Wine Reviews: Italy

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 01-24-2021

I’m back this week to highlight three Italian producers, two from Piedmont and one from Tuscany.

Tenuta di Arceno, based in southern Chianti Classico, brings a tasty little Super Tuscan to the table. The Gran Selezione is definitely something to check out.

Piedmont stalwart Vietti has a few regional classics. Vietti, whose wines I found available in my early 20s, was one of the producers that introduced me to Piedmont, and they’re still putting out wines that offer a great introduction to these wines at very reasonable prices.

Marchesi di Grésy has been in the di Grésy family since the late 1700s, but it wasn’t until 1973 that they starting making their own wines, instead of selling them to cooperatives. These wines are serious, structured, and, in my opinion, offer serious value.

These wines were received as trade samples and tasted sighted.

2017 Tenuta di Arceno Il Fauno Di Arcanum – Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
SRP: $30
Medium purple color. On the nose, I get tangy red and black currants, roasted figs, juicy and deep, laced with violets, tobacco, inviting earth and clove. Full and suave on the palate, moderate acidity, with bold plum and currant fruit that is juicy but maintains a tangy edge. Laced with cocoa, charcoal, tobacco, mint and menthol. Complex earth and floral tones will continue to come out with time. Really solid value here. Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. (90 points IJB)

2016 Tenuta di Arceno Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Strada al Sasso – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Classico DOCG
SRP: $55
Deep purple color. Enticing and complex aromatic display of tobacco, eucalyptus, mint, rosemary and smoky pencil lead over top of tangy black and red currants. Full-bodied, fresh acid with structured tannins with rounded edges. Black currants and roasted fig fruit blend well with complex violets, tilled soil, leather and cigar shop, with coffee and cedar woven in well. Solid concentration but stays lively as well. This needs air or time or both, but it’s a beauty and brings a ton to the table for the price point. 100% Sangiovese. (92 points IJB)

2019 Vietti Roero Arneis – Italy, Piedmont, Alba, Roero
SRP: $24
Light yellow color. Aromas of peaches, green apples and kiwi, with brisk mountain stream and rocky, slate tones and saline. Pleasantly plump texture on the palate with vibrant acidity and a pure, fruit cocktail of grapefruit, lime and cantaloupe. Notes of honeysuckle, floral perfume and oregano add complexity, and there’s a minty, chalky finish. Focused yet generous, and a lot of complexity, especially given the price. (90 points IJB)

2018 Vietti Barbera d’Asti “Tre Vigne” – Italy, Piedmont, Asti, Barbera d’Asti
SRP: $18
Medium purple color. Jammy red and black cherries, with juicy plums, notes of tobacco, roses, violets and sage. Fresh acidity frames the wine nicely, dusty-light tannins, and flavors of ripe but fresh cherries, plums and figs. Lovely balance with ripe fruit and notes of violets, cola, clay, loamy earth and warm tea. Ripe, fresh and crushable but complex and balanced – solid value. (89 points IJB)

2018 Vietti Langhe Nebbiolo “Perbacco” – Italy, Piedmont, Langhe
SRP: $28
Vibrant aromas of raspberries and tart cherries, covered in smoky earth, rose petals, graphite, slight tones of soy, white pepper and mushroom broth. Fresh and bright on the palate, focused, accessible but has some structure to the tannins as well. Raspberries, cherries and red currants, mixed with savory, floral, spicy tones (clove, anise, spiced tea), with mineral, earthy undertones. Drinking great now. Sourced from 15 different Grand Crus, vinified separately and blended later. Really solid, value-driven baby Barolo here. (91 points IJB)

2018 Tenute Cisa Asinari dei Marchesi di Grésy Barbera d’Asti – Italy, Piedmont, Asti, Barbera d’Asti
SRP: $19
Deep ruby color. Aromas pop with juicy, fresh cherries, topped in violets, clay, tobacco, rose petals. Medium/full-bodied with a chewy tannic texture and medium+ acidity. It has a crunchy red and black cherry profile, with summer plums and pomegranate. Zippy and fun but also needs time to open up and show pepper, dark earth, rose hips and white pepper. A food-friendly but complex wine that really delivers a lot for this price-point. (88 points IJB)

2019 Tenute Cisa Asinari dei Marchesi di Grésy Langhe Nebbiolo Martinenga – Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Langhe DOC
SRP: $26
Light ruby color. Vibrant tones on the nose of roses, violets, clay earth, over chilled strawberries and wild raspberry. Accessible feeling on the palate with moderate tannins, has a plump but refreshing and inviting feel, but shows complexity, too. Bright cherry and sweet raspberry fruit mixes with violets, earth and clay. Delightful, food-friendly, brings a lot to the table for this price point, and is ready to drink but could hold for a few as well. (90 points IJB)

2017 Tenute Cisa Asinari dei Marchesi di Grésy Barbaresco Martinenga – Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
SRP: $65
Beautiful light ruby color. The aromas need time, but this is full of floral, spicy, leathery and earth tones, over top of red currants and tart plums. Bright acidity on the palate, nice grip, and lots of high-toned red fruits (tart cherries, red currants and pomegranate). Notes of menthol, pepper, potting soil add complexity. With air this shows more and more savory tones, black tea, black olive, leather. Pretty young Barbaresco that should show great in five years, but still has personality, elegance and accessibility while young. (92 points IJB)

Comments are closed.