Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Recommended New Releases from Italy

We have a wide selection, including kosher wines.

Notes on some new Italian releases I've tasted recently:

2010 Alois Lageder Muller-Thurgau (IGT Dolomiti)
Alois Lageder is one of Alto Adige's finest and most innovative wine producers and his wine reflect the charm of this gentle, thoughtful man. I've loved his Muller-Thurgau for some years now and the new 2010 release is another gem. This is a medium-bodied wine that's very refreshing with melon, green apple and jasmine aromas and a clean, dry finish with lively acidity. This is exactly the sort of wine you'll want for the warmer temperatures and it's delicious and light as a feather. The $15 price tag makes this a nice value.

2011 Fattoria Ambra Vin Ruspo Rosato di Carmignano
Talk about a perfect summer wine! Here is a first-rate rosé from Fattoria Ambra, one of the top producers in the Carmignano zone of Tuscany. A blend of 80% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet and 10% Canaiolo, this has one of the deepest colors of any rosé I've ever seen - basically candy apple red - and it's got amazing freshness, as this tastes like the fruit fell off the tree (or vine) last week. It's loaded with ripe red cherry fruit, has very good concentration and lively acidity. Try this with a pasta salad in the days ahead. $13.

2010 Tenuta Luisa Ribolla Gialla (Isonzo DOC)
Ribolla Gialla - or sometimes simply Ribolla - is a white indigenous variety planted in several zones in the Friuli region. This is a medium-bodied version, dry and quite flavorful with interesting aromas of Anjou pear, saffron and kiwi. Nicely balanced with very good complexity and varietal character, this is ideal with vegetable risotto or lighter seafood. It's a subtle white, so go easy on the seasoning in your cooking when pairing dishes with this wine. $21.

2010 Centonze Frappato (IGT Sicilia)
There is a wonderful Sicilian red called Cerasuolo di Vittora that is a blend of Nero d'Avola and Frappato; the former grape gives the wine its richness and color while the latter adds fragrance and acidity. Here is a 100% Frappato with all sorts of charms, displaying fresh strawberry and red currant fruit and a finish with very light tannins and tart acidity. Here is a red that is great chilled (give it 15-20 minutes in the refrigerator); enjoy on its own or with pasta salad, eggplant of even simple fried chicken! $18.

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