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$20 and Under From All Over

 

Domaine Bousquet Sauvignon Blanc Made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc from estate vineyards in Tupungato, Alto Gualtallary, by the foothills of the Andes at 4,000 feet in Argentina. The soil is gravel and sand. Manual harvest takes place the first and second week of February. Cold maceration is at 8C for 24 hours to extract aromas and flavors. Fermentation is with selected yeasts at a maximum temperature of 15C for 15 days. This is a crisp white wine with hints of lime and apple with a touch of herbs and nice acidity. $12 

Pinot Grigio 2018 Alto Adige DOC Peter Zimmer. Italy.  Made from a selection of grapes from the best vineyards of the valley floor and the steep slopes nearby. The soil here is stony, sandy and extremely chalky. The low yields per hectare and this particular terroir combines for a very particular Pinot Grigio.  The grapes are gently pressed, then clarified through the natural settling of sediment. Alcoholic fermentation is carried out with pure strains of yeast in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. Malolactic fermentation does not occur. The wine remains on the lees for several months before it is bottled. It has more depth than most Pinot Grigio, with ripe fresh fruit, a touch of pear, and a hint of spice, good mineral character and fresh acidity. $18

Elk Cove Vineyards Pinot Gris 2017  Made from 100% Pinot Gris hand harvested from select hillside vineyards in the northern Willamette Valley in Oregon. The age of the vines is 4 to 32 years. Harvest was from mid-September to mid-October. Harvest sugars were 22.5 brix. They whole cluster press the grapes then the juice is fermented at a very cold temperature in small stainless steel tanks. The wine was bottled in Feb. 2018. This is a light to medium bodied wine with hints of pears, peaches, and apricots with refreshing acidity.  $18

Esporäo Private Selection Branco 2017 made from 95% Semillon and 5% field blend. Portugal.  The wine was created in 2001 to challenge the classic profile of the Alentejo wines.  The first planting was in 1993-1994. The soil is predominantly clay and the age of the vines is 22-26 years. The wine sees some time in oak. This wine qualifies as a garrafeira but is not bottled as one as  this variety is not recognized for garrafeira (wine that has been aged for at least 2 years in wood and another year in bottle). The wine has hints of citrus fruit with notes of white flowers and a touch of spice. $19

Nik Weis St. Urb-Hof Estate Dry Riesling 2018 QbA The production zone is the Mosel Valley, in Germany. The vines are 30 to 70 years old and organically farmed. After pressing the juice is left to clarify naturally for a day before transfer to stainless steel tanks for an ambient fermentation. 100% stainless steel for fermentation and aging. The wine is racked immediately after fermentation and stays on the lees for two to three month before it is bottled. This is a wine with hints green apple and flint with a nice minerality from the slate bedrock balanced by good acidity ($18)

11 Minutes- Rosé Trevenezie IGT Pasqua. Italy. Made mostly from Corvina with Trebbiano Lugana, Syrah and Camenere. The wine is in contact with the skin for 11 minutes which gives the wine its name. Once the must is obtained, it is cooled and transferred to a steel tank where it remains for about 11 hours, the necessary time for the more solid parts to decant. The must is inculcated with select yeasts. During fermentation there is daily monitoring of the wine. Then the wine remains in contact with the lees for about 3 or 4 months. The wine is filtered and bottled in January. The wine has hints of raspberry and strawberry, with floral notes and a touch of spice. $16

Domaine de Bila-Haut ”Les Vignes” Pays d”Oc Rose 2018 made from 55% Grenach and 35% Syrah. Michel Chapoutier. Located in Cõtes du Roussillon, Languedoc. France.  In the hills of the Agly Valley the 40-year-old vines are carefully attended. The juice is fermented and aged in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. After a short maceration on the skins, a delicate pink hue is attained and the wine is racked and vinified. The wine is then carefully blended for bottling. The wine has hints of citrus and a touch of raspberry. $15

Château La Tour de l’Evêque Rosé 20014 Cuvée Pétale de Rose AOC Côtes de Provence.  France.  Made from 42% Cinsault, 38% Grenache, 9% Syrah, 4% Ugni-blanc 3% Mourvèdre, 2% Sèmillon, 1% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Rolle. The hand harvest took place between August 16 and September 16. This is a wine with red berry aromas and flavors that is very easy to drink with a nice finish and aftertaste. $18

