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Thursday, February 24, 2011

THE WINE LIST: Roundup 2010/2011: Top Wines Reviewed and Rated by Reno Spiteri's Wineopolis.


The following is a roundup of the best and most exciting wines that we have reviewed and rated during the last quarter of 2010 and so far this year. The list will be updated periodically to help you make better choices when choosing a good wine whether to drink at home or in a restaurant. Although we have taste-tested and analysed many more wines, both local and from various countries, and regions, we are only featuring here those wines that have scored over 85 points and are therefore classified as premium or very good quality wines. The major accolade for a winemnaker is to get his wines into the RS90 to RS95 point score which indicate an excellent wine for that particular vintage. If one succeeds to get awarded RS96 or over, which is rare, this indicates that for that particular vintage, that wine is not only excellent, but it is superlative in all respects. RS85 to RS89 is reserved for very good quality wines, that are reachable by most consumers and which offer excellent value for money. This score is very respectable and indicate very good wine.

The point system is awarded as follows:
RS96 - RS100:  Outstanding, Superlative Classic. Rarely awarded.
RS90 - RS95:    Excellent wines, regardless of price tag.
RS85 - RS89:    Very Good Wines. Quality at a good price.
RS80 - RS84:    Good. Reasonably good wines for everyday or easy drinking.

It is Reno Spiteri's Wineopolis' policy, to only review and feature wines, for which samples have been directly sent or supplied to us by the winemaker from the country of origin (or by the winemaker's local distributor). This is to ensure that the wine in question reaches us in pristine condition and not after it had possibly been badly stored or handled by third parties. This in turn will ensure the fairest way of rating a wine. We report it as we find it in the bottle, in the same way as any consumer can find it. Only the very best wines directly reviewed by us make it to this list. Wines shall be added to this list during the course of 2011 as reviewed and rated by us from time to time.
For full reviews and description of each wine listed hereunder, together with the recommended food pairing, refer to the review features under the topics titled " A taste of........" in this site. Just scroll down the page to view all features.


RS95             Patrimo Dei Feudi Di San Gregorio- Campania Rosso Merlot 2006 IGT.
RS94             Zenato Amarone Delle Valpolicella Classico 2006 DOC by Azienda Vinicola Zenato.
RS93             Serpico Dei  Feudi Di San Gregorio -Irpinia Aglianico 2005 DOC.
RS93             Brunello di Montalcino 2005 DOCG by Cantine Leonardo da Vinci, Vinci, Florence.
RS93             McLaren Vale Shiraz 2004 GOLD LABEL  Limited Edition-(Yellow Tail) by Casella Wines.
RS93.         Sagrantino Di Montefalco 25 ANNI DOCG 2006 - by Arnaldo Caprai- Umbria.
RS92             Gratius 2004 Super-Tuscan by AZ. AG.Il Molino di Grace of Panzano in Chianti.
RS92             Zenato Ripassa Valpolicella Superiore 2007 DOC by Az. Vinicola Zenato
RS92             Vrucara Nero D'Avola 2005 and 2007 by Feudo Montoni, Sicily.
RS92             Chianti Classico Riserva 2004 Il Margone by Az.Ag. Il Molino Di Grace.
RS92             Chianti Classico Riserva 2006 by Az.Ag. Il Molino di Grace of Panzano in Chianti.
RS92             Piano Di Monte Vergine Taurasi Riserva dei Feudi di San Gregorio 2002 DOCG.
RS92             Celsius Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 by Meridiana Wine Estate, Malta.
RS92             Da Vinci Chianti Riserva 2006 DOCG by Cantine di Leonardo da Vinci, Vinci,
RS92          Sagrantino di Montefalco Collepiano DOCG 2006 - by Arnaldo Caprai - Umbria.
RS91             Zenato Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2008 DOC by Az. Vinicola Zenato.
RS91             Chianti Classico Riserva 2005 by Az. Ag. Il Molino di Grace of Panzano in Chianti.
RS91             (Yellow Tail) by Casella Wines Wrattonbully Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 GOLD LABEL Limited Edition.
RS91             Sto. Ippolito Toscana IGT 2006 Super Tuscan by Cantine Leonardo da Vinci, Vinci.
RS91             Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva 2000 DOCG and 2003 DOCG, by Carpineto.
RS91             Bel Syrah 2008 DOK by Meridiana Wine Estate, Malta.
RS91             Gran Cavalier Merlot 2009 DOKS by Emm. Delicata Winemaker, Malta.
RS91             Gran Cavalier Syrah 2009 DOKS by Emm. Delicata Winemaker, Malta.
RS91             Taurasi Dei Feudi di San Gregorio 2005 and 2006 DOC.
RS91             Da Vinci Chianti Classico 2007 DOCG by Cantine Leonardo da Vinci, Vinci, Florence.
RS90             Nexus Merlot 2007 DOK by Meridiana Wine Estate, Malta.
RS90             Bai Gori de Garage Tempranillo 2005, by Bodegas Bai Gori, Rioja, Spain.
RS91             Chianti Classico 2007 by Az. Ag. Il Molino di Grace of Panzano in Chianti (revised).
RS89             Grand Vin de Hauteville Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 DOK by Emm. Delicata Malta.
RS89             Rubrato Dei Feudi Di San Gregorio-Irpinia Aglianico 2008 DOC.
RS89             Da Vinci Chianti 2008 DOC by Cantine Leonardo da Vinci, Vinci, Florence.
RS89             Nero D'Avola 2009 by Feudo Montoni, Sicily.


