Thursday, June 2, 2011

Spirit of Wine Review & Rating: ***+ $ Villa Farnia di Farnese Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, Italy, 2008 - (BEST VALUE)

Find prices and availability for Zagat Wine introductory mixed case.

By way of background: Villa Farnia di Farnese is made of the montepulciano grape from the southeastern Italy region of Abruzzo. Winemaker Filippo Baccalaro finished this at a modest 13% alcohol. It was acquired as part of the introductory Zagat Wine Club selection. It also seems to be a regular component of other wine club offerings, including such as WSJWine (Wall Street Journal Wine) and 4seasonswine.

"ZagatWine" - part of the broad Laithwaites Wine group from the UK - is promoted by the well known Zagat Survey group, offered by founders Nina and Tim Zagat. This collection included a case of 12 wines, with four reds and four whites each. The initial shipment arrives with a promotional pitch to have your friends join the club, along with one-pagers on each of the delivered wines.

Original review, November, 2009:

In the glass: Deep blood red with burgundy highlights, opaque a half inch from the side of the glass.

On the nose: Fresh, laundered blackberry aromas.

On the palate: Subtle violet fruit hit first at the back of your palate, quick slick. It roams forward across your tongue, bringing slightly sandy plums. A light acid twang hits your cheeks, and unfolds a slightly sweeter, lasting plum fruit.

And the finish: Clean, more acid- than tannin-based, with modest length. Mineral and black fruit tones.

In summary: Solid experience. Three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale. This bottle is only a year from the vintage date, and I do believe it could rest safely another year or two. Great value at the bargain introductory wine club price.

Updated review, a year and a half later, June, 2011:  Consistent color.  The nose shows nice fresh baked bread along with blackberries on the side.  Lightly sandy plums remain on the aromatic palate.  A clean finish of modest length, bringing balanced acids and tannins.  Adding a plus to the three stars for its modest improvement over time. Ready to drink now, three years from vintage date.  Remains a best value. Following long decant, one day kept cool in partially filled bottle:  Aroma has gone mute.  All the flavor and balance remains on the palate, however. 

Find prices and availability for Zagat Wine introductory mixed case.

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