Monday, June 01, 2009

A New Wine Tasting Group: The Wines... Veneto-Italy

I’m part of a new wine tasting group. It’s currently made up of a few current and past work colleagues.

The past time out we tasted wines from the Veneto region of Italy to great effect. The line-up was made up of a Pinot Grigio, a Soave, a Cabernet Sauvignon, and two Amarone. It was an eclectic line-up that, other than the Amarone, show-cased wines and grapes that many wine drinkers don’t normally think of in the Veneto.

Tre Fili – 2008 Pinot Grigio ITG

This wine was best characterized as simple and straight forward. Lime green color with a very distinct lime aroma. The taste was made up of green apple and lime which rose just above a layer of minerality. The acidity was “stretched out” making this a very good food wine along with being a nice summer “quaffer.”

I Campi-Camp Vulcano – 2007 Soave Classico

This was pale yellow in color with light floral aroma and a tiny hint of peach. Lemon was forefront on the taste and this also exhibited a steely minerality. Medium bodied with a soft texture, leading to a refreshing long finish.

Le Ragose-Gaida – 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon

Deep garnet colored with a smoky aroma. Dark cherry fruit at first but this turned into more of a stewed fruit with noticeably darker characteristics like blueberry, green peppers, and spices as it saw some air. Soft texture with nice acidity and a medium finish.

Alberino – 2005 Amarone

Amarone is made by the rasinate method where the grapes are allowed to dry and shrivel on straw mats before the remaining concentrated juice is extracted. This process was evident in the deep ruby colored with a raisin and prune aroma as they are characteristics of highly concentrated wine. There are notes of blackberry, chocolate, raisins, and basically dark burnt fruit. This is almost port like which can happen with the way the wine is made. Jammy is the best way to describe this wine.

Guerrieri Rizzardo-Villa Rizzardi – 2001 Amarone

This was the undisputed wine of the night. Black in color with beautiful aromas of cocoa powder, black current, chocolate and dried dark fruit. This was incredibly refined and not as concentrated or overly extracted as the Alberino. Plum also emerged on the taste. This was a very full bodied wine with high acidity, a super long finish and tannins that melted on the tongue. The alcohol clocked in at 15.5% but it was barely noticeable as this was a very balanced wine.