Friday, November 22, 2013

Wine Tasting: Simply Italian Wine Tour

When you get a chance to sample a lot of Italian wine, don't ask questions - just RSVP and show up.  You'll be glad you did.  France is probably the giant in the global wine arena, but Italy rivals its neighbor to the north for quality and a sense of place.

The Italian Wine tour moved through Los Angeles on October 30, 2013, and those in attendance at Mr. C in Beverly Hills were all the richer for it.

A number of wine presenters were actively seeking representation in the US wine market, and are deserving of such.  I have noted those wineries looking for distribution.

Azienda Agricola G. Ricci Curbastro - Lombardy

Franciacorta Rosé Brut NV - Very slightly tinted, this sparkler showed nice acidity and great bubbles.
Franciacorta Satèn Brut 2008 - All Chardonnay, dry and toasty after four years aging in bottle on the lees.
Franciacorta Extra Brut 2008 - A mixture of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, this bubbly provides plenty of bubbles with a bready note on nose and palate.  Four years in bottle on the lees.
Curtefranca Bianco 2012 - 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Bianco, this white is savory and full in the mouth.

Cantina Tudernum - Umbria (looking for distribution)

Grechetto di Todi 2012 - Nutty nose, savory minerals on the palate, very good acidity.
Rojano Todi Rosso Superiore 2010 - Great red fruit and acidity.
Todi Sangiovese - Very bright cherry and oak spice.
Montefalco Sagrantino 2008 - Bold, brawny, dark and spicy.

Sasso Dei Lupi - Umbria

Simone Carpinelli poured a range of wines which all seemed a little light on acidity, but possessed of a lovely nose and flavor.
Blush NV - Pinot Grigio, beautiful gold color, Spumante, light bubbles, dry and fruity.
Quartanota 2012 - Light acidity, fruity and plain.  Steel.
Sestavia 2012 - Chardonnay.  Savory, light acidity.
Secondoatto 2012 - Sangiovese and Merlot, 50/50.  Beautiful, pure fruit.  Slight smoke.  Steel

Bissoni Rafaella Allesandra - Emilia Romagna

Girapoggio 2012 - Sangiovese, very light on its feet, easy drinking.
Bissoni Sangiovese di Romagna Sangiovese Sup. Reserva 2008 - Very deep, dark, Sangiovese.
Bissoni Vino Rosso 2011 - Late harvest, beautiful cherry candy on nose, raisin and caramel on palate.  Great 100% Sangiovese dessert wine that had folks talking.

Tre Monti - Emilia Romagna

Simone Tremiti poured.
Vigna Rocca 2012 - Albana grape, gold, nutty, steely with nice acidity.
Campo di Mezzo 2012 - Great tannins, pure cherry, a bit tart. Sangiovese. Steel.
Petrignone 2010  - Six months in new French oak.  Nice acidity

Casa Vinicola Antonutti - Friuli Venezia Giulia (looking for distribution)

Nicola Durandi poured wines from the winery established in 1921.  Their line of everyday wines is called 921.  The ones I tasted show a sweet edge.
Prosecco Collevento 921 2012 - Refreshing, bubbly, fruity. 100% Glera.
Pinot Grigio Collevento 921 2012 - Sweet edge, nice acidity. Steel.
Rosato Collevento 921 2012 - Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, 50/50.  Reminds me of white zin. Very light color. Steel.

Talis Wine - Friuli Venezia Giulia (looking for representation)

While pouring, Mauro Cencig told me, "If it is good wine, you can sell it with no problem."  That will be a great comfort to every winemaker I have ever spoken with.
Friulano 2012 - Fresh, big, fruity nose of pears and peaches.  Nice acidity and minerals.
Pinot Grigio 2012 - Mineral-driven nose and palate.
Sauvignon Blanc 2012 - Very herbal and grassy, lotsa lime, nice acidity.
Cabernet 2012 -  Fresh, with a bit of oak, nice tannins.
Merlot 2012 - Dusty cherry aroma and flavor.  Good acidity.  Nice and spicy.

Cantina del Castello - Veneto - (looking for distribution)

Arturo Stocchetti spoke lovingly of the volcanic soil in Soave.
Castello 2012 - Fresh. 90/10 blend of Garganega and Trebbiano di Soave grapes.
Carniga 2011 - Savory nose, great fruit and minerals on palate.

Parol Vini - Veneto

Barone Nero 2011 - Recommended by Shawn Burgert, a writer, broadcaster and photographer known as @awanderingwino on Twitter.  Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Refosco.  Medium ruby color with an easy mouthfeel.  Cherry flavors dominate.  Seems it would take a chill well.  A nice savory note on finish.  They told me they sell it big on the East Coast.
Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2011 - Really funky nose and palate.


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