Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Gambero Rosso Top Italian Wines Road Show - Houston

Notes from The Master Class
Taught by Marco Sabellico, the top taster and editor of the Vini d'Italia, Gambero Rosso's annual guide to the wines of Italy.

This is not the order that we tasted the wines, I reorganized them by region.

Veneto
De Stefani Valdobbiadene Brut Mill. 2014 - Smooth, round, fresh; green and yellow apples
Villa Sandi Valdobbiadene Superior Extra Dry - Smoother & sweeter than above, floral wisteria aromas, lighter structure, peach and apple
Bortolomiol Valdobbiadene Extra Dry Banda Rossa 2014 - Fresh, pleasant, apples
Ruggeri Valdobbiadene Extra Dry Giustino B 2013 - from 70+ year old vines, one of Italy's top labels; fresh, floral, mineral finish
Tenute di Genagricola Pinot Grigio I Classici 2013 Tenuta Sant' Anna - floral, pear and peach, fresh acidity, food friendly; pair with pasta with shellfish
Otella Lugana Superior Molceo Riserva 2012- Trebbiano/Ugni Blanc mutation from clay-based terroir facing lake; rich, smooth, creamy, easy drinking

Cesari Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso Bosan 2011 - from a quality conscious producer in a young, fresh style; medium body, fruity, smooth tannins
Bolla Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso Le Poiane 2012 - heavier style best with heavy meaty pasta; sweet, ripe cherry/berry flavor, good acidty, velvety tannins
"Different styles of Amarone but both fantastic, traditional wines"
Allegrini Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2010 - lush, ripe but not over-ripe and complex, black cherry/berry, baking spices, long finish
Masi Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Costasera 2010 - classic with more than pure fruit; dried cherry, tobacco, chocolate

Lombardy
Ca' del Bosco Franciacorta Brut Cuvee Prestige - made from 90% Chardonnay with 10% Pinot Noir & Pinot Blanc with 24+ months on lees; more structured, fresh acidity, long finish; pair with shellfish or mediterranean cuisine
Barone Pizzini Franciacorta Brut Nature 2011 - "Sustainable Winery of the Year", from a biodynamic vineyard; clean, pure, fresh, citrus and green apple
Agricole Gussalli Beretta Franciacorta Extra Brut 2008 (Lo Sparviere) - 95% Chardonnay; very different, complex aromas of toast, coffee, and yeast, fresh acidity, more structured

Trentino
Gruppo La Vis Pinot Grigio Simboli 2013 - Fresh pear, lighter structure, mineral finish

Friuli Venezia Giulia
Le Monde Fruili Grave Pinot Bianco 2013 - fragrant, fresh, lime zest, persistent finish
Livon Collio Friulano Manditocai 2013 - some French oak aging; citrus, peach, herbs; fresh acidty, long finish
Schiopetto Collio Friulano 2013 - more classic, no oak, slight vegetal aroma, nice acidity, food friendly
Jermann Vintage Tunina 2012 - "an elegant blend of everything"; fresh, smooth, easy drinking

Alto Adige
A.A. Pinot Bianco Sirmian 2013 - from high elevation; pure, fresh pear, no oak, flinty mineralty; long finish
Cantina Produttori San Michele Appiano A.A. Sauvignon Lahn 2013 - single vineyard selection; lime citrus with tomato leaf , fresh mineral finish

Liguria
Lunae Bosoni Colli di Luni Vermentino Lunae Et. Nera 2013 - aromatic, smooth easy drinking, herbal basil note; pair with pasta and tomatoes; very Mediterranean

Piedmont
Tenuta Carretta Barbera d'Alba Superior Bric Quercia 2012 - very good producer from a single vineyard for everyday drinking; clean acidity, structured, juicy red fruit
Marchesi di Barolo Cannubi 2009 - from calcareous soils creating a long-lived wine, "premier grand cru, classic single vineyard, can age 25-30 years"; floral rose, licorice, earth

Marche
Cherri d'Acquaviva Offida Pecorino Altissimo 2013 - very popular in Italy; fresh, floral jasmine aroma, spicy, mineral finish
CasalFarneto Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Cl. Crisio Riserva 2012 - easy drinking, rich, fresh, new oak

Velenosi Rosso Piceno Superior Roggio del Filare 2010 -  a modern wine aged in new French oak"; good acidity, spicy finish

Emilia Romagna
Medici Ermete & Figli Reggiano Lambrusco Concerto 2013 - yields heavily controlled for quality; very berry-black, blue and strawberry; fresh, vibrant
San Patrignano Aulente Rosso 2013 - Product of home for addicted boys located close to sea made from Sangiovese, typical, clean, sharp.

Molise
Di Majo Norante Aglianico Contado Riserva 2011 - a top selling label from a quality conscious producer with good aging potential; rich, ripe tannins, blackberry, licorice, herbal note

This is an abbreviated list from the Italian wine guide chosen specifically for the Houston tasting, there are so many more than this. Hopefully, you will find the wine of interest to you when shopping or eating out. These are some of the top Italian wines and producers and they are worth seeking. 
The guide is available for purchase on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Italian-Wines-2014-Gambero-Rosso/dp/1890142239.