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This past Saturday afternoon I decided to treat myself to a wine tasting. I attended an event held at the Italian Wine Merchants wine shop at 108 E 16th Street in Union Square. I’ve attended a few events at this venue and I know they throw a good tasting. The theme that afternoon was “Champagne and Amarone” which is probably at both ends of the spectrum you can go to with wine. It was a sit-down event with the usual excellent cheeses, prosciutto and bread served to nibble on. We tasted five sparklers and four Amarone. We started with the sparklers:

2010 Raventos i Blanc Conca del Riu Anoia Brut Rose de Nit NV (Spain). A Cava, Salmon in color with a nose of crushed strawberries and dried mushroom with nice acidity and balanced fruit. Very drinkable.

Andre Clouet “Silver Brut” NV (France). Light gold in color with notes of bread dough and green apple and pear on the nose nice and crisp with some slate notes on the finish.

Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose NV (France). Salmon in color with a perfume of crushed strawberries and light with good acidity at the end. Another very drinkable glass.

1999 Billecart-Salmon Brut Cuvee Nicolas Francois Billecart. (France). Dark gold in color with a pronounced nose of earth, barnyard and ginger with good crisp acidity upfront followed with bread dough notes on the finish.

2008 Venturini Amarone (Italy). Dark red in color  with crushed berries, violet and slate on the nose and was chunky and chewy with black licorice fruit and bitter almonds on the finish.

2008 Begali Amarone Monte Ca Bianca (Italy). Dark red to black with a big sweet nose of fresh rosemary and crushed black fruit and was concentrated and velvety with notes of bitter herbs on the finish and was balanced with great structure. My favorite red of the day.

2007 Nicolis Amarone (Italy). Dark purple to black, nose was a little closed but I was getting stone flavors and was dusty and velvety with firm tannins and acids at the end.

2005 Nicolis Amarone “Ambrosan” (Italy). Black in color some cigar-box on the closed nose and was concentrated with notes of crushed stone and herbs on the fruit and had big tonque coating tannin at the end. Some unbalance at the finish.

2012 Ca dei Mandorli Brachetti d’Acqui (Italy). We finished the tasting with this sparkler, medium red with a nose of crushed, sweet berries and was sweet with bluberry notes on the fruit.

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