Damilano Levinquevigne 2011 Barolo

by J.T.

Y'all know I'm an Italian girl. I can get on board with all kinds of varietals and blends from my homeland.

But this Barolo?

Be still my heart.

Hubby and I had this phenomenal Damilano Levinquevigne 2011  Barolo at Bice in San Diego. Verdict: this combo platter of five different Nebbiolos is a blend well worth your attention. 
 

Tasting Notes

The nose was almost too easy: lush berries, orange, tobacco, rose and violet, but the finish was heady tannins and rough leather. 

Price Point

You can find it for a very reasonable $17.84.

Pairings

We had this with a cheese pairing, 7 different kinds of Italian cheeses, including a smoked provolone that made the smoke in this Barolo stand up and howl. No doubt it'd be delicious accompanied with gamey meats.

Produttori del Barbaresco Nebbiolo Langhe DOC 2010

by J.T.

Let's talk about Italian reds, shall we?

There are many wine-producing regions in Italy, but one of the most prolific is in the northwest of the country, in an area called Piedmont (Piemonte, in Italian). Nestled at the base of the Alps, Piedmont produces some fine wines, particularly from one of my favorite grapes: Nebbiolo. Since Piedmont is has lots of hills, temperature and terroir vary wildly—and so does the grape. You've heard of Barbaresco and Barolo, right? This is where they come from. Grown in a lower elevation and warmer temperature than their Barolo brethren, Barbarescos tend to be a bit lighter and fruitier; Barolos usually pack a bit more punch.

Wasn't that a fun geography lesson? Context is important; you'll see why in a minute.

Operating in the town of Barbaresco, the Produttori co-op is one of the finest in Piedmont (trust me, I’ve been there), and this Langhe Nebbiolo is hands-down my favorite for the price.

What Chianti is to Tuscany, Nebbiolo is to Peimonte.


Tasting Notes

I’ve had several vintages, and the 2010 is a real standout, perfect for lunch or a light dinner of cheese and antipasti. It’s supposed to be lighter than its Barbaresco cousin, but I find it has more flavor and depth. It’s very leathery, with a touch of earth combined with fresh red fruits and a bit of menthol, which really makes it stand out. A bargain every day table red.


Price Point

You can find this particular vintage for $18.99.


Pairings

A friend to meats and cheeses, this wine would pair beautifully with antipasti, roasted mushrooms, and entrées starring roasted beef or game.

Joel Gott Zinfandel 2013

by Amy

Looking for a lighter red under $20?

I think I may have something for you.

Joel Gott Zinfandel's 2013 vintage is a bit earthy on the nose, with hints of sage, rosemary, and plum—a bit fruity without being too jammy, thanks to some leather and tobacco notes. A little acid and silky tannins round out a nice, long finish. 

If you're looking for a lighter red this spring (maybe to go with some aromatic Cinco de Mayo fare?), this one's a good buy at $18.99.

Boroli Barolo

by J.T.

Ahh, the classics. The pillars that have withstood the test of time. And in a cacophony of pitches like Try Our New ______ and Now Better Than Ever!, it's no small task to emerge as a beloved staple of . . . well, anything. Sometimes it's nice to revisit an ol' reliable. After all, they are our old reliables for a reason, aren't they?

I don't know if you can get any more classic than a beautiful Barolo wine. 
 

Barolo is one of Italy's most prized and beloved wines. In fact, the varietal itself has a Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) designation, which basically assures (a) its origin and (b) its quality. Grown in northern Italy's Piedmont region, the complex Barolo is comprised of nebbiolo grapes and ages just beautifully. 

And this particular Barolo I've got for you is a force to be reckoned with.
 

On the nose, the Boroli Barolo has ripe red fruits and the heady scents of leather and tobacco. The palate delivers notes of blackberries, oak, vanilla, and even a little espresso, with firm, long-lasting tannins on the finish. This would pair excellently with anything richly savory, like a beef bourguignon, perhaps.  

It's a well-worth-it splurge at $46.99. Maybe something for your Valentine's table?


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