento Sparkling Rose
This copper-hued sparkler shows flavors of tart apple laced with notes of ginger and toasted nuts. Its tangy acidity is a match for mortadella. Massanois, NY

88             Venturini Baldini     $20     Reggiano Lambrusco Marchesi Manodori
Lively flavors of plum and blackberry show good freshness and verve. For aperitifs. Massanois, NY

87             Venturini Baldini     $20     Lambrusco Emilia Montelocco Rosso
Dense and meaty, with deep plum flavors balanced by notes of game and iodine, this Lambrusco is a classic match for salumi. Massanois, NY
94             Pieropan     $50     2020 Soave Classico La Rocca
Vines planted up to 50 years ago on La Rocca’s limestone soils are harvested late, allowing the garganega grapes to develop deep golden apple and grilled pineapple flavors within a honeyed texture. Infused with lemony acidity that brings the spicy finish into focus, this is old-vine, barrel-aged Soave at its best. Maze Row Wine Merchant, Healdsburg, CA

92             Pieropan     $40     2020 Soave Classico Calvarino
Aged in concrete tanks, Calvarino is more tense and linear than La Rocca, its barrel-aged sibling; yet the old-vine depth begins to show with a few hours of air, the chiseled flavors fleshing out into richer tones of citrus and yellow plum. Maze Row Wine Merchant, Healdsburg, CA

91             Pieropan     $23     2021 Soave Classico
Taut acidity enlivens flavors of fleshy pear and golden apple. Floral and fresh, with a touch of leesy richness, this is a classy table wine. Maze Row Wine Merchant, Healdsburg, CA

90             Jermann     $75     2020 Venezia Giulia Where Dreams Have No End
This is rich and creamy, for fans of opulent chardonnay. Notes of bright lemon and crunchy green apple begin to emerge through the warm spice and scents of buttered popcorn, suggesting this will knit together with a few years of cellaring. Maze Row Wine Merchant, Healdsburg, CA

90             Jermann     $38     2021 Venezia Giulia Vinnae Ribolla Gialla
Mouthwatering, lemony acidity drives flavors of tart green apple in a taut, mineral texture, keeping the wine cool and crisp for pan-fried trout or slow-roasted pork shoulder. Maze Row Wine Merchant, Healdsburg, CA

90             Livio Felluga     $59     2019 Friuli Colli Orientali Curubella Pinot Grigio
Two days of skin maceration followed by aging in amphorae yielded this copper-hued wine, it’s firm phenolic structure and light bitterness brightened by flavors of white peach and tangerine. Give it a year or two for the tannins to soften and the flavors to meld. Maisons Marques & Domaines, Oakland, CA

90             Livio Felluga     $59     2019 Friuli Colli Orientali Potentilla Sauvignon
Notes of lemongrass and mint mingle with flavors of lemon curd and white grapefruit in this rich, honeyed wine. It will show more of itself in a year or two. Maisons Marques & Domaines, Oakland, CA

88             Jermann     $30     2021 Friuli Pinot Grigio
Tart citrus flavors flesh out with time in the glass, with zesty acidity adding to the taut structure. Versatile for lighter fare. Maze Row Wine Merchant, Healdsburg, CA

88             Tommasi     $35     2019 Lugana Le Fornaci Riserva
Orange-blossom scents lift flavors of golden apple and tangerine zest, accented by soft green herbs. This has enough weight and density to match up with roast chicken or pork. Vintus, NY

87             Sant'Angelus     $30     2021 Umbria Canonica
The golden apple and poached pear flavors of this wine are flecked with dark spice notes that lead to a slightly bitter finish. Sant'Angelus, Bellevue, WA

87             Tommasi     $19     2021 delle Venezie Le Rosse Pinot Grigio
Zippy lemony acidity highlights flavors of tangy apple and pear tinged with an almond skin bitterness. The finish is clean and zesty with lingering white-pepper notes. Vintus, NY
93             Tornatore     $60     2021 Etna Pietrarizzo
The Tornatore family traces its winemaking roots in Castiglione di Sicilia, on Mt. Etna’s northern slope, back to 1865. Francesco Tornatore, the current owner and the founder of several successful technology companies, has built the family’s vineyard holdings up to 148 acres, making it one of Etna’s largest estates. Carricante for this wine comes from the Pietrarizzo cru in the heart of Castiglione di Sicilia. It opens with scents of yellow flowers that lend a delicate touch to this wine’s taut, linear structure. Intensely saline and driven by lemony acidity, it shows ageworthy tension, precision and length. Maze Row Wine Merchant, Healdsburg, CA

