2010 Nobilo Icon Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc (about $15). In general, my own personal taste doesn't drift to Sauvignons from New Zealand's southern island's northern tip. I find them pleasant, but generally having too much green fruit and acidity - and I've tasted other Nobilos in this category. But I truly love this wine because, without losing crisp acidity, is has dried tropical fruitiness, a lovely gamy and tangy nose and finish, plus a drinking-water-from-a-tin-can minerality. I'll take this one.
2009 Cecchi Bonizio Sangiovese di Maremma ($9). This is a pleaseant drinking wine, and it is worth the price. That being said, it comes across too much like an Aussie fruity Shiraz in the same price range or a California Central Coast Merlot. I taste very little Sangiovese character. Of course, great Super Tuscans have sprung from the hills bordering the Maremma plain, but pure Sangiovese seems to not flourish there unless it is on well-drained soil - and sometimes not even them.
2007 Va La Avondale "Cedar" (about $45). First, decant this wine before you go to table, not because it's massive, but because it blossoms with just a few minutes of fresh air. This is a delicious wine that is truly a food wine in the Va La style. Made from a blend of northern Italian grapes grown in a little estate vineyard along Pennsylvania's US 41, it is full of zingy fresh, lightly tart, cherry flavors, fresh oak well blended with a hint of vanilla, a little dark (not creamy) chocolate the more it breathes and tannins so well-integrated you barely know they are there. Although it will age, it makes great drinking now.
Until next time....