We were invited to take ‘A tour through Italy’s vineyards’, not literally you understand, this all took place in two adjoining rooms of Brown’s Hotel in Mayfair, a stone’s throw from London’s Green Park. Who could resist the opportunity to taste some of the Italy’s fine regional wines at a sophisticated location? Perhaps though, quaffing lovely beverages in the Italian sunshine would have been somewhat more of an attractive proposition.
Our approach to the tasting was not at all methodical, in fact it was entirely haphazard, hitting the stalls of the seven producers who were showing their wines in no particular order, and sampling their offerings simply by chance. We managed to try about ten of these before we decided that it was time to leave and found some very pleasant ones. From the Badia a Coltibouno estate, the Chianti Classico Riserva 2006 was a very pleasant, drinkable light red, with a dry finish, and their Vinsanto del Chianti Classico 2003 had good sweet berry fruit flavours with some acidity in its finish. The Conte Emo Capodilista estate’s Fiore d’Arancio Spumanet Dolce was a lovely dessert champangneoise wine with strong peach flavours and a soft effervescence that would go well with fruity summer desserts. The Campo Alla Sughera had an excellent, smooth Arnioni Bolgheri Superiore 2005, that was quite full bodied, with great berry fruit flavours and a slight edge to its finish. Onto the Tenuta Sette Ponti estate, and their Feudo Maccari – Sala 2006, which also had smooth, full body but with some acidity.
Valiantly we marched (across the room) to the Tenute Toscane Bruna Baroncini estate, and there tasted Fattoria Querciarossa – Ronaldone dell’Orsa. This delivered some tannin, but with forest fruit flavours, it was smooth yet had some bite. Finally the Villa Medoro estate had a good medium bodied Chimera Bianco 2008 that was soft on the palate with a tangy finish. We also tried their vibrantly cerise coloured Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Cerasuolo 2008, which was crisp and light with cherry and cranberry flavours, and a drying quality in its finish. This would make a great wine to drink well chilled, while chilling yourself in the garden in the summer.
You can find out more about these and other Italian wines from www.winefoodpromotions.com or www.finewinesofitaly.co.uk. Each of these sites will happily supply you with details of importers and more.