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Hello! Welcome to As Drunk by Exotic Wine Travel, a weekly column where we feature interesting wines that we encourage you to seek out. The reviews featured in this series may be written by either one or the both of us. The featured wines can be from obscure or well-known wine regions. We hope that these wine recommendations will keep you gastronomically curious and your palate invigorated!
Roscioli Italian Wine Club Shipment
We get approached by many wine clubs, most of which we turn down. There was something different about the Roscioli Italian Wine Club that caught our eye. It is their passion for unique Italian wines from small producers.
Charine and I were immediately convinced once we saw some of the wineries that Roscioli works with. Sommelier Allesandro Pepe selects the labels for the Roscioli Italian Wine Club. He has put together an impressive portfolio of winegrowers that farm organically and/or dynamically.
Roscioli sends out a shipment of six wines, four times a year. They mix in Italian (and some French) wines from many different regions, something adventurous palates will love. They also including information and videos about the wines they send out every quarter (see example below).
Roscioli sent me a pack of six wines. Three of them being from their entry-level tier 1 shipment and three being from their more expensive tier 2 shipment. Of the six wines, I adored five of them.
Overall, compliments go out to Roscioli on the selection. It’s exactly the type of wine club that I want to be a part of (and hope to start in the future). All the wines received are made from unique grape varieties and five of the six are excellent bottles.
You can find out more about our scoring system on the WINE RATING page.
- Malibran, ‘Credamora’ Col Fondo Valdobbiadene 2016 – Veneto
I give the team at Roscioli a lot of credit for including a wine this edgy.
The Malibran, ‘Credamora’ Col Fondo Valdobbiadene is a prosecco that hasn’t been disgorged. The wine needs to stand up for a few days to let the sediment settle to the bottom before opening. This wine needs air to show it’s best. It didn’t show well at first but after some time, it really started to sing in the glass. There are notes of lemon zest, apple, and white pear. There is a touch of yeastiness (think craft beer) with a pleasant mouthfeel and small bubbles. Score: 90/100
- Monte di Grazia, Rosso 2013 – Campania
The Monte di Grazia Rosso is made from the rare grape Tintore di Tramonti. It’s a teinturier, which means the grape’s flesh and juice are dark in color. This is a rustic wine, in a charming way. There are notes of red plum, cherry, rose petal, and cedar. It’s lower in alcohol than you would expect for a southern Italian wine. High acidity and ripe tannins, this just begs for food. This is the type of wine that makes Italy so exciting. Score: 90+/100
*Note: This wine oxidizes pretty quickly so make sure to open and finish the bottle in one evening.
- Marabino, Rosso di Contrada 2016 – Sicily
We’re big fans of the Marabino, Archimede Riserva and the Rosso di Contrada is its little brother. This estate farms biodynamically. The wine is a juicy, delicious Sothern Italian wine that isn’t too big. There are notes of sour cherry, cedar, and pepper. This is a great, tangy everyday red wine with a low level of tannins and a long, red berry finish. Acts more like a Sangiovese than a Nero d’Avola. Score: 90/100
Video Review of Roscioli Tier 1 Italian Wines
- Lieselohof, Julian 2016 – Alto Adige
This is another wine I give Roscioli credit for including, although it’s the only wine in the pack that I am not crazy about.
The Lieselohof, Julian is made from a disease-resistant variety called Bronner. It’s a unique wine with notes of pine, sage, white peach, and lemon. It’s fairly complex with medium levels of acidity, so many casual palates won’t complain of the wine being too sour. The alcohol climbs a bit on the finish which keeps the score down. Score: 88/100
- Poggiarellino, Brunello di Montalcino 2013 – Tuscany
The Poggiarellino, Brunello di Montalcino was my favorite wine in the pack. It’s a classic, old-school Sangiovese with notes of earth, tobacco, cedar, mineral, sour cherry, fall leaves, and pepper. You can tell the wine is true Sangiovese with its light color. It is medium-bodied and savory on the palate with chewy tannins and real length. Beautiful Brunello! Score: 92/100
- Sobrero, ‘Ciabot Tanasio’ Barolo 2014 – Piemonte
Charine and I visited Sobrero years ago and sat at the table with the family. It’s a small estate outside of Castiglione Falleto in the Barolo region. This vintage was cooler in Barolo which gives this wine a little more finesse. It’s got notes of sour cherry, cranberry, perfume, and a touch of leather. The palate starts out silky smooth until the firm tannins hit. It’s not a Barolo that will last decades, but it should improve plenty in the next 5-10 years. Score: 91/100
Video Review of Roscioli Tier 2 Italian Wines:
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Photos are courtesy of the Roscioli website. Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are unsolicited and have not been paid for in any way by governmental bodies, enterprises, or individuals. We do not sell editorial content as that would destroy the legitimacy of our reviews and the trust between Exotic Wine Travel and its readers. On occasion, we extend the option of purchasing the wines we review or/and the products we spotlight. Some of these product links are set up through affiliate programs, which means Exotic Wine Travel gets referral credits if you choose to purchase these items via the links we provide.