2006 Donna Laura Bramosia Chianti Classico

2006 Donna Laura Bramosia Chianti ClassicoPrice: $14.99 @ Vintage Wine & Spirits imported by Banville & Jones

What They Said:

Per Banville & Jones “With a deep ruby color and intense aromas of cherry and red fruit, this Chianti Classico balances ripe fruit and acidity with well integrated accents of wood and spice. A great match with roasted meats and flavorful pastas, this wine is also delicious to sip on its own without food.”

I also found this from the Wine Spectator “This shows slightly cooked fruit character on the nose and palate, with a medium body and a simple finish. Drink now. 5,000 cases made.” – JS

What I Think:

On Saturday we decided to make pizza and headed down to town to grab the makings. Being in the mood for an Italian wine other than what I had in the house I decided to cross the street and grab a bottle from the local wine store. I walked in and asked them for their favorite everyday Italian, when they handed me this one I had my reservations (given the price point) but decided to roll the dice anyway…

How did it go? Cherry and herb notes greet you on the nose and welcome you on the palate as well. Good acidity emerges to deliver a balanced, food friendly wine. The finish is short with hints of cedar on top of soft tannins. This is a simple, easy drinking wine. At the end of the day I got exactly what I asked for when I walked into the store. While I found it enjoyable, for $15 I also found it to be overpriced. Lesson learned! Next time I need to do a better job communicating my expectations…

Rating: Pricey

2008 Italo Cescon Pinot Grigio

2008 Italo Cescon Pinot GrigioPrice: $14.99 @ Vintage Wine & Spirits imported by Bacco Wine & Spirit

What They Said:

Per Italo Cescon “A deep yellow, straw-like color. Intense aroma with slight hints of nutmeg, peach, and acacia. A dry, fresh wine with strong, fruity overtones and orange peel. It has a rich, persistent flavor. Is best served with seafood dishes.”

What I Think:

After a haircut I was wandering around town and the magnet drew me into the local wine shop. Given that I hadn’t come in for anything in particular I asked the folks there to share their favorites under $20 with me. This is one of those they identified as being a staff favorite, so even though a bit pricey for me, I decided to give it a go. This one is light in color and shows some bubbles in the glass. On the nose I get mostly floral aromas with hints of lemon. The front of the palate is crisp and clean with stony white fruit flavors appearing towards the middle. From there the zingy acid and mineral component come to the fore leading into a finish that shows notes of nutmeg. This is a pleasant wine for sipping on a warm afternoon.

As I was writing this post I came to a realization that while I find most Pinot Grigio’s from Italy very agreeable they rarely capture my full attention. As I followed this thought a bit further I was reminded of memories of fantastic Pinot Blanc’s I’ve had from the Alsace (disclaimer: As long time readers know I have a soft spot for the region). Once upon a time, Trader Joe’s had a fantastic Marcel Hugg offering from the region which I enjoyed immensely. I’ll have to grab another offering from the area soon. Let me know if anyone has any recommendations.

Rating: Pricey

2008 Domaine de la Fouquette Rosee d’Aurore

Price: $14.99 @ Vintage Wine & Spirits imported by Wine Agencies

What They Said:

2008 Domaine de la Fouquette Rosee d'AurorePer K&L Wines “A lovely wine from a beautiful part of France, the 35-acre Domaine de la Fouquette sits at the heart of the Cotes de Provence appellation. This is an environmentally friendly estate that works without chemicals and hand harvests entirely. The cepage is 65% Grenache and 30% Cinsault. A small amount of the white grape Rolle (5% – aka Vermentino in Italy) is added, elevating the citrus aromatics and acidity.”

What I Think:

I’m still searching for my summer Rose. With none in the house I decided to stop by Vintage Wine & Spirits, one of my local shops here in Mill Valley, and this was their pick. A bit pricey for an every weekend sipper for me but given it was from Provence I was willing to give it a try.

I’d normally call this salmon but it was amazingly pale in color (which I hope I captured in the picture). Loads of delicate strawberry notes on an aromatic nose rolled out the welcome mat. Though the color was light the body was medium. The strawberries were joined by citrus notes early on the palate before they were met with a bracing, refreshing acidity. Mineral notes shined through on a dry crisp finish. A nice bottle for sure but not worthy of splurging on all summer long. Anyone have any Rose recommendations around $10 for me?

Rating: Pricey