Tasting Notes for benny-g

(217 notes on 200 wines)

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Red
8/2/2020 - benny-g Likes this wine:
92 points
This gives an impression of black forrest fruits but with the crispiness of small red berries rendering lovely acidic flavours with floral tones mixed in. My first bottle, some weeks ago gave me that same impression and did confuse me with this black-but-red nature. That one had a band aid smell that did go away after a while; this one is perfect, so it was the bottle.
This is lively and clean with enough depth and a beautiful balance. As can be expected it is low in tannins. The acids are well integrated.
White - Sparkling
7/31/2020 - benny-g wrote:
85 points
Disgorged April 2019, dosage 6.1 g/l. The colour has a brownish hue and that is reflected in the taste as caramel together with some vanilla. Modest in fruit and acidity, luckily also in sweetness. The pinot character is obvious. Not my type of champagne because of the caramel that is constantly present.
Red
7/29/2020 - benny-g Likes this wine:
89 points
Intensely fruity. It is, really. Red as red can be fruit-wise. Very concentrated flavours of berry/cherry fruit with a candied edge. Luckily sufficiently vinous not to be categorised as just juice. This will pair well with tomato sauce pasta.
If you want a red wine that excels in concentration and red fruitiness but does have the sugary sweetness that many of the modern Italians, highly praised by some critics (Luca Maroni and alikes), display, this is a good choice.
White
7/28/2020 - benny-g Likes this wine:
91 points
I got myself a copy of the Native Wine Grapes of Italy book by Ian D'Agata, highly recommended by some of the fellow CT members here. Looking up the Grechetto entry, since that is the variety for 100% in this Poggio Della Costa, I find this is one of the Grechetto wines worth a try. Quite a complicated issue, so it seems, what is actually this variety.
Anyway, I find plenty of orchard fruit and mineral flavours in this wine. The mouth feel is truly soft and smooth, without the often accompanying honey sweetness. Beautiful balance and good complexity contribute to the quality. Fruity acidity, tending towards slightly unripe yellow apple and lime are well integrated and intensify the finish, which also does hide a slightly bitter touch.
Indeed worth a try!
White - Sparkling
N.V. Cocchi Piemonte Brut Piemonte DOC Champagne Blend (view label images)
7/26/2020 - benny-g wrote:
85 points
This sparkler, purchased in a 6-bottle packet of sparkling Italians, is quite primary in its fruit. This a simple white wine that has bubbles as extra. Nothing much in bready or yeasty taste, but simple yet quite dry. It is pleasant and does have a decent concentration. As said primary fruit dominates with mainly grape, some orchard fruit and what I remember as yellow cherries. For me it is similar to the easy drinking cava one often gets in large crowd receptions.
Red
2016 Lamole di Lamole Chianti Classico Etichetta Blu Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese (view label images)
7/25/2020 - benny-g Likes this wine:
89 points
Balance, that's the keyword for this Chianti. Beautifully balanced in red and black fruit, acidity and sweetness, tannins and smoothness. This may be an ideal wine for a friends or family dinner with wine lovers and occasional drinkers. My guess is everyone will like this. This also means there is hardly anything to make it stand out. Easy, friendly, liked by all. In short, very nice but nothing special here.
Red
7/23/2020 - benny-g Does not like this wine:
83 points
Mellow, sweetish, low level, drinkable. Could not stand up to my pasta al ragu.
Red - Sparkling
7/21/2020 - benny-g Likes this wine:
89 points
Red fruity freshness in the glass, but still quite dry. No overwhelming acidity, but rather a constant minerality with dried mediterranean herbs. Nice cherry aftertaste.
Red
7/19/2020 - benny-g Likes this wine:
93 points
Bright red fruits and some mushrooms in the nose. The fruits are also dominating the palate, the mushroom less so. Lovely, clear presence of juicy acidity are hinting at a range of small, red fruits with a constant backdrop of minerals. Yes, there is a bit of eucalyptus that is enhancing the experience. Blood orange / mandarin towards the finish emphasise the complexity and if you give it some time, the smoothness stands out. Excellent.
