Istituto Grandi Marchi – London tasting

Published by Sally on September 15, 2010

A tasting of wines from the 17 members of the Istituto Grandi Marchi immediately followed the seminar hosted by Marchese Pierro Antinori.

Bar one or disappointments, this group clearly represents good things that are happening  in Italy.

Tasting notes, London, September 2010

Carpenè Malvolti, Viognier Brut NV       
Creamy texture, grape variety not obvious. Clean, fresh, balanced. 

Carpenè Malvolti, Cuvee Extra Dry NV, Conegliano Valdobbiadene  Prosecco Superiore DOCG,
Floral, soft, big creamy mousse. Has a slight artificial tint to the mid palate, otherwise it’s like many other Proseccos. Nothing particular to draw it above the parapet.

Carpenè Malvolti Rose Brut
85% pinot nero; 15% raboso
Vibrant pink, nice frothy mousse, dry, pleasant.

Ca’ del Bosco, Cuvee Annamaria Clementi 2002, Franciacorta Brut DOCG                              
55% chardonnay, 25% pinot bianco, 20% pinot nero.
Rich, toasty, autolytic, sweet brioche nose, light and intense, then sadly the palate disappoints a little. Everything replicated on the nose, but add in a hint of chalkiness which detracts a little. But a serious wine. Maybe a bottle issue?

Masi, Masianco 2009, Pinot Grigio e Verduzzo delle Venezie IGT             
75% pinot grigio, 25% verduzzo
Pear and apple freshness, good density of fruit flavour, more than the average pinot grigio.   

Alois Lageder, Porer Pinot Grigio 2009, Alto Adige DOC
Peach and pear, good concentration of primary fruit. Plentiful volume and texture. Serious pinot grigio. Nicely balanced.

Alois Lageder, Benefizium Pinot Grigio 2004, Alto Adige DOC    
Hint of vegetal development, but remarkably little.  Ageworthy pinot grigio, who’d have thought? Filling and softening, the little barrique fermentation not really noticeable other than in the softer, rounder palate. Not pinot grigio as we know it Jim, but good nonetheless.

Michele Chiarlo, Rovereto 2009, Gavi del comune di Gavi DOCG              
Sweet-sour apple tang on the palate. Rich, dense fruit intensity.  More Gavi in a single glass than most might hope for. Good.

Jermann, Tunina 2007, Friuli Venezia Guilia IGT
Blend of sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, ribolla gialla, malvasia and picolit
Gunsmoke and peach nose, mirrored on palate attack. Ripe sweet fruit, nicely complex white blend, rich, sweet, layered, long.

Jermann, Tunina 2002, Friuli Venezia Guilia IGT
Blend of sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, ribolla gialla, malvasia and picolit
Gunsmoke, hint of attractive oiliness developing. Sweet yellow fruits – pineapple, mango. Serious and seductive white. Very nice now, but wouldn’t want to hold on to it for too much longer.

Umani Ronchi, Casal di Serra 2009, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC   
Pebble stones and peaches. Attractive tart tangy twinge of structure. Nicely concentrated stone fruit. Everything in place. Very nice indeed.

Umani Ronchi, Plenio Riserva 1999, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC
Riserva means it is aged for a minimum of 18 months, of which at least six months must be in bottle.
Deep straw colour. A different style of verdicchio: oily, tropical fruit, hint of iodine. Keeping its age very well. Full-fat, and remains fresh, with slightly medicinal, iodine note.  Unusual, and good for that.   

Biondi Santi, Villa Poggio Salvi Vermentino 2009, Toscana Bianco IGT
Chalky, pear and apple, with somewhat stripped notes that appear sweet rather than fruity.

Lungarotti, Vigna Il Pino 2008, Torre di Giano DOC
70% trebbiano, 30% grechetto
Non aromatic nose, reticent white stone fruit palate. Nicely balanced with some good depth, but I’m not sure I understand the purpose for this wine.

Mastroberardino, More Maiorum 2000, Fiano di Avellino DOC
Matured in barrique for 10 months.
Smoke and toast. Round and oily, rarified expression of this otherwise trendy white. Fat, savoury, and fuly developed.

Tasca d’Almerita, Nozze d’Oro 2008, Contea di Sclafani DOC
79% inzolia, 21% sauvignon tasca.
Fresh, pear, chalky nose and palate. Clean and fresh, with some decent volume of fruit, otherwise no great personality.

Tasca d’Almerita, Nozze d’Oro 2007, Contea di Sclafani DOC
79% inzolia, 21% sauvignon tasca.
Some faint tropical fruit on the nose, clean, fresh palate, otherwise no great endearing character.

