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Senior editor Alison Napjus joined Wine Spectator in 2000. She is the lead taster for Alsace, Beaujolais and Champagne and also tastes wines from regions throughout Italy.
Alison Napjus

A Tuscan Red, Far from Italy

Mazzei Toscana Poggio alla Badiola 2008

Alison Napjus
Posted: November 23, 2010

Manhattan has been seeing some decidedly un-wintery temperatures in recent weeks, so one Saturday afternoon found some friends and me sitting outside at Bar Pitti, in the West Village, for a quick bite and some wine. Bar Pitti was quite the scene when I moved to the city more than 10 years ago—one of the places you went to see celebs. I don’t know if that’s still the case, but I certainly enjoyed immersing myself in a little bit of Italy in the middle of New York. Every table around us was speaking Italian, the servers (from Rome) were more than happy to help me practice some Italian, and the wine list is, of course, all Italian.

I ordered the Mazzei Badiola, a blend of 80 percent Sangiovese with Merlot. It’s an easy-drinking red, with plum, black cherry and spice flavors, and a smoky thread winding through it. I gave it 88 points, non-blind, and consider it a very good value—it was $37 on the restaurant’s wine list, but it retails for around $15. At either price point, it’s certainly less than a ticket to Italia!

Bar Pitti
268 Avenue of the Americas (between Houston and Bleeker)
New York, N.Y. 10014
(212) 982-3300

WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Mazzei Toscana Poggio alla Badiola 2008 (87, $15).

• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for recently rated Top Values among Italian reds, for $25 or less.

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