Tasting note: Masi Campofiorin 2005, Rosso del Veronese IGT

It’s always interesting – and often fun – to re-taste wines you enjoyed often, a while back, but had somewhat set aside and forgotten.

That’s what happened to me when a good friend of mine brought me a bottle of Masi Campofiorin, a unique wine from the Veneto, in Northern Italy. When I first started drinking wine seriously, in the early 90s…

The rest of this tasting note is now on this blog’s new address, winecase.ca. Click here to read it in its new location.

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Published in: on April 12, 2009 at 9:30 am  Comments (5)  
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Tasting Note: Pignolo 2003, Castello di Buttrio, Veneto

Italy certainly is a treasure trove of unique grape varieties. Often, these varieties were almost forgotten and lost before being revived, in the last couple of decades, by some dedicated winemakers who just knew that they could provide great wines with distinctive characteristics.

Think of the Arneis of Piedmont, this tasty white grape that hardly only Bruno Giacosa cultivated, at the turn of the 80s, before some producers decided to show what it could do. Or Falanghina, a refreshing and aromatic white grape from Campania. Or the solid wines made from Frappato in Sicily. Or my latest discovery, Pignolo, a traditional venetian grape that definitely has a lot going for it.

The Pignolo I tasted came to me as a sample from Castello di Buttrio, an estate owned by the family of Marco Felluga, and managed by his daughter Alessandra, who are seeking to expand distribution in North America – and would well deserve it.

Beyond the Pignolo, whose name (and bunch shape) evokes a pine cone, they do some very impressive whites, like a lean, bright, mineral chardonnay, and a clean, aromatic and refreshing Friulano.

The Pignolo, Buttrio’s top bottling, (more…)

Tasting Note: Capitel Croce 2002, Veneto IGT, Anselmi

Roberto Anselmi is one of the great prides of the Veneto region, and especially, of the Soave appellation. So much so that he left the appellattion.

Indeed, Anselmi thought that the authorities were not hard enough on Soave producers, when it came to ensuring quality. So instead of being associated with a level of wines he thought unsatisfactory, he moved away from the DOC and turned his wines, made from 100% garganega, into Veneto IGTs (Indicazione Geografica Tipica, a paradoxically less demanding level of appellation).

The wines remain as good, if not better, as demonstrated by the 2002 Capitel Croce, a single-vineyard wine aged in oak, that felt clearly at its peak. With its golden color, still showing a slightly greenish hue, it showed intense aromas and matching flavors of hay, honey, lime and toasted bread. Quite a mouthful, it still displayed good acidity, creating an interesting balance between a refreshing side and a full-bodied, silky texture, feeling a little waxy on the tongue. Very yummy.

This mix of fullness and acidity make it a good match for grilled salmon, with the acidity cutting through the fat and the richness wrapping around it in a lovely way.

Sold between 20 and 25$, it’s a great quality price ratio, good to drink from its release (the 2005 is currently on sale) and over several years of cellaring.

Published in: on January 11, 2009 at 11:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Ripasso di… Niagara?

Well, it certainly isn’t the rolling hills, the gondolas in historic canals or the Renaissance castles, but it seems there is something in common between the Veneto region of northern Italy and the Niagara region of southern Ontario. That something is a process called appasimento, dating all the way back to Roman times. Used to create amarone and ripasso della Valpolicella, among other wines, it consists in drying grapes to concentrate sugars and flavors, and thus, to produce more potent wines.

An article in the March/April 2008 issue of Vines Magazine, (more…)