Saturday, February 20, 2010

The JvE Tasting at Triomphe

Thursday the JvE group gathered at Triomphe (great little private room in the back) for a tasting of northern Italian wines. It was, as always, a great evening, nevermind the fact that a few of us had Tuscany and Umbria located in the north of Italy - hey, they're north of Rome! Anyway, no one is getting kicked off the island for straying to the south, and the mix of Tuscan and Umbrian wines provided a nice diversity. The food was great, the wines and company terrific too. Thanks to all for the wines, and especially to JvE for all his work graciously organizing and hosting us and especially  for continuing such a great tradition! While the appointed scribe generally captures a little more of the color and flavor of the night, I have to apologize as the following notes suffer a little from "Dragnet Syndrome" - nothing but the facts. In the same theme, the names have been left out to protect the innocent - you never know who told their significant others they were working late at the office!

First Course: Scallops with Porcini Mushroom and Fois Gras Butter

Bruno Giacosa Arneis 2008: Had this as we arrived - lovely crisp, clean and refreshing - great way to start the evening!
Miana Sauvignon Saurint 2005: Mellow Sauvignon character, with only minimal herbaceous/citrusy varietal signature, with some secondary creamy honeyed tones. Nice weight and texture on the palate, moderate acidity. Drink it up now is my opinion.
Gravner Ribolla Gialla 2002: Medium amber straw color with a nose that changed from slightly mint/fennel to nutty and mildly oxidative and earthy. Totally dry on the palate, with grainy textural, mouth feel. As unique and individual a wine style as you can get, and for most this is a love/hate proposition. Whenever we sell this in the shop we have to provide ample warning that it ain't no Pinot Grigio!

Second Course: Rosemary Garlic Sauteed Quail with Baby Artichokes, Spinach and Lemon Segments

La Fortia Lamborghini Campoleone Rosso 2000: This is 50/50 Sangiovese and Merlot, and it was deep, dark, concentrated and sexy in a fairly modern style. Some sweet oak on top of extracted fruit, and just showing enough bottle age so that the opulent, ripe, fullness was underpinned with some leather, earth and mature notes.
Colpetrone Sagrantino di Montalfalco 1999: I love this grower but don't think this bottle was showing at 100%. Fruit knocked down and a little musty indicated a tinge of TCA. Should have been singin' and it wasn't for me tonight.

Third Course: Pasta

1979 Asili Reserva Barbaresco: Good moderate bricky/ruby. This was a little locked up and out of sorts right out of the bottle, but after 5-10 minutes really emerged from its funk and developed leather, dried cherry and autumn leaf characteristics. Still showing good acid and fine pure mouth feel.
1979 Montefico Reserva Barbaresco: Good color, lovely aromatics - right out of the gate this was dark, brooding; evolved with lovely mushroom, balsamic and dark earthy notes. Palate was still well defined, with lovely spice and still some power and depth. Fine old wines, these two were a real treat!
1997 Bruno Giacosa Falletto Barbaresco (magnum): Thought the 1997 would be a bit more evolved, but this is still quite youthful - magnum effect? Medium ruby color, still quite closed at first, with hints of dried red fruits. Still fresh, youthful, and elegant on the palate. Lively and a bit nervy,this did open up quite nicely to reveal some more breadth and depth along with some slightly darker fruits. A very good wine with excellent potential that still needs 5-10 more years to show its stuff.

Fourth Course: New York Strip Steak au Poivre with Truffled Creamed Spinach and Whipped Potatoes  

2001 Ceretto Bricco Rocche Barolo: Absolutely beautiful wine - explosive and bursting with youthful but expressive aromas, flavors and vibrant energy. Still primary, but plenty here with which to judge it. Tarry red fruit with perfumed floral top notes and spice. Focused and powerful yet still precise and detailed on the palate. Classic 2001, it needs a decade or more to really fulfill its potential.
2000 Giuseppe Rinaldi Barolo Brunate le Coste (magnum): Sweetly scented lacy red fruits and hints of cedar, perfumed dried cherry and floral notes. Mid-weight on the palate, balanced and pretty elegant in style and maybe just beginning to reach its window of drinking, though I'd still hang on to it for 4-10 years.
1990 Clerico Pajana Barolo: To me this was totally OTH. Dried, oxidative, and past it's prime. (and I brought it! Worst wine of the night, hands down - I owe BIG time)

Cheese Course

2001 Querciabella "Camartina": Deep, inky purple, extracted with plenty of power and dense, compact dark fruit, with a bit of spice and meaty gamey character underneath. Solid, mouth filling, compact and long with good structure into the finish.
2004 Casanova di Neri Tenuta Nuova Brunello di Montalcino: Fairly deep ruby purple in color. Ample red fruits and dusty earth notes on the nose, and a whiff of cedar and spice. Good solid fruit with moderately grippy tannins. Loads of potential, from 2014-2020.


Vaona Reciotto Della Valpolicella "Le Peagne" 2005: Sweetly aromatic dark cherry, with mild acetyl and oxidative notes. Deep and dark, sweet, plush and soft on the palate with hints of prune, cooked plum and cherry.
Vigna del Volta La Stoppa Colli Piacentini Malvasia Passito DOC: Orange blossom, quince, and citrusy on the nose and similar flavors on the palate. Sweetly concentrated on the front of the palate, then subtly changing and becoming a little drier and almost almond like and nutty in the finish.

No comments:

Post a Comment