Renzo Masi Chianti 2018 made from 95% Sangiovese and 5% Colorino primary from the Rufina area of Tuscany.The producer is Fattoria di Basciano. Italy.  Classic red wine vinification takes place with alcohol fermentation at a controlled temperature in stainless steel tanks. It has aromas and flavors of red berries with a touch of violets and good acidity. It is a wine to be drunk young but could age for a few years.  $12

Rosso di Toscano Renzo Masi Etra e China made from 50% Sangiovese and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon. Tuscany, Italy.  The two grape varieties are fermented separately and malolactic fermentation is completed in stainless steel tanks. The juice is blended and transferred into barriques previously used to produce the “crus “ of Fattoria di Basciano. This is a full-bodied wine with hints of currants, cherry and a touch of vanilla. $16

Domaine Bousquet Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 made from 100% Cabernet Sauvigmon from vineyards in Tupugato, Alto Gualtallary, at the foot of the Andes at 4,000 ft. Argentina. The soil is gravel and sand. Harvest takes place between the last week of March and the first week of April. Fermentation is with selected yeasts for 15 days. This is a medium bodied wine with red berry aromas and flavors. $14

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Norma: Sicilian Food at its Best

Norma Gastronomia Siciliana in Manhattan is a restaurant that I frequent because of the great food and warm atmosphere.

I have probably tried everything on the menu and friends often ask me to recommend my favorite dishes.  These are some, though not all, of the foods that I often enjoy.

Caponata con crostini e mandorle–Eggplant, celery, green olives, onions, tomato, sweet and savory seasoning, toasted almonds served with crostini.

I like to have the Caponata with the focaccia, hot from the pizza oven.

Panelle– Fried chickpea fritters with garlic and parsley aglio olio sauce.Arancini al Ragu –Saffron rice ball stuffed with Bolognese meat sauce, green peas and served over tomato sauce.

Rianata pizza — Sicilian style with garlic, tomatoes, herbs and anchovies.

Cabucci Porchetta — hot flatbread sandwich with roasted porchetta, arugula, provolone cheese, and herbs.

Timballo di melanzane alla parmigiana- Eggplant parmigiana timbale with mozzarella & parmigiana cheese, basil and tomato sauce.

Pasta Alla Norma — Imported durum paccheri from Gragnano, large tubular pasta with a sauce of fresh tomatoes, eggplant, basil and ricotta salata cheese.

Anelletti Alla Palermitana in Casseruola – Tiny ring shaped baked pasta baked in a casserole with beef & pork ragu, green peas, Italian ham, eggplant, primo sale and ricotta salata cheeses, and basil

 

Cannoli – House made cannoli filled with sheep milk ricotta and pistachios.

Almond Semifreddo with Chocolate  Sauce

Cassata — Sicilian cheesecake

The Wine

Champagne Egly Ouriet   1990 made from 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay from 100% Grand Cru Ambonnay from 50 plus year old vines. Vinification in barrels 25% new. Aged for 8 years on the lees.

Champagne Henriot “Millésime 1988 made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from 6 Grand Crus: Maily Champagne, Verzy, Verzenay on Montagne de Reims, Mesnil-su-Oger, Avize, Chouilly on Côte des Blancs. The wine has hints of raspberries and strawberries with a touch of hazelnuts and brioche and a long finish.

Trebbiano d’Abruzzo 2003 DOC made from 100% Trebbiano d’ Abruzzo Edoardo Valentini  very complex and full with a mineral character, hints of citrus fruit and apple, melon, good acidity, great finish and aftertaste with that extra something that is difficult to describe. The wine was not showing any sings of age.

Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo 2014 DOC made from 100% Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo Edoardo Valentini aged in large botti of Slavonia oak for 12 months. With very nice fruit aromas and flavors, a note of strawberry and for a rose’, a great finish and aftertaste. There was some wine left in the bottle and I had it 3 days later.  The wine was still in perfect condition.

Prephylloxera Etna Rosso 2006 DOC Township of Randazzo from the Don Peppino Vineyard. Made from Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio. Right in front and to the right of the cellar in the Calderara Sottana vineyard are two parcels in the midst of the larger vineyards that have survived phylloxera. They are over 130 years old and stand on their own rootstock. Exposure is northern and the soil is black volcanic pumice with some ash. There is spontaneous malolactic fermentation and aging in French oak barriques and tonneaux for 18 months.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In Memoriam: Lucio Caputo by Tom Maresca

In Memoriam: Lucio Caputo

Earlier this month, Lucio Caputo died at the age of 84. His passing didn’t attract a lot of attention outside the wine world, but within that micro-universe it reverberated enormously.

