Authentic Wines from the Indigenous Grapes of Sicily and Southern Italy

Italy has many indigenous red grape varieties used for making wine including several lesser known ones in Sicily, Campania, and Molise reviewed here: Perricone, Corinto Nero, Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio, Tintilia, and Aglianico.  These are wines of character and a welcome change to the common French varieties. In this article we review several excellent examples of wines made from these Italian grape varieties. For more on the wines of this part of Italy see our full reports on Sicily and Southern Italy.  This is the second in our series of articles on the top wines of Italy; the first was Top Wines of Northern Italy: Tuscany, Veneto, Friuli and the Piedmont. Continue reading

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Great Godello from Galicia

Once relegated to wine history’s dustbin, Godello has been resuscitated in its Galician homeland and is slowly gaining fame as Spain’s best full-bodied white, often  compared to Chenin Blanc, but when oak-aged it also bears a semblance to white Burgundy. It’s mainly grown in the Valdeorras region of Galicia as well as in Bierzo, which lies just over the Galician border in Castilla y Leon. Godello is not produced in large quantities, and it won’t be found on grocery store shelves, but it’s (still) very reasonably priced and definitely worth seeking out by lovers of good wines. Continue reading

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Drew Winery:  Brilliant Winemaking in the Mendocino Ridge and Anderson Valley

Drew Winery is the leading producer of Pinot Noir in the Mendocino Ridge AVA, a unique elevation-based coastal growing area in California’s far northern coast.  The winery is owned and operated by Jason and Molly Drew who founded their winery in 2000 and built their estate winery in 2005 on an old 26 acre apple orchard situated at 1250 ft. elevation and a mere 3.3 miles from the Pacific Ocean.  Establishing a winery on this site was a daunting project, but the Drews were up to the challenge. Indeed, since then, their operation has grown steadily and successfully produced some of the finest cool climate Pinot Noirs in California. In this article, we review the exciting winemaking of Drew Winery in the Mendocino Ridge AVA. Continue reading

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Top Wines from Northern Italy: Tuscany, Veneto, Friuli, and the Piedmont

 

Readers who enjoy the best of Italian wine will want to focus on our reviews below of outstanding new releases from northern and central Italian producers.   We provide the names of importers for consumers needing information on where to purchase these wines. For more on these regions, see our full reports on Collio, Roero, Soave, Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, and Amarone on www.iwinereview.com.

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Posted in Amarone, Countries and Regions, Friuli, Friuli, Red Wine, Uncategorized, White Wine, Wine Type | Leave a comment

Casal de Armán’s Current Releases from Galicia’s Ribeiro D.O.

Casal de Armán is a family owned winery with 20 hectares of its own vineyards in the historic valley of the Avia River in the Ribeiro Denominación de Orígen (DO) in Galicia. The vineyards are terraced with heights ranging from 650-1500 feet above sea level including 100-year-old, abandoned terraced vineyards, which the family is in the process of recovering.  With granite-based sábrego and schist soils, the vineyards are dedicated to cultivating indigenous varietals including white varieties, Treixadura principally, Godello, Albariño, Loureiro and also reds, Brancellao, Caiño Longo and Souson. The grapes are handpicked and 100% of their wines are estate fruit. Felicísimo Pereira, the new Ribeiro Appellation’s president and Javier González Vázquez are the winemakers at Casal de Armán.  For more on the wines of Galicia, see our recent report on Rias Baixas.   Continue reading

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Trapiche Winery: Argentina’s Oldest and Finest

Trapiche is one of Argentina’s oldest and finest wineries.  Since its establishment in 1883 it has experienced phenomenal growth in parallel with the Argentine wine industry and today produces more than 3 million cases of wine annually in all price categories.  It is also the country’s largest exporter of wine by volume with placements in over 80 countries.  While best known for its outstanding Malbecs, Trapiche also produces a large volume of high value Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and other varieties. In this article we review Trapiche’s finest premium wines offered at different quality-price ratios, most of which are available in the US market.  First some relevant background information on the winery. Continue reading

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Sweet and Red Vermouth from Italy, Spain and America

Vermouth is growing in popularity, especially among younger people looking for a lower alcohol alternative to spirits.  Among all Vermouths, sales of red, or sweet, Vermouth are growing fastest.  While it can be used as a mixer for cocktails like Negroni and Manhattan, it’s increasingly drunk neat or on the rocks with an olive or a twist of orange citrus. And that’s how we taste them in this article that reviews sweet Vermouths made in Italy, Spain and America.  Vermouths that offer very good quality for a low price are designated exceptional value. For reviews of dry and white Vermouths, see our recent article. Continue reading

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Ringing in 2021 with Vintage Dated Ports

La Verre do Porto by John Singer Sargent

Ports are perfect for the Holidays, both for drinking by the fire and for giving to special friends. In this article, we report on some of our favorite vintage dated Ports. They include:  Vintage Ports, Single Quinta Vintage Ports, and Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) Ports. Vintage Ports are great wines, but they are also firmly structured.  Young ones from the recent trifecta of consecutive stellar vintages (2016-17-18) need to be cellared for several years, so they’re best for giving to serious Port lovers who have the patience (and cellar) to age them.  Older Vintage Ports and vintage dated LBVs are best for consuming now. Fortunately, LBVs are very reasonably priced, too. Continue reading

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The Farm Winery: 2016 Releases from Paso Robles

The Farm Winery is one of our favorite wineries in the Paso Robles AVA.   It’s owned and operated by old friends and Stanford Business School alumni Jim Madsen and veteran Argentine winemaker, Santiago Achaval.  Launched in 2009,  it produces small quantities of outstanding wine from  low-yielding estate vineyards located in the westside hills at an average altitude of 1700 and 1900 feet.  The wines are primarily blends of Bordeaux and Rhone varieties and are made for aging. Continue reading

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Orgo: Premium Artisanal Wines from Georgia

Giorgi (Gogi) Dakishivili is one of Georgia’s pioneering modern-artisanal winemakers.  He’s best known today for his own label, Orgo, made using traditional techniques, including fermenting in qvevri (large, buried clay vessels).  These wines are some of the most highly sought after Georgian wines. He also makes the wines with his son Temur at the family winery (Dakishivili Vineyards) in Telavi. Continue reading

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