Because of our VINO restaurant, we are always on the look out for interesting, really good Italian wines. It is harder than you would think. Recently we had the opportunity to sample THREE really good Italian RED wines, which I thought you might be interested in.
The first is the 2006 Siro Pacenti Brunello di Montalcino. Without a doubt, Siro Pacenti is one of the standout producers of this highly revered Tuscan appellation, albeit very modern in his approach to winemaking. Thankfully, however, his Brunello di Montalcinos still taste Italian.
Of his 50 acres of vineyards, 17 acres is located in the northern part of Montalcino, where it is cooler & typically provides aroma & elegance to his wines. The remaining 32 acres is in the southern sector & provides grapes showcasing power, structure & firm tannins to the blend.
Pacenti ages his Brunello in French barriques, of which 50 to60% is new. His goal is produce wines of richness, complexity & structure with an edge of freshness. The 2006 is a superb rendition, well worth seeking out.
Guido Porro Barolo
This is a new producer for me which is imported in the U.S. by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant. His holdings in the limestone influenced soils of the Lazzarito Cru lie within the Serralunga d’Alba appellation, which historically is renown for producing long lived, full bodied Barolo. Interestingly, however, Porro crafts more classical Barolo, which although very masculine in character, have superb refinement & class rather than just power & testosterone.
On this day, we tasted the 2007 Barolo “Vigneto Caterina”, which is a 1 hectare monopole parcel within the Lazzarito hillside…..400 to 410 meters in elevation, west facing, with 30 to 35 year old vines. Of his 2 Barolo, Caterina offers more delicacy & finesse.
In comparison, Porro’s 2008 Barolo “Vigneto Lazzarasco” is a 2 hectare parcel, 380 meters in elevation, southwest facing, with 40 to 45 year old vines…..and results in a more powerful, masculine wine, which I really think will be glorious with 25 to 30 years of age in the bottle.
No roto-fermentors are used and both wines are aged for at least 3 years in large 15 to 25 hectoliter Slavonian oak botti.
What a thrill it was finding these 3!