Saturday, April 26, 2008

Tasting Notes: Italian wines at Sherlock's

Sometimes the messages of the universe are subtle. At other times, it takes a sledgehammer to one's life. This is one of those moments: God wants me to drink Italian wines.

First Java Monkey warmed up my palate at the most recent tasting, then earlier this week I got an email from the wine dude in charge of the tastings at Sherlock's asking for volunteers for today. He sent along the list, which consisted of eight interesting-looking Italian wines. I knew in my heart that I was meant to be there, so I volunteered and got the spot. I'm glad I did. Here are the wines:

Caldora Trebbiano d'Abruzzo, Ortona, 2006
I heard this one described as "peach wine" a few times. Floral and fruity, but really light. I rated it as "good."

Aurora Gavi di Gavi, Piedmont, 2005
This was the wine that got poured most often. Hubby described the nose as "wet sheep." My objection to it was that it was too mineral.

Gini Soave Classico, Veneto, 2006
Yum! This one smells a little of apple juice, but it's well-balanced and has a nice, clean finish. I brought a bottle home, and with food, the floral and fruity characteristics really come out. Thanks to Chris, the helpful wine rep from Quality Wines & Spirits, I also now know the correct pronunciation of the grape Garganega, which is what this wine is made from. Don't try pronouncing it after a few glasses.

Caldora Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, 2006
Most of the comments about this wine focused on the nose, which was really fruity with a hint of vanilla. The tasting notes described it as "medium to full-bodied." I found it to be more medium with an almost fizzy quality in the middle.

Cusumano Nero d'Avola, Sicily, 2007
The first taste had a real bite to it, but allowing it to breathe mellowed it out and revealed a buttery finish. Chris suggested pairing this one as well as the next one with pizza. It went really well with cheese.

Aurora Barbera d'Asti, Piedmont, 2005
This one had a bite to it but proved to be nice and fruity. I agree with the tasting notes, which described it as tasting of "cherries with some earthy characteristics," probably leaning more to earthy than cherry.

Corte Alla Flora Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Tuscany, 2003
This one was my favorite of the day. Apparently it was the "wine of Voltaire," and I can see why he liked it. Full-bodied, fruity and full of flavor, mostly fruit with a little chocolate in it.

Saracco Moscato d'Asti, Piedmont, 2006
An excellent, somewhat sweet dessert wine with low alcohol content (5%). Fruity and bubbly without being sugary or syrupy. Should go well with the season's strawberries or just on its own.

Hubby and I came home with the Soave and the Barbera d'Asti. What can I say? It was just meant to be.

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