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Thread: TN: Northern Italy (not inc. Piedmont), 74 Mondavi (reg), 95 Foreau(reg), and a bubbly

  1. #1
    DaleW Guest

    Default TN: Northern Italy (not inc. Piedmont), 74 Mondavi (reg), 95 Foreau(reg), and a bubbly

    Friday night my turn to host my local non-serious wine group. Theme was “Northern Italian Red Excluding Piedmont. “ I had done a run the night before, and with two days filled with speeches had no time for trip to good cheese store. So settled for trip to HMart for beef and pork rib bulgogi thatI grilled, plus white anchovies, banchan dried anchovies, and some Cypress Grove Midnight Moon, Camembert, and Manchego.


    We tried out some open whites (already posted on), and then went to the blind wines:
    Wine #1 - mine, so no guess, opened about 2.5 hours before. Some tannins, good acids, tar, smoke, and earth with some dark berry fruit. Good stuff, I like. 2009 Les Cretes “Vigne La Tour” Fumin (Valle d'Aosta). B+

    Wine #2 - no guesses as I had a clue (Dave had called me to say “is Valpolicella an accepted area for theme”). Lightbodied, spicy, good fruit forward, simple but good. 2009 Le Salette Valpolicella Classico. B/B-

    Wine #3- red fruit, good acids, a hint of spritz (imaginary?), very light, good, one of my faves. 2010 Viviani Valpolicella. B/B+


    Wine #4 - light color, geranium, raspberry/cranberry fruit, I’m thinking Loire Gamay, but hard to fit that in with theme. I’m guess-less. 2009 Saltner “Caldero” Pinot Nero (Alto Adige). B-

    Wine #5- sweet, a touch hot, pruney, confected, not my style, my guess is Amarone. Yep, cheap (comparatively) Amarone. 2007 Pasqua Amarone della Valpolicella. B-/C+

    Wine #6
    Thick, extracted, dense, but much more individualistic bent to it than previous wine, it has some interest.. Cocoa and cherries. I thought this was also Amarone, wrong but in right direction, the 2009 Solane (Santi) Valpolicelli Classico Superiore Ripasso. B

    Wine # 7
    Mid-bodied, some oak, plummy, some others like more than I, I think characterless international variety without caring. 2008 St. Michael Effan Pinot Nero Reserva. C+/B-
    (wine wasn’t so interesting, but as it has PN/Blauburgunder, Sudtirol/Alto Adige etc on label it led to good discussion of places where language supremacy has shifted).

    I was in mood to try something different, (sneakily) said “we can’t have a night without any French wines” (to trick the French guys) and decanted and brought in the 1974 Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon. An old fave, but this bottle had a lower fill (high shoulder to be generous) than my others. Cork was a spongy mess (broke with ah so) so lower expectations. Hey, you never know, this is absolutely fine. Black cherry and black plum, plenty of mint, resolved tannins, guys thought this was a very nice mature Bordeaux. Fine showing. A-/B+

    Since I had made comment about French wine, had to open one, it was the 1995 Foreau (Clos Naudoin) Vouvray Moelleux. This is the regular, not the Reserve. Medium sweet, good acids, lemon pie and honeysuckle. Nice, pleasant, but the Reserve is worth the step up. B

    Fun night.

    Saturday I made chicken breasts in a Madeira/morel cream sauce, with salad.Wine was the 2002 Montaudon Brut Champagne. Good crisp attack, fullbodied with some yeasty notes, pleasant apple and toast notes, but not much followthrough on finish. Perfectly pleasant, and it wasn’t very expensive. B

    Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine,B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.

  2. #2
    Mark Lipton Guest

    Default Re: TN: Northern Italy (not inc. Piedmont), 74 Mondavi (reg), 95Foreau (reg), and a bubbly

    DaleW wrote:
    > Friday night my turn to host my local non-serious wine group. Theme
    > was “Northern Italian Red Excluding Piedmont. “ I had done a run the
    > night before, and with two days filled with speeches had no time for
    > trip to good cheese store. So settled for trip to HMart for beef and
    > pork rib bulgogi that I grilled, plus white anchovies, banchan dried
    > anchovies, and some Cypress Grove Midnight Moon, Camembert, and
    > Manchego.


    >
    > Wine #3- red fruit, good acids, a hint of spritz (imaginary?), very
    > light, good, one of my faves. 2010 Viviani Valpolicella. B/B+


    Nice theme, Dale, but it's clear that your local group ain't quite as
    geeky as you or I. No Lagrein? No Teroldego? No Schiava? No Petit
    Rouge? Fer shame! ;-)

    >
    > I was in mood to try something different, (sneakily) said “we can’t
    > have a night without any French wines” (to trick the French guys) and
    > decanted and brought in the 1974 Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon. An old
    > fave, but this bottle had a lower fill (high shoulder to be
    > generous) than my others. Cork was a spongy mess (broke with ah so)
    > so lower expectations. Hey, you never know, this is absolutely fine.
    > Black cherry and black plum, plenty of mint, resolved tannins, guys
    > thought this was a very nice mature Bordeaux. Fine showing. A-/B+
    >
    > Since I had made comment about French wine, had to open one, it was
    > the 1995 Foreau (Clos Naudoin) Vouvray Moelleux. This is the regular,
    > not the Reserve. Medium sweet, good acids, lemon pie and honeysuckle.
    > Nice, pleasant, but the Reserve is worth the step up. B


    Nice couple of wines to spring on your audience, Dale. Was the Mondavi
    really the regular bottling and not the Reserve?

    Mark Lipton

  3. #3
    DaleW Guest

    Default Re: TN: Northern Italy (not inc. Piedmont), 74 Mondavi (reg), 95Foreau (reg), and a bubbly

    yes, regular Mondavi, it's a bit smaller framed than the Reserve, but closeto as good imho. Both are worth looking for in 74, but the regular is lessthan 1/2 the price, and almost as good.

    This group are good friends, but while Fred is semi-geeky (and Alex and Marc have decent Francophilic cellars), rest are basically happy for boys night out, and while they take seriously during tasting, they hit a wine store this week with a list of possible regions. If you aren't go to CSW, you'll probably get a Valpo.

    2 things I should have mentioned re the Fumin:
    1) when wrapping for blind I noticed a little tearstrip on back label. Later, when unveiled, I tore it, turned out back label was actually a little booklet in Italian (with pictures, sections on philosophy, wine, geography, recipe (veal and onions in broth I think) etc. Never seen that before
    2) I did offer a good bottle of good Bdx to anyone who guessed grape. Fred went with Lagrien, but most couldn't name a N. Italy indigenous grape otherthan the Piedmont big 3

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