91             Tornatore     $35     2021 Etna Etna Bianco
This wine is quite approachable for a young Etna Bianco, its golden apple and lemon flavors tinged with smoke and underlined by bristly minerality. Maze Row Wine Merchant, Healdsburg, CA

88             Paternoster     $20     2021 Basilicata Vulcanico Falanghina
Hints of smoke accent flavors of grilled lemon and peach in this rich and savory volcanic white. For charbroiled chicken and veggies. Vintus, NY

88             Tempa di Zoè     $22     2021 Paestum Fiano Asterias
Notes of lemon zest and tart apple balance this wine’s honeyed texture and warm finish. It’s a match for creamy pasta or roasted poultry. Artisanal Cellars, White River Junction, VT
94             Masi     $100     2016 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva Costasera
A smooth, refined texture reveals rich flavors of dried plum, pomegranate and molasses woven with exotic spices, yet this Amarone remains balanced and vinous, with a long and savory finish that earns it a place at the dinner table. Santa Margherita USA, Miami Beach, FL

92             Fontanafredda     2016 Barolo Riserva
Flavors of ripe red cherry and plum are lively and primary, framed by firm ferrous tannins that are just beginning to soften. Decant it before serving or hold for a few years. Taub Family Selections, Boca Raton, FL

92             Tommasi     $137     2013 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva Ca' Florian
Deeply concentrated flavors of dried cherry and plum are enriched by notes of dark chocolate and spiced almond. The grippy tannins would match well with roasted pork shoulder. Vintus, NY

91             Tommasi     $84     2018 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico
Notes of grilled game, tobacco and bitter chocolate balance this Amarone’s rich flavors of plum and espresso. Dense, chewy tannins frame the flavors as hints of anise and black pepper linger on the finish. Vintus, NY

90             Fontanafredda     2019 Barbaresco Coste Rubìn
Medium bodied and spicy, with ripe tannins and hints of licorice in the lively cherry flavors, this is approachable now. Taub Family Selections, Boca Raton, FL

89             Fontanafredda     2018 Barolo Vigna La Rosa
This wine feels delicate for a Barolo from Serralunga, its high-toned red-cherry flavors lifted by soft rose-petal scents. For near-term drinking. Taub Family Selections, Boca Raton, FL

89             Roccheviberti     $65     2018 Barolo del Commune di Castiglione Falletto Vecche Viti
Notes of tobacco and underbrush dovetail with taut, leathery tannins in this rustic, earthy Barbaresco. The Piedmont Guy, NY

88             Fontanafredda     2018 Barolo Proprietà in Fontanafredda
With dark plum flavors accented by notes of licorice and graphite, this mid-weight wine’s grippy tannins are a match for a rare steak. Taub Family Selections, Boca Raton, FL

87             Tommasi     $23     2020 Valpolicella Classico Superiore Rafael
This weighty and rich Valpolicella is packed with notes of cardamom and clove that accent flavors of dried cherry and dark chocolate. For hearty fare. Vintus, NY
93             Tornatore     $95     2018 Etna Rosso Trimarchisa
Slow to open, this wine fleshes out with several hours of air to show fresh rose-petal scents and flavors of red cherry and plum. Those flavors are tangy and precise, laced with smoky notes. The dark, schisty tannins add a volcanic vibe. Maze Row Wine Merchant, Healdsburg, CA

92             Tornatore     $60     2019 Etna Pietrarizzo
Red plum flavors show a pleasantly tart edge that’s balanced by dark tarry notes and tinges of smoke. It finishes dry and savory, with an orange peel brightness. Maze Row Wine Merchant, Healdsburg, CA

91             Bosco de' Medici     $34     2021 Pompeiano Pompeii Rosso
This piedirosso’s violet scents and flavors of plum and black raspberry read almost like a cru Beaujolais, the naked fruit tones backed up by soft tannins and hints of black pepper. Enotec, Denver, CO

