Quattro d’Italia plus one each from France and California

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Dan Kravitz
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Location: Harpswell, Maine

Quattro d’Italia plus one each from France and California

#1 Post by Dan Kravitz » January 31st, 2020, 6:38 pm

Glasses at some cool NY restaurants and a couple of bottles at home.

Had two dinners in NY.
Cocotte in SoHo is new to me, an excellent and distinctive restaurant; Basque, nicely straddling Spain and France.
Gradisca’s house-made fresh pasta is world-class and I ain’t griping about anything else there. A Greenwich Village classic.

2017 Damiano Arneis Langhe – A very good surprise, my first white from a producer I consider reliable but not much more for reds from Piedmont.
The aromas are an intriguing combination of flowers and minerals, with quince and peach in the background. This has fine texture, broad but not lacking in backbone or definition. The flavors mimic the aromas, with the fruit moving forward, as it should. The finish is moderately long. Rated 90.5, fully mature.

2018 Domaine Jean David Cotes du Rhone – The aromas are ripe and grapy, pure red fruit and a tiny touch of garrigue; the palate the same. This will not win prizes for subtlety, nor was it really suitable for a very cold evening, but it just held up to the mushrooms stuffed with chorizo and garlic cream. Rated 87.5, drink up.

2018 Nero d’Avola Colosi – The aromas are a nice step up from the previous, just as ripe, less grapy, more black fruit than red, something smoky, something nicely herbal. The palate has more substance. Let’s not get carried away, this will not win prizes for subtlety but it was planted, tended, harvested, fermented and bottled with no other purpose in life than accompanying the potato gnocchi at Gradisca, and mission accomplished. Rated 89, won’t be long-lived but will easily hold another year and could show marginal improvement.

2014 Fontanavecchia Aglianico del Taburno – OK, I’m a sucker for bottle age. IIRC about the same price as the previous (both by the glass), this offers depth and subtlety. The aromas are more earthy than fruity, but it’s a nice balance, with hints of black cherry and iron. The palate simply has more heft than the previous, with fine tannins, a hint of oak, a hint of smoke and fine and intricate balance. Rated 90.5, probably won’t improve but I’d be happy to have a few bottles on cold evenings over the next few years.

2017 Cantina Terlan Sauvignon Winkl – I’ve been a fan of this great Cooperative for a long time, but this is my first Sauvignon, and it’s a beauty. Light to medium gold color. The aromas feature cactus flower with tiny hints of grass, hay and pineapple. This is medium in body and very well balanced, although the acid is just a little lower than expected, I guess due to a hot vintage. The flavors are very fine, reprising the aromas. The balance is good, a touch more zing would have been nice. The density and persistence are what you would expect from a great white wine producer. Apparently they made 20,000 cases of this stuff!?!!! For quantity and quality, that’s hard to match. Rated 91, drink over the next 2 years.

2012 Carlisle Zinfandel Sonoma – Medium garnet color. Subtle aromas feature red plums, with black raspberry underneath. Below the fruit, there is minerality. The palate is somewhat lighter in body than I expected, but the texture and balance are excellent. The flavors have more black fruit than red, with subdued mineral, earth and herbal touches. The finish is very long for a wine that does not have great density, but the subtlety and harmony are simply wonderful. The label says 14.8%, I would have guessed almost a point lower. This is a beauty, probably at peak but can easily hold several years, maybe more. Rated 92.

Dan Kravitz
swillmaster - ITB

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