The Somm Journal

Dec 2015-Jan 2016

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{ }  1 1 1 The Lombardian Malvasia was considered exotic, floral and full. "It has a strong personality," Mike said. Calling it high-inten- sity," Christine agreed. "[It's] maybe not for everyone—I liked the bitterness and the acidity was great. I think they had a goal and a focus and they accomplished it." Victoria called it a wine "for a very, very specific guest that likes the combination of intense aromatics in combination of mineral and bitterness." Another white that intrigued was also atypical: produced by Instituto Agrario di San Michele all'Adige in Trento, and made of 100% Incrocio Manzoni (a hybrid of Riesling and Pinot Bianco), which was alternately mistaken for a Blanc de Morgex, Prié Blanc or Sauvignon blend. Of the reds, only two could claim pride of place: the Marziano Abbona 2013 Papa Celso Dogliani (Dolcetto) and Le Chiuse 2012 Rosso di Montalcino, both of which the sommeliers liked for their fruit, earthiness and vibrance, and, moreover, because of their sense of place. For Christine, the Dogliani "screams Northern Italian— maybe done in a bit more of a rustic style but it takes me there, which I'm happy to see." Mike liked the floral aromas, and the wine's inky, savory qualities, calling it "a food wine to put on the table with Parmesan Reggiano or a pizza. I thought it was pleasant enough and fun." Rosso di Montalcino is a wine that Mike said "makes his job easy." "I'd pour that. It would make a lot of Upper West Siders happy," he said. His fellow panelists laughed, agreed, sharing the joke you'd get if you studied the psychographics of New Yorkers. The panel was split over the offerings from Tuscany: a Chianti Classico, a Tuscan IGT and a red from the Morellino di Scansano DOCG in Maremma, the upstart region 15 miles west of Chianti Classico. For Mike, the Chianti won favor for its classic echoes—aromatics he called "violets, boar—this animal thing—baking spice, this grandmothers kitchen calming kind of thing." Victoria picked up meatiness and Brett, which Riondo NV Excelsa Soave Spumante Brut, Veneto ($9) 100% Garganega. Good acid nice flavors and finish. A hon- eyed quality that resonated on the palate; approachable … a "very pleasant on the porch kind of wine with salumi." RIONDO USA Marziano Abbona 2013 Papa Celso Dolcetto Dogliani DOCG, Piedmont ($29) Potpourri nose, cinnamon and spice; lush fruit, round and juicy, nice ripeness level. Savory leather-like quality. Dark and inky with lifting acidity. FREDERICK WILDMAN & SONS Le Chiuse 2012 Rosso di Montalcino, Tuscany ($30) Both earthy and opulent, with fresh and pretty strawberry fruit. Aromatic. FREDERICK WILDMAN & SONS BEST IN SHOW

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