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Cellar Favorite: 2002 Quintarelli Veneto Rosso del Bepi

Italy: North, Cellar Favorites

Ian D'Agata, Jan 2017

In what he deemed to be poor vintages, or simply when the Amarone wasn’t up to his exacting standards, Giuseppe Quintarelli declassified his Amarone into the ‘Rosso del Bepi’ label.

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Vinous Table: Allen’s, Toronto, Canada

Vinous Table

Ian D'Agata, Jan 2017

For hearty food with flavorful twists, and interesting sweet-sour and boozy nuances, plus one of the best all-Canadian wine lists Toronto and Canada have to offer, run, don’t walk, over to Allen’s.

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Miani’s Friulano Filip and Buri: 1991-2014

Italy: North, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Ian D'Agata, Jan 2017

No other estate in Italy boasts a line-up of white wines as strong as Enzo Pontoni’s at Miani. His Friulano is the country’s greatest example of this wine. Magnificently deep, multilayered and unctuous, it offers a textbook example of Pontoni’s talent as well as a glimpse of the heights this variety can reach.

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Cellar Favorite: 1999 Stoney Ridge Gewürztraminer Icewine - Niagara Peninsula

Cellar Favorites, Rest of the World

Ian D'Agata, Jan 2017

My love for the wines of Stoney Ridge goes back a long way. Only the 18th licensed winery in the history of Ontario’s modern wine industry, Stoney Ridge made some of Canada’s most interesting and best wines in those early, almost pioneer-like days.

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Vinous Table: Restaurant Laurin, Bolzano, Italy

Vinous Table

Ian D'Agata, Jan 2017

Bolzano’s Parkhotel Laurin is not just the most prestigious and beautiful in the city but it also boasts the city’s most interesting restaurant. Rising star chef Manuel Astuto appears to have a great future ahead. A very good selection of fairly priced wines from Alto Adige and the rest of Italy makes dining here even more enjoyable.

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Cellar Favorite: 1995 Castello di Ama Merlot L’Apparita

Cellar Favorites, Italy: Tuscany

Ian D'Agata, Jan 2017

Vinous readers have come to know that I collect wines for the love of drinking them, meaning I often indulge in vintages that are less obvious choices than those that are more celebrated, but that produced, in some cases, outstanding wines. And so it is with Tuscany’s 1995 Castello di Ama Merlot L’Apparita, which is delicious and irresistible, even though it was made in a less heralded year.

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Vinous Table: 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo - Bombana, Hong Kong

Vinous Table

Ian D'Agata, Dec 2016

8½ Otto e Mezzo-Bombana in Hong Kong is the only Italian three star Michelin restaurant outside of Italy, and it deserves every single one of those stars fully. This was easiest one of my top four or five meals of 2016.

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Donnafugata's Mille e Una Notte: 1995-2011

Verticals & Retrospectives, Italy: Center & South, featured

Ian D'Agata, Dec 2016

Donnafugata’s Mille e Una Notte is one of Italy’s most complex and refined red wines, admirably showcasing the high quality Nero d’Avola can attain. My recent vertical tasting of every vintage released to date revealed many riveting bottles, still with years of life ahead of them.

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Cellar Favorite: 1974 E. Pira e Figli Barolo

Cellar Favorites, Italy: Piedmont

Ian D'Agata, Dec 2016

There are many delightful things about this wine. Its pretty label is noteworthy, for it spells out the Nebbiolo vineyards in which the grapes were picked (Cannubi, S.Lorenzo, Prea, Vignane and Via Nuova), a rarity, as hardly anyone thought of making such info available back then.

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Vinous Table: Uliassi, Senigallia, Ancona, Marche, IT

Vinous Table

Ian D'Agata, Dec 2016

Brother and sister Mauro and Catia Uliassi opened their restaurant in 1990 and have essentially never known anything but success. Located right on the seashore of Senigallia, in the Marche region, Uliassi offers a modernist take on old classics, but there is a solid mastery of traditional techniques and real knowhow in every dish that emerges from the kitchen.