2004 Cavallotto Barbera Vigna Del Cucolo
Color still a deep, opaque reddish-purple, with some lightening around the rim. Nose with black & red fruits, seemingly “sharpened” by the wine’s acidity. A cascade of sweet fruit on the palate, well-rounded, nice finish, almost guzzle-able. I guess one might wish for a little more structure, and there is nothing here to suggest that this wine will be capable of developing any further complexity or nuance with additional age, but right now it provides some tasty, fruit-forward Barbera, perfect for some bread and cheese and an eggplant parmigiana (which is what it will be consumed with in about an hour ). Although the 2004 may no longer available, you can pick up the '05 version of this wine for about $25 a bottle all in.
2005 Tasca D’Almerita Lamuri Nero D’Avola
Lighter in color than the Barbera, a dark translucent red in the glass fading to brick around the rim. An “earthy”, berry-scented, almost cru Beaujolais-styled nose. Sweet, crisp red fruits (primarily cherry) on the palate, with a slight dryness to the finish, but altogether a very nice wine, with an interesting aftertaste on the finish. I find this wine more “intellectually” engaging than the Barbera, although I’m not sure if I prefer the total package. About $20 all in.