On an Italian roll of late, given the recent arrival of several new wines from that country on my local shelves. Here we go (in ascending order according to cost)...
San Fabiano Calcinaia Chianti Classico 2008
Typically intense bittersweet blackcherry Sangiovese thrust with the supporting acidity coming through a tad forcefully at the moment. Surely better in a year or two.
Rosso dei Notri Tua Rita Toscana i.g.t. 2009
Immediately forthcoming and attractive mouth feel, with the Syrah and Merlot combination acting to flesh out the majority of Sangiovese in the mélange to great effect. Lots of ripe, dark fruit leading to delicate notes of smokiness (a not uncommon trait with Merlot) and pepper spice. Lovely drinking right now.
Palazzo della Torre Allegrini Veronese i.g.t. 2007
From one of the region's most reputable producers, a Ripasso wine of considerable substance. Ideal combination of firmness and drinkability, with the dried cherry and raisin notes lingering on the palate. Will doubtless improve with some cellaring, but so hard to not open more right now! Classy wine.
Insoglio del Cinghiale Campo di Sasso Bibbona Toscana i.g.t 2009
All I can say is, "Wow!" An unusual mix of Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The Syrah predominates at first, offering up berry fruit and pepper, before a very subtle vegetal-like quality emerges (doubtless from the Cabernet Franc). The balance is exemplary. This is a 'big' wine that, nevertheless, doesn't overpower one's palate. Outstanding.
Le Volte Ornellaia Toscana i.g.t. 2009
The entry-level wine from one of the region's most renowned estates. In comparison to the previous wine, much less giving at this time, with the aromas and flavours lurking in the glass rather than opening up to the senses. Could this be due to the Cabernet Sauvignon included in the blend? Tautly structured and worthy of cellaring for 2 to 4 years, I would think.