In my opinion this is as good as it gets with this 2014 vintage. No reason to give it any more years in the cellar.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
7/18/2020 - benny-g Likes this wine:
90 points
Intensely fruity immediately with fresh red berry fruit backed up by dark plum and blue forest fruits. The lovely acidity is balanced by aromatic florals and hearty tannins, making this very enjoyable and sapid. Luckily it is all on the playful side, not getting heavy at all. The finish reveals dried green herbs, but also has a bit of a gap somehow. So just clipping a 90 rating, which means to me: yes, please, Ï'd like some more...
Red
7/7/2020 - benny-g Likes this wine:
91 points
The typical fruits and florals for this Gioia del Colle can be found in this vintage. Mature plum and blue berry are clearly there, yet the complexity of the aromatic, floral notes is less than in the previous 2 years. On the other hand I do find a touch more acidity and fine tannins. The apparent sweetness is somehow more sugary than what I noticed in 2013 and 2014. The palate is more focused and less broad, so still a great wine, but just a bit less so.
Red
7/2/2020 - benny-g wrote:
88 points
Quite primary grape and raisin flavours dominate in this really dark ripasso, along with freshly baked bread. Not a ton of complexity and depth to be found here, but it does have a smooth mouth feel. Somehow it has this really Italian aroma that also some lambrusco wines have. Primary fruit with a combination of sweetness and grapy acidity, that should sum it up.
White - Sparkling
6/26/2020 - benny-g wrote:
91 points
This pinot meunier dominated (65%) champagne offers clear peach and apricot type of fruit evolving to more orange like aromas. It is quite gentle and friendly with obvious notes of vanilla, brioche and some caramel. The finish gives zesty acidity and makes me think - sorry, can't help it - Seven-Up.
This can rival any of the basic champagnes of the big, well known producers at a more friendly price.
Red
6/23/2020 - benny-g Likes this wine:
93 points
Great to find this vintage is (nearly) just as excellent as the 2013. Beautifully elegant florals and black/blue fruity aromas are nicely integrated. This is slightly smoky and has some pepper in the finish. The 2014 just has a touch less acidity, I think, than its predecessor.
White - Sparkling
6/19/2020 - benny-g Likes this wine:
88 points
This is a nice champagne without extras, true to its blanc de blancs nature with its clear yellow fruity start. The faint muscat like scent does not really show on the palate. The fruit fades faster than expected and makes way for some vanilla followed by gentle nutty/almond bitters. Pleasant, introvert champagne, which does not excel in complexity.
Red
6/18/2020 - benny-g wrote:
86 points
Clearly the lesser of the 3 primitivo wines from Chiaromonte I recently purchased. Sweeter, less balanced, but still enough dark fruit and flowers. It is from quite mature grapes, I think, even if there are some some greenish twitches. This means it is not fully integrated. Certainly some more acids would be very beneficial. Sounds maybe a bit negative now, but it can certainly rival most of the primitivos from Puglia.
Red
6/15/2020 - benny-g wrote:
87 points
This, my second bottle, luckily is lacking the funk and VA of the first. Lots of red fruit and an interesting depth, but sadly enough there's the sweet streak again. Just a bit much for me. As if they made a decent wine and added a of tea spoon of sugar to the bottle. I quickly get quite enough of this.
Red
6/15/2020 - benny-g Likes this wine:
94 points
Complex, balanced, fruity, layered, floral, juicy, structured, deep, smooth. Yep, all these describe for me this Chianti. I have not been too impressed with its namesakes lately because of often found aggressive tart finishes I experience with some sangioveses, but decided to buy some of this while ordering other reds that I am usually more enthusiastic about. Happy I did. Plenty of varietal and regional typicity with complex red and blue evolved fruits and florals and a touch of dried herbs and southern warmth. In my view this is a high quality Chianti at an affordable price.
