On the Road with the Grape Guy

On the Road with the Grape Guy is a on-going feature that follows me from event to event ... I post my thoughts, feelings and reviews of what happened and what I tasted ... basically it is here that I review the events I attend and the things that thrilled me.

Vino Nobile Masterclass in Toronto

19 Oct 2022

(February 28, 2022) ... About a month before I was whisked off to Tuscany, Vino Nobile held a zoom class at the Dymon cellar / storage facility; where they presented seven 2018 Nobiles and three Riservas (vintage dates of 2017 / 2016 / 2015). It was a nice re-introduction to the region after two years away.

Below are my notes about these wines.

Boscarelli 2018 Vino Nobile
Plenty of red fruit on the nose plus cherry and red licorice; good acidity and red fruit on the palate; there’s a touch of spice with some notably pepper.  (****)

Dei 2018 Vino Nobile
Licorice, herbal and dark fruit take center stage; plus, there’s a spicy character an the finish. Good acidity, along with notes of strawberry and cranberry, when it opens you’ll find hints of mocha and balsamic strawberries with a nice long finish.  (****+)

Il Molinaccio 2018 Vino Nobile - La Spinosa (Porcupine)
Quick take: red-fruited raisin bread. Nice red fruit: cherry, strawberry and raspberry with white pepper, balsamic and floral; good complexity, very approachable, all with a medium length finish.  (****)

Salcheto 2018 Vino Nobile
Blackberry, cassis and licorice with high acidity that brings in a cranberry element. Seemingly thin on the palate, while the nose is much more expressive. Still a nice bottle of wine.  (*** ½)

Tenuta Trerosa 2018 Vino Nobile - Santa Caterina
Strawberry, balsamic, and blackberry; with a round and plush yet slightly spicy palate. Nice fruity character on the nose and a finish that goes spiced-red cherry.  (****+)

Valdipiatta 2018 Vino Nobile
Muted nose with a subtle herbal character; the palate is dark of fruit, plus herbal and smoke (*** ½+)

Carpineto 2017 Vino Nobile Riserva
Smoky dark fruit, with balsamic, tobacco, and black cherry; as it opens, you’ll find more of that dark fruit and smoky nature, with blackberry, cassis, and cigar box.  (****)

Canneto 2016 Vino Nobile Riserva
Sweet cherry and blood orange; soft texture, balsamic, and cigar tobacco round things off in the mouth; plus there are some herbal and mocha notes on the finish.  (*** ½+)

Grandi Marchi (Toronto 2022)

18 Oct 2022

(September 8th, 2022) ... The Grandi Marchi tasting returned to Toronto, the venue was a little cramped for the formal tasting, but the wines were worth the cheek-to-cheek, elbow-to-elbow with your neighbor feel. Below are the wines I Grandi Marchi Mapfound to be interesting and the notes for them.

Carpene Malvolti NV 1924 Prosecco (DOCG) ... A pretty bit of bubbly magic here with notes of apple and almond mixing it up with lemon zest and good acid punch.  (*** ½+)

Umani Ronchi 2020 Centovie, Pecorino Colli Aprutini (IGT) ... Pecorino is a very special variety; back in 2000 there were only 80 hectares planted - but it has come back from its near extinction to create beautiful wines such as this: crisp, mineral and lime notes, plus a freshness across the palate and a lovely clean acidity. Dry, stony and lovely.  (*** ½+)

Jermann 2020 Vintage Tunina, Venezia Giulia (IGT) ... A five grape blend that includes Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and three indigenous varieties. It's very pretty with floral, lime and marcona almonds on the nose; the palate doles out much of the same to fresh and lively effect.  (*** ½+)

Alois Legeder 2019 Cason Bianco Viognier – Petit Manseng delle Dolomiti (IGT) ... You don't see a lot of viognier around Italy, or at least on a wine label. This one has tropical fruit and wild flowers with a hint of something smoky. But it's that acid punch that really pulls this one along and brings it together.  (*** ½+)

Michele Chiarlo 2018 Tortoniano, Barolo (DOCG) ... Unoaked Nebbiolo sometimes can come off as Pinot Noir, with its notes of cherry and cranberry; this one does just that - there's a "crispiness" to the wine that's reminiscent of crunchy, red fruits- sour and a little out of season. The finish has a big acid punch. This could benefit from a chill to bring out the fruitiness a bit more.  (*** ½+)

Marchesi Antinori 2019 Guado al Tasso, Bolgheri Superiore (DOC) ... This Bolgheri grown Bordeaux blend is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon back by 25% Cabernet Franc and 10% Merlot. Delicate, dark fruit nose with balsamic and licorice notes. On the palate it ends with smoky/ toasty and robust tannins ... But the mid-palate is all about dark cherry, blackberry and bittersweet chocolate.  (****)

Ambrogio e Giovanni Folonari Tenute 2018 Cabreo il Borgo, Toscana (IGT) ... Equal parts Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot make up this Cabreo, which has bright ripe and red and Byng cherry notes which follow on the palate and adds in pleasant spices and acidity on the finish. But the wine is all bright red fruit to its very core.  (****+)

Lungarotti 2018 Montefalco Sagrantino (DOCG) ... The entry onto the palate shows signs of sweet vanilla and black cherry - but in typical Sagrantino fashion, those tannins on the finish prove themselves to be quite aggressive and will need the taming of a few years in cellar.  (*** ½+)

Masi 2016 Riserva di Costasera, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico (DOCG) ... Great concentration of flavors here, especially after losing 40% of their water weight during the drying process. Rich, dense and dark fruited with macerated cherry and plenty of chocolate on the long finish.  (****+)

Donnafugata 2020 Ben Rye, Passito di Pantelleria (DOC) ... This sweetie is lovely across the palate with its dried pineapple and honey-lemon peel - absolutely delicious.  (****+)


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