In edition #43 of Make Mine a Double I reviewed two whites from the forthcoming SuperValu Italian Wine Sale. Now I look at a couple of reds from Piedmont and Tuscany which will feature in the same even. In fact, they are by the same pair of producers as the white wines, so you already know the background to the producers. Below are therefore just some brief tasting notes
Disclosure: both bottles were kindly provided as samples, opinions remain my own
Ricossa Barbera d’Asti 2016 (13.5%, RRP €12.99 down to €10.00 in the Italian Wine Sale starting 23rd May at SuperValu)
It’s a fairly established truism now that winemakers in Piedmont rarely drink Nebbiolo themselves, even if they produce it. Barbera is the leading candidate to accompany their evening meal, and to be honest it would be mine too.
This is a damned drinkable example from Ricossa. It shows warm red and black fruit on the nose, especially fresh and stewed plum, plus a sprinkle of chocolate. This continues through to the palate which shows the same fruits and a touch of chocolate, plus fine tannins and lip-smackingly fresh cherry on the finish. This is a belter at the normal price, nevermind the special offer!
Castellani Chianti Classico 2016 (12.5%, RRP €15.99 down to €12.00 at SuperValu)
Given the modest alcohol of 12.5% this wine might be considered a lightweight by today’s standards, but it doesn’t feel like it is lacking. The body is medium or so and it’s an approachable wine where nothing juts out too much; there’s a little bit of tannin, a decent splash of acidity and lots of juicy black fruit – blackberry and black cherry in particular. There’s a hint of liquorice for the Sangiovese purists but this is more about being a very drinkable wine than being recognisably Chianti Classico.
It doesn’t live up to some of the much more expensive wines which display the Gallo Nero, but if you take it within its price bracket then it will do very nicely. This would be great with the Friday night pizza or just on its own as a glass to quaff.