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From 1974 to 1982, Caputo was the Italian Trade Commissioner in New York, at that time a position of incredible importance for Italian products in the United States, and most especially for Italian wine. He left the Italian civil service in 1983 (declining a fat government pension) to stay on in New York to found the Italian Wine and Food Institute, an agency he successfully headed for the next 30 years. The IWFI did a tremendous job over that period of promoting the best of Italian wines and food products. Its annual tastings and awards dinners were always highlights of the season for wine professionals.

But for those of us who remember what the situation of Italian wine was in this country before Lucio Caputo, his greatest accomplishments came in his years as Italian Trade Commissioner.  Before then, Italian wine in America was largely “Soavebolla” – the popular portmanteau term for what was often pale, watery, nearly flavorless, overcropped, and overproduced plonk. After Caputo’s stint as trade commissioner, Italian wine in America had become a broad spectrum of many kinds of wine from many sorts of grapes from all over Italy. Caputo didn’t simply promote Italian wine – though he did, actively and passionately: But in terms of the American market, he could be said to have invented it.

Big claim, eh? But here are the stats: Before his campaign, Italy was exporting 362,000 hectoliters of wine a year to the United States. In 1983, the annual export reached 2,400,000 hectoliters, an almost sextupling in volume. Initially, as I recall, the big increase was in inexpensive wines, but as the ‘70s gave way to the ‘80s, higher-quality wines increasingly made their mark.

By the end of Caputo’s term as trade commissioner,  Italian wine imports to the US had surpassed French wines – the market leader for decades before – first in quantity and then in value.  These were the years when many now-famous Italian wines, then small-market cult wines even in Italy, began appearing on shelves in New York, Boston, and Washington; then in Chicago, Miami, and Los Angeles. The great wines you now can get easily and regularly first showed up then.

This all came about because of Caputo’s tireless efforts. Wine journalist old-timers will remember as fondly as I do the regular tastings at Italian Trade Commission headquarters on Park Avenue. This was a spacious, stylish venue, sporting an extensive wine library and a museum-quality Di Chirico oil painting.
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The tastings, which occurred every week (and sometimes twice a week), were every bit as stylish and extensive. They were also thorough, informative, and often quite intensive. You could always sit and taste comfortably, often at your own pace, and you had ample space to take notes – luxuries not always available today to the assiduous taster.

The Trade Commission tastings might be of a wine type, or a region, or a grape variety. Whichever they were, you were sure to taste and learn about some grape varieties and wines that were new to the American market or still hoping to get there, because not just journalists attended these tastings: retailers, sommeliers, restaurateurs, distributors, and importers also came. Those sessions opened the door to this country for many of the wines we can now take for granted, and they were Lucio Caputo’s finest achievement.

In the past few years, we have lost a lot of the pioneers and masters of Italian wine. Lucio Caputo was not a great winemaker like Bruno Giacosa or Beppe Colla or Antonio Mastroberardino, but his contributions to Italian wine stand in the same range of importance. One more giant is no longer with us.

The article is from “Tom’s Wine Line”   www.ubriaco.wordpress.com

Lucio Caputo and Augusto Marchini the former Assistant Trade Commissioner

I  saw Lucio Caputo at the last IWFI event at Gattopardo Restaurant in NYC in March of 2019.

In fact I first met Tom Maresca at an Italian Trade Commission tasting where we had a long conversation about grappa.

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Pecorino, Cerasuolo & Montepulciano at Tenuta I Fauri

On our recent press trip to the Abruzzo Region of Italy, we visited a number of wineries that produced excellent wines.

At Tenuta I Fauri, we were greeted by Valentina Di Camillo, a member of the family that owns the winery, and the Managing Director.

Valentina at the Grand Tasting Dei Vini D’Abruzzo

The winery is located in the small town of Ari in the center of the province of Chieri, among the hills that drop down from the Maiella Mountains to the Adriatic Sea.

