Monday, November 4, 2019
Italian Wines On Display In L.A.
The Simply Italian Great Wines U.S. Tour 2019 is underway, spreading the gospel of Italian wines to big cities across the nation. The Los Angeles stop was held in October on the terrace garden of the fabulous SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. I was invited to attend the walk-around tasting session, and here are my notes. All the wineries mentioned here are seeking U.S. importers.
Italy's terroir is varied, and I have always found that nothing tastes like an Italian wine - even a wine of the same grape, grown somewhere else. Wine regions like Piedmont, Veneto, Lazio, Lombardy, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Emilia Romagna, Sicily, Tuscany and others were on display.
Cantina Sociale di Trento poured their 2018 Teroldego Dolomite Vineyard. The grapes were grown at 600 meters and above and were vinified in stainless steel. The wine shows good color and savory cherry and plum flavors. The freshness is amazing.
Zell's 100% Chardonnay bubbly spent 30 months in the bottle. It has a wonderful nose and palate, great acidity and bubbles from the traditional method.
La Fortezza has the 2011 Aglianico Riserva, which aged for three years in oak and one in the bottle. Lovely fruit, savory earth. The 2015 Aglianico got 8-10 months of oak and six months in the bottle. The 2018 Falanghina has beautiful florals, citrus and savory plum.
Azienda Agricola Zaglia Giorgio's 2018 Pinot Grigio is from Friuli. Savory on the nose and palate, its presentation is earthy - not on pretty side. The 2018 Prosecco is extra dry, not as sweet as one usual finds the style. Their 2018 Rosato is made of Merlot from Venezia Giulia. It has a beautiful salmon color and fruity cherry.
Manvi's 2017 Myra Rosso di Montepulciano is all Sangiovese with no oak treatment to get in the way of the grape. The 2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is also a varietal Sangiovese, but it spent two years in oak and another in the bottle. I get plums. Prunes and a savory finish. The 2015 Ojas Riserva Montepulciano will pair well with game or lamb. The name is Sanskrit for vitality.
Matteo Soria showed off their 2018 Soria, a delightful Moscato which is bubbly, fresh and fruity. It aged for nine months on the lees in the tank.
Azienda Agricola Sordo Giovanni brought their 2015 Sordo Barolo - light in color, lovely nose, easy sipper, nice tannins but not too firm. Their 2009 Sordo Barolo Riserva Perno has better structure and a deeper color, showing some bricking on the edges.
Vignetti Repetto of Piedmont poured the 2017 Equilatero, a steel-made Barbera. The 2017 Rosso is a red blend which also saw no oak. The 2018 Derthona Quadro Timorasso Colli Tortonesi has a lovely salinity after steel vinification and aging on the lees. The Timorasso grape is difficult to grow and almost went extinct in the 1980s. Plantings in the area have gone from two acres to 350 in 30 years. Derthona is the Roman name of the village.
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