Maretti Langhe Rosso 2013

Maretti(337 x 599)

Italy 13.5%

I first came across this wine at a recent Majestic Summer tasting event and it was for me, one of the stars of the night. It was the wine I kept going back to for a top up and I must say the generous and amiable staff were more than  happy to oblige. I did end up buying a few bottles along with one or two others I enjoyed over the course of the evening.

So whats it like, well, it’s made in the North west Italian region of Langhe within Piemonte which is famous for Nebbiolo and it is a blend of Barbera 70% and Nebbiolo 30%.

Fairly deep garnet colour with a very slight brownish tinge but still impressively dark, looking very inviting but it’s when you get your nose in the glass this is where the wine comes alive bright cherries and blackberries with a more intense backbone of dried herbs, leather, tar and liquorice all very heady.

Medium to full-bodied –  first taste this was very tannic although it still had a bright fruity acidity which made the wine taste fresh. Dark ripe fruits along with bitter liquorice, herbs and an edge of aniseed were all lurking in the glass. There was also a meaty savoury thing going on as well which was appealing. Left in the glass for a while the chalky tannins did soften a bit leaving a sweeter taste but still retaining that bright acidity.

As a stand alone wine I would quite happily drink it on its own but its with food that this really shone. On the tasting night it met with mixed opinions although no one disliked it, some weren’t sure initially but it grew on them. I think this needs time to breathe to really get the best out of it but I liked it a lot.

My wife who is not a big red wine drinker enjoyed it with food and didn’t pull that face when she instantly dislikes a powerful red, so all round big thumbs up.

8corks

 

My Rating 8/10 Corks

Majestic Multibuy £8.99

 

il Bello Barbera 2011

ilbelloItaly 13%

I’ve heard it said many times that if you’re in a restaurant and you don’t know which wine to choose, go for an Italian. (wine that is, not the person !)  it’s usually the safe choice. Italian wine particularly reds are generally very food friendly with their high acidity and bright juicy fruit flavours.

Barbera is the most widely planted grape in Piedmont  and is the wine that you find most Italian people from the region filling their glasses up with but sadly for me, this ’ il Bello 2011’ didn’t all together hit the spot.

Firstly, let me say this is not a bad wine but it just didn’t  get me excited, it paired well enough with the Beef Lasagne dinner and at a price of around £6 pretty much what I expected.

I chilled this for around 20 minutes , in the glass it was a bright crimson colour with aromas of plums, cherries and a little nutmeg.  On first sip the explosion of tart juicy fruit was the overwhelming and slightly harsh , so  I decided to leave it in the glass for a while before trying again. After 40 minutes or so sitting in the glass and the dinner on the table I took another sip and fortunately it had mellowed slightly into a softer less offensive taste. It still was pretty sour but with the rich food it was much more to my liking.  Juicy bright cherries pretty much dominated  but there was a little hint of sweetish spice in the background.

Not sure I would enjoy this as a stand alone drink, it definitely needed a plate full of rich creamy meaty pasta to really enjoy it and in this case it did the job.  A little drop left in the bottle, will I finish it?,  maybe not, never mind on to the next bottle !

5.5 corksMy Rating 5.5/10 Corks

Waitrose around £6