Monday, March 9, 2009

Rating: **+ Cantina Dolianova Monica Di Sardegna Arenada , 2005, Italy

Original Review, September, 2007: This medium-bodied Italian red wine is composed primarily of the Spanish-origin Monica grape, now most readily associated with Sardinia, Italy. In this case, Montepulciano and Barbera are blended in as well.

In the glass, Arenada is mid-red with glints of both purple and brick. On the nose there is bright, sweaty toast and a hint of plums. A kind of red berry jam in there too. On the palate, this builds slowly, to a hefty, deep plum in the middle back of the mouth, carried about by a brighter red currant flavor. There is a distinct and lasting finish there. You think the finish is more about acids than tannins, but there is none of the telltale acid bite. Good balance, power. Worth trying again in a couple years, even though these are designed for early drinking. I just can't quite say I'd seek it out again though. Two plus stars out of five. Good value.

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Updated review, March, 2009: Color has remained consistent, with purple highlights having disappeared. Aromas have remained consistent too. On the palate, though, the fruit has subsided, with only stale tannins and a bit of acid left in their wake. So the extra time in bottle did not yield dividends, and I would suggest enjoying more recent vintages closer to their release date.

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