My last post was 2 months ago, I have not been fiddling whilst Rome burnt but have instead been very busy preparing for a move to Venice. Thanks for all the lovely emails enquiring about my well being but, as I'm sure many of you are aware, moving in Italy is something of a logistical nightmare with residencia's, 4 year rental contracts and the like so these past 2 months have been molto stressful and looking back, I really should have drunk more wine.
Although I will be sad to leave Rome it does mean I can swap cheap Frascati for cheap Valpolicella and be much closer to my favourite wine regions of Italy for lots of exciting tasting weekends in Amarone and Barolo country. So, today I'll ease myself back in with a few of the more interesting tasting notes from the past couple of months starting with my new home wine that I need to get partisan about, Amarone, from Masi.
Masi Amarone 2004 - BUY - €30
Wonderful deep purple, very dark hues showing a clearly young wine the nose was super tight and even after two hours only the subtlest hint of blackberries and vanilla. On the palate though the wine was classic, great balance with still quite strong tannins, firm and fruity wine that held its 15% alcohol excellently, easy to drink, mid-palate giving some walnut action, will improve with age. 90 Points
Pio Cesare Barbaresco 2001 - BUY - €40
An intense mid ruby red with darker hues than expected on a 2001 proving the class of this vintage. The nose was very sweet with some floral notes, strawberries and plums. Fruity palate, a real tasty wine, silky tannins. The overall impression here is of complexity and femininity, it's a really opulent Barbaresco for the price with a full 30 second finish. Another couple of years should see this wine at its premium drinking age. 92 Points
Cornell Chardonnay 2004 - BUY - €23
From the Alto Adige I was asked to try this Chardonnay after waxing lyrical about Planeta's Chardonnay and yes, this is completely different wine. More refreshing and light, the wine was a beautiful golden honey colour in the glass with a nose of apples, butter and a mix of citrus fruits. The palate was thicker than expected with a very smooth mouth-feel. A white wine at €23 had better be good, and it is. 91 Points
Feudi di San Gregorio Taurasi 2003 - PASS - €20
Stunning in the glass, hugely dark purple, exceptionally dark hues, wine or petrol, I wasn't sure. The nose gave some interesting chocolate notes, with berries and cherries I expected and beef that I didn't. The palate was thick and jammy, the wine was quite tannic but not in an unpleasant way. Personally, I'm not jumping up and down for this, even at €10 I'd pass. 88 Points
Gaja Langhe Costa Russi 2001 - PASS - €200
Simply stunning, bolshy bruiser of a wine that you don't mind letting into your house and robbing you blind. Silky and engaging with a complex and beautiful nose with plum and cherries and an earthy mineral quality too. Fruity and oaky on the palate this is a class above and for a special occasion, huge and persist ant finish. How can I pass this wine? €200 is why. Birthdays, bah mitzvahs, Weddings okay, otherwise take 4 bottles of the 95 Point Ceretto Barolo Bricco Rocche 2000. 95 Points
Where can I buy this wine? (PC Barbaresco '01 - If you live in Italy it's sold everywhere no need to buy online!)
Europeans - Enoteca Constatini - €42
Americans - Mission Licquor - $45
Brits - Robert Granger - £29
Question of the Day
So, now you know what I've been doing but how about you guys? How has 2008 been treating you so far and what wines have been making the table this year? Share your exciting 2008 discoveries and I'll give them a whirl and review.