September 2016 Roundup

Notes from recent PLCB wines we’ve tried.

White

Collevite Falerio Pecorino 2014 (#78046, $8.99)
Pecorino is the hottest white variety in Italy at the moment, and this is a great chance to get in on a 100% bottling from the grape’s home region for a killer price. Herbs, honey, apple, and the telltale bitterness on the finish all join the party here. (Mike)

Mattei Crognolaro Verdicchio Del Castelli di Jesi 2013 (#33754, $8.99)
Surprising level of heft and complexity for a wine this cheap. Crisp and nuanced. (Mike)

Cantine Trexenta Contissa 2014 (#78177, $11.99)
The perfect partner for grilled fish or seafood salads. Loads of citrus and a jolting, seltzer-like spritz of minerals added to intense, clearly defined flavors of white fruit and melons. Terrific Vermentino at any price. (Frank)

Sant’Isidro Piedi Colli Verdicchio di Matelica 2014 (#44306, $15.99)
There’s a steely, saline kick that energizes the palate and keeps it lively. Like many whites, it stays the same from entrance to finish, yet closes well with a fresh, savory aftertaste. (Frank)

Castrum Vinum Pecorino 2015 (#49919, $22.99 / 3L)
Speaking of Pecorino, here’s a bag-in-box version from Abruzzo that lacks the richness and extraction of the aforementioned Collevite, yet packs a huge amount of acidity. Great mid-week quaffer. (Mike)

Nicolas Joly Savennieres Coulee De Serrant 2010 (#33610, $29.99)
This cultish white takes a little while to open up — I recommend decanting — but then shows serious complexity. Approach is sweet, cider-like, with mostly honey, then expands to include notes of soap, herbs, dirt, wax, smoke, tar, and lots more. Too much to even keep track of! It’s surprisingly tannic, a bit hot, and could probably pass for a red if blindfolded. A wine that typically retails for $60-80, it’s well worth seeking out at the PLCB sale price, even if quantities are limited statewide. (Mike)

Emidio Pepe Trebbiano d’Abruzzo 2009 (#44308, $139.99)
Enormous acidity in this vintage; mouth-puckering. Fruit is more mature though, honeyed ripe apple, mulled spice. Big mineral note on the finish. An excellent wine with serious aging potential; I envy those with the scratch to afford it (for more than one reason). Winery featured in above photo. (Mike)

Rosé

L’Argentier Aramon Vielles Vignes 2015 (#99115, $11.99)
As copper colored as a new penny, made from once popular Aramon. Raspberry, strawberry, fragrant melon and tart cherry get a refreshing helping hand from vigorous acidity. My rosé find of the summer. (Frank)

Domaine de La Petite Cassagna Rosé Costieres de Nimes 2015 (#99119, $11.99)
A standout warm weather quaffer. With Cabernet and Syrah accounting for more than half the blend, there’s a bit more depth and fruit concentration than usual for a Rhône rosé. (Frank)

Red

Dominio de Artiga Tempranillo Reserva Valdepensa 2009 (#7817, $9.99)
Doesn’t have the depth or developing secondary characteristics expected in a reserve, even if it’s not a Rioja. The best way to describe this bland expression of the grape is drinkable, and you get what you pay for. (Frank)

Real Companhia Velha Porca de Murca Douro Tinto 2013 (#44301, $11.99)
A bold reminder that Portugal is the place to go for reds that punch above their price point. Firm tannins underscore notes of cherry, black pepper and a hint of pomegranate in this surprisingly complex offering. (Jason)

Arnaux et Fils Eglise du midi Seguret 2014 (#78165, $12.99)
A Seguret that bears some old school traces, reminds me of Cotes du Rhône places. The lightness and quality of a CDR Villages, with a direct, no frills approach that may not be a lushly textured palate-grabber but exudes restraint and finesse. (Frank)

Campi Valerio Opalia Tintilia del Molise 2011 (#78145, $13.99)
It’s hard to tell what an obscure grape like Tintilia is all about when it’s natural qualities are smothered by a blanket of sugary sweet oak and layers of vanilla. Not exactly a positive intro to a new varietal. (Frank)

Nicosia Etna Rosso 2013 (#78195, $14.99)
There’s a lovely lightness to this wine without sacrificing flavor. Nice amount of tarry secondary notes to add complexity too. And what a price, for an Etna. (Mike)

Cantina Tudernum Sagrantino di Montefalco 2008 (#78144, $16.99)
Though this is made by a large cantina that produces wines from all over Umbria — hence the great price — it’s still a nice expression of Sagrantino. For $17! (Mike)

Ciu Ciu Oppidum Rosso Marche 2011 (#78143, $16.99)
This is a great example of how good Montepulciano (the grape, from which this wine is exclusively made) can be when it is treated properly. It’s a rustic-meets-modern preparation, well-aged with a variety of savory characteristics alongside a kiss of vanilla. It’s balanced by still-tough tannins that require food, decanting, and, if desired, a few more years in the cellar. Stock up now and drink this winter. Incidentally, I wasn’t a big fan of the Rosso Piceno from the same producer at $13.99. (Mike)

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