A tasting of M & M Importers’ latest imports – March 2022

Well folks it has been too long since my last post, Passover, life, lots of work, anyway, I have a lot of notes to post, so look for them to be coming very soon., For now, I need to post the lovely wines I received from Ralph Madeb, president and CEO of M & M Importers. These are all Italian options and some of them can be found in Europe from Honest Grapes while most of them are here in the USA from some stores in and around NY and NJ.

The simpler wines have a new label, gone is the Botteotto brand and now we have the wines under the original winery’s brands. A few of these wines are Mevushal and while I have my issues with the need for Mevushal in our lives today, it seemed to have little to no effect on the wines themselves.

Also, I finally had the chance to taste the 2016 Tassi Brunello di Montalcino Franci, Bettina Cuvee, Brunello di Montalcino, for a second time. I had it in France last year, and while I liked the wine it did not blow me away, as I was expecting. I am happy I had the chance as I felt the wine did not show well in pairs. Sure enough, the wine was indeed better and the revised score and notes can be found below.

The wine list is another example of why Italy is a wonderful wine region to find QPR stars. This entire list is either GOOD to WINNER. No duds. Overall another great list from M &M Importers.

My sincerest thanks to Ralph and his partner at M & M Importers for sharing their wonderful wines with us all! The wine notes follow below – the explanation of my “scores” can be found here and the explanation for QPR scores can be found here:

2020 Cristallo Pinot Grigio, Colline Pescaresi, IGT (M) – Score: 89 (QPR: GREAT)
This wine is fun, it is simple but fun, refreshing, funky, and enjoyable.
The nose of this wine is funky, with notes of straw, rosebud, rose petals, green apple, slate, white flowers, and more hay!
The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is fun, simple, refreshing, well-balanced, with lovely acidity, nice weight, good fruit focus, orange notes, nectarine, tart lemon/lime, and citrus, but what sticks with you is the refreshing weight and salinity.
The finish is long, green, tart, balanced with good acidity, hay, straw, violet, and long lingering tart green fruit with minerality. Lovely! Drink now. (tasted March 2022) (in San Jose, CA) (ABV = 12.5%)

2020 Illuminare Dry Moscato, Colline Pescaresi, IGT (M) – Score: 89 (QPR: GREAT)
This wine reminds me of the other dry Muscat wine I know of on the market – Michael Kaye’s lovely wine. Michael’s wine is fruitier, this wine is lean, very floral, but also shows tart/dry tropical notes, really very different but also similar and equally fascinating.
The nose of this wine is intoxicating, it pulls you in and grabs you, showing tart and dry pineapple, intense jasmine, white flowers, tart green and yellow mango, lychee, smoke, flint, and more floral notes. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is fun, showing lovely saline, refreshing, tart, with great acidity, sweet Mandarin orange, pineapple, sweet pear, Meyer lemon, honeyed notes, and lovely honeysuckle.
The finish is long, tart, green, yet nicely ripe, very floral, with good saline, minerality, and more fruit. Bravo! Drink Now (tasted March 2022) (in San Jose, CA) (ABV = 12.5%)

2020 Casale Del ‘700 Falanghina, Campania IGT – Score: 90 (QPR: GREAT)
The wine starts nicely but the bubbles seem to blow off with time, I think it is trapped SO2.
The nose of this wine is fun and bright with notes of peach, apricot, Meyer lemon blossom, lemon, lemongrass, and slate.
The mouth of this medium-bodied wine shows nice weight, intense acidity, great fruit focus, nice fruit concentration, with great mineral, lovely stone fruit, peach, apricot, lemon, lime, lime zest, and tart yellow plum, with great saline.
The finish is long, green, and tart, with ripe fruit, well-balanced, refreshing, with more saline, lovely stone fruit, rock, and slate. Bravo! Drink by 2023. (tasted March 2022) (in San Jose, CA) (ABV = 13%)

2020 Pescaja Solei’ Arneis, Terre Alfieri – Score: 91 (QPR: WINNER)
OK, so this is the 2nd vintage for this wine and it continues to impress with this new vintage, but differently. The 2019 vintage was ripe and fuller in the mouth, this is ripe and tart, but more focused and steely than the 2019 vintage.
The nose of this wine shows nicely with ripe gooseberry, salted almonds, cat pee, floral notes, violet, sweet ripe pear, and intense flint.
The mouth of this medium-bodied white wine is lovely, with layers upon layers of incredible fruit, ripe pear, peach, apricot, lovely honeysuckle, followed by honey, honeyed and spiced citrus, freshly-cut grass, roasted almond, and intense acidity.
The finish is long, tart, intense, with more ripe fruit, grass, straw, hay, slate, flint, and rich saline, all wrapped in sweet and tart fruit. Just so much fun! Nice Drink until 2023. (tasted March 2022) (in San Jose, CA) (ABV = 13%)

