IERI E OGGI: “Yesterday and Today”

25 Jan 2022

(November 2021) … This is the 25th anniversary of the major Italian tasting in Toronto … last year it was put on hold and this year, despite things being a little more open, the Italians backed off on holding a major event (promising to hold it in 2022) and instead invited a select group of writers, and wine professional, for a celebration of the producers who have been there from the very beginning. These were the wines they poured and my thoughts.

Prices given are current on the LCBO website (if available, as of this date)

NoninoNonino NV L’Aperitivo Nonino Botanical Drink
($46.35 - #14389)
This digestive has so much going for it, including notes of licorice, orange peel, and lemon zest. It’s slightly sweet, but it’s also interesting and fun. The more you sip, the more flavours come out like floral, a little something spicy, plus a long finish and nice balancing acidity.  (****)

Velenosi 2018 Roggio del Filare Rosso Piceno Superiore DOC
(currently not available)
Very dry and slightly dark fruited, with a touch of smoky character and lots of acidity. Made from Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and Sangiovese.  (*** ½)    

Fantini Vini 2019 Casale Vecchio Lot 23 - Montepulciano D’Abruzzo
($9.95 - #612788)
Quite chalky with good acidity; it’s a little chewy, with dark fruit and dusty notes; pretty standard fare, but also can be quite food friendly.  (*** ½)

Bersano 2018 Costalunga Barbera d’Asti Superiore Bersano Costalunga
($15.00 - #348680)
Lovely expression of Barbera with cherry, raspberry, licorice, and some slightly herbal notes - great backbone, but not too muscular; it’s easy drinking and has good acidity.  (****)

Badia a Coltibuono 2018 Chianti Classico
(currently not available)
A little lean with sour cherry, rhubarb, good acidity; tannins come across a little rustic with herbal and even some blood orange notes.  (*** ½)    

Domini Castellare di Castellina 2018 Chianti Classico Riserva
(currently not available)
An acid driven Chianti that also shows notes of dark fruit like cassis and blackberry, plus smoky, herbal, and floral notes - slightly gritty with its young tannins and a lean-ish finish.  (*** ½)    

Rocca delle MacieRocca delle Macie 2018 Chianti Classico Riserva - Famiglia Zingarelli
($24.95 - #930966)
Lean and smoky from the outset with blackberry, rhubarb, sour cherry and spice; there’s a touch of woodsy-ness but the long finish bounces back with black cherry, licorice, and all-spice.  (****)

San Felice 2018 Chianti Classico Riserva - Il Grigio
(currently not available)
Another lean 2018 with smoky-cassis, anise, coffee bean, sour black fruits, and mocha, but backed by good acidity with a slight tannin bite.  (*** ½)    

Ruffino 2016 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione - Riserva Ducale Oro
($49.95 - #353201)
Starts out quite spicy and woody with herbal, floral, smoky, mocha, blackberry; but it’s a nicely layered wine with a plethora of flavours, including dark chocolate on the finish.  (****)

Banfi 2016 Brunello di Montalcino Banfi
($56.95 - #378257)
Smooth, silky and dark fruit oriented: blackberry, black cherry, and cassis. Add in the herbal and floral and there is something special in this bottle; but everything comes back to that fruit, spice, and mocha. Good tannins, long finish, balancing acidity - dry and balanced (perfect vintage, according to the winery).  (****+)

Zonin 2020 Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso
($18.95 - #170142)
Rich cherry, delicate spice with notes of floral; it’s an easy drinking wine though there seems to be a bit of a sour note on the finish, and that detracts just enough.  (***+)    

CesariCesari 2016 Amarone Valpolicella Classico
($40.05 - #426718)
To kick things off, there’s a heavy coffee bean note on the nose followed by some sweet black fruit and vanilla, black cherry, coffee, and chocolate; plus good acidity and a nice tannin structure. It’s a little chewy and very black-fruited with a full-on smoky finish, but there’s also a lovely, long linger… ready now, but could age several years (7-10).  (**** ½)

Masi 2016 Amarone Valpolicella Classico Costasera
($47.05 - #317057)
More smoky than sweet, the coffee/mocha notes wrap around dark fruits with the subtlety of a slightly bitter finish.  (****)


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