Figured I should get a few quick comments out on some wines while still timely... here's the first
The 2012 Irpinia (DOC) Falanghina (grape) from Terredora di Paolo, $15 at Susan's Fine Wines and Spirits in Santa Fe, was excellent and unusual. Just the sort of thing I was hoping for in an unfamiliar Italian white. Strong flavors, a little bit of almond and lemon and maybe minerality, typically Italian hint of bitterness, a nice smooth but not glyceriny feel in the mouth, a long finish. Surprisingly high in alcohol (14%) but able to stand up to it with concentration of flavor and freshness. Not something I would age, not super super complex, but not one-dimensional either. Great clarity of flavor, vigorous but pretty balanced. Not inexpensive but a very fair price for the quality...you are unlikely to get such concentrated flavor combined with balance, even elegance, for less. I wasn't familiar with the grape variety, a local grape of Campania, the Italian region in which Naples is situated. I'd never been to Susan's before, although I'd read and heard good things, so I checked it out and was impressed by what looks like a carefully chosen and interesting selection. This wine was recommended by Susan herself; based on it, I'll be going back for more of her recommendations.