167 different producers, 200+ wines, 100 minutes before the Friday afternoon NY crowd comes in? Tough job, but someone's got to do it! But thankfully, the wines were so good and varied that I decided there was no time for Sassicaia. My favorites:
Elena Walch Gewurztraminer 'Kastelaz' 2007
Elena Walch 'Beyond the Clouds' 2006
- One of my favorite producers in Alto Adige, I inquired as to the blend of the Clouds aside from the chardonnay, and was shot down by a wink and "It's a secret" from Julia Walch, who I can only assume is the gorgeous young daughter/niece of Elena. The gewurztraminer is among the best I've had and a great bargain for the money. Both wines have excellent minerality and length.
Russiz Superiore Collio Pinot Bianco 2007
- Almost clear, great texture, lingering minerality.
Marchesi di Frescobaldi Collio Bianco 'Attems' 2006
- Pinot bianco, sauvignon, friulano blend. Super bright fruit, very refreshing. I didn't know this Tuscan producer had expanded its holdings into Friuli
Mastroberadino Greco di Tufo 'Novaserra' 2006
- Pretty textbook greco from Campania. At the price, I'm getting me a case for the summer.
Köfererhof Valle Isarco Sylvaner 2007
- Does Michael Skurnik every import anything mediocre? Great length.
Bisceglia Bosco delle Rose 2007
- A chardonnay winner of "only" won two glasses. My first chardonnay from Basilicata, and very impressed. Peach and apricot pits aromas, with a minty and flinty nose.
Cottanera Etna Rosso 2005
Palari Faro 2006
- Firmer than Passopisciaro and Terre Nere. Italy's answer to Burgundy, at a fraction of the cost?
Querciabella 'Camartina' 2005
Le Pupille 'Saffredi' 2005
- Typical, high-priced, fruit forward Super Tuscans that I would not wish to afford. But still really tasty.
Petrolo 'Galatrona' 2006
- 100% merlot. I might spring for this one. Has better depth than the previous two.
Allegrini Amarone 2004
Antinori 'Tignanello' 2005
- Much better than I had remembered in previous tastings.
Punica 'Barrua' 2005
- Really elegant wine from Sardegna and based on carignano, something one doesn't get to say very often.
Casanova di Neri 'Pietradonice' 2005
100% cabernet sauvignon. Cabernet on its own often experiences what Maria L refers to as the donut effect, being somewhat empty in the middle. Not this one. Aromas of cassis, currants and sweet cedar play off each other and the finish is amazing. For me at least, blew away the Ornellaia. Would have been the wine of the tasting, except...
Biondi-Santi Brunello di Montalcino 'Il Greppo' 2003
Weeeeeee! An incredibly lithe and fresh brunello, displaying more red than dark fruits. As someone who doesn't love the sangiovese grape in its various incarnations, this was really eye-opening. Undoubted the best young brunello I've tried. Even though I tasted it towards the end of the afternoon, it remained the only wine I did not spit.