Vino e Cucina d'Italia

Cantine Lonardo - Technology with Tradition

It's about an hour southeast of Naples, but you aren't looking for Cantine Lonardo you could easily miss it, writes Neil Duarte. It has no signage or fancy tasting room. What it does have are some truly excellent wines. Here's his report.

Domaine Laroque

Domaine Laroque 2013 Cabernet Franc Cité de Carcassonne ($10.99)

A 100 percent varietal Cabernet Franc, this flavorful red is dark garnet in color with a clear, transparent edge, very youthful to the eye. Its attractive aroma, red fruit and white pepper, shows kinship to Loire Cabernet Franc, but the effects of its region's warmer climate shows in a balance that tilts toward the fruit, with white pepper and stony minerality more restrained. Good acidic structure and soft but perceptible tannins also suggest a few years cellaring potential. Very good wine and a very good value.

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Put a Little Sparkle in your Summer

"We talk regularly about Champagne and how it can define a moment, or even create one, but the same applies to most any sparkling wine," writes Richard Fadeley. Why not look at the "second stringers" of sparkling wine? "They are not too shabby in their own right." Here's his report.