Thursday, July 2, 2009


I am back on a big Italian kick these days. The wines that lured me down the dark, seductive path of Dionysian pleasures is tempting me once again. One of the latest attractions is the Luigi D’Alessandro Cortona Syrah 2005, a vivacious, alluring 100% Syrah from Tuscany. Aged for around 8 months in 2-3 year old oak barrels, it maintains a youthful vigor that seems lost in a lot of its Australian brethren. Tuscany is certainly not renowned for its Syrah, yet Luigi d’Alessandro makes the astonishing Il Bosco, the big brother of Cortona, and is considered one of, if not the, greatest Syrah coming out of Italy today.

Filled with red flowers, clove, allspice and crushed red berries in the nose, the allure of this Syrah is much more sublime than the high-octane Shirazes, and even some of the weightier Northern Rhones. It romances the olfactory, bewitching the senses. On the palate comes juicy red raspberry, red currant, strawberry and fresh rhubarb, along with medium-bodied tannins, a pleasurable backbone of acidity, some hints of cinnamon, white pepper, and earth, all leading toward a lingering crescendo of flavor. It’s a really well-made wine that shows there is more to Italy than just Sangiovese.

BTW: Over at my friend Michelle Lentz’s blog – – my guest post is part one of an Italian wine primer, something to fill in the gap while Shel and her husband cruise the Alaskan coastline. Lots of great posts all this week and next. Check them out!

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