2020 Sorrento Cabernet Sauvignon, Colline Pescaresi, IGT (M) – Score: 90 (QPR: GREAT)
This is a simple wine, what is often called a lovely quaff, it has little to grab my attention, but it also is a nice mevushal wine that is red, which is rare.
The nose of this wine shows tart and green notes, with black and red fruit, this is not green and tinny, which drives me crazy, this is a well-balanced wine with good green notes, herbs, mint, and rosemary.
The mouth on this medium-bodied wine has lovely acidity, a nice enough mouthfeel, with a good enough focus, showing raspberry, blackberry, tart plum, nice soft tannin, good grip, and nice herbs, nice!
The finish is long, green, balanced, with great acidity, more and more that grabs at me, acidity is the answer to all great wines, throw in the tobacco, mint, rosemary, and good clean fruit, and this simple but fun and refreshing mevushal wine does do its job. Drink by 2023. (tasted March 2022) (in San Jose, CA) (ABV = 12.5%)

2020 Pescaja Soliter Barbera d’Asti, Barbera d’Asti – Score: 92 (QPR: WINNER)
This wine is fun, relaxing, tart, bright, refreshing, all the things we love about Italian wines!
The nose of this wine is bright and refreshing, showing lovely tart cherry, raspberry, loam, smoke, rich mushroom, hints of blue and black fruit, tar, and roasted herb.
The mouth of this medium-bodied wine is ripe, but well-balanced with great acidity, lovely tart fruit, concentrated but light and refreshing, raspberry, blueberry, sweet cedar, nice mouth-draping tannin, and forest floor.
The finish is long, tart, blue, and red, with lovely coffee, sweet milk chocolate, and more cedar. Drink until 2026. (tasted March 2022) (in San Jose, CA) (ABV = 14.50%)

2018 Cantina Sanpaolo Irpinia Aglianico – Score: 92 (QPR: WINNER)
The nose of this wine is incredible, wow, this is pure Jasmine, floral beauty, with red fruit, intense ethereal approach, with soy sauce, umami, wow!
The mouth of this full-bodied wine is layered, intense, with dense tannin, rich floral notes, sour cherry, ripe raspberry, layers, chocolate, backed by intense acidity, tart red fruit, mouth draping mouthfeel, anise, and smoke, WOW!!
The finish is long, tart, with red and green fruit, red, rich saline, juicy red fruit, and candied lifesaver. Wow!! Drink until 2027. (tasted April 2021 and March 2022)

2016 Tassi Brunello di Montalcino Franci, Bettina Cuvee, Brunello di Montalcino – Score: 94 (QPR: GOOD)
I recently tasted this wine again, and it has calmed quite a bit, since the last tasting.
The nose of this wine is still ripe, it is a Brunello, but it is beautifully balanced, with ripe black and red fruit, lovely floral notes of violet, rose, sweet licorice, mineral, intense loam, smoke, and tar. A dense aroma for sure, but also richly aromatic with the mineral, loam, and smoke, balancing things out.
The mouth of this full-bodied wine is ripe but well-balanced with lovely acidity, concentrated, bold, jammy, with dense but elegant tannin, layers of elegant blackberry, ripe raspberry, sweet cherry, wrapped in sweet cedar, and mouth-draping tannin.
The finish is long, bright, and ripe, with mineral, saline, mushroom, dense earth, loam, coffee, and sweet tobacco wrapped in a leather coat. With time, the sweet notes calm down drastically, now the nose is filled with rich minerality, earth, mushroom, sweet spices, lovely red fruit, and more violets. The mouth shows searing acid, ripe and well-balanced fruit, lovely tannin, loads of elegance, it comes in layers of elegance and fruit, with dark red cherry, plum, candied raspberry, all well-balanced by rich rich saline, mineral, and more acidity, lovely! Bravo! Drink from 2026 until 2033. (tasted March 2022) (in San Jose, CA) (ABV = 14.50%)

Posted on May 4, 2022, in Kosher Red Wine, Kosher White Wine, Kosher Wine, Wine and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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