Veneto dinner

VENETO UNDERGROUND DINNER - Chicago, IL (10/27/2016)

  • 2005 Edi Kante Carso Vitovska - Italy, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Carso
    Quite a few high-toned notes on the nose, and the density there seems to indicate that this will be a reasonably full-bodied white. There’s also some sort of really weird funk that made me think this was corked at first. But no, it’s just this. Tons of minerality on the palate, but at the same time, the texture is quite unpleasant, with all its oiliness. This doesn’t hold its alcohol well, and it becomes quite overbearing very quickly – I’d love more acidity here. (85 pts.)
  • 2008 Damijan Podversic Collio Ribolla Gialla - Italy, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Collio
    Very heady nose, with lots and lots of tropical fruit: mango, passionfruit, that sort of stuff. The palate is really weird though – there’s a lot of nuttiness and there’s an unpleasant taste that reminds me a little bit of chemical solvent. Really not my cup of tea. (83 pts.)
  • 2001 i Clivi 140 months Brazan - Italy, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Collio Goriziano
    Why are these white wines always so oily? That, even though there’s plenty of crisp acidity here. This is really high-toned as well, and although the minerality and acidity are here in spades, it doesn’t seem to have integrated well and neither of those properties drives this wine. Feels disjoint. For its age, this wine seems to be lacking a bit of palate fullness too. This wine has many of the things I like, but they just somehow don’t come together. (85 pts.)
  • 2014 Ca’ Rugate Soave Classico Monte Fiorentine - Italy, Veneto, Soave Classico
    A somewhat less waxy white wine here. I like the nose of green herbs, and the plentiful acidity here. There’s a bit of sweet fruit and just a little bit of those high-toned notes here. Quite a bit of juicy pineapple here. Definitely a larger-scaled white, I still managed to enjoy this a fair bit. (88 pts.)
  • 1996 Allegrini Amarone della Valpolicella Classico - Italy, Veneto, Valpolicella, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico
    There’s a distinct note of dried dates on the nose here. The palate isn’t too ripe, but there’s a moderate amount (for a “dry” red) of sweetness here. The palate seems a touch blowsy, and there’s a bit of menthol and bitterness on the back end that I found distracting. Very full bodied, to be sure, but one of the lighter wines of the evening. (88 pts.)
  • 2004 Giuseppe Quintarelli Cà del Merlo Veneto IGT - Italy, Veneto, Veneto IGT
    Despite the potency of this wine, I noticed what I perceive to be a bit of underripeness here, in the form of a touch of green. It’s not off-putting the way 2004 red Burgundy green notes are though. This is a relatively elegant wine, with nothing feeling too out of proportion; there’s a very nice warmth that permeates this bottle. The balance between the sweet and the rest of the wine is very good here, and the fruit is ample and ripe, but not overly so. (90 pts.)
  • 2007 Bertani Amarone della Valpolicella Classico - Italy, Veneto, Valpolicella, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico
    It was a bit difficult to get a good read on this wine; it was simply too bold and in-your-face at the moment. Lots and lots of fruit, and veering just slightly towards the raisiny side of it. Plenty of dried figs and dates here, but this feels extremely primary, and I expect there will be much more complexity developing as this ages. All in all, a great drink for when you’re looking for a large-scaled fruit bomb that isn’t overloaded with oak. (90 pts.)
  • 1990 Masi Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Mazzano - Italy, Veneto, Valpolicella, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico
    Putting some age on these wines seems to do them good. This still has plenty of potently sweet and dense fruit, but alongside that, this has developed a lovely mushroom and earth tone, adding a lot more complexity to a sweet and jammy wine. This is quite integrated now and is drinking excellently. (93 pts.)
  • 2000 Brigaldara Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Case Vecie - Italy, Veneto, Valpolicella, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico
    I’m not totally convinced this was a proper showing for this wine, as it seemed to be a lot more mushroomy and stewed than what I would guess (well, that doesn’t count for much since this is the first time I’ve had a wine from this producer). But suffice to say, I thought this a little bit underwhelming. In addition to that stewed quality, this came off just a little bit hot on the finish. I much preferred the 2004. (85 pts.)
  • 2004 Brigaldara Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Case Vecie - Italy, Veneto, Valpolicella, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico
    I much preferred this bottle to the (what seemed to me less than pristine) 2000. There’s a faint touch of green here that adds interest. This is racier and less full-bodied than the 2000 as well, and is a much lighter, less brooding example of an Amarone. Just a touch sweet here, this is still a very young wine that will need more time to develop. (88 pts.)
  • 1996 Giuseppe Quintarelli Rosso del Bepi Veneto IGT - Italy, Veneto, Veneto IGT
    This showed a very racy character that the other wines tonight didn’t have. There’s much more tension in this bottle, and while the concentration and density aren’t maxed out, there’s plenty to be said about its elegance and litheness. The fruit is less brooding and there are shades of red here. A very good wine, but overshadowed by the 1999. (90 pts.)
  • 1999 Giuseppe Quintarelli Rosso del Bepi Veneto IGT - Italy, Veneto, Veneto IGT
    Probably my wine of the night. This was a very deep and smoky wine, but at the same time, there was a very alluring perfume that rose out of the glass. This shows a whole lot of acidity, but plenty of ripeness at the same as well. It’s somewhat odd how this manages that. Amply proportioned with velvety tannins. A very successful and delicious wine. (93 pts.)
  • 1997 Romano Dal Forno Garganega Nettare Veneto IGT - Italy, Veneto, Veneto IGT
    From half-bottle. Tons of dried stone fruit and honey here. It’s immensely concentrated, with plenty of floral tones as well. And although this is very, very sweet, there’s not a single moment where this is cloying. There’s a very alluring golden raisin flavour here that makes you coming back for more, but I’ll admit, the concentration on this is so high, it’s quite painful to drink quickly. (95 pts.)
  • 1997 Romano Dal Forno Recioto della Valpolicella - Italy, Veneto, Valpolicella, Recioto della Valpolicella
    From half-bottle. I had a feeling this wasn’t quite up to the same standards as my last few experiences with this wine, and then the TCA showed up. NR (flawed)

Interesting on the recioto, years ago a group of us chipped in and bought all 4 of the 97’s.
The only bottle that was corked was the recioto.

How much longer can the nettare hold, or should it be drunk up?

Thank you for your notes on the Quintarelli Rosoo del Bepi. Sometimes confused on the hierarchy of their (his) wines.

What do you think about the aging potential of the Ca Del Merlo? I’m opening a 1986 this weekend.

A few years ago the 1994 blew my socks off.

Adrian is a master of tasting notes. I agree with all notes. The whites and orange were definitely off the beaten path - interesting to try but not something I would make a part of my regular consumption.

Jason – that’s pretty funny indeed. I’ve opened maybe 3-4 bottles of the Recioto and this was the first one that was corked. I imagine the Nettare will be one of those very long-lived eternal wines.

Nolan – the 1999 was a bit better than the 1996, and as much as I don’t like to predict how wines will age, I think these will do just fine.

Mark – thanks for reading, and more importantly, thanks for setting up this awesome dinner!