Red
6/9/2020 - benny-g Likes this wine:
89 points
Nice cherry fruity acidity, a tad on the tart side. No huge complexity but sufficient depth and a decent balance. It's clear and crisp with a touch of the south provided by some dried herbs, emphasised by smooth tannin. Not a great and certainly not a heavy wine but absolutely something you want to and can drink with a lengthy Sicilian dinner. Refreshing and friendly. Also in its price, btw.
Red
6/7/2020 - benny-g wrote:
A difficult one. Let me explain. The fruit in this barbera is intense, clear, crisp, complex and even has like an extra red berry / strawberry kick towards the end. It is indeed a lively and refreshingly fruity wine with a good complexity and balance. However, there 's the band aid thing. It will gradually disappear in the hours after opening the bottle, but once I notice it in a bottle, the problem sticks. I dislike this Bret flavour. No rating for this one because of it.
I know this wine and vintage have been rated favourably by some (not necessarily CT), so I am wondering if this is a matter of different bottles or different individual sensitivities to Bret compounds.
Red
6/2/2020 - benny-g wrote:
88 points
Colsanto is an Umbrian winery owned and run by the Livon family, who produce excellent white wines in Friuli. Since I like these, I was curious to have a completely different wine made by Livon.
The main variety here is sangiovese, with some sagrantino. Rustic and red fruity in the nose. The palate gives intense red berry fruit and some shrubbery/earth like flavours. A constant astringent mouthfeel and some bitterness illustrate the barrique maturation during 10 months. Let the wine breathe and the bitterness largely disappears, leaving behind the tannic, astringent backdrop. Towards the finish the crisp, red fruit (cherry) is clearly dominant, giving a pleasant, extended aftertaste.
Not completely my type of wine and somewhat generic, but actually very nice.
Red
5/31/2020 - benny-g Likes this wine:
93 points
Unmistakably primitivo, Gioia del Colle! Clearly related to the Contrada Barbatto from Chiaromonte. Great, complex aroma of floral and black fruity components combining with southern rusticity, but still graceful. There 's a smoked, tea-like quality to it as well. A surprising twitch of red berry adds a bit of lightness towards the end. No, this is not too sweet, this is the fruit coming through. Wonderful.
White
5/30/2020 - benny-g Likes this wine:
91 points
Livons 's Friuli whites; 5/20/2020-6/1/2020: Spices are immediately noticeable as I pop the cork. Four-spice type. Yep, nutmeg/mace, ginger, cloves. To me these characterise this Livon white blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Picolit, Moscato giallo. Honey like sweetness, not overdone, give a satisfying sensation. The balance is just a tad to the sweet side, but there 's plenty of fruit (yellow plum, cantaloupe), spices and acidity.
I should try this one with milk-braised veal (spiced with mace).
White
5/28/2020 - benny-g Likes this wine:
93 points
Livons 's Friuli whites; 5/20/2020-6/1/2020: This is excellent! Amazingly concentrated fruit, mainly yellow but with a modest green touch as well. Beautifully integrated and intensely, lime like, acidic, which gives it a tremendous freshness. I love that in a wine. Towards the end some almond nuttiness appears to add yet another layer. The aftertaste lingers on in yellow orchard and agrum fruitiness.
Red
5/25/2020 - benny-g Likes this wine:
88 points
Does not really open up immediately. Needs some time in the glass to develop fruitiness in the nose. Well concentrated fruit, black/blue in nature, on the palate. Also needs time, an hour or so, to give its flavours and acidic touch towards the end. Or did it actually need food before developing some depth that seemed to be missing earlier? There is a constant backdrop of fine tannins, providing structure. Primary fruit is revealed at the end, surprisingly.
I can perfectly imagine having this with a cinghiale stew in an unassuming Abruzzo osteria.
