As long as we can consider wines not released this year, my favourites would be as follows (no particular order):

1997 Fuligni Brunello di Montalcino Riserva
1997 Borgogno Barolo Classico Riserva
1998 d'Angelo Aglianico del Vulture
1989 Pio Cesare Barolo
1999 Pecchenino Dolcetto di Dogliani Siri d'Jermu
1997 Poggio Antico Brunello di Montalcino Riserva
1997 Castello di Monastero Chianti Classico Riserva
1995 Dal Forno Valpolicella Superiore
My favorite Italian wines tasted in 2003 were (in no particular order):

1997 Braida "Ai Suma" Barbera (thx Enoselsa)
1998 Fontodi "Case Via" Syrah (thx VM)
1997 Ciacci BdM (thx VM)
1998 Terrabianca "Ceppate"
1997 Il Poggione BdM Riserva
1999 Antinori Guado al Tasso
1999 Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco


Otis- not the 2000 Montiano?

For me:

2000 Falesco Montiano (not Vitiano)
1990 Soldera BdM riserva
1998 Pio Cesare Barolo (at a tasting, I wouldn't DRAB one of these!)
1997 Antinori Pian Del Vigne BdM

Yes, but I came here for an argument.

Oh! Oh! I'm sorry, this is abuse.
Top wines in order of preference

96 Marcarini Brunate
96 Sori Ginestra
97 Banfi (This is controversial, but I liked it!)
97 Stielle

Dishonorable mention: 97 Fanti. Tasting note: huh?

Is the 2000 Montiano drinking well now? I've been eyeing my one bottle.
Sorted by region. Otherwise in no particular order:

1998 Fontodi "Case Via" Syrah
1999 Ornellaia Bolgheri Ornellaia
1997 Ciacci BdM Pianrosso
1997 Casanova di Neri BdM Cerratalto
1997 Antinori BdM Pian delle Vigne
1997 Frescobaldi BdM Castelgiocondo
1975 Castiglion del Bosco BdM

1998 Giacomo Conterno "Cascina Francia"
1997 Rocche dei Manzoni Barolo Big'd Big
1998 Bruno Giacosa Barolo Le Rocche del Falletto
1996 Carlo Giacosa Barbaresco Narin(Thanks Jcubed)
1997 Braida Ai Suma Barbera d'Asti(Thanks Eno)

1998 Vini Plozza Passione Barrique IGT Terrazze retiche di Sondrio

2000 Moschioni Pignolo

2000 Maculan Veneto Fratta
1997 Masi Amarone Vaio Armaron
2000 Fabiano Recioto della Valpolicella Rugola
2001 Anselmi Capitel Croce IGT
2000 Leonildo Pieropan Soave Classico La Rocca

The Montiano is beautiful, but I'm sure it'll be better in a few years.

Yes, but I came here for an argument.

Oh! Oh! I'm sorry, this is abuse.
Originally posted by cluricaunwines:

what is your take on la massa.
they seem a bit skitzo and unreliable as of late-

thanks Smile

The Giorgio Primo of La Massa is one of Italy's most reliably excellent wines. However, this wine needs 5 to 7 years to really show its stuff. After the first 2 years you can find bottles in a "dumb" stage. Take the time to wait at least 5 years (or more!)before pulling these corks.

It Italy this is one of the most consistently highly rated wines - I think they are on their 8th consecutive Tre Bicchiere from the Gambero Rosso and has been Tre Stelle Blu from Veronelli for just as long.

Craig Camp
1988 Fontalloro
1997 Frescobaldi Lamaoine Merlot - top one
1996 Casalferro (last ones Frown )
1999 Tenuta Trinoro

.. hmmm, in review, not a big Italian drinking year for me. Lot's of decent, inexpensive stuff. Gotta do better in '04.


The Giacosa is not ready to drink now. It will vastly improve with aging. I tried it at the WS Grand Tour in Chicago. My note is here if you are interested.

I want to say thanks to the huge number of Wine Spectator forum members that visited my "Favorite Italian Wines of the Year" newsletter linked above at the beginning of this thread. I am flattered that such a huge number of you took the time to read it.

As a thank you I want to offer all of you the special Holiday deal on my Italian wine and cooking newsletters that I offered to the subscribers to my free Italian wine newsletter. CLICK HERE. If you want the wine only newsletter that is still available for free on most of the pages on my website.

Happy New Year to all and thanks again!

