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Mario Cagnetta

Mario Cagnetta

3067 days ago

Mario scored this wine: 93/100

Delicate and strong at the same time. Fruity and earthy with beautiful notes of velvet, dry roses, cinnamon, truffles, chocolate and coffee and even tobacco, with a continuous evolution of complexity that makes this wine unique and a truly authentic expression of Barolo. Cordero di Montezemolo Barolo Monfalletto 2006 is simply an explosion of elegance. A typical expression of this territory, Langhe in Piedmont in the north west of Italy, where Nebbiolo grapes grow and can fully express their wonderful potential. This is an important "cru" of Barolo and basically the grapes are on a hill called Monfalletto in the village of La Morra. This wine is aged in Slavonian and French oak for almost two years and then is released after being bottled for one year. Visual examination: garnet, limpid with a good consistency. Olfactory examination: intense and delicate on the nose and very complex, Cordero di Montezemolo Monfalletto Barolo has an excellent quality and the bouquet has multiple notes of violets, roses, truffle and many other scents. Taste and olfactory examination: all the beautiful qualities described in the previous examinations are fully confirmed. In the mouth this Barolo is able to surprise again with a warm hug, very well balanced by the polyalcohols and the soft and elegant tannins. The aftertaste is balanced, intense, persistent. A very good quality wine, robust and ready to drink, and of course very harmonious. This wine could be paired with game and braised meat. A very wonderful companion for memorable nights. Best served at 18/20 degrees.

Marcarini Barolo Brunate 2006

Piedmont, Barolo, Italy
3169 days ago

Mario scored this wine: 92/100

Mushrooms, truffles, braised game meat with polenta and of course a wonderful Barolo risotto. Those are the best pairings for Marcarini Barolo Brunate 2006. A powerful and elegant wine from Langhe that expresses the real essence of this territory. Brunate is a subzone between the villages of Barolo and La Morra and is considered one of the best “cru” of the entire DOCG (denominazione di origine controllata e garantita). The complexity of this wine is very impressive and is beautifully combined with an important structure that is typical from the Nebbiolo grapes grown in this area. Visual examination: limpid wine to crystal-clear, this Barolo has a garnet red colour and reveals a strong consistency with many arches around the glass after swirled. Olfactory examination: Intense and complex with a range of scent nuances that ranges from violets, plums, cherries to tobacco, chocolate and cinnamon. The quality, of course is fine but if aged for at least two to three years it will be excellent. Taste-olfactory examination: dry, warm wine, this Barolo is smooth despite the important structure and its maturity not completely expressed at this time. Fresh with the acidity, it is a tannic wine with a good minerals presence. Balanced wine, with an intense and persistent after-taste and a fine quality. Robust wine, ready to drink but not fully mature. My suggestion is to keep it in the cellar for at least three years to let it express its full harmony and potential. Best to serve at 20 degrees Celsius.

The Red

Mountadam Estate The Red 2009

High Eden, Eden Valley, South Australia, Australia
2619 days ago

Mario scored this wine: 92/100

Delicate but complex and intense. It is always difficult to assemble all the wine components properly. In fact, especially in reds, it is common to find wines with too much alcohol and tannins which overwhelm the fruit. Of course, climate has a great effect on the outcome of the wine and this is exactly the case of “The Red” High Eden from Mountadam 2009. A distinctive blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc following the classic Bordeaux style. Visual examination: deep red in colour with a purple hue. Leges surround the glass after swirling the wine revealing a good percentage of alcohol and structure. Olfactory examination: intense but delicate at the same time with evident notes of licorice, ripe plums, red capsicum, blackberry, tar, vanilla, ink cherries and balsamic notes of eucalyptus and mint and a vibrant final of firewood. Taste/olfactory examination: intense and persistent in the mouth, the tannins are relevant but smooth at the same time. A full bodied wine very well balanced that can give its best paired with roasted rack of lamb with herbs.

3278 days ago

Mario scored this wine: 90/100

To tell you the truth, rarely I find a good Chianti here in Canada. Most of the time the quality of the wine imported from Tuscany is lower compared to the wider selection found if you go to that wonderful region in the centre of Italy. By the way, last week I just went to the LCBO and I found “Ser Lapo” Chianti Classico Riserva 2008 from Mazzei and I immediately put in my cart. The Mazzei family has owned the famous Castle of Fonterutoli since 1435 and with this wine they wanted to celebrate their “notable ancestor” “Ser Lapo”, a wonderful winemaker from Carmignano and a Notary of the Florence City government and also the author of the first official document mentioning “Chianti wine” in 1398. Ninety per cent Sangiovese, 10 per cent Merlot, this Chianti is a full body wine highly recommended for barbecue especially when you have a big Fiorentina steak on your grill. The strength of this Chianti is very well balanced by the bouquet of aromas that goes from fruity notes like prunes and cherries to floral and forest flavours with a vanilla scent given by 12 months of aging in French oak barrels (225 litres, 50 per cent new). Visual exam: limpid to crystal clear, it presents a red garnet color with a good consistency. Olfactory examination: intense and complex, “Ser Lapo” has a fine quality with floral, fruity and forest notes with a evident presence of spicy notes like black pepper and vanilla and a finish of dark chocolate, licorice and clove. Taste-olfactory examination: dry wine, very warm because of the high percentage of alcohol, and smooth. Moderately fresh, tannic and moderately sapid this Chianti is balanced but it is still tannic. The quality is fine. A full body wine with a lot of potential that will reach its full maturity in a couple of years when the presence of the tannins will not be so prevalent. Ready to drink but it would reach its best if you stored in the cellar for a minimum of two years.

Crespino 2006

Valtellina, Italy
3225 days ago

Mario scored this wine: 90/100

This wine is a jewel. Not only because it is very rare to find here in Canada but also for its elegance and bouquet. Rainoldi "Crespino" is a very refined Nebbiolo from Valtellina, another beautiful area in the north of Lombardy, where this grape finds the natural habitat. Here Nebbiolo grapes are called "Chiavennasca", a name given by Chiavenna, a tiny town surrounded by Val Chiavenna. Valtellina with its high altitude is one of the best territories to grow Nebbiolo grapes along with Langhe Piedmont. The vineyards are protected by the mountains and this allows the fruit to reach maturity slowly until mid November when they are usually harvested manually in the subzone of Valgella and Grumello. Visual examination: crystal clear and transparent like the typical Nebbiolo, Crespino has a very clear garnet red and when poured in the glass reveals a good consistency. Olfactory examination: intense, complex, very fine in quality, it is floral and fruity with notes of violet, ripe figs and vanilla, successfully combined with nuances of tobacco and hazelnuts. Taste-olfactory examination: dry, warm, smooth, moderately fresh in acidity, Crespino 2006 is still a tannic wine particularly recommended with game, red meat and mushrooms. Very balanced wine, intense and persistent with a fine quality, this wine is a harmonious full body wine ready to drink, a very good companion during winter time.

Mario Cagnetta

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1988 Sassicaia


First Wine



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Current Fav Wine

Sforzato di Valtellina





Winner World's Best Drink Writer
WFour-Time Winner James Beard Foundation
Five-Time Winner Association of Food Journalists
Six-Time Winner Bert Greene Award
Best Wine Literature Book Gourmand World Cookbook Awards
Online Writer of the Year Louis Roederer International Wine Writing Award