Ca’ del Bosco, Chardonnay 2007 Curtefranca DOC            
Aromatic, hint fresh buttery, elegant attack, some restraint. Fruit delightfully overwhelms new oak flavours, leaving the structural support neatly in place. Medium full, sweet fruit. Attactive wine.

Ca’ del Bosco, Chardonnay 2001 Curtefranca DOC            
Plenty of lanolin and toast on the nose, showing attractive development. Smooth, some spiciness on the full-bodied mid-palate.  Fully mature, still nicely balanced but quite ready to be drunk.

Pio Cesare, Piodilei Chardonnay 2008, Langhe DOC                        
Chalky melon, white peach, some light toastiness, no great personality but pleasant.

Antinori, Cervaro della Sala 2007, Umbria IGT
85% chardonnay, 15% grechetto
Rich, spicy vanilla toast, cob-nutty nose, with some restraint to the profile. Full bodied, with lushly ripe fruit, and savoury, wood spicy notes to the core. Very good.

Tenute Ambrogio e Giovanni Folonari, Cabreo La Pietra 2008, Toscana IGT                          
Dry peach melba, dry toasty rather than nutty, decent but without real personality. Nicely made, in a more savoury than ripe fruit sort of spectrum.

Rivera, Lama di Corvo 2008, Castel del Monte DOC
Toasty aromatic spices on nose and initial palate. Savoury profile dominates the fruit which is a shame and tannins are noticeable on gums which also detracts a little.

Donnafugata, Ben Ryè 2008, Passito di Pantelleria DOC 
Zibibbo (muscat of Alexandria)
Golden amber colour. Lush, florally aromatic, fully sweet, gentle medium body, golden syrup flavour without its stickiness. Has a fresh, cleansing core. Fruit focused and primary fruit, with complexing notes of ginger and jasmine.  Delicious.

Alois Lageder, Lindenbrug Lagrein 2005, Alto Adige DOC
Smoke and dark chocolate nose, smooth, light tannins, sweet red berry fruit flavour, elegant, medium bodied wine of attractive balance.

Jermann, Red Angel Pinot Nero 2007, Friuli Venezia Giulia IGT        
Medium pale colour, wood smoke and aromatic tar on the nose, varietal character comes through on the palate more than on nose, with gentle red cherry fruit, smoothly textured.

Umani Ronchi, Cumaro 2006, Conero Riserva DOCG
Sweet red berry compote, with violet perfume, sweet supple, tannins, understated in an elegant way. With a warm spice finish.

Michele Chiarlo, La Court 2006, Barbera d’Asti Superiore ‘Nizza’ DOC
Vanilla spice and crunchy black cherry attack. Medium weight, with firm backbone and sweet fruit. Good definition and balance.

Michele Chiarlo, La Court 2005, Barbera d’Asti Superiore ‘Nizza’ DOC
Black smoke, and tarry black cherries. Savoury elements developing in this one, fruit lying behind the smoke and mirrors. Typically firm backbone.

Pio Cesare, Ornato 2006, Barolo DOCG
Pale brick red rim. Tar and savoury grip to the palate attack. Aromatic cloves and cinnamon add sweetness to the tealeaf and strawberry fruit combination. Firm core, with sweet red flesh in an upright whole.

Pio Cesare, Ornato 2001, Barolo DOCG
Brick, bruised strawberries, cloves and cinnamon. With black tealeaves and warm dry baked red fruits. Warm and fleshy, just beginning to come into its own. Delicious.

Lungarotti, Vigna Monticchio 2005, Rubesco DOCG Riserva         
70% sangiovese, 30% canaiolo
Medium deep colour, coconut and vanilla nose, sweet plum and blackcurrant attack and juicily mellow fruit before spine of balancing youthful tannin kicks in. Well balanced.

Lungarotti, Vigna Monticchio 1977, Rubesco DOCG Riserva
70% sangiovese, 30% canaiolo
Amber rim and ochre core. Full tertiary development in fascinating balance of fresh farmyard, baked earth, and fruitcake. More for intellectual appreciation.

Tenute Ambrogio e Giovanni Folonari, Cabreo Il Borgo 2006, Toscana IGT            
70% sangiovese, 30% cabernet sauvignon
Medium deep core. Nose of blackcurrant and plum, with green tealeaf notes at the heart. Chalky, youthful tannins, in warming fruit palate with some good concentration. Still in youthful chewy stage.