Craig Camp
The ones that pop in my mind are... subject to review.

Gaja San Lorenzo '97
Fontodi Case Via Syrah '98
Ceretto Brico Rocche '96
Zenato Valpo Ripassa '96
'90 Gaja Barbaresco-wish I bought more at it's original high price of about 50$.

'90 CF Sori Ginestra Barolo-I did buy more at it's original reasonable price. Still needs more aging to my taste but outstanding.

'88 Allegrine Recioto Amarone-This was a gift. I would pay the price if I could find more.

'99 Grimaldi Giacomo Barbera d'Alba-pleasant suprise for the price. I did buy more. I love Barbera wine.
My favorites in 2003 and in no particular order:
Giacomo Borgogno and Figli Barolo riserve 1990
Giacomo Borgogno and Figli Barbaresco riserve 1989
Castello Banfi Summus 1995
Isole e Olena cepparello 1995
Sassicaia 1995
Pio Cesare Barolo Ornato and Barbaresco Il Bricco 1993
Zenato Amarone riserve 1988 and 1990 and ripassa 2001
Ornellaia 1995

Cheers, Happy Holidays everyone!
#1: Ciacci Brunello 1997 (This baby had it all: luscious fruit, complexity, grip, power and elegance)

#2: Percarlo 1996 (Man was this stuff great! One of the finest noses I've ever experienced in an Italian wine)

I can't believe I haven't posted on this thread until now...

While it was not the '88 vintage, I must agree with Rhone Warrior in spirit...the '95 Quinterelli Amarone is, without question, the best Italian I had this past year, or any other.

A few others I need to mention:
1999 Tua Rita Giusto di Notri
2000 Tua Rita Giusto di Notri
1998 Pira Marenca Barolo
1997 Ucelliera Brunello di Montalcino

All of these were absolutely fantastic, though all were also quite young.

The italian section has been limited for me last year, results of a limited budget.

1995 Ceretto Zonchera Barolo

This was my top italian for last year. I was lucky enough to meet Frederico Ceretto who guided me through three of their Barolos, but unfortunately I had no chance to take any notes. I returned to this one however, as it made the greatest impression.
Well I have had a few good ones.

1999, 2000 and 2001(barrel) Petrolo Galatrona
1999 & 2000 Solengo
1997 Tignanello
1995 & 1999 Castello di Ama L'Apparita (at winery)
1990 Sammarco
1997 Ciacci Pianrosso BdM
1988 Fontalloro
1997 Flacienello
1997 Cepparello
1997 Rodano Mona Claudia
1999 Tua Rita Redigeffi
1997 Percarlo
a 7 year vertical of Il Carbonaione (at winery)
2000 Il Tagliato Balze D'Istrice (at winery)
1997 Villa Cafaggio Cortacio
1996 Mauro Vanucci Carminagno
1998 (at winery) & 1999 Il Carnasciale Il Caberlot
1999 Capanelle 50/50 (at winery)

1999 & 2000 Lambourghini Campoleone
1997 Alnardo Caprai Sagrantino dM 25 Anni
1997 Colpertone Sagantino dM
2000 Palazzone Armaleo

1997 & 1999 Montevetrano

1995 Dal Forno Valpo Sup.
1993 Dal Forno Amarone
1997 Bussola Alto TB Amarone

1997 Giacomo Bologna Braida Ai Suma Barbera
1999 Spinetta Gallina Barbera
2000 Spinetta Barbera Superiore
1990 Poalo Scavino Bric del Fiasc
1998 Sandrone Le Vigne Barolo
1990 Bruno Giacosa Felleto Barolo
1990 Bruno Giacosa Villero Reserva Barolo
1996 Bruno Giacosa Asili Reserva Barbaresco

1996 San Leonardo Vallagarina
1999 Donnafugata Mille Una Notte
2000 Foradoro Granato
1997 Duca di Salaparuto Duca Enrico
2000 Morgante Don Antonio
2001 San Michelle Appiano Savignon Blanc & Gewurtz.

And I am sure I missed a few. Good year for Italy looking back! Ah VinItaly in April!!!


"This wine is too good for toast-drinking, my dear. You don't want to mix emotions up with a wine like that. You lose the taste."
Ernest Hemmingway - The Sun Also Rises
Last edited {1}

$40 for that wine is a steal, as far as I'm concerned. I't isn't quite the quality of a Sandrone, imo, but it is an awesome Barolo...still quite young.