RS92            Marsamena 2009 - Gozo DOK Barrel Fermented - Ta' Mena Wine Estate, Gozo.
                    (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Serkuzan - oaked.) 
RS90            Gabillott 2009 Gozo DOK - Ta' Mena Wine Estate, Gozo.
                    (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Serkuzan - unoaked).
RS90             Melqart 2006 & 2007 Malta DOK - Meridiana Wine Estate, Malta.
                    (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon).
RS90            Grand Vin De Hauteville 2009  Malta DOKS- Emm. Delicata Winemaker, Malta
                     (Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon).
RS90            Pianoforte 2007 Malta DOK - Camilleri Wine Estate, Malta.
                    (Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah).
RS88             1551 2009 -Gozo DOK- Ta' Mena Wine Estate, Gozo.
                    (Merlot, Cabernet Franc).
RS87             1551 2009- Gozo DOK, Ta' Mena Wine Estate, Gozo.
                    (Serkuzan, Syrah).


RS94             Vina' Tondonia Gran Riserva 1964 - R.Lopez Heredia Vina Tondonia SA, Rioja.
                      (Macabeo, Malvasia Blend - oaked)
RS92              Campanaro -Irpinia Bianco 2009 DOC- Dei Feudi Di San Gregorio.
                      (Fiano di Avellino, Greco di Tufo - blend).
RS92              Enchor Chardonnay 2009 - Gozo DOK - Ta' Mena Wine Estate, Gozo.

RS91             Astarte Vermentino 2009 Malta DOK- Meridiana Wine Estate, Malta.
RS90             Fiano Di Avellino 2009 DOCG Dei Fuedi di San Gregorio, Campania.
RS90             Greco Di Tufo 2009 DOCG Dei Feudi Di San Gregorio, Campania.
RS90             Laurenti Chardonnay 2009 DOK - Camilleri Wines.
RS90             Laurenti Viogner-Vermentino 2009 DOK- Camilleri Wine Estate, Malta.
RS88             Gran Cavalier Chardonnay 2010 DOK-S -Emm. Delicata & Sons.
RS88             1551 Chardonnay -Gozo 2009 DOK - Ta' Mena Wine Estate, Gozo.
RS88             Pianoforte Blanco 2009 DOK Viogner-Vermentino - Camilleri Wine Estate, Malta.
RS87             Grand Vin de Hauteville Chardonnay - Emm. Delicata Winemaker, Malta.
RS87             ISIS Chardonnay 2009 DOK - Meridiana Wine Estate, Malta.


RS92                 Privilegio Campania Bianco 2007 IGT Dei Feudi Di San Gregorio, Campania.
RS92                 Arnaldo Caprai Passito DOCG 2006 -  by Arnaldo Caprai, Umbria.
RS91                 Dolce Vita by Camilleri Wine Estate, Malta.
RS91                 Da Vinci VinSanto 2004 DOC,  by Cantine Leonardo Da Vinci, Florence.

Wines reviewed and rated by us throughout 2011 shall be added to this list periodically.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Taste of Italy:Campania (2)

Fiano grape cluster.
Greco grape cluster.
Red wines are not the only source of wine production in CAMPANIA. The region has an amazingly lenghty list of indegenious white grape varieties, the most well known of which are FIANO, GRECO and FALANGHINA; as well as Asprinio, Biancolella, Coda di Volpe and Forastera. Until quite recently these grape varieties and others existed only in wine areas of little interest. From this array of grape varieties only the first three are becoming to be well known to wine aficionados in Italy, but are still widely unknown around the wine drinking countries of the world. The first sign that at least FIANO DI AVELLINO and GRECO DI TUFO are being given the importance that they deserve is their elevation to DOCG status, thus becoming the only white wines so honoured in the Mezzogiorno or South of Italy.