White
5/24/2020 - benny-g Likes this wine:
92 points
Livons 's Friuli whites; 5/20/2020-6/1/2020: Since we travelled now little over one year ago to the north east corner of Italy, I have developed a renewed love for white wines, especially for the typical grapes of the Friuli area. I don't think you will find a lot of ribolla gialla and friulano vinyards in other parts of the country or even the wine world. It is still intriguing that the focus between Adriatic sea and the Alps is on whites.
The Solarco from Livon is a cuvee of both these grapes. The modest yellow fruit nose comes out in full on swirling, adding a surprising greenish touch. A sip fills the mouth with a basket of yellow fruits from apple to plum to citrus. Balance and concentration are great. Crisp, clean and clear. The finish is quite mineral and leaves you with a pleasant lemon and orange aftertaste.
Great with sushi, by the way.

Edit 2nd day: I had a bit left, which a day later developed some clear almondy bitterness in the finish. Wether that means we should drink it all on the first day, I don't know...
Red
5/24/2020 - benny-g Likes this wine:
87 points
I wanted to explore the wines of this Puglia winery, because of their great Gioia del Colle "Muro Sant'Angelo Contrada Barbatto" (a special wine seems to need a special, long designation) 2013. This is also a primitivo but classified as an IGT (IGP) and quite a bit cheaper. It's fine, but does not really have any extras. On the sweet side, as primitivos tend to be, but with a really big concentration of fruits, black and red. Plenty of acidity to counter part of the sugars, but still somewhat off-balance for me. Nice pepper and dried herbs do give it some charm.
Red
5/22/2020 - benny-g wrote:
85 points
A touch of VA and a funky whiff don't give this one a favourable start. Luckily these are quickly overpowered by rich, (too) sugary red, dense fruits and sufficient, pleasant acids. Letting it rest for a while omits the lesser start, but unfortunately seems to concentrate the sweetness. The visible viscosity is also quite indicative of the latter, just short of cloying. Overall a just okay wine, with a good concentration, but, for me, a balance leaning to overripe, late harvest fruit and insufficient southern, Italian spirit.
Red
5/15/2020 - benny-g Likes this wine:
87 points
Corvina based wines are rarely my favourites, so I have limited experience with this grape. Raisin and acidity in the nose. The acidity is not really present on the palate, which starts sweet and then shows some raisin/fig flavours alongside with floral tones. Part of the grapes was indeed dried for this wine. This is nice, but quite sweet, so not a to be drunk during a decent, savoury meal. Not by me, anyway. I could imagine it to pair well with grilled goats cheese and a drizzle of honey. Maybe I should try another vintage when available, since the '13 and the '15 were well appreciated (2 bicchieri) in the Gambero Rosso, not this '14.
Red
5/8/2020 - benny-g Likes this wine:
89 points
A strip loin steak with asparagus - it's the season - and artichoke with a gorgonzola based sauce. That's on the menu today. A nebbiolo seemed appropriate as accompaniment. The langhe nebbiolo from the house with the rhino did a very good job. Forest floor and mushroom are dominating the nose and that is what you get on the palate. The intensity is just about sufficient to rival the gorgonzola. Earth and modest tannins temper the black/red fruits in this sapid red. Unfortunately towards the finish it's -how to put it? - empty. I would have liked some acidity, a tannic bite, a rough edge, but they are just too modest. Very good, but short of excellent, is the conclusion.
Red
4/24/2020 - benny-g Likes this wine:
93 points
Sitting on my roof terrace in the late afternoon spring sun, after a week of teleworking, sipping this Tuscan delight, I am realising I sold this one short in my first tasting note. It is, I repeat, a delight, a joy to smell and savour this excellently balanced and beautifully integrated sangiovese. Fruity and flowery aromas mixing with foresty and mineral tones all contribute to the experience in an intense way. 2016 must have been a good summer in Italy, since this has a lovely southern character. I am looking forward to combining this with the steak and asparagus the Flemish way that are on the menu this evening.
