Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Castello di Bossi Berardo Chianti Classico Riserva 2006

I am finding myself getting back on the Chianti kick.  This is what started it all for me back around 1971.  Back in the old days I was drinking almost exclusively Chianti.  Then it had to be in a straw basket because in was cheap and the bottles were re-used to decorate the apartment.  Seems kinda funny now, but I bet most of you who were drinking wine at that time were doing the same, at least until lava lamps appeared.  After a while I found that Chianti came in regular bottles also and at a wide range of prices.  Now after a few years of very rarely opening one at home, I am now getting addicted again.  So, last week I filled my wine fridge up with a selection of Chiantis.
The first was opened last week with a simple dinner of spaghetti in a fresh tomato sauce with a side salad and oven toasted garlic bread.  The wine was a Castello di Bossi Berardo Chianti Classico Riserva 2006($24). The name Berardo, I assume, is taken from Castelnuovo di Berardenga which is a sub-region or district of Chianti Classico.
A very nice ruby red color with aromas of black cherry, some currant, a little leather and a hint of tobacco and chocolate.  Smooth in the mouth with lots of red fruit and a hint of sweetness which is not typical of Chiantis I've had in the past.  At least those I remember.  The wine finished moderately long, smooth with a small taste of Kahlua.
This was a very nice Italian wine that paired very well with a nice Italian dinner and helped satisfy my present craving for Chianti. (for now)   Highly recommended.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Seghesio Langhe Nebbiolo 2008

Sometimes you can open, pour and taste a wine and not expect anything other than just a drinkable table wine and get much more.  That happened today when Shirley asked for a Marsala to use in a new Chicken Marsala recipe she was trying.  Unfortunately, I had no Marsala or a Port or Sherry that I would have suggested as a substitute. Needing a dry fortified wine I opened a "baby Barolo" I had on hand and just for shits and giggles added a shot of Brandy to one cup of the wine.  That was my way of fortifying the wine. I will gladly take credit for being responsible for a fantastic Chicken Marsala dinner served with peas and mushrooms over Linguine, but it was Shirley that did the magic. My wine was a Seghesio Langhe Nebbiolo 2008 ($20).  After opening I did pour myself a small glass to sip before dinner, keeping enough to enjoy with the meal and have a nice glass afterwards.
The Langhe area has a long history of vinegrowing and many of the wines made here use traditional, well-established grape varieties such as Arneis and Favorita for whites, and Nebbiolo, Dolcetto and Freisa for reds. The Nebbiolo is used for making Barolo which is often described as one of Italy's greatest wines.  The Seghesio Langhe is made from 100% Nebbiolo grapes.
When opened I got aromas of sour cherries with some leather and spicy berry, like teaberry. Very complex in the mouth with taste of cherry, licorice, plum and currant, but still very soft and dry. The only downfall was a very short finish.  Paired well with the chicken marsala and not that bad sipping later, but much more preferred with the dinner.
A very nice table wine at $20. Recommended.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Aveleda Follies Touriga Nacional Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

I'll start this post out by saying I know nothing about Touriga Nacional, a native grape of Portugal.  What I do understand is that this grape is used for blends and primarily for port wine and that it is a very small grape with a very low yield, thus making for an expensive wine.  Surprise, Surprise!!  Not expensive at all, at least when I found this 2009 Aveleda Follies Touriga Nacional / Cabernet Sauvignon for only ($10).  What I also found was a big bold blend of 70% Touriga Nacional and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon that rivals almost all Cabernet's I've tasted.
Amazing dark purple color with aromas of toasted coconut, smoked baked ham and some black raspberry with an added hint of vanilla were just too inviting. In the mouth the wine was very dry with taste of blackberry, currants and tobacco and the finish was dry and long with just hints of dark ripe berries. Awesome!
I drank this while munching on pretzels and later with President's Rondele cheese spread, which was passable, but this is a big bold red that begs for grilled beef burgers or a grilled T-bone and at a $10 price tag, a real bargain.  Very highly recommended.