I’ve got a few more travelogues and recipes I’m working on, as well as a requested primer to differentiate sugo, ragu, and gravy!   In the meantime, these recent bottles provided enjoyment.

1999 Siro Pacenti Brunello di Montalcino:

This monster Brunello is inky black and completely opaque.  It looks like it’s a barrel sample, not something that is 12 years old.  The nose on this puppy is complex though, which can only develop with aging.  Dark black fruits mingle nicely with sweet pipe tobacco, reduced leaves, licorice, warm earth and herbs. In the mouth the wine is viscous and ripe, with loads of concentrated ripe fruit flavor, moderate acids and zippy acidity. Definitely more of a full extracted style of Brunello, but for those that doubt whether this style can age, they should taste this.  Drink now or over the next 5 years.   Approximately 91-93 points.
1995 Carruades de Lafite, Bordeuax – Pauillac:
A French wine on an Italian website?!?!   Surely you jest, you say!  Well, if there’s one thing the French do well, it’s wine.  And this is one of those cases. Not decanted, but opened about 45 minutes before dinner. In the glass the wine has a wonderful dark reddish purple color. Belies its age. The nose is classic Bordeaux. I don’t quite pinpoint that one unique aroma, but it’s a melding of sorts that all Bordeaux have – and there is no mistaking where this wine is from. There’s black fruits, cedar, tobacco, and that overall Bordeaux smell. On the palate, the wine seems less true to its roots. It’s got concentrated ripe fruit, a wonderful mouthfeel, not lean at all. Almost Napa-esque in it’s texture. The sweet pipe tobacco frames the fruit nicely, but even at 16 years of age, this seems very primary. The acids in the wine hint more at it’s European pedigree. Solid, but not overwhelming tannins. This wine is delicious, and ready to go. Drink over the next 5-10 years with no problems. Approx 91-93 points.  

2007 Domenice Clerico Dolcetto d’Alba Visadi:

Straight from the Langhe hills.  This is one of the best Dolcetto I’ve ever had – period!  There are several places where Dolcetto come from, although all are from Piemonte, in Northwest Italy. However, of all the communes where the grape is grown, the best come from Alba. 

This wine is inky purple in the glass, and the legs and color stick to the glass. The nose is pure crushed fresh berries, with lilac, lavendar, and smokey aromas. A joy to smell. On the palate, the wine is fleshy, silky, with crushed berry fruit, spice and a slight smokiness to the plummy velvety fruit. Acids keep it fresh and lively. Paired very well with spaghetti with garlic, hot peppers, basil and bread crumbs.  92 points.

Until the next.  Ci vediamo!

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