This is a sound Soave Classico from Zeni, and a blend of garganega and trebbiano. In the glass, there are aromas of peach and cedar which gives a chardonnay like impression. The palate is medium bodied and dry, with some residual sugar. Pleasant enough, this wine will suit current drinking. Rating: Good. Abv: 12.5%. Price: $16. Website: https://www.zeni.it/en/. Reviewed: November 2019.
This is a good wine at a fair price. Lightly coloured in the glass, the 2017 vintage of Antinori’s Peppoli Chianti Classico has typical sangiovese aromas of sour cherry and licorice. The palate has firm tannins and good length. This wine can be approached now, but will suit a couple of years in the cellar. Rating: Good. Abv: 13.5%. Price: $27. Website: https://www.antinori.it/en/. Reviewed: October 2019.
This is a good value Chianti at $19. It has typical sangiovese aromas of sour cherry and earth, and a palate with fresh acidity, firm but not hard tannins, and little evident oak influence. Ready to drink now, this wine can be approached over the next few years. Rating: Good. Abv: 13%. Price: $19. Website: https://www.cecchi.net/en.
Villa Antinori’s Toscano Rosso continues to be a great value wine. The 2015 vintage is quite the blend, featuring sangiovese, cabernet sauvignon, petit verdot, syrah and merlot. Yet it retains a sense of place, and is identifiably Italian in style in the glass. The 2015 vintage is deeply coloured in the glass, with aromas of earth, blackcurrant and cedar. The palate is savoury and has good balance and length. Rating: Good to Very Good. Abv: 13.5%. Price: $20+. Website: www.antinori.it.
This is a good quality Prosecco D.O.C. from La Marca. It has aromatics of savoury apple and earth. The palate has a frothy mousse, the finish is off-dry and its component parts are in balance. Rating: Good. Abv: 11%. Price: $25. Website: danmurphys.com.au. Source: Sample.
From Friuli in Italy’s north west, this pinot grigio opens to sweet smelling aromas of apple skins, green mango and herbs. The palate is dry with a fullish body and is a linear, stoney expression of pinot grigio. Good length on the finish and not bad value for $18. Rating: Good. Abv: 12.0%. Price: $18. Website: na.
This is a good Langhe nebbiolo from Benevelli, particularly at $28. An aroma of sour cherry, chalk and potpourri. Fruity, for nebbiolo. The palate has good length, firm acidity and a youthful spritz. A quibble: one bottle corked (four tasted). Rating: Good to Very Good. Abv: 14%. Price: $28. Website: n/a.
This is a very serious Bolgheri cabernet blend from Grattamacco in Tuscany. Organically grown, it’s a blend of 60% cabernet sauvignon, 20% cabernet franc, 10% merlot and 10% sangiovese. In the glass, it is a hypothetical cross between a Napa Valley cabernet and a Bordeaux from an outstanding year. In terms of aroma, there’s plenty of new oak and cassis. The palate has saturated flavours of blackcurrant and bay leaf and is supplemented by firm tannins. This wine is an outstanding example of a Tuscan cabernet blend and is but a baby tasted in 2018. It will benefit, I expect, from at least a decade in the cellar. Rating: Outstanding. Abv: 14.0%. Price: $100+.
From the 2012 vintage, this is a very good expression of sangiovese from Tenuta Buon Tempo in Brunello di Montalcino in Tuscany. A medium intensity ruby colour in the glass, the wine opens to aromas of chocolate, earth, licorice and dried cranberries. The palate is full bodied, with quite firm but very fine tannins, high acidity and a long, earthy and savoury finish. This wine can be approached now (a good decant is recommended) or cellared and approached over the next decade. Rating: Very Good. Abv: 14.5%. Price: $80.
This Valpolicella from Allegrini is bottled under screwcap and opens to restrained aromatics of red fruits and sour cherry. The palate is medium bodied and fruity with quite firm acidity and a short length finish. Overall, this is a wine to be consumed in its youth and is pleasant enough. Quite prominent acidity sees some loss of balance. Rating: Acceptable. Abv: 13%. Price: $30.