The winner for me at this tasting was the Nicodemi Montepulciano d’Abruzzo at Â£8.49 an absolute bargain. Well balanced, gamey with tobacco box and chocolate & damson plum notes. This was long, tasted typically Italian & is a great food wine. We later drank this with pizza – perfect!
And the winner in the whites was a Soave – what a revelation, I thought everything from this region was undrinkable! From Inama (Veneto) 2005 Vigneti di Foscarino Soave Classico – lovely pear, honey & green peach aromas, light & crisp, really well balanced with a slightly oily mouthfeel – Â£12.95. This only just beat the 2006 Soave Classico by the same people, not quite as well balanced, with more of a stewed apple character, mineral tones and slightly bitter at Â£9.49
Other wines that got my attention were: 2003 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano from Il Macchione with raisin & licorice on the nose, hazelnut & cedar Â£16.95. The Corte Sant’Alda 2003 Amarone at Â£37.95 was a nice restrained example. Amarone is made by drying the grapes before pressing them, which in a less well made style can bring port like tones of raisin and prunes and huge amounts of alcohol. This had an agreeable raisin note along with damson, cherry, cinnamon & vanilla, very full bodied & well balanced. And the highlight was probably from La Fiorita the 2000 Brunello di Montalicino with great fruit and licorice notes, underlain by clean fresh oak notes of pencil shavings. This being the last wine of the tasting, my notes are somewhat sparse.