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by Tom Hill

A self-admitted wine geek, Tom lives in Northern New Mexico and works as a computational physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory doing numerical neutron transport & large scale code development. He has been tasting wines since 1971, participates locally with a couple of large tasting groups in his area, and is practically a fixture at most California wine festivals, such as the Hospice du Rhône, Rhône Rangers, and ZAP. Other interests: Tom is heavily into competitive sport fencing (foil & epee), biking, cooking, basketball, skiing, backpacking, mountain climbing.

A few Italian Wines - September 17, 2008


We tasted last night (9/17/08) a Few Italian Wines:

  1. DeFalco Vini DOC: Penisola Sorrentina Gragnano (11.5%; EB) San Sebastiano al Vesuvio 2004: Dark purple color; strong very grapey rather dusty/earthy/walnutty Lambrusco-like bit bretty
    nose; slight frizzante rather metallic/earthy very sour/tangy slight hot-climate/goat pen slight cherry flavor; med.long tangy/very sour slightly off-dry rather bretty/unclean/goat pen bit metallic finish w/ some tannins; pretty rough & rustic wine. Rather pleasant nose but unpleasantly sour/ tangy on the palate; like biting down on a strip of aluminum foil and feeling the electric current. $17.00
  2. Mustilli DOC: Sannio Piedirosso (12%) 2004: Med.color; deep grapey/berry light toasty/oak
    some earthy slight volatile nose; tart/sour slight metallic earthy/goat pen some toasty/oak
    bit bretty slight briary/berry/spicy flavor; med.long some sour rather toasty/oak bit tannic
    finish; a rough/rustic hot-climate red. $19.00
  3. Az.Agr. d'Uva Angelo DOC: Tintilia del Molise (13.5%) 2004: Very dark color; strong grapey/
    earthy some new oak attractive boysenberry/Syrah/Oz-like nose; soft lush/blackberry/Syrah-like
    some toasty/oak rather spicy/peppery very NewWorld flavor; very long/lush blackberry/Syrah-like
    rather spicy/briary/grapey finish w/ some tannins; quite a nice wine but more like Calif Syrah
    than Italian rustic. $24.00

And a wee BloodyPulpit:

These Italian oddities came from (of course) my latest foray into Roberto's WineExpo. The
Gragnano is supposedly also from the Piedirosso grape variety, named for the red markings
on it's trunk. Both of them spoke of hot-climate growing and both had a distinct sour/tangy
quality on the palate (as distinguished from tart/acidity). By themselves, not very attractive
but OK w/ the cheese and probably fine w/ a pizza. Don't think I've ever had a wine from Molise before. This one was from their signature grape, Tintilia. It's apparently their native grape and not related to any other known variety, at this time, anyway. Though rather NewWorld in style, I thought the wine was quite tasty and reminded me a lot of Calif Syrah more than anything. I'd like to try more wines from Tintilia.


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