Anteprima Amarone 2015

Talk about high expectations. After the very difficult 2014 vintage in Europe, 2015 has been universally acclaimed on the continent as being one of the best vintages of the century. Possibly one of the best vintages ever. Wonderfully healthy fruit on the vines – and plenty of it. Great weather with oft-ideal ripening conditions.  In […]

Rethinking Primitivo

Oh, Primitivo, I’m sorry! I should never have doubted you and your potential. Continuing on the theme of “breaking stereotypes”, allow me to share what I discovered in Apulia recently: there is Primitivo being made there that can easily compete with the great Zinfandel wines of California. Wines with freshness (!) and elegance (!!), fruit […]

Apulia Sparkles

It is a long-standing stereotype that “the south” cannot make sparkling wines of any real interest because the climate is too hot and sunny, meaning the grapes that thrive there lack the necessary acidity for great sparkling wine the grapes that are generally acknowledged as making the best sparkling wines (Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, even Riesling) […]

Montecucco Sangiovese Comes of Age

Montecucco Historical Tasting In 1998, a small appellation for Sangiovese-based wines was carved from the Maremma. Forged on the slopes of Mount Amiata, the extinct volcano that is also the hallmark and birthright of Montalcino, Montecucco DOC celebrates 20 years of appellation status this year. The elevation of Montecucco Sangiovese to DOCG, now the calling card of Montecucco, was granted […]

Pitigliano in Tuscany

Maremma, Che Vini!

Maremma, Tuscany’s Underestimated Corner Driving south from Siena, I enjoyed experiencing the landscape and climate of Tuscany undergo nuanced changes. The vegetation became more spaced, the fields wider. The hills became more rolling. It was palpably warmer. Below the vines, the grains and the cypress trees the soils, which I obviously was not able to […]