The vineyards are at 250 meters and the vine training system  is tendone

Valentina said she and her brother Luigi, the winemaker, inherited their passion for making wine from their father Domenico. Tenuta I Fauri is not just a brand name but represents a family dedicated to wine production for many years.

Valentina said the cellar in not very photogenic because of the old cement tanks, used by her grandfather Luigi, which have been carefully restored and preserved so they can be used once again.  There are also new stainless steel fermenters and a few wooden barrels.

Valentina had prepared a selection of foods to taste with the wine,

among them fresh fruits and vegetables.

Abruzzo Pecorino DOC 2017 made from 100% Pecorino. The soil is clay calcareous and the training and pruning methods are tendone, single curtain/rows (spur training). There are 1,600/3,000 vines per hectare. Static decanting of the must takes place, followed by a soft pressing. Fermentation is in stainless steel at a controlled temperature and the wine is aged in stainless steel. The wine is bottled at the end of February. The wine has hints of apple and honey and a touch of mint.

Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo DOC “Baldovino (Rosato) 2018 made from 100% Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo. The soil is clay calcareous and the training system is tendone, single curtain. There are 1,600 vines per hectare. Maceration takes place inside the press and static decanting of the must and a soft pressing. Fermentation at a controlled temperature is in stainless steel vats. The wine is bottled at the end of February. This is a fruity wine with hints of cherries, strawberries and a touch of almonds in the aftertaste.

Montepulciano d’Abruzzo “Ottobre Rosso” 2017 DOC. The training system is single curtain tendone and there are 3,000 vines per hectare. Fermentation and maceration is in concrete vats for 10/12 days followed by 9 months aging in concrete vats. The wine is bottled in June. This is a red wine with intense red fruit aromas and flavors with hints of wild cherry and a touch of raspberry.

Spumante Brut NV made from Chardonnay and Pecorino. The soil is sandy and the training system is tendone, single curtain. There are 1,600 plants per hectare. Static decanting of the must followed by a soft pressing and fermentation at a controlled temperature. There is a second fermentation in an autoclave for 3 months and it is bottled in January. The wine has hints of peach and apricot with a touch of pineapple.

Both Michele and I were very impressed by the wines. We tasted the wines again at the Grand Tasting at the end of the trip and I enjoyed them again at an event in NYC.

 

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Puglia comes to Kesté

A number of years ago Michele and I were on a press trip to Puglia and we visited Cantina Due Palme. Recently I received  and invitation for an event called  “Wines of Excellence Made in Puglia: Cantine Due Palma at Keste Wall Street.”

It is always a pleasure to go to Keste and I wanted to catch up on the wines of Due Palme.

Roberto Caporuscio, Pizzaiolo/Owner of Keste, was the host for the evening.

We started with  a focaccia typical of Puglia, made by Roberto. The flour is a mix of Super  Nuvola “0” flour from Caputo, semolina and potato.  The topping is tomatoes and olives.

There was Buratta, a cow’s milk cheese, which originated in Puglia that has an outer shell of mozzarella and inside a mix of shredded mozzarella and cream called stracciatella. It is made fresh everyday at Keste.

Olives from Puglia-Cerignola

Roberto with his former students

Two former students of Roberto, Penelope and Lucie, made the pizza. They have since opened a pizzeria in Quebec City called Nina Pizza Napolitaine.  Roberto said they were his best students and after I tasted the pizza I could not agree more, it was that good.

I asked Robert what flour he uses for his pizza.  He said he uses a mix of 50% Tipo 1 and 50% Super Nuvola Tipo 0 from Caputo.

The Pizza

Pizza with  a mix of homemade straciatella, and smoked and regular mozzarella infused with fresh mint and limoncello, and topped with fresh figs – fantastic.

Pizza with stracciatella cheese, broccoli rape and sausages

Pizza with ricotta and onions sauteed with mixed berries

Vegetarian pizza

Figs marinated in red wine

Cantina Due Palme is a Social Cooperative with its main headquarters located in Cellino San Marco, Puglia.  It was established in 1989 but its roots go back to 1943. In  the beginning there were only 15 members and today there are 1,000 and they have merged with 4 other large wineries with a total capacity 10,000 HL of wine.

Salice Salentino DOP Riserva “Selvarossa” made from Negroamaro and Malvasia Nero. The soil is baked red clay and the training system is alberello. The grapes are hand harvested and some of the grapes are dried in the cellars to concentrate the sugars and flavors and to enrich the structure. The wine is aged for 9 months in French oak barriques and then in bottle until it is ready to be released. The wine has hints of cherry jam, dates and vanilla with a note of toasty oak and a touch of spice.

