Meli Carignan, Different and Exciting

Meli Carignan, Different and ExcitingEach now and then we come across something we weren’t expecting and that gets us intrigued.  This is one of those suitcases.  It’s a carignan from Chile.
I wouldn’t be surprised to find a carignan from Southern France, or even from a Paso Robles Rhone Ranger.  But I wasn’t expecting to see one from Chile.  And my first draw up when I saw it was that a name was experimenting in Chile, but this is more than an experiment, it comes from 60 year ancient vines!  Yes, this wine has been in Chile for a while.  And that’s a excellent thing because carignan from young vines can in fact be a bit too astringent.  And while this one has a small bit of astringency, it’s not unapproachable. Read more

Cantina del Castello Soave Classico

Cantina del Castello Soave ClassicoTonight we’re tasting another Soave, this time it’s one with the Classico DOC designation produced by Cantina del Castello.  This winery, which translated means “Castle Vineyard,” lies just below Scaligeri Castle in Soave.  A gorgeous and regal location.
This wine is produced from 90% Garganega and 10% Trebbiano di Soave.  This wine has not seen any oak, but was aged in stainless steel tanks previous to bottling. Read more

Filomusi Guelfi Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

Filomusi Guelfi Montepulciano d’AbruzzoThe Filomusi-Guelfi family in Abruzzo, Italy are the producers of this Montepulciano.  The family has been in the province since the 16th century where they have a vineyard of over 9.5 hectares.  The majority of the vineyard (78%) is Montepulciano grapes.  There is so much description in the rear the vineyards producing Montepulciano d’Abruzzo that it makes me want to visit the Abruzzo province of Italy.  Abruzzo isn’t a common vacation destination, but with everything from 14th century castles to beaches to mountains and national parks it is my kind of place to visit.  And of course vast vineyards and an abundance of wine attract me as well. 
Perhaps someday I’ll visit Abruzzo.  In the mean time, I’ll try to be satisfied by buying the wine that gets exported.  This bottle, from Filomusi Guelfi, is exported by Marc De Grazia Selections who represents over 90 small Italian producers.
This is one of the more expensive examples of Montepulciano that I have tried, at $15.99.  And while it was excellent, the quality wasn’t any better than some lower priced bottles I have tried.
The nose is very herbal.  I get mostly tea leaf, rhubarb and sour cherry aromas.  The palate has a crisp acidity.  It’s perhaps a bit too acidic but it’s not overwhelming.  The flavors are spicy sour cherry, plum and a hint of caper.  The end is long and dry.  There is also a hint of a metallic aftertaste, although it is very subtle.  Overall, this is a decent example of varietal characteristics for Montepulciano D’Abruzzi but it’s not exceptional and in my opinion is over priced for the quality.
Wine: Filomusi Guelfi
Varietal: Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
Vintage: 2003
Alcohol: 13.5% 
Rating: 85
Fee Paid: $15.99

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Espiritu de Chile Chardonnay

Espiritu de Chile ChardonnayThe wines of Espiritu de Chile are estate bottled at the Aresti Winery in Chile, one of the two companies that have partnered to produce Espiritu de Chile.  The additional companionship is A. Racke from Germany.  Aresti has a description of wine building in Chile going back to 1951 and they now have nearly 1,000 acres of vineyards in Chile. Read more