Wine Reviews: Italy

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 01-11-2020

Since last month’s Italian tasting report, I’ve received some more Italian samples to dig into.

This week, I’m focusing on two producers. Enrico Serafino has been producing wine in the Roero subregion of Piedmont for some 140 years. In addition to the traditional white and red table wines of the region, Serafino also makes some Champagne-method sparkling wines. I found the three wines I tasted deliver a lot of classic Piedmont elements, and a lot of quality for their respective price points.

I also received some Tuscan wines from Badia a Coltibuono. This estate in the Chianti hills has been controlled by the same family for five generations, although the winery used to be an abbey that dates back to the 11th Century. All the wines are estate-grown and organic. Like other wines in this portfolio, Badia a Coltibuono delivers some solid Chianti value, and their entry-level wines are fresh, lively and pleasant.

These wines are all imported exclusively by Dalla Terra Winery Direct, which imports a variety of Italian wines direct from wineries. They were received as trade samples and tasted sighted.

2018 Enrico Serafino Grifo del Quartaro Gavi di GaviItaly, Piedmont, Gavi
SRP: $17
Light yellow color. Bright, salty appeal on the nose, with lemon, quince, topped with white pepper and nettle. Crisp and zesty on the palate, but a chalky texture. Nice and pithy with lemon and grapefruit, mixed with saline, floral perfume, and some honeyed, salted almond elements going on. Solid value Gavi here, and it shows a lot of personality, which is not something I’m used to saying about Gavi. (89 points)

2017 Enrico Serafino Langhe Nebbiolo PicotenerItaly, Piedmont, Langhe, Langhe DOC
SRP: $25
Light purple color. A rich, deep, fruit-forward nose of black cherries, red and black currants, with a mix of earth, tar, pepper and violets. Moderate acidity on the palate, some smooth tannins, and lots of plush, ripe black cherry and roasted fig fruit. The concentration and jamminess of the fruit is significant, but there’s also some violets, coffee and grilled herbs to add some other elements. A chewy, riper style of Nebbiolo for early drinking. (87 points IJB)

2015 Enrico Serafino Barolo MonclivioItaly, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
SRP: $40
Medium ruby color. Bright and expressive on the nose with chilled strawberries and red currants, topped with roses, violets, pepper, and oregano notes. The palate shows fresh acidity, moderate tannins but not harsh edges or greenness here. Fresh red cherries and currants, tossed well with earthy, rocky, charcoal notes, along with a pleasant mix of herbs and flowers. This shows a lot of class for a Barolo at this price. It drinks well now, but I’d like to check back in two or three years. (90 points)

2017 Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico RS Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Classico DOCG
SRP $16
Bright ruby color. Smoky and herbal tones kick off the nose (charcoal, tobacco, with soy, rose hips and pepper tones) on top of tangy currants and cherries. Medium/bodied, this wine has a light/dusty tannic frame and tart acidity. Fresh and fun with notes of bright cherries and red currants, topped in rose petals, grilled herbs, tilled soil and charcoal. Fun, early-drinking style Chianti. (87 points IJB)

2017 Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Classico DOCG
SRP: $20
Vibrant aromas of cherries, tangy currants, cranberry sauce, with elements of menthol, roses, spiced tea. Crisp acidity frames the wine nicely, the tannins have structure but round edges, on a medium-bodied frame. Fresh, tangy, red and black currants, topped with tobacco, oregano, soy, earth, with violets and coffee tones. Could use a year or two, but it is accessible now, and opens up nicely, showing some complexity and balance for the price. (87 points IJB)

2016 Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico RiservaItaly, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Classico DOCG
SRP: $36
Pretty aromatics of raspberries, red cherries and red currants, along with menthol, smoky mesquite, tobacco, and spicy dry rub. Smooth texture on the palate, moderate tannic grip, zippy acidity, this is nicely balanced. Shows crunchy, chilled red cherries and currants, with a nice dose of spiced black tea, rose hips, mint chewing tobacco, mulch and earth. Lovely freshness, fresh and bright but solid complexity. This could use two or three years to unwind. (89 points IJB)

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