The biggest shock of the night was the Petit Verdot, this is the wine I recommend most highly to buy at €10! This wine outshone the Barbaresco and the Brunello di Montalcino! Amazingly total agreement on the the best wine, the Petit Verdot and the worst wine, the Pauillac.
Although the first bottles were open at 4pm the food was not ready until 8pm so, to accompany the food, and because most of the wine was gone, I opened a magnum of Giacosa Barolo Falletto 1998. Everybody enjoyed this wine and it was truly exceptional. This bottle was the best Italian wine I've ever had. Maybe it's the turkey talking but I truly can't think of another bottle I've tried that beats this. Consider the fact it is still improving, I highly recommend this wine for a special occasion. The aromas flew out of the bottle with no decanting. We really should have decanted the wine as smelling the small amount left this morning it has taken on a different character but, straight out of the bottle, it was a beautiful wine.
Casale del Giglio Petit Verdot 2004 - BUY - €10
Dark purple in the glass, very deep intensity. A little timid on the nose but aromas of spice, berries and cherries with the most intense smell profile being blackberries. Shockingly refined and balanced on the palate denoting a classier wine that the price, some nice fruit on the mid palate. A really enjoyable and easy drinking wine. The lack of intensity on the nose is the reason this missed 90 points. Perfect for dinner parties. 89 Points
Fontanafredda Barbaresco 2000 - PASS - €18
Noticeabley purple/brown in the glass with some orangey hues. A lovely nose of candied cherries and vanilla extract with a hint of cinnamon. Very weak tannins and acidity through roof let this down badly, mid length finish and a medium body complete this so/so wine. Really disappointing from Fontanafredda in a stellar year for Barbaresco - 79-81 Points
Angelini Brunello di Montalcino 2001 - BUY - €30
Dark ruby, edging on purple colour with significantly lighter hues. Very expressive nose, spicy with some cherries but the most overwhelming smell is orange rind. The palate is tannic and drying but pleasantly so again with orange on the mid palate. Totally unexpected flavour profile from a Brunello which caught me off guard but nevertheless it's a very enjoyable complete wine. 90 Points
Baron Phillipe de Rothschild Pauillac 1999 - PASS - €24
Close to purple in the glass with an almost artificially sweet nose of cherries and flowers with strawberries as the standout aroma. The palate is revolting, insipid, watery, the weight of the wine and the tannic content reminded me of drinking Ribena, thin, no finish, sugar water. In fact, I would take Ribena any day over this wine, even Vimto. It's very difficult to score a wine you dislike so intensely but for colour and nose alone I give it 74 Points
Bruno Giacosa Barolo Falletto di Serralunga D'Alba 1998 - BUY - €275
From Magnum: Pale brick red colour, looks a little dirty and cloudier than the other wines we had but the hues were surprisingly dark for the age. A beautiful expressive nose the second it was uncorked, berries, cherry, strawberries; acres of ripe fruits. The palate was like velvet with complimentary tannins and exceptional length. Breathtaking. The wine came from magnum. 97 Points
As far as Italy Vs France goes it was obviously a tongue in cheek contest with only one winner possible but was an exciting experiment anyway. Everyone had fun and now we all have a new everyday drinking wine to rave about, the Casale del Giglio Petit Verdot wins the QPR award. Wines like Giacosa's Barolo are wonderful and have their place in my heart but it's the everyday drinking wines, the supermarket bargains, that can be the most exciting discoveries. After all, not every meal is a thanksgiving slap up.
Where can I buy this wine? (The Petit Verdot)
Europeans - Vinaoi - €8.30
Americans - Quality House Wines - $27
Brits - Everywine - £5.97
Question of the Day
What will you drink on Thanksgiving/Christmas day?