Falanghina grape cluster.
One of the first things that a wine connoisseur would state about these two grape varieties when vinified into wine, is that neither Fiano nor Greco are Chardonnay. In fact both are totally anti-Chardonnay, tending towards the opposite end of the spectrum of Chardonnay's buttery sweetness. In fact the complex volcanic soils of the region, results in Campania's white wine to be linked by common attributes of minerality and excellent food friendly acidity that are distinguished by individual flavour profiles.

FIANO DI AVELLINO as well as GRECO DI TUFO, are not just two other Italian light Summer wines. These two full-bodied wines are substantial wines that have earned their place at the dinner table with adequate food throughout the year. They compare and compete with the best Chardonnays and Sauvignon Blancs in the world.

The wines that we are reviewing in this feature are the:
All of which are produced by the same winemaker:
FEUDI DI SAN GREGORIO of  Sorbo, Serpico, Irpinia, Campania.

Campanaro 2009 DOC Irpinia Bianco.

This wine is produced from a blend of the finest Fiano and Greco grapes, harvested from selected and symbolic vineyards on the winemakers estates in Campania, and is composed of equal amounts from both varieties, which are blended in perfect harmony to produce an exceptional and unique white wine.

Fermentation is achieved in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperatures of 16 - 18 Deg.C, after which it is aged on its own lees for 5 months with repeated battonage (stirring) and racking, in stainless steel tanks. Further aging in the bottle is done for some months prior to release.

This wine has a golden, straw yellow colour. On the nose it has distinct aromas of ripe pears, apricot and citrus. Flavours of intense minerals, tropical fruit, grapefruit and honey abound, which give the wine an almost sweet character. Excellent good acidity gives a clean, crispy long finish which appeals to those that prefer big and fat wines.

Alcohol content: 13.5%
Price Range: Eur20.


This wine is still in its infancy, and although an excellent white wine that can be consumed now, it might well improve, develop and improve more in the bottle for some months.

Fiano di Avellino and Greco di Tufo 2009 DOCG.

Produced from 100% Fiano grapes, and fermented in stainless steel tanks under controlled conditions and temperatures of 16 - 18 Deg.C.
Matured and aged in stainless steel tanks for 3 months, and further aging in the bottle prior to release.

Pale, straw yellow in colour, with elegant, floral bouquets and aromas of apple, pear and pepper. On the palate it is rich and full-bodied with nuances of honey, nuts and grapefruit flavours. Rich mineral and crispy acidity result in a refreshingly long finish.

Alcohol content: 13%.
Price range: Eur17



Produced from 100% Greco grapes.
Fermentation as per the previous two wines in stainless steel tanks, and aging for 3 months also in stainless steel tanks in contact with its lees to exploit and retain the full texture and minerality of the grape variety.

Deep, straw yellow in colour, brilliant with golden highlights. Exceptionally clear in the glass.
Intense and lingering aromas of tropical fruit, vanilla and mint. Flavours of lemon, lime and grapefruit with a good minerality taste. Very good structure, crisp acidity and refreshing citrusy finish, long, elegant and full-bodied.

Alcohol content: 13%
Price range: Eur17.


Grilled seafood; rabbit - stewed, caserole and/or fried in extra virgin olive oil and garlic. White fish - grilled, poached steamed; White meats - lemon chicken, veal, pork; Crustaceans - crab, lobster, crayfish, shrimps and prawns; Medium-aged cheeses; Italian and Mediterranean cuisine; Seafood pasta, pizza and salads. Neapolitan pizzas.

Privilegio 2007.


Produced from a perfectly harmonised blend of FIANO and FALANGHINA grape varieties.

After late harvesting the selected grape bunches of these two grape varieties are spread and aerated to dry for 8 weeks until they obtain the necessary levels of sugar left in the nectar after all the water content in each grape is dried out, to produce this excellent dessert wine.

Fermentation and maturation takes place in barriques for 12 months, with a further aging period of another 12 months in the bottle.

Deep, golden yellow in colour with exceptional clarity. Bouquet of dried apricot and soft raisins with floral aromas. On the palate it is silky smooth, enriched by broad acidity and mineral nuances. Lingering finish with an aftertaste of citrus zest and peel, spice and peach

Alcohol content: 11.5%
Price range: Eur33.


PRIVILEGIO  compliments sweet Italian desserts, pastry, tarts and flans, creme bruile', aged cheese, blue cheeses, and strong after dinner espressos.

This dessert wine is excellent to drink now but can be further aged in the bootle up to ten years or more.

Lemon Chicken.
Seafood Platter.
Selection of cuisine to complimet the above white wines.
Seafood and Seashells.