2004 Monte Antico Toscana IGT - Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT (4/9/2011)
Decanted from a 3-liter bottle and served non-blind as the warmup. There’s some nice sangiovese flavors here pretty much crushed by the oak. If there’s a battle for flavor dominance here, I don’t think aging will help. I think the oak has won. There’s some dark cherry flavors and a nice earthiness. Short finish. The wine is still drinkable despite the oak. You get the sense it would be so much better without it.
2008 La Massa Toscana IGT - Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT (4/9/2011)
I liked this. The sangiovese shows through clearly. Nice acidity. Dark cherry and maybe a little cola flavors. Nice finish. Good structure. I’d buy this. It seems food friendly.
2006 Azienda Agricola Meroi (Davino Meroi) Colli Orientali del Friuli Nestri - Italy, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Colli Orientali del Friuli (4/9/2011)
Of the seven wines served as part of the organized tasting, this was probably the only stinker. Much swirling didn’t get it to show much. I got red fruits on the nose and the palate. Short finish. No depth.
2005 Sesta di Sopra (Sestadisopra) Brunello di Montalcino - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino (4/9/2011)
This was my vote for the No. 2 wine of the night. It’s my sense in five years it would be my wine of the night. It’s still tight and although I kept swirling I couldn’t really get it to open up. A nice plummy nose with some spices and maybe some tobacco. The tannins are still prominent on the palate. You can feel the power in this wine, though. Probably more black cherry and licorice on the palate. Good finish. I’m guessing this will peak in about a decade.
2004 Coppo Barbera d’Asti Camp du Rouss - Italy, Piedmont, Asti, Barbera d’Asti (4/9/2011)
I liked this wine but it also seemed fairly generic. Red fruit on the nose. Cherry and licorice on the palate. Nice balance. Shortish finish. Nothing to offend but nothing that makes it distinctive. I don’t get a sense it’s going to improve with age.
2009 Produttori del Barbaresco Langhe Nebbiolo - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Langhe DOC (4/9/2011)
This was my wine of the night but I was just about the only one in the group who voted it No. 1. It’s clearly a simpler wine and not meant to age, but the nose was just fantastic. Roses and all kind of floral smells. It fills your whole nose. No tar that I could tell. The flavors were more red fruits. Zero detectable oak. Just really nice balance and food balance. It would go with a wide range of food.
2009 Kuenhof (Peter Pliger) Riesling Kaiton - Italy, Trentino-Alto Adige, Alto Adige, Valle Isarco / Eisacktaler (4/9/2011)
This was quite interesting. It’s one of those wines where I wished it hadn’t been served blind because I would have liked time to study it. In the glass, it looked a lot like limeade. It was green and there was a little bit of spritz. The flavor was lime and some green vegetal flavors. Vegetal in a good way. Slightly off dry but still quite focused and minerally. Good depth and finish. I believe this ended up being wine of the night for the group. It doesn’t taste like any riesling I’ve tried before. I did not guess riesling. I liked it. I think riesling lovers should give it a try.
1988 Lisini Brunello di Montalcino - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino (4/9/2011)
From a magnum. Served blind from a decanter. This is still tight. I guessed a Barolo mainly because I got the sense there was some elegance and power in the wine. It’s not giving up much on the nose or the palate, though. I never would have guessed this was a wine whose grapes were picked when Ronald Reagan was still in office. What showed was probably more red fruit than black fruit. Good finish. I get the sense that the magnum at least needs another decade or so to develop some depth. The person who brought it said it was undrinkable the first five or six years.
2000 Ca’ del Baio Barbaresco Asili - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco (4/8/2011)
This is showing well. I didn’t get any o the tell-tale tar, but had lots of nice earthy flavors. Darker fruits and dark cherry flavor. Good balance and nice finish. It’s got a few years to go. It was wine of the night for a few people including people who tried the 1988 Barolo. This would pair nicely with food.