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An Italian Red and An Italian White

Time for two more wines to review, and and we’ll stay in Italy for both of these.  The red is a Brunello from Tuscany in central Italy.  The white is from Campania in southern Italy.  We liked both.  Here are the notes:

CIMG2160Wine:  2011 Beneventano Falanghina        Winery Location:   Campania, Italy

Tasted By:  Neil & Cheri                                        Date:     October 2013

Tasting Notes:        We were looking for a white wine from Italy that would pair well with food, and this varietal was recommended to us by Laurie Forster, The Wine Coach.  I don’t think I’ve ever had a Falanghina before, but if this is any indication, I will be having many more.  This wine is pale golden colored and shows good melon, citrus and pear aromas.  You might guess it’s a good Sauvignon Blanc.  It really shines on the palate though, as those aromas turn to flavors and the wine brings a beautiful minerality to the party as well.  This is not light bodied stuff, but brings some structure that stands up well to food.  Anything fish would work here.  It’s also quite nice to just sip.  We need to try more.

Price Point –    We paid $16, although I am sure it could be had for less if you could find it somewhere else.  I would suggest searching out other vineyards as well, as Falanghina is fairly widely grown in Campania.

Would We Buy It?    Absolutely.  This is an excellent white wine and an excellent food wine.  Not a screaming value at $16 but worth it.

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CIMG2163Wine:   2004 Castel Giocondo Brunello di Montalcino

Winery Location:   Montalcino, Tuscany

Tasted By: Neil & Cheri                          Date:     October 2013

Tasting Notes:     Here we dive further into the small hoard of 2004 Brunello we put away a few years ago.  So far the reviews have been very good, and we have seen big, bold Brunellos and refined and elegant Brunellos.  This one comes in on the refined and elegant side of the house.  It is deep purple red and brings nice berry aromas.  It opens up a bit with some time in the glass.  On the palate it is medium+ bodied and the berry flavors shine.  There is some subtle wood here as well.  Tannins are well integrated, and the wine is really drinking very well right now.  I don’t think we’ll wait too long to open the rest of these.  Overall this is a quality wine.  I like the 2004 Le Lucere better for a big Brunello.  I think I like the 2004 Altesino better for an elegant Brunello, but these are all good.  This was a 94 point wine in Wine Spectator, I believe.  If you put much stock in such things.

Price Point –    Probably around $60 if you can still find it.  We paid about $45.

Would We Buy It?    Probably not at $60+.  While very good it is not my favorite 04 Brunello and the others are all in the same price range or less.  Not to mention the excellent vintages since then  04 (06 for instance) which can be had for less.  Still, a very high quality wine and wonderful to drink.  It just doesn’t make the value list, but that’s hard to do in this price range.

So there you are, two wines of very different color and character.  I would buy the Falanghina again, but I don’t think I’ll restock the Castel Giocondo when it’s gone, unless someone throws out a crazy sale price.  Still, if you buy a bottle of this Brunello you are in for a good experience, so don’t be afraid to try it.

So much wine, so little money and time.

A votre sante!

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