TN: Italians (mostly) for the Holidays

ITALIANS (MOSTLY) FOR THE HOLIDAYS - Our Home (12/24/2016-12/25/2016)

My wife and I had two other couples over for a Holiday dinner featuring mostly Italian wines. All the wines came from my cellar as we pot lucked the food. It was a great evening of wine, food and friendship.
A sparkler to start
with roasted almonds, deviled eggs and eggplant spread

  • NV Bosco dei Cirmioli Prosecco di Treviso Spumante Extra Dry - Italy, Veneto, Prosecco di Treviso (12/24/2016)
    A nice way to start an evening of Italian wines. Not profound but enjoyable. Light golden in color with a consistent stream of medium bubbles. The nose has a bit of peach. A slight amount of a mineral streak. On the palate, just a bit of sweetness. Stone fruit. Some acidity thought pretty much a rounder wine. Nice finish. Good with food. (88 pts.)

A White
with the aforementioned and some cheeses

  • 2014 Castello della Sala (Antinori) Cervaro della Sala Umbria IGT - Italy, Umbria, Umbria IGT (12/25/2016)
    I thought this was really pretty good if you like this style. You might even score it higher. Blind, i can’t imagine anyone guessing anything other than CA though. Light golden in color. The nose has a strong vanilla note with some lemon creme. Maybe a bit of fresh cut lumber. On the palate, this is deep with god acidity. Lemon candy and a bit of vanilla/pastry. Very easy to go down. Long finish. A crowd pleaser for sure. Priced like it is from California as well. $54 locally, ymmv. (92 pts.)

97 Brunellos
with salad, scallop[ed potatoes and assorted homemade pizzas

  • 1997 Il Poggione (Proprietá Franceschi) Brunello di Montalcino - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino (12/25/2016)
    About half the crowd liked this one better and half liked the Riserva better. Ruby in color. The bottle was opened for an hour and decanted about 20 minutes before serving. The nose has cherries, dried cherries, dried forest floor, tea and dust. On the palate, medium bodied, silky texture. Still very much fruit. Layers of complexity. Not subtle but not bold. Seemed to improve in the glass. Worked great with food. Decent acidity. Nice even finish. Everything you hope for from a BdM at age 19. (93 pts.)
  • 1997 Il Poggione (Proprietá Franceschi) Brunello di Montalcino Riserva - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino (12/25/2016)
    About half the crowd liked this better than the regular. Opened for an hour, then decanted and served twenty minutes later. This was more structured and drank a bit younger. Ruby in color. The nose has cherries, cedar, damp tea leaves and smoke. On the palate, the fruit is bold with cherries and dark cherries. Not as delineated but a bit deeper. Still some medium tannins. Good acidity. Long finish. Got better in the glass. Very nice showing. I went back and forth over which I liked better. (93 pts.)

A couple of Barolos

  • 1970 Giacomo Borgogno & Figli Barolo Riserva - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo (12/25/2016)
    The cork was popped 6 hours prior to serving and allowed to slow-ox in the cellar. Decanted right before serving. It worked well. Ruby in color with slight purple swirls. On the nose, there is cherries, roses, hot asphalt and slight anise. Pretty. On the palate, still vibrant cherry fruit. Also some dried cherries and a dried floral note. Light but persistent tannins. Layers of complexity. Good acidity. Nice finish. Most likely past prime but really drinking quite nicely and maturely. It held the night in the decanter without changing much at all. (92 pts.)
  • 2001 Domenico Clerico Barolo Percristina - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo (12/25/2016)
    Great showing. This bottle was bought on release and stored in my cellar. Still showing very young and no hurry on it. Ruby/purple in color. The nose has dark cherries, cherries, spice, asphalt and some mint. With air roasted herbs and slight roasted meat comes out. On the palate, great texture. Sill firm sometimes thick tannins. Lots of cherry fruit. Great acidity. Very deep as it unwinds in the glass. Got better all night long. The last glass is the best. I had been led to believe this bottle was fading, but it was not. YMMV. (95 pts.)

A bigger red Valpolicella

  • 2006 Romano Dal Forno Valpolicella Superiore - Italy, Veneto, Valpolicella, Valpolicella Superiore (12/25/2016)
    I know Vince likes Amarone, but I went with this one anyway. Its better than many Amarones. Still young but starting to come into its own. Pop and pour. Purple in color. The nose has plums and dark cherries. Also some chocolate. On the palate, this is deep. A bit of complexity. Firm tannins. Probably still needs a bit more time. Good finish. (92 pts.)

With homemade 7 layer bars, and apple roses (made by my daughter)

  • 1997 Fonseca Porto Vintage - Portugal, Douro, Porto (12/25/2016)
    From a .375. Pop and pour, it took a few minutes then opened up beautifully. ruby in color. The nose has raspberries, some licorice, some chocolate. Medium bodied. Sweet, especially for Fonseca. Raspberries. No heat. Good finish. Light on its feet. A nice end to the meal. (94 pts.)

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah or whatever it is you may celebrate.
Posted from CellarTracker

Sounds like a great line-up. Thanks for the notes.

Nice. And thanks for the inclusion of scores… it’s hard to gauge how enthusiastic people are about a wine without them.

Those Il Poggiones sound delicious.

What a wonderful line-up for a holiday meal. Lovely wines but all so food friendly! I’ve had a few other vintages of the Poggione; the 2001 is really humming now, but haven’t had the '97s. Seems like they’re in a great place now! Thanks Loren.