This is actually pretty good for the money. $15 locally in Austin. I think it justifies its existence very easily at that price tag. It's dry, it's bubbly, and it doesn't have any off flavors. My wife thought it might have been a touch "fruity", but I actually didn't taste that. The sparkler clearly doesn't measure up to Champagne though. I am leaning more and more in favor of buying only Champagne and opening them more selectively rather than buying this kind of sparkler and opening it more liberally. YMMV.
No need for me to write a long note on this one. Very similar to the 2008 I reviewed very recently...but better in my opinion. There is more fleshiness in the 2009, and I find this incredibly fun yet serious to drink at the same time. Another wine to buy by the case. Just under $20 here in Austin.
This is really a great "garden variety" Valpolicella. It manages to strike a wonderful balance between power and elegance of fruit. It is silky and velvety at the same time, and has ample acidity, yet the acidity is balanced perfectly by the fruit and structure. Drinks well right out of the bottle, and can probably last a few years. This came highly recommended by a very trusted palate (thanks Smokey), and it did not disappoint. At roughly $17 here in Austin, this is a wine to buy by the case. Highly recommended.