2 people found this helpful Comments (4)
Red
4/18/2020 - benny-g Likes this wine:
93 points
Alcoholic and rustic nose. The palate is softer and more round than in my earlier note quite some time ago. Lovely integrated complexity with fruit and vanilla and a touch of liquorice. Beautiful balance with just enough acidity. Yes, rose petals and blood orange are there to emphasise the nebbiolo identity. Very clean and clear, with a peppery tease at the very end. Great!
Red
4/18/2020 - benny-g wrote:
88 points
Second day tasting note. Considerably better than first day. Fruity nose. Palate starts mellow and sweetish, but then red fruity and nicely floral. Finish is rather short. No vintage indicated. 2017?
Red
4/15/2020 - benny-g Likes this wine:
91 points
This, to me, is a difficult one to assess. It is a very good wine, no doubt there, but it is in the end quite generic. Nothing stands out, nothing characterises it in the way of giving it its own identity. That also means it's very well balanced and integrated. Evolved fruity, fragrant acidity is constantly present, which I like a lot. Still, austerity and spices are coming through towards the end. The variety and appellation are shining through in a lesser way than what could be expected and it could be a hard one to assign in a blind tasting.
Red
4/12/2020 - benny-g Likes this wine:
94 points
Lovely again. Showing hardly any evolution it is still amazingly floral and smooth. Yes, the first impression is sweet, but this is quickly overruled by exquisite floral perfume flavours. This is the perfect companion for slowly braised pork. I love this gioia del colle.
White
4/4/2020 - benny-g wrote:
90 points
Still excellent indeed. Ripe cantaloupe nose and yellow fruity palate with an exotic touch. Citrus acidity and some minerality towards the finish. Smooth, well balanced and integrated. Very good for what I paid like 3 years ago. But unfortunately the last one...
White - Sparkling
3/15/2020 - benny-g wrote:
89 points
Actually this sparkler has it all: vanilla, toast, almond nuttiness with a bitter note, yellow fruit evolving to zesty orange and towards the end a surprise touch of grenadine/cuberdon. Good integration and balance, be it not at an exuberant level.
Red
3/9/2020 - benny-g wrote:
88 points
My last bottle bought directly from the producer while on vacation in Piemonte in 2016. Compared to 2-3 years ago this is more mellow with softer acidity and a silky mouth feel. It has developed more complex fruit with a good vinous quality. The finish is now quite short, unlike before. So, some loss and some gain in quality.
Red
3/7/2020 - benny-g Likes this wine:
89 points
Black cherry! Nose and palate are all about mature, fleshy black cherry. Notes of vanilla and currant enhance the complexity. The balance does tend towards sweet, but fortunately in a controlled and still pleasant way, with modest acidity. Savoury black pepper in the finish. Do I notice a whiff of animal/mushroom after a while in the glass?
This would be perfect to accompany affettati misti!
White - Sparkling
2/29/2020 - benny-g Likes this wine:
90 points
This is the result of an attempt to create a classic method southern Italian sparkler from the local falanghina, with the assistance of expertise from the Champagne region.
I must say San Gregorio is succeeding quite well in what it set out to do some years ago. I find lots of vanilla and yeasty notes in the nose accompanied by white/ yellow fruit. The corresponding palate adds some chalk, yellow apple with citrus and orange. The overall impression is quite refined, yet not very dry.
Different from champagne and franciacorta and that makes it interesting, but also somewhat difficult to assess.
Red
2/29/2020 - benny-g Likes this wine:
91 points
Red, ripe fruits and warm spices in the nose with even a menthol like impression. Smooth, mature red fruits are obvious on tasting, gently evolving into black berry flavour with a rustic touch. This is very well balanced with certainly no overenthusiastic acidity. There is a constant floral, aromatic backdrop, making this Tuscan sangiovese very pleasant. I like this Carmignano more than the sharp red fruit I often encounter in other sangiovese based central Italian appellations.

