|Iron C. and Franco Massolino with his incredible 2005 Barolo Vigna Rionda|
Also, 2006 Brunellos were in full swing, a very good vintage in Montalcino (Tuscany), with Biondi-Santi and Canalicchio di Sopra showing elegance and spice. While Biondi Santi was more expressive and pure, it is hard to argue with the class and relative value of Canalicchio di Sopra (at about a third of the price of Biondi-Santi), a wine that I am stocking up on in my own cellar.
The stalwart super-tuscans 2008 Sassicaia, 2008 Tignanello, 2008 Flaccianello, and Petrolo Galatrona 2009 were excellent, delicious and very ageworthy. Of them, Flaccianello (100% Sangiovese) seemed the most tannic and needing the longest to mellow out. Felsina's top-of-the-line answer to Flaccianello was Fontalloro, a similarly dense and powerful Sangiovese, with many years ahead of it. I was particularly impressed with the 100% Merlot-based Galatrona, which showed even better than in the prior two vintages, finding the magical spot between richness, balance, and black-olive-"flavored" complexity. 2007 Mastroberardino Taurasi Radici (red from Campania) showed depth, interesting slightly smoky character and haunting intrigue of the Aglianico grape. Among the whites, a 2010 Vermentino from Cantine Lunae Bosoni (Colli di Luni Et. Nera) from Liguria was the most memorable, with viscous texture, and lees-like rich, honeyed flavor, and a balance of acidity and sweetness. And of course in the sparkling category, Giulio Ferrari "Riserva del Fondatore" 2001 vintage stood above all, as it did last year. This was also the first time I enjoyed a delicious Franciacorta from La Montina (2005 vintage).
|Biondi-Santi is the apogee of Brunello, and the 2006 did not disappoint - velvety, bright, spicy, leathery, tannic and juicy.|
|Fontodi Flaccianello is the legendary ageworthy Sangiovese-based super-tuscan|
|Fontalloro is Felsina's answer to Flaccianello|
|Enrico from Wine Warehouse is pouring the Fontalloro|
|The contrast between the reserved 2006 and the fruity 2007 vintages in Barolo is stark!|
|2008 Tignanello - 80% Sangiovese, 5% Cab Sauv, 15% Cab Franc.|
Frankly, in my opinion, the best (relative) value Super Tuscan of the show.
|Year in and year out, Ferrari is at the top of Italian sparkling wine-making|
|Canalicchio di Sopra is one of the star Brunellos in 2006|
|Excellent Fanciacorta - La Montina|
|Perennial Tre Bicchieri winner and the poster boy of Italian Merlot - Galatrona.|
In 2009 - smooth and rich, but not over the top, and alluringly black-olive-like.
|Mastroberardino - maybe the best red from Campania|
I got to hang out (again) with Eleonora Guerini, Sr. Editor of Gambero Rosso. She is such a sweetheart! And she is not shy about stating her opinion. "What I care about is the quality of the wine. For all the hype - bio, organic, trends, this and that - we respect that, but I taste what's in the bottle! People think too much and not drink enough!", emphasized Eleonora, with a wickedly sexy smile, and a cool tattoo. "I have more tattoos!", she winked. Oh, and personally she prefers 2005 Barolos over the 2007's.