Sophie's Choice Italians - with food
Sophie Kiang

Sophie and her team of willing helpers gave us a magnificent Italian night with food to match the wines - a major undertaking given the lack of catering facilities.

1. Pieropan Calvarino Soave Classico, DOC, 2003
A slightly floral note, with almond. Unoaked (there is also an opaked version).  Full of fruit, good acid, slightly bitter finish. 70% Garganega, 30% Trebbiano di Soave. This is very pleasant; and miles away from the Soave you drank as a student. It went extremely well with the scallops. Shame about the price.
 ~ €22

2. Franz Haas Manna Cru Schweizer, IGT, 2002
Very paraffin nose with spice and grass. A cuvée of Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and barrel-fermented Chardonnay, plus a late harvest Gewürztraminer. The vineyards of the three grape varieties are in the Montagna and Egna area.
 ~ €22

3. Ca' del Matt Barnera d'Asti Superiore Terre Caude DOC, 2001
Fruity and slightly medicinal nose.  Huge extract but very medicinal and bitter. Hides the alcohol well! Still some tooth-coating tannins.  Very nice.  100% Barbera. The "Matt" in the name is Matt Thompson, winemaker.
15.00 (not available)

4. Poggio alla Badiola, Castello de Fronterutoli IGT, Toscana, 2003
Dark,  lots of legs. Meaty but not too strong nose. Very tannic, mouth-puckering.  Went well with tomato risotto and grew on me as it opened.  Good price.  75% Sangiovese, 25% Merlot, 70 year old vines, aged in barriques.
Approx €

5. Poggerino Reserva Bugialla Chianti Classico DOCG 1999
Somewhat dumb; a great bitter fruit kick. Some crunchy tannins and plenty of alcohol burn (13.5%).  Very good but pricey. Bugiallo is the vineyard.
Searsons €30

6. Campo del Drago, Castiglion del Bosco, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, 1999  
Light, bitter cherries.  Very powdery tannins with great fruit.  Cool finish. Again, shame about the price.  100% Sangiovese; 13.5% alc.
Searsons €52

7. Massolino Vigna Rionda Riserva Barolo DOCG, 1997
Started as fruit gums, then the nose went away.  Lovely cherry colour, stern backbone, great fruit, loads of tannin, softening. Big, different but disappointing finish.  A bit young; keep 10 years. 14%
€55 wholesale so about €

8. Alpha Zeta Amarone della Valpolicella DOC 2001
Tarry, black fruit; prune.  Hugely fruity, crunchy tannins, sweetness; 15%.  And at a great price.
UK €22 wholesale

9. Mittolo Serpico Cabernet Sauvignon, McLaren Vale, 2004
Really dark, intense, chewy, not so sweet, a bitter core.  Smooth, powerful, great structure, went well with the brownies.  Made by the Amarone method.  15%  
~ €48.50

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