Our fine wine dinner group kicked off the new year with another in the line of an every 2 week frequency with an Italian wine theme to compliment the Italian spices and sauces of the restaurant of choice, Oiio Pizzeria.
Eight of us enjoyed a plethora of appetizers and pizzas along with the following wines:
2008 LOUIS BRISON VINTAGE BRUT- 50% Pinot Noir, 50% Chardonnay; this champagne is an early demonstration of the stellar 08` vintage and another nice QPR from K&L, this bottle offered pleasant spritzy citrus notes especially that of lemon although somewhat on the sour side; it had refreshing acidity and a mouth puckering, palate cleansing effect which properly prepared us for all that followed.
2013 ST. ROY SUTTER RANCH VINEYARD CLARKSBURG AVA SPARKLING CHENIN BLANC- 100% Chenin Blanc; barrel fermented with partial ML; from the Sacramento River Delta;
it tasted pretty much what I expected it to, new world Chenin Blanc which in this case had some straw, grassy, musky melon notes and bracing acidity; it was very dry and replete with flinty minerality.
2006 DOMAINE LOUIS LATOUR CORTON CHARLEMAGNE GRAND CRU- the deep gold color suggested a warning of Premox and lo and behold, it was; we dumped and moved on.
2006 NERVI GATTINARA- this Nebbiolo had some earthy licorice, mild coffee and mild black fruit notes in a medium body and an abbreviated finish; I`ve had better bottles to suggest this bottle was understated and not the best representative of this decent, quite affordable wine.
2001 LA SPINETTA BARBARESCO VURSU VIGNETO GALLINA- decanted about 4 hours prior to serving, this fine inky dark, vibrant Nebbiolo had a lot to offer; it was very tasty giving up cedar, chocolate and cigar box black currant fruit; it was full bodied, had depth and complexity and balanced tannins along with an extended finish; it was such a treat and warranted many return visits for additional pleasure; at the end of the night, it captured WOTN and that was significant in that the runner up was a Redigaffi.
1998 BRUNO GIACOSA FALETTO di BRUNO BARBARESCO- another fine wine hitting it on all of the marks from the nose through the tail; it gave up very nice red cherry/ berry flavors in a medium body with a silky smooth texture; it was so pleasing and easy on the palate; this is a wine I could drink on a regular basis and never get tired of it; however, it`s a little too pricy for a house wine.
2010 POGGIO al TESORO MEDITERRA TOSCANA- made from Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, this had really wild, earthy fruitiness with the main character of black currant and black cherry; it needed time to open up and never did reach that point, but showed increasing exuberance and expression; this wine is a must decant at this youthful stage.
2006 LA MASSA PANZANO TOSCANA- 60% Sangiovese, 30% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon; the mouthfeel was so soft and easy, that I got more Merlot like influence than Sangio; it unfolded in layers and the primary fruit profile had blueberry, plum and black Mission fig; this wine needs time to evolve and balance out and it seems to have the structure and wherewithal to achieve much greater heights.
2010 IL MARRONETO BRUNELLO di MONTALCINO- this youngen has a major up front concentrated fruit profile going for it; it`s so fruit forward, it`s out of balance now; it does possess nice structure which should insure it will be a very good wine once balanced out which translates to 4-6 years+ from now and beyond.
2010 TUA RITA REDIGAFFI TUSCANA- one of my favs over many vintages, this Merlot shined with incredible balance, pleasant inviting aromatics, wonderful mouthfeel and a long welcomed finish; I`m thinking this is competing for WOTN and then when re-tasting the La Spinetta, it was a toss up for me and in the final count, it was one vote shy of being its equal.
2001 FEUDI di SAN GREGORIO IRPINIA SERPICO AGLIANICO- the fruit profile of Aglianico is so different and yet very pleasing; this has been my experience with this wine over time as I bought a fair amount when it got high acclaim for the 2003 vintage; for those familiar with that vintage, this was not that wine, but only slightly so; this bottle had a deep, dark, rich ruby color, minty dark chocolate, plum, blackberry and black currant notes with a touch of oregano; it was soft and easy on the palate and finished somewhat abruptly on the dry side.
2005 BUSSOLA AMARONE della VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO VIGNETO ALTO- this medium sweet wine had raisin, talc laced black cherry flavors in a medium to full body and a long finish; it was certainly a nice Amaraone and for those who like this style of wine which tends to lead one toward delineation, it was a good one.
2011 MORLET BILLET DOUX LATE HARVEST- 90% SEMILION, 9% SAUVIGNON BLANC, 1% MUSCADELLE; our prince of sweets consistently brings a delicious sweetie to all dinners and lunches that I`ve attended over many years and this was his offering for this night; as usual, it`s dessert in a glass; this is apricot nectar with a thick and almost chewy texture and a coating throughout the palate that almost requires a scraper to remove if one is inclined to disrupt the next hour of honeyed apricot taste.
Off to a good start in 2016 with many more wonderful times ahead. I`m in.
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