Tenute Ambrogio e Giovanni Folonari, Cabreo Il Borgo 2001
70% sangiovese, 30% cabernet sauvignon
Smoke and tar, cherry, tealeaf aromatics, savoury with tertiary characters. Tannins beginning to dry a little in this sample, it’s a little bit puckering.

Antinori, Solaia 2007, Toscana IGT
75% cabernet sauvignon, 20% sangiovese, 5% cabernet franc
Dry baked blackberry fruit aromas, wood smoke and tar, rich, lush fruit, with supple plentiful tannins providing supple structure. Mouth-filling, youthful soft red fruits with vanilla cream swirling through it.  Nice.

Antinori, Solaia 1997 Toscana IGT           
75% cabernet sauvignon, 20% sangiovese, 5% cabernet franc
Intensely intoxicating perfume of baked earth and sweet fruitcake.  Warming palate, softly textured, savoury elements growing amidst the black fruits. Balanced and attractive, with a cleansing tannin finish.

Tenuta San Guido, Sassicaia 2006, Bolgheri Sassicaia DOC          
85% cabernet sauvignon, 15% cabernet franc
Vanilla cream and blackcurrant fruit on the nose. Lots of supple, chewy tannins in their prime of youth, beginning to settle into the lush red fruits. Mouth-filling without being full bodied and delightfully balanced. Long.

Biondi Santi, Villa Poggio Salvi 2005, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG
Medium pale colour, tar and black tealeaves, aromatic attack, erring tentatively towards supple rather than structured; might I expect a bit more backbone? 

Biondi Santi, Villa Poggio Salvi 2004, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG
Muted nose, tealeaves and cranberries, quite firm acid without the flesh of sweet fruit. Firm red cherries with savoury finish. Balanced but I might have hoped for greater concentration.  

Mastroberardino, Radici 2006, Taurasi DOCG
Ruby red, bramble, wood smoke and brooding red berries. Warm, sweet mid palate, enticing and seductive. Smooth textured with youthful, fine integrating tannin, and refined backbone. delicious. Long. Very good.

Mastroberardino, Radici 2005, Taurasi DOCG
Blackcurrant and cream nose followed by sweet black berried fruit and chalky young tannins still integrating. Full, sweet fleshed black fruit seducing the chalky tannins nicely. Aromatic spice, with long sweet finish. Very good.

Mastroberardino, Radici 1999, Taurasi Riserva DOCG
Brick. Tertiary fruit cake development, still with sweet mellow fruit. Graceful, elegant and with sweet concentration. Really rather lovely with long sweet fruit finish.

Tasca d’Almerita, Rosso del Conte 2005, Contea di Sclafani DOC               
85% nero d’avola, 15% other permitted varieties
Juicy red cherry nose and attack. Supple, primary fruit sweetness, with supporting soft vanilla cream, super sweet ripe tannin, sweet fruit but with defining fresh backbone. All the benefits of a super-ripe Aussie red plus a backbone of acidity for structure.

Rivera, Il Falcone 2006, Castel del Monte Riserva DOC
70% nero di troia, 30% montepulciano
Sweet red berries, supple, with chalky note (not structural), light-medium bodied and not unattractive for that. Aromatic raspberry note mid palate. Has a defining core. Quite more-ish.   

Rivera, Il Falcone 2005, Castel del Monte Riserva DOC
70% nero di troia, 30% montepulciano
Smoky, dark berries, more brooding style. Fuller body, with dark sweet fruit. Youthful and crunchy texture. 

Donnafugata, Mille e Una Notte 2006, Contessa Entellina DOC
90% nero d’avola, 10% other permitted varieties
Dark and brambly, late season berry perfume, elegant sweet fruit core, sweetly mouth-filling, full body that’s well toned, no flab. But not a weight-lifter either. Sweetly seductive with structure. And long finish. Good.

Donnafugata, Mille e Una Notte 1999, Contessa Entellina DOC
90% nero d’avola, 10% other permitted varieties
From magnum. Sweet and brambly with beginning of fresh farmyard development. Full body, sweet dark berry fruits, densely concentrated and delicious. Full and long.

Masi, Costasera 2006, Amarone Classico della Valpolicella DOC
70% corvina, 25% rondinella, 5% molinara
Sweet perfumed, mulberry fruit, residual sweetness is noticeable with actively sweet fruit, medium body and density, in a balanced whole.   

Masi, 1988 Amarone Classico della Valpolicella DOC     
70% corvina, 25% rondinella, 5% molinara
Brick. Fully mature, tertiary fruitcake aromas.  Beginning to dry a little. But great academic interest. Drier sensation due to age, despite original 10g/l residual sugar.

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