Thursday, January 29, 2015

Masseria Venditti Sannio Rosso

Masseria Venditti Sannio Rosso 2010
Sannio, Campania, Italy

I've had this Italian red in my stash for a few years now, and finally decided to give it a go. I'm quite pleased with the results!

Review: This dark brick-hued red has rich aromas of stewed cherries and strawberries, wild herbs, and red licorice. On the palate it is dry with soft, ripe tannins. Red fruit flavors are joined by a hint of balsamic, and toasted walnut. 

I love the depth of flavor achieved here, while still maintaining a lovely lightness. Some of the notes -- the balsamic and super ripe fruit in particular -- remind me of the "rancio" flavors you'd find in vin doux naturals of Southern France. Absolutely delicious.  

Antica Masseria Venditti is a historic producer in Campania, dating back to 1595. This wine is made from a blend of native grapes: Montepulciano, Sciascinoso (known locally as Olivella), and Aglianico. The region of Sannio may be a bit off the beaten path for American consumers -- in fact, much isn't distributed in the states -- but if you can find its wines I highly recommend.

Food Pairing: Marinated veggies and salty cheese.

Bottom Line: I'm delighted by this wine. Light body, savory flavors, and perfect for food. Couldn't ask for more.

Wine Geekery:
  • VINTAGE: 2010
  • PLACE: Sannio DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata)  -  the light blue on the map
  • GRAPES: 50% Montepulciano, 30% Sciascinoso, 20% Aglianico
  • BOOZE: 12.5% 
  • CELLAR: Drink now (towards the end of its drinking window)

Where did I get it? At a wine event a few years ago
What's the damage? Mid Priced (I think)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Bergevin Lane Vineyards Wahluke Slope "Oui Deux" Syrah

Bergevin Lane Vineyards Wahluke Slope "Oui Deux" Syrah 2008
Walla Walla, Washington

I don't know about you, but when I think Washington State wine, Syrah isn't the first thing that comes to mind. Cab Sauv, Merlot, Riesling -- sure. But Syrah? Well, clearly I've been needing to expand my horizons, because this wine is a delight.

Bergevin Lane make this Syrah in the style of Côte-Rôtie -- that gorgeous roasted slope in the northern Rhone Valley where Viognier is co-fermented with Syrah to add perfume (and stabilize the color). For this domestic version, the grapes are primarily from Wahluke Slope AVA, the warmest growing region in the State. Bergevin Lane calls this wine "Oui Deux" -- yes, two!

Review: The Oui Deux has a gorgeous deep ruby color and concentrated aromas of black figs, dried plums, nutmeg and fennel. These notes are repeated on the palate with rich flavors of ripe plum jam, toasted walnuts, cocoa, and wild herbs. I love the texture of this wine; the tannins are super ripe and soft with only the mildest bit of astringency. Mouth coating and perfect for food pairing. Which leads me to...

Food Pairing: Something meaty. I would say some herbed grilled lamb to accompany the meaty and herbaceous flavors in the wine. Yum.

Bottom Line: Absolutely lovely.

Wine Geekery:
  • VINTAGE: 2008
  • PLACE: Wahluke Slope AVA (American Viticultural Area)
  • GRAPES: 95% Syrah, 5% Viognier
  • BOOZE: 14.3%
  • AGEING: 20 months in a regime of barriques, 37.5% French, 37.5% American, 25% Hungarian
  • CELLAR: Drink now, will hold for a few more years

Where did I get it? Crystal City Wine Shop
What's the damage? High Priced