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Tannic Panic! Issue #20: Spain and Italy Get Cozy
Two Great Bottles to Taste at Your Leisure
If you’ll recall from last week’s post, Isaac is “abroad” exploring the ancient land of Europe for a few weeks. As such, we are staggering posts, and you will be blessed with a whopping 2 newsletters this week (LUCKY YOU!) — one (this one) a review of a couple of UNREALISTICALLY GOOD bottles, courtesy of Zach (Zach), and two (coming in a couple of days) a window into the wine vacation/someone else’s honeymoon (not Isaac’s) you undoubtedly wish you were on, discourtesy of Isaac (Isaac).
Let’s start with Zach’s zingers of the week. But first…
RIBERA DEL DUERO wines remain a veritable goldmine of value in the U.S. wine market, consistently delivering exceptional red wines in the $15 to $30 price range. These wines exude a lavish tapestry of richness and concentration, where deep, velvety black fruit flavors intertwine harmoniously with the subtle complexities imparted by oak aging. The bottle featured today is, in essence, the very embodiment of Ribera Del Duero's character and extraordinary value, elevated to a level of sheer magnificence by the humble passage of almost a decade in the bottle.
THE WINE REGION OF TAURASI is situated in the humble Campania region of southern Italy and boasts a prestigious wine-producing heritage. The Aglianico red wines produced here are genuine hidden treasures, competing in quality with the crème de la crème of Italian reds like Brunello di Montalcino and Barolo. Yet, their relative obscurity on the U.S. wine stage presents a golden opportunity for those in search of exceptional ageworthy Italian reds at prices that won't make your wallet cry for mommy’s weekly allowance. Fondly known as the "Barolo of the south" back in the motherland of Italy, Taurasi's Aglianico share striking parallels with their northern Nebbiolo counterparts in Piedmont, characterized by robust tannins, high acidity, and the promise of graceful aging (LIKE ME!).
We will undoubtedly to do a deeper dive into the underrated little red wines of Southern Italy in an upcoming post (ISAAC IS GATHERING FIRSTHAND REPORTS ON THE LOCAL REGIONS AS WE SPEAK). But until then, let’s dive into this wholesome little Zeus juice discovery from Bottle Republic in the small, but prestigious Township of Piscataway, New Jersey.
… AND NOW FOR THE REVIEWS (IN ORDER OF PRICE):
2014 Convento San Francisco Crianza (Ribera Del Duero, Spain) / 94 Points / $19
Profile: Black fruits such as blackberry, black plum, vanilla, leather, asian spices and tobacco.
A delicious full bodied wine with medium+ tannins, medium+ acidity, and a long finish. Features a beautiful spread of flavors — black fruits such as blackberry, black plum, vanilla, leather, asian spices and tobacco.
2013 Taurasi Cinque Querce Salvatore Molettieri Aglianico (Campania, Italy) / 96 Points / $45
Profile: Dried black cherry, dried black plums, figs, cocoa powder, violets, bay leaf, forest floor and tobacco.
Beautiful deep ruby core changing to garnet at the rim due to bottle age.
Full bodied with high tannins, high acidity, and a long finish. The wine is structured, rich, and very complex featuring notes of dried black cherry, dried black plums, figs, cocoa powder, violets, bay leaf, forest floor and tobacco.
Find these and drink them IMMEDIATELY, or else.
Until next time, HAPPY DRINKING PEOPLE.
Zach & Isaac
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