2007 Villa Claudia Chainti Riserva

I knew I was cooking Italiano tonight so buying a bottle of Italian wine to pair with the pasta.  I usually prefer Classico, but Riserva can work too.   Italian wines with Riserva on the label are aged longer before they are released.   This one smells like it is made in a softer style, with cherries, strawberries and vanilla on the nose.   On the mouthfeel, a little bit of black pepper comes out and it lingers on the finish.   I also get lots of tart cherries on the back end, as well as a bit of earthiness.   The finish is slightly dry but not bone dry, and this would be great with a lighter pasta dish or pizza.   This is one of the few Chianti wines I’ve had that is also just fine on it’s own – but keep in mind ALL Italian wine is better with food!




2009 Concannon Conservancy Crimson & Clover – Livermore CA

If you live in the Bay Area and like road biking, Tesla Road in Livermore is a must!   Along Tesla Road, there are quite a few wineries and I highly recommend stopping at Concannon and having a drink at the Underdog Wine Bar – really neat spot.   Onto the wine  :-)   This wine contains 50 percent Petite Sirah, 25 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 15 percent Syrah and l0 percent Zinfandel.   Nose is dark and rich with currant, blackberries and vanilla.   I smell something spicy too… gingerbread!   The midpalate is spicy with brighter, softer fruit and spices definitely continue on the finish.   Some juicy blackberries too!   This is soft enough to drink on it’s own but I tried it with some chocolate and loved the combination.  

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