The Cellar: Budget-Friendly Blends from Italy + Portugal
Friday, January 20, 2012
California. This week we focus on two European red blends; a classic Ripasso blend from Veneto in Italy and an Alentejano from Portugal. If you have a thirst for more and would like to expand your knowledge about wine in a fun and relaxing atmosphere, you should consider attending an ‘Evening with Wine’ event. The next such event, featuring Cabernet Sauvignon based wines, is scheduled for Thursday, January 26th. For more information visit www.ProvidenceWineAcademy.com
To me, seeing a Masi label brings back a lot of memories from my childhood. We drank a lot of Italian table wine in my family, and whenever my parents would splurge for a nice bottle it seems the Masi Campofiorin Ripasso always ended up in the shopping cart. I haven’t had the Campofiorin in a few vintages, so when I saw the 2007 vintage on the shelve I had to pick it up.
I remember this wine as being big and bold with concentrated dark fruit flavors, so when I tasted the 2007 vintage, I must admit I was a little disappointed. Even after a solid hour of aeration the wine still didn’t live up to my expectations. The flavors were there however. The classic combination of Corvina, Rondinella, Molinara is as unmistakable as its delicious factor is undeniable. I just wish this particular vintage had more structure and density. If you can find the 2006 – be sure to grab it as I have heard good thing about it. The soon-to-be-released 2008 vintage should be a classical one as well.
This week’s second traditional red blend brings us to Portugal where indigenous grape varieties have long been the backbone of the countries wine. Located in the southern half of Portugal, the vast
But you wouldn’t know that by tasting the 2007 Pequeno Pintor Tinto. The wine is based primarily on the indigenous grape varietal Trincadeira, a grape that makes full-bodied and rich wines with aromas of blackberries and herbs. The addition of Aragones, aka Tempranillo, and Alicante Bouschet, which adds tannins and color, makes for a delicious wine with complex flavors. After hand-harvesting the grapes the wine goes on to spend 6 months in French oak barrels and 8 months in bottle prior to being released. The result is a delicious medium-plus bodied wine filled with delicious flavors. To me, the wine comes across like an interesting blend of Cabernet Franc and Tempranillo; it is soft and fruity, but has a funky herbaceousness on the nose, as well as on the palate, that I absolutely love. With fresh acidity and length to boot, this is a wine that I would absolutely recommend you seek out.
Steffen Rasch CSW is ready to answer any wine-related questions, comments or concerns you may have. Feel free to email him at [email protected]. And as always, don’t forget to follow GoLocalProv’s Wine Cellar on Facebook.
For more Wine and Food coverage, don't miss GoLocalTV, fresh every day at 4pm and on demand 24/7, here.
- The Cellar: 3 French Wines at Great Prices
- The Cellar: California Steals Under $20
- The Cellar: Fresh Flavors from Australia
- The Cellar: Spanish Reds for Cozy Nights
- The Cellar: Three Crowd-Pleasers for Under $20