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Visit at Gambero Rosso Boutique Winery Tour

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Again I was lucky to attend one of those tasting events mostly organized for professionals of the industry. This time it was all about Italian wines. And I got to admit that I always feel like a total wine newbie each time I get a hold of it. So many regions, so many varieties, and the regulations and labellings are probably more confusing than the German ones. But I don’t complain about that – I get along with it and declare it as a lack of experience: Thus an easy solution to my problem is that I have to taste more Italian wines. And I can live with that! :)

So I jumped around the different tables of the estates and discovered many things. I started with whites and was amazed with all those varieties I am not familiar with. Cortese? Yes I think I heard of it..maybe.. sometime.. maybe not.. this time it was in a Gavi di Gavi. Pecorino? A cheese, right? No, also a white grape – had it in a Cortalto Pecorino IGT 2008 by Cerulli Spinozzi. Riesling? Of course I know it! But Frizzante? Hmm weird, I wouldn’t have recognized it (oh, just saw on the web there was a little Pinot in that one). Refreshing it is, only slightly sparkling Riesling by Frecciarossa from Piedmont. The same estate makes a white Pinot Noir which is so white I’d never have guessed it a Blanc de Noirs; it’s the super-ultra-modern wine press they say… I also had the pleasure with Ribolla Gialla, an old autochton variety from Friuli in a glass of 2008 Vos da Vigne Ribolla Gialla DOC COF, a very intense white.

After a small and tasty pasta lunch we took on the reds. The names were more familiar to me at least. They were mostly powerful young reds with tons of tannins, mostly way too young to be drunk. But with quite some diversity too. First, the Brunellos were all way too young, even the 2004 Tenuta Nuova by Casanova di Neri showed firm tannins but also nice aromas behind that. All long runners I guess. The non Sangoviese Tuscans are labeled under Rosso di Toscana IGT, and are famous – at least some for being called super Tuscans. The 2006 Pietradonice Cabernet by the latter estate should be such a wine: powerful, fruity and spicy, but still with those young tannins – needs time again.

If your Cab comes from Bolgheri like Sassicaia’s or Ornellaia’s, then you’re lucky to label it as Bolgheri DOC and not as IGT I guess: after some glasses you get used to the confusion – some more wine tastings and I’ll know it all ;) ! Anyway, the Bolgheri Cuvées by Podere Sapaio were both impressive, especially the Bolgheri Superiore DOC 2006 with 60% Cab, 20% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot and 10% Petit Verdot (Welcome to Bordeaux in Italy!). It’s a very charming pleasing yet powerful wine with lots of silky and smooth fruit and a backbone of firm tannins which are not bothering that much considering the fruit. They’ll integrate well during the next years anyway I believe. One last winery I want to mention is from Sicily – quite a trendy region now. Cottanera makes a beautiful Nerello and Nero D’Avola cuvee called Barbazzale Rosso IGT 2008 which seems to be quite a bargain. But I really liked their Sole di Sesta IGT 2005 which is a 100% Syrah, perfumed, fruity, with a nice depth and structure.

Ok that was it. Lots of nice wines tried again, too many that I could have posted them all here. Thank you Oskar for bringing me to this nice event!
(Looking back on the last lines I have to admit that this post looks a bit like a “name-dropping” article with many names and few explanations, probably not very useful for the wider public. But this blog of course also holds as my personal notebook/scratchbook helping me to remember what I tried In the past so it will at least be useful for me – very selfish I know :))

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Fusilli alla Siciliana

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