Thursday, December 20, 2012

Weekly Wine Review - Italian Red - 2009 Alta Luna Phases

For my very first wine review, I picked the one and only wine I had in the wine fridge that made the Wine Spectator Top 100 for 2012. At #52, this wine ranked nicely for a $12 wine (for comparison, #60 was a $135 Cabernet Sauvignon from Washington State). The wine is a red blend from Northern Italy, and it contains two grape varieties that I've never tried before: Teroldego (40%) and Lagrein (30%).  These two grape varieties are used almost exclusively in the Trentino-Alto Adige region of Italy) Rounding out the blend is 30% of good old Merlot.

So... on to the tasting!  As a reminder - here is how I rate wines.

Wine: 2009 Alta Luna Phases
Region: Italy (North Eastern) - an IGT wine from Trentino-Alto Adige
Obtained from: Purchased online from Ultimate Wine Shop
Price: $12
Wino4Life Category: Everyday Wine
Aeration before tasting: Just a swirl or two, no special aeration.
Cork Condition: Natural Cork in very good - no defects or issues.
Appearance: Clear, with an intense inky purple color.
Aroma: Fairly subdued on the nose. Dark Fruit like Blackberry,  Coffee, smokey with a hint of something green and herbal.
Taste: Nicely balanced, fruity, with some acidity and some tannin. A fairly long finish that consists of fruit, but also a dry sensation in the aftertaste perhaps from some harsh tannins (this is sometimes a sign that the wine needs to age a bit).  I would compare it to a new world Syrah.

The Grade: I give this one a B. The lingering aftertaste is a bit harsh, but overall a good wine - that might just get even better with some aging.  May be a wine that is better to have with a snack or a meal rather than just as an everyday wine to sip. (Hey, there's an idea - who's bringing the snacks next week???).  I am a bit surprised that this wine made the Wine Spectator 100, but for a $12 wine I would recommend giving it a try. 

If you get a chance to try this wine - let me know what you think!

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