The Rombone vineyard is within the Treiso subregion of Barbaresco in Piemonte. Here’s a link to a map that goes into exquisite detail. Treiso is a cooler subregion of Barbaresco with an average altitude of around 350 metres according to the producer, and together with Pajoré, Rombone is of one of its best vineyards. 2014 is a lighter vintage (you can read further vintage references here). In the glass, this nebbiolo wine from Figli Luigi Oddero has aromas of damp cherry and a brooding expression. The palate has chalky but firm tannins with hints of ripeness, the acidity is high and the wine is full bodied. This wine is quite coiled at this stage of its development, and would suit further cellaring of 3-5 years. Rating: Good to Very Good. Website: http://www.figliluigioddero.it/. Reviewed: June 2020.
This sangiovese, a Rosso di Montalcino, has aromas of earth, cherry and a slight funkiness. The palate is full bodied and approachable now. Overall, this presented as a modest if pleasant wine, certainly with no angles, but I expected more depth and complexity at this price. Rating: Acceptable. Price: $50s. Abv: NA. Website: https://www.sanfilippomontalcino.com/estate.html. Reviewed: May 2020.
This is an orthodox expression of Chianti Classico that would be a good choice for a blinding tasting. It has a refined aroma of licorice and earth. The palate has high acidity, medium tannins and medium length. Perhaps lacking some stuffing, but elegant and pleasant. Ready to drink now and over the next 5 years. Rating: Good. Abv: NA. Price: $35. Website: https://www.felsina.it/en/. Reviewed: May 2020.
A negroamoro from Puglia in southern Italy, this wine opens to an extravagantly rich nose of spices, garrigue and pepper. The palate is full bodied and the fruit savoury, with medium tannins. Raisin and currants emerge with air. Suitable for current drinking and good value at $15. Rating: Good. Abv: NA. Price: $15 . Website: NA. Reviewed: May 2020.
This is an excellent Barolo from Pira and the 2011 vintage. It opens to attractive aromas of licorice and earth, The palate is full bodied, the tannins very firm and the finish is long with attractive sour cherry characters. Yes. Approachable now or over the next decade or more. Rating: Very Good. Abv: 14.5. Price: $80. Website: https://www.piraluigi.it/en/. Reviewed: May 2020.
From Brezza and the 2011 vintage, this Barolo weighs in at 15abv. It has aromatics of ripe, savoury plums and a touch of fruit cake. The tannins on the palate are very firm, the acidity high and at times the wine is warming in impression. This wine may improve further with a few more years in the cellar, but can be approached now. Rating: Good. Abv: 15.0. Price: $80. Website: https://www.brezza.it/en/. Reviewed: May 2020.
This is a pleasant, moreish Tuscan sangiovese with aromas of licorice. The palate is medium bodied and the tannins medium-high. Overall, this wine is not an intense expression of sangiovese and is ready to drink now. Rating: Good. Abv: 13.5. Price: $20. Website: NA. Reviewed: April 2020.
From Pira, this Barolo is from Serralunga and the 2014 vintage. It presents itself in an austere manner, with aromas of earth and old cedar. The palate is full bodied with medium tannins and good balance. The wine opens up with air, but will be best approached again in 5 years. Rating: Good. Abv: 14.5. Price: $80. Website: https://www.piraluigi.it/en/. Reviewed: April 2020.
This is a rather deliciously drinkable vermintino from Tuscany. It has a saline aroma. Its palate is full bodied and has a fresh minerally acidity that cuts through and supports it. Ready to drink now. Rating: Good. Abv: 13. Price: $18. Website: NA. Reviewed: April 2020.
This is a very enjoyable aglianico from Pipoli and the Aglianico del Vulture appellation in southern Italy. It has savoury, plum fruit aromas. The palate is medium bodied with pleasingly grippy and chewy medium tannins. Balanced and ready to drink now, this wine over delivers for its modest price. Rating: Good. Abv: NA. Price: $17. Website: NA. Reviewed: April 2020.