I am well aware that a successful vacation requires some advance planning. And so I decided to channel my inner Rick Steves and prepare for this trip by sipping different Italian wines. (It does so count as planning!) My friends at Banfi wines have aided me (some would say aided and abetted me, but that is total opinion) by providing me with lots of Italian wine samples recently. I was happily surprised by Bolla's Chianti , and so eagerly moved on to another offering.
This one is Bolla Creso (2010, 15%, Italy). It's a blend of 65% Corvina, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon. I wasn't really familiar with Corvina, but a quick tweet session with the Bolla folks helped me get familiar. Corvina is grown in Veneto, Italy and makes a medium bodied, acidic wine. The Cabernet Sauvignon I knew about, but in this case, the Bolla tweeps informed me that the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in Creso are partially dried before being used in this wine.
Newly and duly informed, I sipped away. The nose on this can best be described as an autumn afternoon spent outside: oak and smoke. More on the crisp side than the smoky side of things though. The first flavors I tasted were of framboise liqueur and raspberries. I say both because there was a tartness to it that made me think of the liqueur in addition to the fresh fruit. Then came some wood fired oak, which oddly enough, was an amazing partner to the fruit flavor. The tannins were big, but very refined, so you didn't get knocked down by them. I have to say that this wine is amazingly balanced too. For a wine that's 15% ABV, you get such true flavors of the fruit and oak that you've got to be impressed! The folks at Bolla suggested that you let it breathe for a while and that it would pair great with a rich dish, like polenta and short ribs. It was quite the Twitter chat. (Note to self: find good recipe and learn how to cook short ribs. Yes, I will take suggestions, Winey Friends. Just leave 'em in the comment section. Pretty please.)
There was just enough fruit in this to make me happy, and enough oak and big red flavor to make any red wine lover (include me) happy too. I love my reds, but I also like to be reminded of the fruits they come from. This wine did a great job. It's sold widely around the country for between $15 and $20. A great wine to present as a hostess gift!
And I must give another shout out to the tweeps at Bolla. You see, I originally started sipping this wine because the infamous polar vortex of January 2014 was at its end. For the first time in 3 days, we were looking at temps above 0 (OK, not the Winey Daughter, she was totally enjoying her extended senior year Christmas break) and yet they reminded me to look on the positive side of polar conditions:
|Love their perspective!|
I was given this wine for review purposes. The opinions are all my own. In my opinion, polar vortexes stink. The wine however, did not.
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