Andrew Bair wrote:Bill: Thank you for the great notes, especially on the mid-1990s Tuscans. Sounds like a great dinner!
Bill Spohn wrote:Notes from an Italian al fresco dinner.
Sartarelli Brut – a sparkling Vermentino from Marches. Interesting nose with nice cheesy element, far more interesting than almost all Proseccos, clean on palate.
2007 Tenuta Maido Chiaretto – another very pleasant wine with good pink colour and strawberry nose. Perfect for the event, in the sun, by the sea.
2004 Pieropan Soave Calvarino – while ther was some nice sweet fruit and earth in the nose, there was also s light hint of oxidation, indicating that this one was getting a tad long in the tooth (this opinion wasn’t shared by all tasters).
2011 Guado al Tasso Vermentino – this, on the other hand, was delightful, and showing much more interest than most Vermentinos. It had a nose of apple and flowers, a clean crisp presence on the tongue and was refreshing.
2011 Cos Rami – also delighted to make the acquaintance of this Sicilian wine made from Grecanico and Insolia. Waxy and orange rind notes in the nose, and fairly full in the mouth, soft and long.
2011 Tiefenbrunner Feldmarschall – this Muller Thurgau from the Alto Adige was excellent – clean fresh wine with a nectarine and perhaps pear (not ripe enough to be apricot) in the nose. The good whites just kept on coming.
2010 Schiopetto Tocai Friulano – sweet cantaloupe/peach nose with some nice floral elements, and a green tint in the glass, I swear! Crisp clean medium long finish.
1976 Le Colline Ghemme – Ghemme isn’t the first (or second, or….) Nebbiolo based wine you think of from Piemonte, but it has a venerable history and this very mature version was getting fairly pale – a good colour for Burgundy. Leather, celery and hints of coffee in the nose, still lots of flavour in the mouth, fairly acidic but good. Faded fairly quickly.
1995 Badia e Passignano Chianti Riserva– I figured I’d bring a pair of mature Chiantis to the party. This one had a dark cherry and espresso nose, with some earthiness, good balance, and like a lot of these wines, was even better when tasted with food, which always mutes the edge of any acidity present. Drink up.
1995 Selvapiana Chianti Rufina Riserva Bucerchiale – I love this wine and still have most of a case stashed. It showed a cheese, leather and cherry nose, some more dark cherry coming in on palate, good length, and slightly high acidity (again, worked just fine with the food). Mature, will hold.
1996 Canneta Barolo – trying to read my notes, I’m noty sure about the name of the producer on this one. Colour lightening, very nice pure Sangio nose, smooth, medium long.
2001 Talenti Brunello – my ears perked up at this one, as while I don’t have the regulare from this vintage I do have the Paretaio and the Pian di Conte. Earth and blood/meat notes, along with dusty fruit. Drinks well now. Not as ripe as some from this vintage, balanced and finishes dry.
2005 Baricci Brunello – darker wine with nose of slightly ripe fruit (black cherry, currant), showing surprisingly forward at this relatively young age.
1995 Terrabianca Campaccio Riserva – sangio and cabernet. Pleasant blueberry nose and good colour, with elegant smooth feel and lengthy finish. At a great point and no rush. Very good.
2003 Poliziano Asinone Vino Nobile – delighted to taste this one as a half case lurks in my cellar untouched. Dark wine with a penetrating nose of black cherry and hints of smoked meats, excellent concentration in the mouth with moderate tannins and dry finish. Must move this one to the ‘to drink’ list.
1997 Dow Port – I have nothing this recent in my cellar nor have I tasted the 97s much. This was forward and medium with a hot primary fruit nose and long finish. Could use some time, or very early opening.
2001 Castello de la Parettaia Vin Santo – what a great way to end, with this excellent Vin Santo. It showed a sweet raisined nose with hints of dried fruit and nuts, and not too sweet. I rated it a tre ‘biscotti’ wine!
Oliver McCrum wrote:The Tiefenbrunner Muller-Thurgau is excellent wine, the best example I've had of the variety. Jancis craps all over the variety in the Oxford Companion but quite rightly makes an exception for the best wines from the Alto Adige, this one particularly. Screwcap, too.