Saturday, September 06, 2008
Buon weekend a tutti.
Last night was the grand opening of Divino in Vino, our annual wine festival here in Offida which celebrates and promotes not only the local producers of Rosso Piceno, Rosso Offida, Pecorino, etc., but also wines from around the world. I started out the evening with a blind tasting and was 0/3. They offered an oxidized Cote du Rhone which I was sure was italian, because it was oxidized in that old style Chianti way. Next was a Ciliegiolo from the Maremma which was such a fruit bomb, I guessed Australia and finally, there was a Barbera d'Alba which was done in the modern style, meaning it could have been any grape variety from anywhere in the world. I guessed South America, thinking it was cleanly made quaff from there. I hope we can make something at Nascondiglio di Bacco which doesn't just fit some cookie cutter, Parkersenian mold of what is thought of as correct wine these days.
I then touched bases with all my wine making buddies from the neighboring hills before heading into a tasting of sparkling wines from around the world.
We started with Austria, moved on to South Africa, then Alsace, Piemonte and finally Champagne.
All were made in the metodo classico style which indicates a re-fermentation in the bottle.
1. Brundlmayer from 2004 was a very tart, not unpleasing beginning, made from Pinot Noir, Chard. Veltliner, Pinot grigio and Pinot bianco. I rated it 82.
2. Pongracz was fashioned from 60% Pinot Noir and 40% chard and could have been alcoholized Sprite. Rating 83 for a bit more complexity.
3. Fernand Engel provided our 3rd sample, a 2006 Cremant d'Alsace with a majority of Pinot Noir followed by every other grape you can think of from Colmar including Auxois; another 83 pointer.
4. Valentino makes a very interesting sparkler from the Piedmont which is 100% chard. and spends 60 months on the lees, ifollowed by another 8-10 months in bottle after degorgement. It has slightly oxidized notes at 1st whiff but these blew off, and while it was very complex showing traces of (over-) mature fruit, I just couldn't enjoy it that much. That being said, it is worth searching out as my gusto is certainly different than yours and most at the tasting enjoyed it. Annato- 2000: 86 points
5. George Veselle 2002 was my favorite and even blind, I could have picked this one as being the real McCoy. this also spends 5 years making friends with the dead yeast cells and had those wonderful, never ending tiny bubbles and a nice yeasty nose. 90% Pinot Noir give it extra complexity and the remainder is Chard. I rated it 91 and then asked what it costs and was reminded why I don't cant drink champagne anymore-70 euros wholesale. Too bad the bottle was empty at the end.
After the tasting, which used INAO glasses, unfortunately, I visited the various food booths before stopping by my friend, the baron's new little wine shop in Offida, recently opened.
Included are photos from the event which you can make plans to attend next year if you are free! Blind tasting table, Main wine tasting hall (an old Franciscan monastery), the wrong glasses, the empty bottles and the baron pouring his child-Ballata.
PS: As I was writing this, my great ears which grazie al Signore still are sharp led me outdoors to see a new bird species which is one of the most wildly colored in Italy called Gruccione. Look it up on google image. It definitely made my day!
Posted by Dwight at 8:26 AM