Primitivo Di Manduria DOP “Sangatano” made from 100% Primitivo Di Manduria. The soil is red in color because of iron oxides with a rocky limestone substratum. The wine is aged for 6 months in American oak barriques followed by maturation in the bottle for a period of time. This is a wine with black fruit aromas and flavors with hints of vanilla and chocolate.

Rosso Salento IGP “1943 The Presidents Wine” made from Primitivo and Aglianico from vineyards planted in 1968. The grapes are hand harvested and some of the grapes are dried (appassimento) in the cellars which are kept humidity free to avoid spoilage. The wine is aged for 9 months in new barrels and for a period in bottle before release. This is an intense and complex wine with hints of coffee, ripe cherry, plum and spicy notes of vanilla. It is called The Presidents Wine because it produced from the old vineyards planted by Angelo Marci, founder and president of the company, in 1968 using the alberello vine training method.

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Portuguese White Wine, Beer and Olive Oil

Last November Michele and I spent a week in Lisbon and had a wonderful time experiencing this beautiful country, so I was happy to accept an invitation to a Portuguese wine tasting on Portugal’s National Day, June 10.  This important holiday is observed in Portugal and by Portuguese citizens and emigrants all over the world. The tasting was at Hearth Restaurant in NYC. The host for the event was Esporao and the speaker was Alex Pratt, MS.

Established in 1973, Esporao is a large company and produces wine, beer and olive oil, all of which I was able to sample. The chief winemaker is an Australian, David Braverstock.  The wines were from the Esporao estate in the Alentejo region and the Quinta dos Murcas estate in the Douro region to the north. There were 12 wines, 6 white and 6 reds.

It was a wine tasting but we started with a beer Sovina Hells (Munich).  This was the first crafted beer produced and bottled in Portugal (2008). It is inspired by the traditional recipe for Helles Munich beers. Mr. La Pratt said Sovina means “tight wad” in Portuguese slang.

Here are the 6 white wines we tasted. I will do the reds is a separate blog.

Quinto dos Murcas Estate is situated in the between Baixo and Cima-Corgo sub regions of the Douro. It is positioned on the right bank of the Douro River, between the towns of Régua and Pinhao. There are 383 acres of which 118 are planted with indigenous grape varieties. They were the first to break from the traditional terrace plantings. The high density of vertical plantings helps stabilize the soil against erosion.

Assobio Branco 2018 made Douro from Viosinho, Verdelho, Rabigato, Gouveio and Codego do Larinho grapes. At the edge of the Quinta dos Murcas there is a valley formed by steep slopes. It is the highest vineyard plot here at 2,300 ft. When the wind blows it makes a whistling sound and Assobio means whistle in Portuguese. The soil is schistous and granitic and the vines are 20 years old. Maturation takes place in stainless steel tanks on the lees.

Monte Velho Branco 2018 made from Antao Vaz, Perrum and Roupeiro (Palomio in Spanish) and Roupeiro (aka Codega in the Douro). Made from 50% estate grapes and 50% purchased grapes. The average age of the vines is 18 years.

The soil is schist/granite origin with clay loam structure. Vinification is in stainless steel. The first vintage was in 1991. This is one of the most popular wines in Portugal.

Herdade do Esporão Esate is situated in the Reguengos de Monsaraz DOC and Alentejo’s montado ecosystem (cork oak forest). There are 1710 acres of organically grown vineyards, olive groves, other crops and 4 types of olives.

Esporäo Verdelho Branco, Alentejo 2017 made from 100% Verdelho. The soil is a granite/schist base with a clay/loam structure and the vines are 15 years old. In 2004 David Baverstock, instigated the plantings of Verdelho in Alentejo believing it would do well there. The cuttings came from Madeira and today you can also find Verdelho in the Dao. Vinification is in stainless steel.

Esporäo Colherita Branco, Alentejo 2018 made from Antao Vaz, Viosinho, Alarinho and other grapes grown organically at Herdade do Esporao, an organic certified vineyard that is 8 years old. The soil is schist rock with a loamy clay structure. Vinification is in stainless steel. The wine needs 3 to 4 years before it is ready to drink 

Esporäo Reserva Branco 2017, Alentejo made from Antao Vaz, Arinto and Roupeiro from 18-year-old vines. The soil is granite/schist base, with a loam/clay structure. The wine is made exclusively from estate grown grapes. Barrel fermentation is in French oak.

