Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Italian Wines for Christmas from Abruzzo & Piedmont

Still trying to think of some last minute christmas gifts for a coworker, family member or friends? If they are winelovers or even just enjoy a nice bottle of wine I have a couple Italian wine suggestions for you today to consider on both ends of the price spectrum to consider.

Piedmont
I've written about this particular winery, Damilano, in the past from my personal visit to the winery. I shared my wine tasting with you and some background on the winery. I also had them on the list for my Top 5 Wineries to Visit in Piedmont. Today I'm sharing with you an affordable 2013
2013 Damilano Barbera d'Asti
Damilano Barbera d'Asti. Damilano has been producing the barbera grape since 2008 and this comes from leased land in Casorzo, which is located in the province of Asti. This wine is made of 100% barbera and is aged 60% in french barrique and 40% in french tonneaux from 20-30 year old vineyards. What I love about this grape is the drinkability of it and also the complexity depending on the producer and area it's grown. Barbera is the most planted red grape within Piedmont. With hints of purple in the glass this wine was a little on the lighter bodied side than I expected with notes of cherry and hints of vanilla and spice. Not very balanced with the acidity though. Retails about $16.
Cantina Damilano in Piedmont

Abruzzo
2006 Masciarelli Villa Gemma Montepulciano d'Abruzzo RiservaNow to step up the game a few notches we move to my next selection of the 2006 Masciarelli Villa Gemma Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Riserva. I've written about the Masciarelli family in the past for a local wine column that I write for. The Masciarelli Tenute Agricole winery started by Gianni Masciarelli was taken over by his wife, Marina Cvetic, due to Gianni's passing in 2008. Masciarelli's main focus, along with much of Abruzzo, are on the primary grapes trebbiano (white) and montepulciano (red). This particular wine, Villa Gemma, is Masciarelli's top tiered wine. These wines come from the oldest part of the Masciarelli estate. This is one of the top expressions of a quality montepulciano d'abruzzo produced in this region. Full bodied, backed by firm tannins and great complexity of dark fruits and spice. Retailing about $75-80.

These samples were provided to me, but as I always state I will not just write about a wine and recommend it unless I enjoy it myself and of course there are always wonderful stories to tell. I hope you're enjoying some wonderful wine bottles yourself this holiday season. Merry Christmas to all and enjoy this special time with loved ones! Buon Natale!