Sophie's Choice Italians - with food
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 €80
8. Alpha Zeta Amarone della
Valpolicella DOC 2001
Tarry, black fruit; prune.
Hugely fruity, crunchy tannins, sweetness; 15%. And at a great
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%
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