How can someone not like the Christmas season? I still enjoy getting gifts, as I guess I am still a kid at heart. I always hear from people that they are intimidated to buy me a gift, and I find it amusing, because I am always appreciative of anything I get. Granted that I was always in the clothing profession, very few people buy me clothes and that is fine, but other people think of me and wine, and they are intimidated to try to buy me wine. I think wine is always safe, because there is always an occasion to have a bottle of wine and wine does not have to be in the upper stratosphere of pricing to be enjoyed. Three of the bottles that I received can be grouped together as they are of a similar area. The first bottle that I received is that classic wine that I affectionately refer to as “Dago Red.” All my life I knew people that made wine at home, of course they were from the old country of Italy, and the grapes that were used were Primitivo or Zinfandel, and the grape varietals are first cousins as far as I am concerned. It is a wine for quick consumption and not for cellaring, but that is fine. The other two wines that I will discuss that I received are both from Italy, and that is why I feel that I can list the three wines together.
The first wine that I will discuss is Mazzoni Rosso di Toscana IGT 2011. This is a joint venture by Frenceschi of Italy and Terato of the U.S.A. It is a blend of Sangiovese and Merlot and it is aged for twelve months in French Oak. Since this wine is not totally Sangiovese, the wine laws or rules for Tuscany require this wine to have an IGT designation, instead of a DOC rating. Since they have been growing these non-local varietals in Tuscany, the rules have been all up in the air, with the introduction of Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Merlot. There were some wines that the term “Super Tuscany” really applies to, but if you look at most restaurants, any IGT wine from Tuscany is now referred to as a “Super Tuscany.”
The other wine that I received is from an area that I am still learning about. The oft conquered island of Sicily and Sicily is famous for the Mafia, because of all the great gangster movies of cinema. Sicily basically has one wine designation for the entire island and it is Terre Siciliane IGT. The last bottle that I received was Cusumano Nero D’Avola IGT 2011. The Cusumano Brothers use the Nero D’Avola varietal for this wine, which is the most common and widely planted grape on the island, and it is also known as Calabrese. This is another wine that I think will be enjoyed early, as I do not think that cellaring will enhance this wine, which was made to be consumed young.