Thankfully, another get together with the “Young Sommelier” community. On this date, we blind tasted a bunch of wines from around the Mediterranean basin, in search of “good” wine. This was a REALLY fun opportunity!
We begin with the 2011 Casa da Passarella Dao Tinto. This really good Portuguese “country” red wine is a blend of 4 indigenous grape varieties–Touriga Nacional, Alfrochiero, Tinta Roiz & Jaen from the Dao appellation. It is tasty, interesting, flows on the palate well & GREATLY over delivers for the dollar, What a “find”! We then tasted the 2014 Scarpone Montepuciano d’Abruzzo. Over the years, we have found the indigenous Montepulciano grape variety is very capable of making very interesting red wine. This one comes from “a 5 acre vineyard, planted in 2001 at an elevation of 200 meters (600′) above sea level, in 2001 to all local massale vines of the traditional Montepulciano grape. This region, called the “Colline Teramane” after the nearby mountain town of Teramo, is aknowledged to produce the finest wine in the region. It is the first and only zone in the Abruzzo to be given the Italian government’s highest quality ranking of DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita)”. We found this wine is so very tasty, with interesting mojo & character, while still being UN-heavy, very food friendly & a truly remarkable value. Consider serving with rustic braised pork or chicken dishes. The 2014 Domaine Giacometti Patrimonio “Cru des Agriate” comes from a very remote part of the Island of Corsica. I reminded tasters not to be fooled by the lighter coloring. We have been quite intrigued with this particular Niellucciu based red wine because of how tasty & provocatively savory it really is. When considering foods, consider savory, rustic meat preparations. All 3 of these wines could work with the VINO Roasted Chicken with Tuscan styled beans or Braised Spanish Octopus with ham hock stew.
We started of the next flight with the 2012 Domaine Barral Faugeres. Didier Barral is one of the revolutionary winemakers of southern France. This Carignane red wine blend bares the sun baked rocks, wild herbs/shrubs of the wild countryside surrounding the vineyards. Some would say the severe rusticity comes from his style of winemaking, others will say its the soil. Me, I say a combination. I can remember a day, when each of his bottles tasted different, (which by the way, I think is a good thing). The main attribute I found compelling was how delicious this wine is & I would therefore definitely buy it again! The 2011 Riofavara Eloro “Sciave” is Nero D’Avola (grape variety, organically farmed) in the southern tip of Sicily. This was the very first Nero d’Avola that has caught me fancy. It is manly & wild in its core, yet statuesque, well mannered, well manicured & quite provocative. I will definitely be buying this wine again! I bought the 2011 Le Piane Vino Rosso “Mimmo” at a wine store in Seattle. This masculine, savory, well structured blend of mostly Nebbiolo with some Croatina & a tiny bit of Vespolina hails from the extreme Boca growing region of northern Piemonte. Yes, the wine is interesting & sheds a very different light on what Piemontese red wines can be. Furthermore, at $25 a bottle I would say it provides really good value. I am so glad & thankful to have tried it, but once was enough.
The final flight of red wines started with the 2011 Domaine La Tour Vieille Collioure “Puig Ambeille”. Collioure is an appellation in southern France, right on the Mediterranean, close to where the Pyranees mountains dives into the Mediterranean near the French/Spanish border. The steep terraced hillsides are schist, all of which is constantly pounded by La Tramontagne, a fierce, relentless wind. Normally, the La Tour Vieille Collioure reds are Grenache dominated, “Puig Ambeille”, however, is more about Mourvedre & its masculinity, thick skin & dark, virile core, still, with surprisingly deliciousness combined with a wonderful savory edge. Thank you Chris for sharing. In comparison, the 2010 Domaine Tempier Bandol “La Tourtine”, another southern French Mourvedre based red wine (though from Provence) had much more vinosity, character & pedigree, but in a very rugged, hearty, heftier, coarse, bordering belligerent way. It certainly was a wine to be reckoned with. Thank you Brian for sharing!
What a fabulous night! Thank you all for sharing!!!