Italian Night at Suzy’s

May 11, 2019 – A lovely evening at my dear friend Suzy’s with many of the attendees working on the MS training program. This night provided some lovely wines, with the whites mostly leaning toward early drinkers and the reds showing some quite profound, age-worthy bottlings.

Whites

NV Ricci Curbastro, Franciacorta, Brut (RT 89) A blend of60% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Blanc & 10% Pinot Noir with 8 grams/liter dosage, aged for 30 months. Bright, energized and crisp with white stone fruit and a hint of yellow peach. Drink now-2021+

2017 Bruno Giacosa, Roero, Arneis (RT 91) A lovely showing for this Arneis, crafted from a warm vintage! I’ve followed Giacosa’s Arneis for many years now, and I love this bottling from warmer vintages when hints of ripe tropical fruit shine through, as opposed to the many acid searing versions of this grape from cooler vintages. Bravo to the Team at Giacosa! I recently had a bottle of 2005 that was drinking incredibly well at age 13, very impressive! Follow your hearts’ desire when it comes to vintage style. Drink now-2027+

2003 Ronco del Gnemiz, Colli Orientali del Friuli, Sauvignon Sol (RT 92) Showing a beautiful golden hue, this aged Sauvignon Blanc reveals fresh notes of lemon, white melon and yellow stone fruits. Beautifully mature, but in no thread of sliding over the hill anytime soon. Drink now-2025+

2015 Orsi Vigneto San Vito, Vigna del Grotto (RT 89) Crafted from 100% Grechetto Gentile grown in the hills around the town of Bologna, this shows a slightly maderized (oxidized) character with notes of hazelnut and old barrel smells. Certainly unique, and perhaps popular with natural movement aficionados, but in my view could be better with a less rustic winemaking approach. Drink now -2022

2016 Edi Kerber, Collio (RT 90) A blend from the border of Italy and Slovenia of Ribolla Gialla, Tocai Friuliano & Malvasia Istriana. This is a lovely fresh white that reveals a core of yellow stone fruits, fresh white flowers and and a hint of terroir. Excellent acidity, but not too much, this delivers a lovely sumptuous mouthfeel. 20% of the wine was aged in concrete egg, the balance in stainless. An excellent wine that will drink well for the coming near term. Drink now-2026

2017 Pra, Soave Classico, Monte Grande (RT 91) A blend of 70% Garganega, 30% Trebbiano di Soave aged in large French oak casks for 10 months, lending a decided richness to the wine. Round and voluptuous with a pungent bouquet of yellow peach, an alluring floral aspect and notes of wheat grass that brings you back for another sip. Showing the slightest caramel aspect as it unwinds in the glass. Drink now-2025+

2015 Livio Felluga, Terre Alte (RT 91) A wonderful blend of Friuliano, Pinot Bianco & Sauvignon Blanc, the Pinot Bianco and Sauvignon fermented at controlled temperatures in stainless steel tanks, where they matured for ten months. The Friulano fermented and aged in small casks of French oak, then the grapes are blended. This is lush, rich wine with notes of yellow melon and jasmine with a hint of tropical fruit. Totally digging this great bottling, a go to white wine! Drink now -2025+

Reds

Select shot of the best of the Reds

2014 Roberto Voerzio, Barbera d’Alba, Il Cerreta (RT 89) I found myself measurably disappointed in this bottle as the overall impression was one of thin, dilute and overly acidic, despite Voerzio’s obsession with minimal harvest yields and crafting concentrated wines. Not sure what happened here, but it’s not a typical showing for Voerzio. Showing red cherry, and a bit of leather with a hint of smokiness, it offers fresh acidity but soft tannins. Drink now-2024

2015 Vietti, Barbera d’Alba, Vigna Scarrone (RT 92) A benchmark bottling for this famed Piedmont producer, this and the Scarrone Vigna Vecchia are their top two Barbera bottlings. Showing notes of black cherry, new leather, coffee and spice, it reveals a lovely level of acidity which keeps it fresh, and a soft tannic finish. Drink 2022-2030+

