A Pair of Divas From Italy…

Sassoregale Maremma Toscana (DOC) is fun to say, but even more fun to taste with its cherry/berry spiciness. The Maremma region is in the South of Tuscany and home to some of the best Sangiovese anywhere. Salute!  18.00

Sassoregale 2015 Sangeovese & Feudo Zitari Nero D’Avola/Syrah

2014 Feudo Zirtari Nero D’Avola/Syrah is loaded with richly flavored red fruit and spice. Stainless steel in production allows authentic fruit character to emerge. Molto Buono!  14.00

Chianti Classicos–Mamma Mia

Chianti Classico comes from the heart of the original Chianti region in Tuscany–and yes, location (as in real estate) matters. Santa Margherita 2014 Chianti Classico brings together 85% Sangiovese and 15% Merlot/Cabernet to produce complex and authentic aromas and flavors. Think big tannins, earthy cherry/plum flavors.  23.00

Lamole di Lamole Chianti Classico. 2014 & Santa Margherita Chianti Classico 2014

Lamole di Lamole 2014 Chianti Classico is 80% Sangiovese, 10% Cab, 10% Merlot comes  across with heady aromas, smooth oak, and a mouthful of berries. Classic, indeed.  18.00

Great Malbec is Where You Find It

If you are a red wine drinker and you haven’t sampled a few Malbecs, it’s time to get onboard with the classic red varietal. Historically associated with France (Cahors), Malbec is a key component of many Bordeaux wines. Today, Malbec can be found in vineyards around the world where it is produced as a straight varietal rather as a blending grape. Nowhere has Malbec become more successful than in Chile and Argentina. In fact, Malbec is essentially the red grape of Argentina–where it thrives in high altitude vineyards. Argentine Malbec tends to be big, and rich. Chilean Malbec tends to be a bit lighter and more delicate. It’s hard not to find a bargain when you’re shopping for a South American Malbec:

Argentina’s Trivento Reserve Malbec, 2016: nicely balanced, smooth tannins, soft finish, 11.00

Trivento Golden Reserve Malbec, 2016: intense fruit, rich and juicy, with solid tannins, 21.00

Trivento Reserve Malbec & Trivento Golden Reserve Malbec

Chilean Casillero del Diablo, 2016: loaded with dark fruit and spice, well balanced, 12.00

Also from Chile: Gran Reserva Malbec, 2015: rich in color, aroma, and flavor, mellow tannins, 17.00

Casillero del Diablo Malbec & Gran Reserva Malbec

Two Pinot Grigios–Two Very Different Experiences

Pinot Grigio has been around forever in Europe–it’s a relative newcomer to the USA. But American wine growers didn’t waste anytime figuring out how to make the best of this little varietal (Italians call it Pinot Grigio, the French call it Pinot Gris–it all mean the same: “little gray”) The interesting thing is comparing the distinct differences between Italian Pinot Grigio and American Pinot Grigio.

2016 White Knight Pinot Grigio, from Delle Venezie in Northeastern Italy, displays typical Italian peach and apricot notes and then finishes off with signature European dryness and minerality, 12% ABV.  12.00

2016 MooBuzz Pinot Grigio originates in Paso Robles–a hot climate known for very ripe, sugar-laden fruit (which generally translates into higher ABV). Moobuzz shows plenty of fruit and a touch of sweetness–backed up with a little tartness, 13.5% ABV   17.00

2016 Moobuzz Pinot Grigio & 2016 White Knight Pinot Grigio