91             Cantine Olivella     2021 Vesuvio Vipt Piedirosso
Medium bodied and buoyant, with good tension and pure flavors of raspberry, pomegranate and blood orange, this wine’s scents of violet, rose petal and smoke add to its appeal. North Berkeley Imports, Berkeley, CA

91             Claudia Quarta     $33     2016 Taurasi Cantina Sanpaolo
Primary fruit flavors of blackberry and plum mesh with notes of dark chocolate, espresso and toasted nuts. The tannins are smooth yet taut, framing the rich fruit tones, which are just beginning to show a hint of development in the accents of forest floor and roasted mushroom. Enotec, Denver, CO

91             Tornatore     $35     2019 Etna Rosso
Rose-petal scents open into flavors of juicy black cherry and cranberry laced with smoke and a dark minerality. Maze Row Wine Merchant, Healdsburg, CA

90             Cantine Olivella     2021 Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio Lacrimanero
Lively red berry flavors infused with notes of smoke are framed by light, sandpapery tannins. Serve lightly chilled with a plate of salumi. North Berkeley Imports, Berkeley, CA

90             Tempa di Zoè     $43     2019 Paestum Zero Aglianico
Dark, schisty tannins underline superripe flavors of plum and blackberry. Lively acidity drives the wine, injecting a youthful energy as it finishes on notes of dark baking spices. Artisanal Cellars, White River Junction, VT

90             Tormaresca     $90     2018 Castel del Monte Bocca di Lupo Aglianico
Bold and spicy, packed with flavors of blackberry, bitter chocolate and tobacco, this wine’s schisty tannins will benefit from decanting or, better yet, a few years of cellaring. Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, Woodinville, WA

90             Torrevento     $29     2019 Castel del Monte Bolonero
Flavors of seeded red berries are lively and high-toned, limned with notes of smoke and blood orange balanced by a pleasant bitter edge. Lightly raspy tannins and bright acidity make this a match for pork or poultry. Votto Vines, Hamden, CT

89             Torrevento     $45     2016 Castel del Monte Riserva Vigna Pedale
This rustic nero di Troia offers flavors of sour cherry and raspberry jam framed by raspy tannins that would work well with braised pork. Votto Vines, Hamden, CT

88             Basilisco     $23     2020 Aglianico del Vulture Teodosio
A hint of green herbs and tobacco leaf brings freshness and balance to this wine’s rich flavors of warmed blackberry and cassis. It has plenty of acidity to match braised meats. Vias, NY

88             Li Veli     $21     2020 Salento Askos Susumaniello
With its snappy blackberry flavors, plump texture and hints of smoke and almond skin, this is great for BBQ. Dalla Terra, Napa, CA

88             Torrevento     $39     2018 Primitivo di Manduria Ghenos Primitivo
Raspy tannins give shape to violet-scented blackberry flavors, lasting with hints of smoke on the finish. Votto Vines, Hamden, CT

87             Leone De Castris     $24     2019 Salice Salentino Riserva 50th Vendemmia Negroamaro
A flash of mint brightens flavors of sour plum and dark chocolate. Chewy tannins and peppery spice notes on the finish are a match for chargrilled burgers. Vias, NY

87             Librandi     $20     2019 Ciro Riserva Duca San Felice
This tangy gaglioppo offers flavors of juicy plum and raspberry with a hint of orange peel. The mild, chewy tannins make it versatile for lighter fare. Winebow, NY

87             Paternoster     $20     2018 Aglianico del Vulture Synthesi
Notes of dark chocolate and warm spice enrich flavors of black cherry and grilled game. Pair this bold wine with roasted pork shoulder. Vintus, NY

87             Statti     $28     2021 Calabria Gaglioppo
Soft red berry flavors with a hint of blood orange—an easy-drinking weeknight wine. Vias, NY

87             Torrevento     $26     2020 Puglia Infinitum Nero di Troia Primitivo
Notes of dark chocolate and dried plum are rich and sweet, framed by soft leathery tannins. This is a blend of nero di Troia and primitivo. Votto Vines, Hamden, CT

is the Italian wine editor at Wine & Spirits magazine.

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