2013 Castiglion del Bosco, Brunello di Montalcino, Campo del Drago (RT 92) The single vineyard bottling from Castiglion del Bosco and a step up from their normale’ Brunello bottling. This could have used some more breathing time but showed well enough. With a hint of modern polish and no dominant oak showing through, at age 5+ this reveals hints of dark red cherry, Tuscan spice and dark floral notes, but remains on the young side. Made in a well-balanced style, this could grow in its curb appeal with proper cellaring. Drink 2023-2038+

2009 Ronchi di Cialla, Schioppettino di Cialla (RT 91) Friuli Venezia Giulia is home to the Schioppettino grape, which has a long history, but has never really risen to a highly heralded variety and remains sparsely planted today. This wine is staunchly traditional in its style, but aged in older French oak barrique. Served from a 375ml., this shows a ruby hue with spicy, peppery notes of red fruits, terroir-driven earthy notes and hints of orange peel. The balance of fruit, tannin and acidity shows excellent wine making, but I’m not sure the 375ml bottling did this justice as it seems a bit advanced. Drink now-2029 from larger formats

2014 La Tena, Valtellina Superiore, Ca Bianche (RT 87) A value priced Nebbiolo that shows sour red cherry with a decided twangy character due to its high acidity. Not terribly enticing with its imbalanced acid dominated character. Drink now

2012 Luigi Nervi, Gattinara (RT 93) From the oldest winery in Gattinara in Alto Piedmont comes this most excellent Nebbiolo, which is aged for 3 years in Slovonian cask. While the DOCG rules allow for blending of up to 10% Vespolina, this wine is 100% Nebbiolo. It shows a delicious, elegant approachable character. Notes of sweet ripe red raspberry and strawberry display how elegant Gattinara can be, the mouthfeel is light on its feet, the acidity and tannin bringing a lovely finish to the wine. A beautiful wine from pre-Roberto Conterno ownership of Nervi. Drink now-2032+

2011 Brovia, Barolo, Rocche di Castiglione (RT 95) Showing the elegance of this fabulous cru vineyard, the 2011 Rocche reveals an enchanting, feminine side of the equation. The lighter translucent ruby garnet hue matches its grace perfectly as it shows fresh, light notes of red raspberry, Morello cherry, balsam and fresh roses. The palate is equally elegant with lovely lift, fruit concentration and balanced acid and tannin. One of the two Wines of the Night. Drink 2023-2036

2004 Francesco Rinaldi, Barolo, Le Brunate (RT 95) Another stunning showing for the 2004 Le Brunate, it shows a broad shouldered, masculine side of Barolo, juxta opposed from the Brovia Rocche. Deep dark notes of black cherry, forest floor and minerality emerge and the mouthfeel is equally impressive showing a depth of fruit I associate with this seriously structured vintage. This remains on the young side of tertiary development but is drinking beautifully with sufficient oxygenation The other Wine of the Night for me. Drink now-2034+

1999 Aldo Rainoldi, Valtellina, Sfursat, Fruttaio Ca’ Rizzieri (RT 94) I picked up this one off bottling many years ago and its been in my cellar since. A superb showing for this late harvest, Amarone-styled Nebbiolo, with its deep ruby hue. Showing super ripe red fruit with hints of smoke and a wisp of VA to add punctuation to the package. Delicious mouthfeel with brilliant acidity and sweet, ripe tannin. A mind-blowing delicious late harvest Nebbiolo! Drink now-2029+

2010 Allegrini, Monovitigno Corvina Veronese IGT, La Poja (RT 93) Crafted from 100% Corvina Veronese and aged for four years prior to release, this wine shows a darker, denser side of the equation, with rich, ripe notes of dark red fruit, meats and a beautiful smokiness. The palate is lush yet buttressed with lovely refreshing acidity and a smooth tannic finish. This will age gorgeously and is a serious and structured wine. Drink now-2030+