I had the pleasure this past week to attend the Istituto del Vino Italiano di qualita Wine Show here in Halifax and had the opportunity to taste some exceptional Italian wine. A big thank you to my friend Rayell for the invitation. It was a fabulous set up with delicious Italian breads and cheeses and even more delicious wines
It was next to impossible to pick a favorite, so I’m going to call this one of my top favorites from the show.
The Radici Taurasi Riserva by Mastroberardino! It was well structured, deliciously savory and an all around very well made wine. Rich dark fruits and cherry flavors, with black pepper notes. Rayell used the term ‘great depth’ which I loved. It comes from Campania in Italy, in which the name itself means ‘fertile countryside’. This area of Italy also boasts the Amalfi Coast and Mount Vesuvius, so you know it’s a gorgeous part of Italy. The Wine Advocate gave this 2007 wine 94 Points, and I would have to agree.
From the same vineyard comes the 2014 Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio Rosso. (Many of these Italian wines have names that are full mouthfuls). Being a 2014, this wine was young and in my opinion, needs some aging. But it had delicious candied aromas on the nose and a really juicy palate. It had very good structure though for a very young wine.
From Tuscany, this is the Cabreo Il Borgo 2011 Toscana, a Super Tuscan wine. What do I mean by a ‘Super Tuscan? In the 70’s a group of wine producers felt the restrictions were too limiting in Tuscany. There was a long list of restrictions, and one of them was they were not permitted to use traditional grapes like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Antinori, one of the great vineyards in Italy, was the first to create a Super Tuscan wine, a Sangiovese Cabernet Sauvignon blend in 1971. Because they didn’t abide by these restrictions, they had to label the wine as ‘vina da tavolo’, which means table wine. Well, these producers wanted to set the wine apart from the generic table wine, because they felt their wine was a better quality. They coined the phrase Super Tuscan. This Cabreo Il Borgo Toscana is also a Sangiovese Cabernet Sauvignon blend. The world Borgo refers to the small village of Montefioralle, which overlooks the vineyard. It was velvety rich and had good tannins. It was a great match to the Italian cheese Padano I was enjoying.
Pictured with Rayell, is a great wine taster, my friend Jeff Pinhey. I always tell him I need to take his picture to boost ratings! We were all together when we tried this fabulous Barbera wine. The Le Orme 2012 Barbera d’Asti.
My picture turned out a bit blurry, it’s not easy to snap photos and drink wine all at the same time. This was another one of my favorites that topped my list. It was rich and robust and was well structured on the palate. Nice cherry flavors and earthy tones. And from the same vineyard of Michele Chiarlo, came my most pleasant surprise. The Nivole 2014 Moscato d Asti.
My palate fell in love with this Moscato. It is the perfect Sunday afternoon Summer wine. This fabulous sweet slightly sparkling wine had lush honeyed flavors of peach and apricot and the perfect amount of effervescence. It was a beautiful expression of Moscato. I can understand why they named the wine ‘Nivole’, which is the Italian word for clouds.
It was a great week for some great wine. Till next week, Cheers