This 2016 is more integrated, but less complex than the 2015 I had a couple of weeks ago. Clearly family though and equally good.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2/22/2020 - benny-g Likes this wine:
95 points
Lovely combination of bright, acidic red fruits, floral notes and yet also austerity that characterize a quality nebbiolo. Red fruits, from strawberry over red plum to blood orange are really prominent and yet austere earth also shines through. This combination makes this so typical Italian to me. A slight grapefruit like bitter touch adds to the complexity. The tannins give this wine a gently drying smoothness. For perfection there should have been a bit more depth. The aftertaste of citrus fruits extends the pleasure for quite a while.
Red
2015 Agricola Punica Barrua Isola dei Nuraghi IGT Carignan Blend, Carignan (view label images)
2/20/2020 - benny-g Likes this wine:
89 points
This is good, very good. But still short of a 90+ score for me. The alcohol is obvious in the nose, accompanied by modest red fruit. The fruit is there on tasting, but it is mainly in the back of the palate. I seem to be missing something in the front palate. This Sardinian is less rustic than expected. Everything is there, fruit, acidity, florality, a bit of sweetness, earth, evolution... The only thing that sticks out somewhat is the spicy, peppery finish. Somehow it gives a generic impression without raising eyebrows.
Do I remember correctly the 2012 was more complex, rustic, interesting?
Red
2/15/2020 - benny-g Likes this wine:
91 points
Fresh fruit in the nose is joined by wet minerals on swirling. Red fruits dominate the palate with a constant lovely, smooth, silky mouth feel. Gentle acidity contributes to the wonderful balance in this very friendly Tuscan red. Thanks to the sangiovese/cabernet/merlot blend there's more than just red fruit, with black berry tones and earthy flavours mixing in. Towards the end the mineral touch makes a return appearance.
This carmignano docg clearly presents a smoother and more friendly version of a Tuscan sangiovese based blend than some of its central Italian compatriots.
White
2/12/2020 - benny-g Likes this wine:
90 points
This escaped me and spent quite some years in my cellar.
On the down side it is quite sweet, but this shouldn't count since it clearly says "vendemmia tardiva" on the label. In other words it is meant to be sweet.
On the up side it does have an array of yellow and exotic fruits to offer, followed by lemony acidity and nice spiciness (nutmeg, cloves).
So, meant to be a sweet delight, it does deserve a high score.
Red
2/10/2020 - benny-g Likes this wine:
88 points
Dark. Dark in colour, dark forest fruits in the nose, dark, black/blue berries on the palate. There is some acidity, but it is modest. That is also true for the very fine tannins. There's is some sweetness as well, but it is all very nicely integrated. This dark red develops in a very pleasant juicy way, ending slightly peppery. Not a big wine, but very pleasant.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Livio Felluga Vertigo Delle Venezie Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/8/2020 - benny-g wrote:
84 points
Smell and taste are dominated by candied red fruit like ripe rasberry and some mulberry. On the palate this is followed by clear red fruity acidity, which makes this cabernet sauvignon / merlot blend more palatable to me. It's as if one of the varieties was picked at the right time and the other one (the merlot?) was rather on the mature side. The finish is fairly short. Tannins are not present, so it seems. Overall this is somewhat too sweet to really please me.
Red
2011 Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico Cultus Boni Riserva Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese (view label images)
1/31/2020 - benny-g wrote:
95 points
Still wonderful. Complexity with all kinds of fruits, tending towards black. Flowery aromas are present as well. Nicely full and evolved, with a gentle, acidic agressivity ending in an austere and bone dry finish. I love this Chianti, accompanying today my cote a l'os with salsify in gorgonzola sauce perfectly.
Red
1/22/2020 - benny-g wrote:
Comment from a family member: brambleberry and sweet. That is basically a summary of my earlier tasting note.
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