Friday, May 19, 2017

2015 Ruffino Aziano Chianti Classico

Norm's Tasting Notes
by: Norm Bentley
normwine@charter.net 

The North Georgia Wine Advisor

2015 Ruffino Chianti Classico
#nb-18-17

For me, a weekday treat is a plate of Italian food with a good bottle of Chianti.  It doesn't really matter what kind of Italian dish is served, or even what label the Chianti might be.  I love Sangiovese, the primary grape in Chianti, and as long as the label says "Chianti Classico", I know the wine will be better that the average bottle of cheap red.  I don't want to be considered a "Wine Snob", so let me also say that I have enjoyed many a plate of spaghetti with a bottle of "cheap red", and a hunk of bread.  However, enjoying a bottle of Chianti Classico with your meal, can be the difference between "eating" and "dining".

In 2007 Ruffino celebrated its 130th anniversary of making wine in Tuscany, Italy, after their founding by Liario Ruffino in 1877.  They produced their first reserve Chianti in 1947.  They now produce several different levels of Chianti, including Aziano, which is one of my favorites in the value priced range. I have been in love with Ruffino Chianti since long before I can remember!  Maybe its because when I was a little boy in Napa, California, the family's favorite Italian restaurant was a place called Ruffino's, in downtown Napa, where I occasionally got a "sip" of Chianti with my spaghetti.  I last visited Ruffino's in Napa in 2000, but I do not believe it is still there.  I have enjoyed quite a few glasses of Ruffino over the years.

My last glass of Ruffino was this past Wednesday night, with a big plate of Spaghetti.  The wine was the 2015 Ruffino Chianti Classico Aziano, and as expected, it was delightful!  The color is a deep ruby red with good clarity, and just looks tempting as you pour it.  The fragrance is a blend of red berries and cherries which transition into flavors of berries and herbs with a trace of spiciness.  The finish has mellow tannins and a lingering aftertaste which begs for another sip!

This is a rich tasting Chianti with a value price, and will complement any pasta dish, and would be especially good with veal Marsala, but it would be hard to beat with Eggplant Parmesan. 



price : $14 - $18
score:  89

Friday, April 28, 2017

"We are Moving"

Norm's Tasting Notes
by: Norm Bentley
The North Georgia Wine Advisor


We are moving, so there will be no wine articles for a couple of weeks.

Friday, April 21, 2017

2016 Kim Crawford Hawkes Bay Rose

Norm's Tasting Notes
by: Norm Bentley
The North Georgia Wine Advisor

2016 Kim Crawford Hawkes Bay Rose
#nb-15-17

This year for Easter, we decided to go pink with pink, so we chose a bottle of Kim Crawford Rose to go with our Easter Ham, and it was a very good match!  The Hawkes Bay Rose from Kim Crawford is made mostly from Merlot with just a little Malbec in the blend, and is a delightful companion for spiral sliced baked ham.

A lively pink in color, this Rose also broadcasts a fragrant bouquet, showcasing aromas of cherry and tropical fruit.  The flavors are influenced by its blend of mostly Merlot with a little Malbec which highlights its base of cherries, with a touch of earthy spice.
There is just a hint of orange and strawberry in the background which lead to a crisp and refreshing finish, with very little aftertaste. The alcohol content is 13% and Norm's score is 88.

A great summer wine for a variety of foods, including a picnic basket full of fried chicken, or a platter of assorted spring time salads.  This one is a "Back Porch Sipper" for sure, and the Chardonnay Queen and I have just purchased a new house with a really big back porch!



price : $14 - $18
score:  88

Friday, April 14, 2017

2013 Castello di Albola Chianti Classico Riserva

Norm's Tasting Notes
by: Norm Bentley
The North Georgia Wine Advisor

2013 Castello di Albola Chianti Classico Riserva
#nb-14-17

We enjoyed another taste sensation from Chef El Biggero the other night, as we feasted on a special creation of Shrimp Creole accompanied by a wonderful bottle of reserve Chianti from Castello di Albola.  I like Sangiovese quite a bit, and this Chianti is 100% Sangiovese.

The color is a dark ruby red and the nose tickles the senses with a broadcast of cherries and violets.  The flavor spectrum varies from cherries to spice, and everything nice.  The wine has a smooth mouthfeel with a strong and lasting finish, accented by mellow tannins, and enough acidity to balance most tomato sauces.  Critic's scores range from 87 to 90, and Norm's score is 88.

A good match for Shrimp Creole, but of course it is perfect for most red-sauced pastas.  It also has the complexity and character to pair well with dishes like Veal Marsala with pasta on the side.


price : $17 - $22
score:  88

Friday, April 7, 2017

2015 Bigi Orvieto Classico

Norm's Tasting Notes
by: Norm Bentley


The North Georgia Wine Advisor

2015 Bigi Orvieto Classico
#nb-13-17

Another great evening at our favorite "Little Italian Place", Moretti's Italian Grill in Cape Coral, Florida, where we feasted on fresh seafood and pasta.  We paired this evening's dinner with the 2015 Bigi Orvieto Classico, which was a new vintage of one of our past favorites.

The Bigi Orvieto is a classic style from Umbria which appeals to the senses with a delicate bouquet of wild flowers and a fruit basket of fragrant scents.  The flavor is clean and crisp, with the presence of peach enveloped in a citrus breeze, backed by the taste of golden apples and a hint of pear. This is a great wine for seafood and can be had for a modest price.  The alcohol content is 12.5%, and Norm's score is 88.

Orvieto is a perfect white wine for most seafood and pasta dishes, and the Bigi would be especially good with Fettuccine Alfredo,
and would also pair well with Chicken Piccata.


price : $10 - $14
score:  88
Norm
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