Bruno Giacosa 2015 – Dolcetto d’Alba, Italy

A pretty little medium bodied red with no surprises.  Luscious, with red fruit and faint leather and grass notes.  This one is easy-drinking and plays well with a variety of foods and moods.  Don’t think, just drink.

  • Rating: Everyday Red
  • Name: Bruno Giacosa Dolcetto d’Alba 2015
  • Winery: Bruno Giacosa
  • Region: Dolcetto d’Alba
  • Country: Italy
  • Varietals: Dolcetto
  • Price: ~$25
  • Where to Buy: com

Langhe DOC Rosso 2013 – Piedmont, Italy

Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, Barbera, Freisa, Pinot Noir, and Albarossa. Violet and mineral notes on the nose with just a hint of autumn mustiness. Fresh cherry, plum, and florals attack the palate on the front end, rounding quickly with brief tannins and a longer greenish mineral finish. This is a bright, acidic red just right for the onset of spring. I would call it light bodied, if not for some stubborn tannins on the backend that provide some depth and backbone. With toast and goat cheese, it’s stellar and I could not imagine a better foil. I picked this one up at Calvert Woodley for $16 on Mark’s recommendation. Verdict: Everyday Red.

  • Rating: Everyday Red
  • Name: Langhe DOC Rosso 2013
  • Winery: G.D. Vajra
  • Region: Piedmont
  • Country: Italy
  • Varietals: Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, and Barbera blended with small quantities of Albarossa, Freisa and Pinot Noir
  • Price: $16
  • Where to Buy: Calvert Woodley, 4339 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008


Nirá Nero D’Avola 2012 – Sicily, Italy

img_3401Big vanilla chocolate raspberry cinnamon punch in the mouth. Sound jammy? Nope. Got the tannins to collect it all up nicely at the end of the palate. The mouth punch gives way later to familiar dark tarry notes of rubber, blackberry jam, and slate that Nero is known for. A nice, stubborn wine that gets a foothold on the palate. Believe I picked this one up at Schneider’s on the Hill for around $25.



  • Rating: Everyday Reds
  • Name: Nirá 2012
  • Winery: Terrelíade
  • Region: Sicily 
  • Country: Italy
  • Varietals: Nero D’Avola
  • Price: $25
  • Where to Buy: Schneider’s of Capitol Hill, 300 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002

Nero D’Avola Black Label 2010 – Sicily, Italy

I’ve been drinking a lot of Nero from Sicily lately, trying to get a feel for it. Cherry, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and lots of structure hit the nose. Plenty of tannin on the back end, almost too much. The high alcohol content hits the nose a bit hard at over 14% – that’s not always the case in some other boozy wines. It goes down with that nice mossy, rubbery feel of many of the Nero I’ve had. Picked this one up at Schneider’s on the Senate side. I would says it’s pretty good, but does not stand out from many of the other similar wines I’ve had and doesn’t really inspire me at the $20 price point.

  • Rating: Meh
  • Name: Nero D’Avola Black Label 2010
  • Winery: Tola
  • Region: Sicily
  • Country: Italy
  • Varietals: Nero D’Avola
  • Price: $20
  • Where to Buy: Schneider’s of Capital Hill, 300 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington, DC, 20002

Castellucci Miano Nero d’Avola 2010 – Sicily, Italy

Not crazy about this one. Tastes a bit oxidized, with black rubber, eucalyptus, and raisins all sewn up by a light tannin kick, with a hint of smoky chocolate. It isn’t poison, but I believe it’s past its prime and I won’t buy it again.

  • Rating: Meh
  • Name: Nero d’Avola 2010
  • Winery: Castellucci Miano
  • Region: Sicily
  • Country: Italy
  • Varietals: Nero d’Avola
  • Price: N/A
  • Where to Buy: N/A