Sunday, April 20, 2008

Tasting Notes: Italian Wines at Java Monkey on 4/17/08

The suspense leading up to last Thursday's wine tasting was interesting because we didn't know what sort of wines we'd get due to the tasting theme not having been decided until the weekend before. I figured it was going to be a "wines from somewhere" tasting because we haven't had one of those in a while. Yep, they were all from Italy, and they were all aged in steel. I had mixed feelings about that; while I don't usually like my whites to even look at oak barrels, I do like the nuances the oak adds to reds. Wow, that sounded really wine-snobby. I think I'll shut up now and just get to the wines:

Zefiro Prosecco, NV, Veneto
According to Jess, the "Charmant method of bubblification" was used. Bubblification? Whatever they did, it worked. It had a cream soda nose and was a nice, mellow prosecco.

Librandi Critone, 2006, Calabria:
90% Chardonnay, 10% Sauvignon Blanc
Light fruit on the nose, floral and fruity on the palate, but with a bitter honey finish.

Stella Sangoivese, 2006, Puglia:
Thankfully the table refrained from stupid Rocky quotations. It had a weird, green musty nose, but the wine itself was very good with dark fruit and leather.

Lucchine Valpolicella, 2006, Valpolicella:
There's actually a Valpolicella, Italy? I tried to look it up on Google maps, but all it showed me were a couple of towns that were "Something di Valpolicella." This one was 25% Corvina, 25% Corvinone, 20% Rondinella, 10% Molinara, and 10% other stuff with cool Italian-sounding names that I couldn't spell at that point, not because I was tipsy, but because those long Italian grape names are hard to catch fast. It was dark and tart with hints of black cherry and had a rough finish. One table member suggested that it would be good chilled and consumed with pizza. It opened up nicely, and the clean-up pour after the tasting was much better than the original one.

Palladio Chianti, 2006, Tuscany:
90% Sangiovese, 5% Merlot, and 5% Syrah
This Chianti disappointed in that it was a little flat and lifeless. Other terms people used to describe it were, "peppery," "chewy," and "dusty cherry." Definitely a food wine, it came to life with cheese.

Botromagno Primitivo, 2006, Apulia:
Ah, Primitivo, aka, Zinfandel, didn't disappoint. It had light fruit that tasted like a fruit bomb after the Chianti. Very good. Got the most consistent ratings on everyone's "favorites" list for the evening and was probably my favorite.

So that was our tour of un-oaked Italy. My other favorite was the Prosecco. A couple of group members liked the chianti, and the Valpolicella showed up on a couple of lists as well. Overall, it was a strong tasting. And no, I have no idea what the next one will be, although apparently the new schedules are out. If anyone knows, please enlighten me!

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