The tenth incarnation of the Simply Italian Great Wines tasting, billed as the world’s premiere Italian wine experience took place on October 26. The occasion organized by IEM and its Miami branch IEEM offered a plentiful turnout of consortiums and wineries pouring. There was no lack of attendees either. This was a well orchestrated event, which is no surprise with Balzac Communications involved as the local event organizer. The venue was The St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco.
Four very informative seminars presented Italian appellations and wines with Paul Wagner, the proprietor of Balzac Communications, and Italian experts presiding. Paul recounted his personal wine experiences in Italy with incisive content and gave us chuckles as usual.
I attended the Lombardy seminar where Paul discussed his more notable tasting experiences of Italian wines in Italy. He described in mouth watering detail the extraordinary and plentiful cuisine that the Italians paired with the wines on his trips. Paul added food and wine matching suggestions including pairing truffles with the 2006 Amarone Della Valpolicella DOC Classico by Benedetti.
The three seminars –
- Regulating Italian Wines in Today’s Market
- Great Wines & Regions of Italy: Lombardy – Exceptional Lugana & Franciacorta
- The Diversity of Italy
A delicious lunch including hors-d-oeuvres and was provided after the seminars which helped clear the palate for the next surge. Many wines tasted of an elevated acid level which will make them good partners with food. If these wines are representative, and I am sure they are, Italy continues to raise the bar on wine quality. The focus and freshness of the wines at this tasting was quite apparent.
93, Lugana Doc Pansere”, F. lli Fraccaroli, 2010. Soft but crisp. Sweet yet tart. A wine of contrasts 100% from the Turbiana grape. Just intense enough. Balanced in sweetness, acidity, and astringency, and also in fruit, alcohol, tannin, and acidity. All this plus the nutty nuances and the citrus are hung on a firm frame yet have that rare quality of suppleness. An uncommon and lovely wine. superlatives
90, Bardolino DOCG Classico Superiore, Zeni, 2009. A structured wine with texture showing aromas of ripe red berries and cuisine. Good intensity, a faint drying nuance, and a lovely finish of toast and grilled meat.
92, Amarone Della Valpolicella DOC Classico, Benedetti, 2006. Aromas of sweet red fruit with a nice menthol accent. The taste is mildly sweet fruit with good intensity. This wine has a very uncommon long progression from soft and gentle to intense with nice bitters, finally finishing long and massive. The bitter elements and tannins should tame with bottle age. A lovely, unique wine.
91, Morar Amarone Della Valpolicella DOC, Valentina Cubi, 2004. Complex, focused, and intense with aromas and tastes of sweet rich red berries and cherries. By contrast, this wine also has a very crisp edge with mineral and stone character. An uncommon wine with a lengthy and varied progression across the palate and a long finish.
88, Arjent Sauvignon Blanc Concilio S.p.A. 2010, Trentino DOC. A throwback style that I personally like very much with round ripe fruit, green grass, and herbal overtones.
87, Bordino Tenuta Caretta S.r.i. 2008 Barbaresco DOCG. The generous acid levels should make this a good food pairing wine. More body would be appreciated.
88, Radici Mastroberardino S.p.A. 1999 Taurasi DOCG, Campania Riserva. This nicely aged wine shows plenty of youth with soft ripe fruit and complexity. A well made wine other than the astringent drying nuance.
89, Tenuta Guado al Tasso, Il Bruciato, Bolgheri DOC, Antinori, 2009. A smooth wine with the Cabernet portion subdued and well married with the other components. The high acid should pare well with food.
90, Tenuta Guado al Tasso Vermentino, Bolgheri DOC, Antinori, 2010. A complex white with character. The slight austere touch lends intrigue.