Friday, March 18. 2016
A Tasting of Fine Wines from the Veneto and a Top Chianti Classico Riserva
I recently attended a tasting with Sara Maule, from Gruppo Italiano Vini, the Italian wine group which includes leading wineries in the Veneto, Tuscany and other important wine regions. The tasting focused on the wines of Bolla in the Veneto and a single vineyard Chianti from the Melini-owned La Selvanella estate in Radda.
As I have noted before, Bolla, despite its giant size has, in recent years, vastly improved the quality and authentic regional style of its wines. We tasted a very fine Soave, three red wines from the Veneto as well as the La Selvanella Chianti. All but the latter are currently available at the NSLC and, it is hoped that a new order will see it on the shelves once again soon.
Bolla Retro 2013, Soave Classico DOC 12.7% $18.99 NSLC Port of Wines (Core Listing) This outstanding example of Soave made in the traditional style is produced from grapes grown in historic vineyards, with 25-30 year-old vines planted on volcanic, mineral-rich soils. It offers intensely aromatic floral scents reminiscent of honeysuckle together with green fruit and nutty overtones. Equally intense green apple flavours in the mouth show creamy nutty richness with excellent acid balance, good weight and a touch of butter on the finish. ****
Melini Vignetti La Selvanella 2011, Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 14.5% (Currently Unavailable) Dark cherry colour foreshadows subtle dark cherry scents and intensely concentrated dark fruit on the palate. Tannins are firm and very dry and acidity is rather forward. The wine is still somewhat closed, though raspberry and blackberry fruit does come through on the mid-palate. Finishing very dry, with a splash of dark chocolate, it needs another 3-5 years in the cellar. ***
Bolla La Poiane 2012, Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore DOC 14% $24.99 NSLC General List A long-time fixture on the NSLC list, this vintage delivers deeply coloured and scented dark cherry with spicy and richly rounded dark and red fruit together with a lick of chocolate in the mouth. As the winemaker’s notes suggest, it can be drunk with pleasure on its own but will make an excellent pairing for rich mixed grills and mature cheeses. ***
Bolla Creso 2012, Verona Rosso IGT 15.9% $32.99 NSLC Port of Wines Selection (Limited Release). Here, the classic Veronese Corvina grape is blended with 35% Cabernet Sauvignon. The Cabernet is partially dried in the local Ripasso style to add depth and additional complexity. Ageing is in new French barriques followed by a further 6 months in bottle before release. Shows great amplitude on the nose with sensations of ripe fruit, vanilla spice, green herbal notes and a hint of smokiness. Generously rounded blackcurrant and blackberry flavours are enveloped in smooth velvety tannins, finishing with a splash of milk chocolate. This one will particularly appeal to those who enjoy big New World style reds. ***
Bolla Le Origine 2009, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOC 16.2% $45.99 NSLC Port of Wines Made from the classic Valpolicella varieties, Corvina, Corvinone (75%) and Rondinella (25%) and grown in the heart of the Classico zone, the wine is aged 9-12 months in 500 litre oak tonneaux and subsequently, in traditional large barrels. Bouquet shows developed vinosity with elegant red fruit and refined spicy notes of cinnamon and clove. Darker fruit emerges on the palate with rich black cherry and blackberry flavours enveloped in a velvety smooth texture supported by solid tannic structure, culminating in a harmoniously integrated, complex finish. ****
*Acceptable ordinary quality
**Good quality, everyday standard
** Very good quality in its price range
**** Exceptional quality, top 15% - 20%
**** The finest possible, top 5% - 10%
Savour 2016 - Accolades to the Organisers of This Year’s Show!
The Savour Food & Wine Show 2016 took place once again at the Halifax Trade and Convention Centre. There was a record number of exhibitors this year but the improved, more spacious layout handled the crowds with ease. Local chefs once again raised the bar with tantalising food offerings and creative and imaginative cocktails were also a big hit. Visitors I spoke to were in agreement that this was the best show yet.
Hearty congratulations to the Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia and to all the exhibitors for another splendid event!