“Now THAT’S Italian!”

This past Saturday, Kara and I hit up Cin-Cin Wine Bar in Los Gatos with our friends Dave and Kara Thevegetarian for another one of their HUGE tasting events.

The theme?

Italian Wine…

Hecka Italian

Dave’s dad always says, “Italians invented wine!”

I’m pretty sure that’s not true, but one could make the argument that they did a good job perfecting it.

Let’s take a look…

First... Table 4

La Colombera Bricco Bartolomeo 2010 ($20): This white wine was all about the citrus fruit.  Tons of lemon and orange with a good hit of minerality.  86+

Poderi Foglia Conca Bianco 2010 ($21): Another white wine.  Totally different profile.  White peach.  Soil.  Lime.  86+

Cantine Del Indie Vino Rosso di Popolo 2010 ($18): The nose on this wine is a trip.  It smells like candy corn.  Straight up.  Candy.  Corn.  I asked Kara, Dave, and Kara if they were getting that aroma too.  They were all, “No.”  But, on the real… That’s what it smells like.  Not very Italian.  On the palate, this red was light in body.  It brought some good, spicy tires and red licorice.  88

Podri Foglia Conca Rosso 2009 ($24): This red wine has a wicked butter cream nose.  It totally caught me off guard, but it was kinda nice.  Loaded with condensed red fruit and spicy tires.  88+

Not a bad start…

Second... Table 1

Vietti Nebbiolo Perbacco 2008 ($27): On the nose, the Vietti brought this great tomato soup aroma.  After I mentioned that to Dave, he got mad at me.  He is the only Italian guy I know who hates tomatoes.  I, on the other hand, LOVE tomato soup.  On the palate, this wine brought a balanced attack of chocolate, tomato leaf, spice, and chalk.  This is a dope wine.  90+

Piancornello Poggio dei Lecci Sant’ Antimo 2010 ($24): This wine is primarily Sangiovese.  Cocoa and pepper pop on this nose.  Bell pepper and raspberry on the palate.  89

Cleto Chiarli Lambrusco di Grasparossa di Castelvetro, Amable, NV ($12): Here’s the thing about Lambrusco.  It’s basically Manischewitz with bubbles.  It’s fun.  You’ve got the nose-tickling frizzante action.  You’ve got concord grape juice with a hint of blackberries.  It’s just fun.  85

On to the next table…

The Next Table... Table 3

Nino Franco Rustica Prosecco di Valdobiaddene, NV ($15): From bubbles to bubbles… This Prosecco brought a great, crisp, palate-cleansing acidity of lemons and minerality.  Simple and fresh.  86+

Bertani Velante Pinot Grigio, Veneto, 2009 ($10): With a nice nose of fresh bread, this Pinot Grigio brings clean flavors of lemon and stone.  85+

Hofstatter Meczan Pinot Nero, Alto Adige 2009 ($21): This Italian Pinot Noir tastes like it sounds.  Leather.  Cherry.  Acid.  Spice.  Earthy nose.  Good stuff.  88+

Trerose Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2007 ($20): A really nice Earthy nose with loads of cherry.  On the palate, this Vino Nobile brought it with big, bright cherry, soil, and spice components.  I looked over at Dave, and he was all, “Now THAT’S Italian!”  I could not agree more.  90

Le Ragose Ripasso Valpolicella 2007 ($29): Ripasso is kind of a fun wine.  It’s a Valpolicella that has been run across some Amarone.  The nose was a cross between raisins (from the Amarone) and band aids (from the drug store).  On the palate, this Ripasso brought some concentrated bright cherries and notes of soil.  Good stuff.  90

On to the last table…

Last... Table 2

Contadi Castaldi Franciacorta Brut NV ($29): Yeasty lemon peel on the nose.  Crisp acidity and minerality on the palate with hints of brioche.  87

Decugnano Dei Barbi Orvieto Classico il Bianco ($25): Look… When you taste this many wines in one sitting, some become instantly forgettable.  My note book says, “Floral nose.  Creamy –> Lemon Acidity”.  I did not write a score.  Take this however you would like.

Renzo Masi Rufina Chianti Riserva 2008 ($15): This Chianti was easily the best deal of the tasting.  Mushroom.  Cherries.  Fennel.  90+ points.  Keep an eye out for this one.

San Fabiano Calcinaia Cerviolo Rosso 2007 ($39): This Super Tuscan is made of Sangiovese and Merlot.  The nose is loaded full of big cherry fruit and tires.  On the palate, it is a chalky, Earthy beast with red fruit goodness.  Fantastic!  91

Azelia Margheria Barolo 2006 ($83): On the nose, this Barolo brings soil, raspberries, and cherries.  On the palate, this wine is all about subtlety and nuance.  Spice.  Tomato skin.  cherry.  Bell pepper.  The wine of the day.  91+

As we were bouncing around to the different tables, we discovered a few dessert wines that we wanted to save for last.  Here they are…

Mionetto il Moscato NV ($12): It’s a fun melon.  That’s it.  86

Badia a Coltibuono, Vin Santo, 2005 ($38): This Vin Santo reminds me a lot of that Yalumba sticky I had a while back.  Nutty toffee and coffee on the nose.  Sweet espresso on the palate.  This is the goopy stuff that drives me wild when it comes to dessert wines.  Love it.  90+

All in all, this was a fun event.

Maybe Italians did invent wine…

Stay Rad,



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4 Responses to ““Now THAT’S Italian!””

  1. D'Arnold Says:

    “Maybe Italians did invent wine…” My dad will be incredibly happy to hear that you’re coming around to his way of thinking. Speaking of Italian dads, you should ask Marcello who invented wines. Something tells me I already know his answer.

  2. ReThink Lambrusco (@SeccoAndRed) Says:

    “Here’s the thing about Lambrusco. It’s basically Manischewitz with bubbles.”

    In Emilia (Italy), Lambrusco is actually bone to off-dry – not sugary sweet.

    “Manischewitz” 🙂 versions are mostly made for export markets.

    While it was almost impossible to find this type of Lambrusco (min. 10.5% alc.) in the USA up until about 5 years ago, one can now find these Lambrusco styles, labeled ‘secco’, in select specialty wine stores.

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