Fanetti Rosso, Montepuliciano, 1997, VG-
Ripe, soft, not super rich; typical Montepuliciano [8/25].
Fanetti Vin Santo, Toscana, Saint Agnese Cellar, 1989, $12 VG+
Oaked in little casks, ``di Cavatello''. Although a white, this had port-like jamminess, complemented by caramel. Gorgeous gold color. Vin Santo was one of our special discoveries in Tuscany [8/25].
Contucci Vino Nobile, Montepulciano, ``Pietra Rossa'', 1996, VG-
Balanced, with some pepper. Aged three years on oak [8/26].
Contucci Vino Nobile, Montepulciano, riserva, 1995, VG
Earth and pepper. A bit richer than their Pietra Rossa [8/26].
Contucci Vino Nobile, Montepulciano, 1996, G+
Simple, fruity [8/26].
Contucci Rosso, Montepulciano, 1998, VG-
Nice, pruney fruit and a touch of pepper [8/26].
Poliziano Vino Nobile, Montepulciano, 1996, $13 VG
Less pruney than some, with a touch of citrus in the fruit. Also pepper and a touch of vanilla oak [8/26].
Poliziano Red, Chianti, 1998, $6 VG-
Nice open fruit. Less balance and more burnt oak than their Vino Nobile [8/26].
Poliziano Rosso, Montepuliciano, 1998, VG-
Lovely grapey nose, but a little unbalanced on the palate. Probably a good food wine [8/26].
Casanuova delle Cerbaie Brunello, Montalcino, 1994, VG+
Lovely berry fruit nose, rich fruit with touch of cedary oak on the palate [8/27].
Vigna di Capraia Brunello, Montalcino, 1994, $29 VG
Restrained but broad fruit, balanced [8/27].
Casanova di Neri Brunello, Montalcino, 1994, $35 VG+
Quality with price to match [8/28].
Canalicchio Rosso, Montalcino, 1996, G+
Fruity, but light and a tad unbalanced [8/28].
Le Presi Brunello, Montalcino, 1994, $38 (rest.) VG+
Generous nose, soft, fruity with modest oak on the palate [8/28].
La Gerla ``Barbi'', Toscana, 1996, $24 (rest.) VG+
This super-Tuscan had lush Sangiovese fruit and focused oak that didn't overpower like many Brunellos. Explosive fruit in the nose. Great price considering we were in the hotel restuarant. This wine was recommended by the son of the proprietor. He had spent his last vacation in California learning about the wine and tourism business [8/29].
Tenuta Caparzo Moscadello, Montalcino, Vendemmia Tardiva (late harvest), 1996, $23 VG
A sauterne-like quaff, light orange flavors with ripeness indicative of botrytis [8/29].
Castello Banfi Brunello, Montalcino, 1993, $12 (375ml) VG
Bright, solid fruit with pleasant structure and acidity. Not one of these dark, brooding Brunellos. Delicious [9/1].
Posta dell'Argentario Ansonica, Isola di Giglio, 1998, $10 VG-
Light, very dry, with pear and apple fruit and a beautiful bronze color. Complements local food well (risotto del Nero) [9/1].
Danei Ansonica, Maremma, Toscana, ``Passito'', 1996, $7 G+
A dessert wine, but not as successful as most Vin Santo's [9/2].
Santa Margherita Merlot, Venato, ``Versato'', 1997, $12 (rest.) G+
Earth, tar, and dark, un-Merlot fruit. Very Italian. Improved over dinner, with the tar receding enough to be enjoyable [9/2].
Cecchi Red, Chianti, 1998, $5 (375ml) G+
Typical Chianti, but not overoaked or earthy since not a Classico/Riserva. Bright red in color, little nose [9/3].
Melini Red, Chianti, 1998, $3 (250ml) G
A little flat and dry without much fruit [9/4].
Mas Pignou Cuvee Melanie, Gaillac, 1996, $5 VG
Forward fruit on the palate and in the nose, tar in the finish. Dusty texture with tarry oil [9/10].
Candastre Cuvee Puech Marty, Gaillac, 1993, $4 VG-
Light, orangish in color, slightly tough and tannic with citrus orange flavors [9/10].
Lacroux Red, Gaillac, 1997, $4 VGd-
Explosive green herbal nose, but some fruit. Still young an tannic [9/10].