Italian Wine Merchants

A sunny Saturday afternoon so of course that means time to go to a wine tasting! This was a consumer tasting held at the Italian Wine Merchants which is located at 108 E 16 Street.

At most consumer wine events they will put out something to nibble on while you try the wines. Most times that will be some stale sliced baguette or crackers with cubes of massed-produced yellow and white cheese.  At this event venue I have to admit they put out an admirable spread. Today they had prosciutto and speck and several good cheeses including some very good buffalo mozzarella all served with excellent crusty and chewy Italian bread.

There were four tables of wine, Spanish, French, Italian, and “Other” which included wines from  California, Chile, Slovenia, and Austria.

Starting at the Spanish table I had the 2001 Vina Ardanza Reserva Especial Rioja, medium red with warm dusty fruit and oak  on the nose with medium fruit and bitter cherries on the finish. The 2009 Bodegas Mauro Tudela de Duero, was dark purple with a nose of black plums, dark velvety fruit and bitter almonds on the long finish. The 2001 Bodegas Cune Imperial Gran Reserva Rioja was medium dark red, pickle juice on the nose (American oak), tight black cherry fruit and a lingering finish.

At the French table I started with the 2011 Chateau de Pibarnon Bandol Rose, light pink with dried rosemary on the nose and chewy for a rose, firm finish. The 2009 Louis Latour Chassagne Montrachet Les Cailleret had a nose of pineapple and bubblegum but with tight fruit and pencil shavings on the finish. The 2009 Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Bordeaux was dark purple with dusty, stewed plums on the nose, firm, dusty finish with moderate tannins and acids. The 2007 J L Chave Selection Hermitage Farconnet was dark purple with a big nose of tar, cigar box and black cherry with a tight velvety finish and firm acids on the finish.

At the Italian table I started with a sparking wine from Campania, the De Conciliis Selim Spumante Brut NV (Fiano, Aglianico, Barbera). Very nice with a light copper color and a crisp, citrus finish.  The 1995 Felsina Chianti Classico Riserva had a brick rim with a big perfume of menthol and red roses, tarry fruit and crisp acids on the finish. The 1999 Bovio Barolo Riserva Parussi was dark red with an orange robe, dried mushroom, tar and rose petals on the nose with silky fruit and a mouthful of tannins on the long finish. The 2005 Paolo Bea Sagratino di Montefalco Pagliaro was dark red with a slighty closed nose of roses and black cherry, chewy, dense fruit and good structure on the long finish. I would say this was my favorite red wine of the night.

At the “Others” table I had the 1995 Kalin Cellars Cuvee LD Chardonnay from Sonoma. Dark gold with a nose of honey and pickle juice, tight fruit with notes of celery on the finish. The 2008 Bodega Chacra Pinot Noir from Argentina was dark red with chewy, dense fruit and dried flowers on the finish.

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