I played hookey on Tuesday to attend Decanter’s Great Winemakers of Italy tasting in London. I suspect that the Istituto Del Vino Italiano Di Qualità Grandi Marchi is little more than a good excuse for many of the great and good of Italian wine to get together, pat themselves on their backs and come up with new ways of inflating their prices, but if it means more tastings of this calibre then I suppose that I can’t complain too much.
Nineteen producers, representing twelve of Italy’s twenty regions, each showed four wines – a concise overview of all that they are. And Grandi Marchi (Grandes Marques) isn’t the overstatement you might at first believe it to be, with the likes of Angelo Gaja, Piero Antinori, Priscilla Incisa Della Rochetta, Jacopo Biondi Santi et al all in attendance and touting their wares.
Other standouts included:
Argiolas: the strangely named Is Argiolas 2010 (14% ABV), a straight Vermentino, was not quite bone dry, with ripe white fruit, blossom notes and firm acidity rounded off with a long, white pepper and sweet spice finish.
|Argiolas, Is Argiolas|
Vermentino Di Sardegna 2010
Donnafugata: two vintages of its outsanding Ben Ryé Passito Di Pantelleria were the big hitters on this table. The 2009 (14.5% ABV), to be released en primeur in the next week or so, was a bright golden amber colour, with fresh juicy apricot fruit on the nose and palate. Excellently judged acidity meant that it was not at all too sweet. The 2006 (14.5% ABV), poured from a magnum, was a slightly deeper shade of amber and was noticeably more viscous than the 2009. Its nose had more of a toffee aspect and its fruit was a little more peach than apricot. The palate, too, showed a greater degree of development, being less vibrant yet more expressive. Both had very long finishes and beautiful balance.
|Donnafugata, Ben Ryé|
Passito Di Pantelleria 2006
|Tenuta San Guido,|