Esporäo Private Selection Branco 2017 made from 95% Semillon and 5% field blend. The wine was created in 2001 to challenge the classic profile of the Alentejo wines. Using Semillon was David’s idea, specifically from Barossa. The first planting was in 1993-1994. The soil is predominantly clay and the age of the vines is 22-26 years. The wine sees some time in oak. This wine qualifies as a garrafeira but is not bottled as one as  this variety is not recognized for garrafeira (wine that has been aged for at least 2 years in wood and another year in bottle).

 

With the wines we had shrimp

 

Esporao Olival dos Arrifes Organic produced from Arbequina and Cobrançosa olives using organic production methods. The groves are at Herdade do Espoão. The olive grove was certified for Organic production in 2009

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The Wine Media Guild at I-Trulli Restaurant

The Wine Media Guild, an association of wine communicators, held its annual end of the year dinner at i-Trulli restaurant in NYC. I was formerly the wine director/sommelier at i Trulli and returning there always brings back a lot of memories.  In addition, Pat Savoie and I were stepping down as co-chairs and David Ransom and Nick Antonaccio. were taking over as the new co-chairs.

There were many great bottles of wine drunk that evening, too many to list here thou I did get a chance to taste some of them

The list below were just the wines that we drank at my table. As always we started with Champagne.

Champagne Henriot “Millésime 2008 made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from 6 Grand Crus: Maily Champagne, Verzy, Verzenay on Montagne de Reims, Mesnil-su-Oger, Avize, Chouilly on Côte des Blancs. The wine has hints of raspberries and strawberries with a touch of hazelnuts and brioche and a long finish. Ed (Champagne for Dummies) McCarthy, was sitting at my table, and said this house is finally getting the praise it deserves. Great way to start the evening.

Champagne Deutz Blancs De Blancs 1989 in magnum made from 100% Chardonnay. It has lemon and lime aromas, a note of cream and a touch of hazelnut. It was in perfect condition.

Trebbiano d’Abruzzo 2005 Eduardo Valentini made from 100% Trebbiano d’Abruzzo. This is one of my favorite white wines. We should have decanted the wine because it took some time to open up in the glass but when it did it was wonderful.

Among the appetizers there were panzarotti, crisp  fried  turnovers  filled  with  tomatoes  and  mozzarella.

Meatballs

For the pasta cause there was  orecchiette with broccoli rabe.  The pasta is handmade by Dora Mazovilla,  the  mother  of  the  owner.

The main course was sliced steak with an arugula salad.

 

Chateau Haut Brion 1983 made from 45% merlot, 44% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Cabernet Franc and a note of Petit Verdot. It was a pleasure to drink.

Château Corton Grancey Grand Cru 1999 Louis Latour in magnum. It is a blend of four areas of Domaine Latour Corton Grand Cru: Bressandes, Perrieres, Gréves and Clos du Roi, proportions depending on the vintage. Traditional fermentation takes place in open vats. 10 to 12 months aging in oak barrels, 35% new. Louis Latour cooperage, French oak, medium toasted. This is a wine with supple tannins, wonderful aromas with great length and finish. It also took some time to open up in the glass.

Pormmard Grands Epenots 1979 Hurbet de Montille made from 100% Pinot Noir using a significant proportion of whole clusters, varying by vintage. They are known for wines that can age. It was drinking very well.

Carema 1989 Produttori di Carema (a co-op in the Northern part of Piedmont) made from 100% Nebbiolo. Small plots are hand harvested from various members of the co-op. All the vineyards are southeast facing and range in altitude from 300 to 600 meters. Traditional vinification, the wine is fermented and aged for at least 48 months in large Slavonian oak casks. It has hints of red cherries, red roses; leather and tar. The wine was in perfect condition.

Chateau Coutet a Barsac “Cuvee Madame 1989 made from Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris and Muscadelle. Barsac is technically part of the Sauternes region but its sandy and limestone soil produce a lighter sweet wine with balanced acidity. The wine has hints of tropical fruit, ginger, candied apricot and a touch of honey. It was a perfect way to end a wonderful evening.

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