How did you like the 1997 Percarlo. I only have 2 bottles and was wondering when it was best to drink them. Thanks.

you know:

after eno posts on italians, i pretty much pack it up and move on to the next post, the man drinks more fine italians in one year than most of us do in a lifetime!!!

congrats eno, you get my vote for mindblowing italians again! Big Grin

btw: when's the last time you had a masseto, any vintage really, but especially the 96. i keep gazing longingly at it, but force myself to resist!
Not as many Italians as some of you, but here goes nothing!

'94 Boscaini Ca'Nichols Recioto dVp Classico
'95 Boscaini Amarone dVp Classico Marano
'98 Tommasi Ripasso dVp Classico
'99 Rubino della Pallazola
'99 Don Luigi Di Majo Norante
'96 Casselferro
'96 Pira Barolo 'Marenca'
'90 Sori Paitin Barbaresco
'97 Fontanabianca Sori Burdin Barbaresco

"This wine should be eaten, it is too good to be drunk."
Jonathan Swift
Favorite Italian of 2003: A no brainer, Monica Belucci from The Matrix Reloaded.

"...soon they'll be bleary eyed under a keg of wine, Down where the drunkards roll." Richard Thompson.
Here's my list of the best Italians I've had in 2003:

Rivetti (La Spinetta) 1999 Barbera Gallina
Moccagatta 1998 Barbaresco Basarin
Sandrone 1998 Barolo Le Vigne
Sandrone 2000 Nebbiolo d'Alba Valmaggiore
Ciacci 1999 Fabius
Ca'Marcanda 2000 Magari

I hope to surpass that list this year... Smile
interesting jaimetown:

i was unimpressed with the fabivs, but i hear that bottle variation is a problem with this, i have two more, and will try again in a year or so. forgot to list my fave:

99 avignonesi desiderio. i love this wine. fave because it's such a nice surprise, not because it's my highest rated italiano.

other notables:

99 campaccio, great drinker at a nice price
97 campaccio, ditto
97 tignanello
94 ornellaia
97 antinori tenute CCR
97 guado al tasso
97 ciacci BdM
97 siro pacenti BdM

in case youse guys was wondering, i like 97 italians!!
Just to name a few

'96,97, 99 Guado al Tasso
'90 Sori Patin Barbaresco
'95,'96,97, Caselferro
'96 Tig
'97 Fontanabianca Sori Burdin Barbaresco
'97 Flacianello

I will drink more Italians in '04


Life without wine?...... Yeah Right.<br /><br />I believe we have 2 lives; the life we learn with and the life we live with after that.

The '97 Percarlo was quite amazing but is still very young. I will not open another for a few more years. I am actually starting to experience alot more sangiovese based 1997s that had been drinking very well beginning to close down.


Never had the '96 Messeto. For the price I prefer Petrolo Galatrona for high end Italian Merlot or Retennano Ricolma if you can find it. BTW, I opened a '97 Guado Al Tasso on New Years Eve. It was closed harder than nails. Nadda, zip. Closed for business. But both the '97 and '99 Campaccio are great for the price. Always drinks well young.


How was that '90 Sori Paitin barb? I love that wine and consistently it offers great qpr!

I will be in Chicago from 1/21 thru 1/28 if any of you Chi-Town guys are gonna be around.


"This wine is too good for toast-drinking, my dear. You don't want to mix emotions up with a wine like that. You lose the taste."
Ernest Hemmingway - The Sun Also Rises
We had the Sori Paitin back on Nov. 1 at Chez Kybo w/an assortment of WS Forum critters. R2-D2 brought this from Chi-town in magnum form; it was indeed tasty, and continue to evolve/improve in the glass as the evening went on. I believe he said he paid something like $50-60 for the mag? - a helluva price for a great drinking Barbaresco.

"This wine should be eaten, it is too good to be drunk."
Jonathan Swift

As an interesting side note, the manager of the shop I purchased the Ciacci Fabius from went to HS with the wife of the winemaker. This lot came personally from their cellar, FWIW, and every bottle has been fantastic.


What did you think of the La Spinetta Barbera 2000 Superiore? How does it compare to the Gallina?
97 Barolos (two from different estates)
97 BdM Banfi
00 Ripassa Valpolicella

I have fallen head over heals in love with Italian wine in 2003. Don't know it very well so this list will come in handy - post was great idea.

Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.