2005 La Cappuccina Soave Classico

Price: $7.99 @ K&L Wines imported by Vinity Wine Company

What They Said:

Per K&L Wines “The wine is produced from Garganega grapes, harvested during the first ten days of October, carefully selected to insure that only ripe and healthy berries are used for the wine, and pressed softly with a whole-bunch pressing. The must undergoes a static, cold settling and the fermentation temperature is controlled. The wine is then aged for five months in stainless steel tanks. Tastings of older vintages have demonstrated that the wine ages well and attains an even greater complexity. Ripe, rich and opulent in style. Far fuller than most Soaves, and fairly New World in character, it’s got bags of rich flavour with some lovely tropical fruit tones. A classy glassful on its own and a good companion on the dinner table.”

They also said this in the May 2007 newsletter,”The main grape of Soave is garganega, which is believed to be of Greek origin. Citrusy fragrance and floral tones will be found the bouquet of the wine, while the palate is rich with ripe apricot and peaches and a long creamy finish.Try with fresh water fish or grilled poultry.”

What I Think:

For starters I really wanted to like this wine. The story above was very compelling to me. Affordable, Age-able and Italian all seemed like good things. So when it landed in the fridge it did so with higher than average expectations, especially for a grape variety that I had never tried before. After giving it some time to chill we pulled it out and pulled the cork.

To the eye the color looked deep and golden. On the nose my expectations start to look more reasonable. The citrus notes on the nose were overpowering. I’m not sure that you can smell richness or opulence but I sure thought I could with this one. My mind racing, imagining the complexity… On the palate it seemed a bit racy with citrus flavor up front leading to a mineral laced mid-palate and finish. My wife actually thought it taste like beer (Hefeweizen to be exact). For me it tasted slightly Sauvignon Blanc-ish. After my first taste I actually got up from the dinner table and put it back in the fridge as I was worried it may have been a bit to warm as it lacked crispness. Looking at the bottle said that it should be consumed at 50 degrees Fahrenheit. That seems really cold. Upon taking it out a bit more chilled I found some melons aromas and flavors present. I certainly never found the creamy finish which leads me to believe this may benefit from aging. It definitely seemed to be clashing now; perhaps some time to become integrated would be beneficial. As I don’t plan on giving this a second chance I will never know…

Rating: Skip It

2005 Badia di Morrona I Soldi del Paretaio Chianti

Price: $8.99 @ The Wine Club imported by Vinity Wine Company

What They Said:

Per K&L Wines “According to the Wine Spectator: “A soft, fruity red, with juicy plum and berry on a light mineral bed. Simple. Drink now.” (Web only, 2006) 90% Sangiovese, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot.”

What I Think:

Are Italians stubborn? Because I know when it comes to their wines I am. If I were smart I would stick to areas that I am more able to appreciate. That said as friends and the world sing the praises of these wines I feel like I am missing the boat! Nobody wants to be that guy, so I keep trying. Maybe you can only get the good ones if you drop a wad of cash though I don’t think that is the case. My latest strategy was only to pair Italian wines with likewise food so this one was opened to accompany a made from scratch sausage pizza. Check it out if you shop at TJ’s. You get a bag with a ball of pre-made dough, a little bowl of sauce and with the cheese and sausages you are off to the races. I know, not quite made from scratch but that is as close as I am getting. To boot the crust comes in whole wheat crust for those that are more health conscious. So with that in the oven this finds its way into my glass.

Taking a look at the wine it looks medium bodied and colored, the upfront fruit seems to initially be that of black cherries and plums before it gives way to what I think of as the barrel characteristics. I’d describe these along the lines of minty, spicy and tannic. On the palate this wine seems almost backwards. It starts with a heavy mouth of closed tannins that gradually start to show sour cherries before opening up to match the initial aromas. Strange…what does it mean? I have no idea so I drink on. As I put the cork in and grab a bottle of Carmenere from the rack I find myself wondering, why do I keep trying?

On day 2 I pull the cork out and am greeted with the same nose but as the wine meets the tongue it is a whole different story. This is a much better wine. Rich, dark fruit has come to the fore and the wine now seems well integrated. The sour notes of the cherries have disappeared and the mint and tannins appear more pleasantly at the end (which is where I always thought they belonged). Perhaps it need more time in the bottle…

This led me to two new thoughts on Italian wine; maybe they are like left over spaghetti. I always enjoy it more the second day after the flavors have had some time to meld in the fridge. The second going back to my thesis at the top is that these wines should only be had with very authentic Italian food; I am thinking more the sweet savory type. When I tried that with the Nero d’ Avola and the Rubino a few weeks back I was pleased with the result. Being the stubborn man that I am (and I’m not Dr. Suess) I’m sure we will see how this revision effects my results. We won’t be doing so with this bottle though, if you have any ideas of which to try do let me know.

Rating: Skip It