Leading wine blogger @Vindulge recommends Mazzoni Barbera

mary cressler wine blogger

Here’s what leading U.S. wine blogger Mary Cressler — author of Vindulge and contributor to VinSleuth Uncorked and Barbecue America —  had to say about the Mazzoni 2010 Piemonte Barbera, which she and her husband paired with her Grilled and Glazed Chicken recipe:

Lots of dark black berry aromas with some spicy pepper and a slightly earthy feel. More tart berry fruit flavors on the palate, lots of cherry (dried cherry, black cherry, even maraschino cherry), with smoke, pepper, smooth tannins and fresh, lively acidity…

[The wine] had excellent rich fruit that was a lovely match for the juicy chicken and balanced well with the sweetness of the sauce.

Click here to read the rest of her review and her superb recipe.

Image by Mary Cressler via Vindulge.

Randall Murray on 2010 Barbera: “the fruit flavors glow”

Here’s what veteran wine writer Randall Murray had to say about the Mazzoni 2010 Barbera, his “Wine of the Month” for the Gainesville Times:

Mazzoni Piemonte Barbera 2010

This soft, yet assertive, Piemonte red is a classic example of Italian Barbera. The fruit flavors glow, yet there is a distinctive backbone to the wine.

Mazzoni Pinot Grigio “stunningly beautiful” says Arizona Daily Sun

Here’s what Arizona Daily Sun wine critic John Vankat had to say about Mazzoni 2011 Pinot Grigio in last week’s paper:

Mazzoni 2011 Pinot Grigio “Toscana, Italy”

This offering from Tuscany is serious Pinot Grigio. It features stunningly beautiful, deep-gold color followed by bold flavors, fine balance and a prolonged finish. Pair with flavorful dishes such as poultry with a savory sauce.

Piemonte Barbera “delightful” says Annapolis Capital Gazette @capgaznews

Here’s what Tom Marquardt and Patrick Darr, wine writers for the Annapolis Capital Gazette, had to say about Mazzoni Piemonte Barbera earlier this month:

Mazzoni Piemonte Barbera 2010. This reasonably priced barbera with good bottle age is a delightful drink, even if simple and medium-bodied. Its red berry flavors and soft texture would be a great match for pasta. The wine is a partnership between California’s Terlato and Italy’s Franceschi families.

Mazzoni Pinot Grigio by-the-glass at top Dallas steakhouse @NickSamsSteak

nick and sams steakhouse dallas

Above: One of the things that sets Nick and Sam’s Steakhouse apart from the rest of the Dallas steakhouse crowd, says wine director Justin Sherin, is the restaurant’s superb Japanese menu (image via Nick and Sam’s Facebook).

Let’s just cut to the chase.

Nick and Sam’s steakhouse isn’t just any ordinary steakhouse. And it stands apart from the crowd in what many consider to be the steakhouse capital of the U.S., Dallas-Fort Worth.

Here’s what Dallas Morning News restaurant critic Leslie Brenner (formerly of the Los Angeles Times) had to say about Nick and Sam’s, one of her “top Dallas-Fort Worth steakhouses”:

“When it comes to all-out, decadent, no-holds-barred meat-eating indulgence and fun, Nick and Sam’s is the place to be. The place feels like a party, even on a Monday night. At most steakhouses you don’t even get a tiny amuse; here you get a full presentation of caviar, toast points, hard-cooked egg whites and sieved yolks, lemon, chopped red onion, chives. Starters include terrific North Atlantic oysters on the half shell and an impressive whole-leaf Caesar… After I spent half a year slicing into rib-eyes and prodding baked potatoes, Nick and Sam’s was my best all-around steakhouse experience.”

When we found out that Nick and Sam’s was featuring Mazzoni Pinot Grigio by the glass, we contacted wine director Justin Shearin to ask him for his thoughts on the wine.

justin shearin

Above: Nick and Sam’s wine director Justin Shears (image courtesy Nick and Sam’s).

“We have a deep list, with a strong focus on reds,” like most steakhouses, said Justin. “But because of our owner’s interest in Asian cuisine, we also have a really interesting selection of whites as well.”

“The Mazzoni Pinot Grigio is a unique wine from a classic old world family [the Tenuta Il Poggione in Montalcino] and a new world family [the Terlatos]. It has a really creamy texture and is more full bodied than most Pinot Grigios and it has beautiful acidity. It’s been a favorite since we first put it on the list and we just fly through it.”

A Dallas native, Justin joined the Nick and Sam’s team as wine director two years ago but he’s been working in the Dallas-Ft. Worth wine and food scene for more than a decade.

Like many wine professionals today, he started out as a server and then caught the wine bug.

“I started studying wine after a few years in the business,” he said, “and it just snow-balled from there.”

Today, he runs the Nick and Sam’s beverage program, including more than 600 wines and an extensive sake list — another component that makes this steakhouse stand apart from the rest.

“Creative appetizers and creative sides, and, of course, our owner’s interest in Asian cuisine, are what makes the restaurant so unique,” he told us.

Nick & Sam’s
3008 Maple Ave
Dallas, TX 75201
Google map

The Barbera-ites are coming!

barbera grape

We loved Wall Street Journal wine writer Lettie Teague’s column last month, “Bet on Barbera, What the Winemakers Drink.”

In her piece, she describes the new “Barbera-ite” movement of winemakers and sommeliers who love Barbera’s versatility and food-friendliness.

“One of my top candidates for a starring turn,” she writes, “would be Barbera, a red grape of Italy’s Piedmont region. It’s the most widely planted red grape of the district, though not its best known (that would be Nebbiolo, the grape of the famed wines Barolo and Barbaresco).”

When Tenuta Il Poggione winemaker Alessandro Bindocci first set about making an un-oaked, acidity-driven, food-friendly Barbera d’Asti a few years ago, it was a choice borne out of his own personal love of the grape.

But it would seem that he wasn’t the only one who saw such a bright future for Barbera, which, until recently, was relatively unknown outside of Italy.

Click here for Lettie’s article and stay tuned: the Barbera-ites are coming!

Mazzoni winemaker Alessandro Bindocci featured @TastingPanel @TomCaestecker

alessandro bindocci tasting panel poggione brunello

True to the Roots

By Thomas Caestecker
Tasting Panel, December 2013

A deft balance of innovation and tradition allows Il Poggione to stand out in Montalcino.

The aspect of tradition is so axiomatic in Italian winemaking that, for some in the industry, it might produce a bit of obstinacy. This can be true for both government authorities loath to tweaking regulations, or insistent and stubborn vintners who cling to a hard line.

Alessandro Bindocci, winemaker for the famed Montalcino-based Il Poggione (along with his winemaking father, Fabrizio), is not bound by intractability. To be sure, he’s reverent toward the example of his father and Tenuta Il Poggione’s historic mastery of Brunello. But Bindocci is always on the cutting edge of both enology and technology — and not merely because his trusty smartphone monitors the minutiae of the winemaking process. His blog, Montalcino Report (, is unique to the region. He has also introduced cirtical winemaking techniques that have dovetailed nicely with the bevy of traditional practices.

Please click here to continue reading Tom Caestecker, Jr.’s profile of Alessandro in the December 2013 issue of the Tasting Panel (page 82).


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