The Second Floor Wine Tasting Group

February 9, 2003

Around 6:30pm, myself and seven friends and new acquaintances sat down to begin a tasting of a red French Burgundy and five bottles of red Italian Piedmont wine. By 9:30pm, the tasting had mostly finished, but the night was still young; dinner began and revelry continued. At the end of the evening, acquaintances had turned into friendships and great memories had been made.

The Wines

  1. 1997 Barolo Villero (Castiglione Falletto) by Mascarello - $44
  2. 2000 Barbera d'Alba by Abbona - $15
  3. 1999 Barbera d'Alba (Scarrone Vigna Vecchia) by Vietti - $40
  4. 1999 Maranges 1er Cru (Clos des Rois) by Derats-Dumay - (not imported)
  5. 1998 Barbaresco by Farina - $28
  6. 2001 Barbera d'Asti by Icardi - $12

The '99 Maranges was a French Burgundy. The others were from Piedmont in Italy. All were red wines.

The People

Jason, Helen, Greg, Jeff, Dimitri, Olga, Peter and Kai

The Impressions

The Vietti stirred up much emotion and came out as the top wine for many of us. Helen called it "well composed" and "succulent," while Peter deemed it "intense," "a rough beast" and "very deep." However, it was not everyone's picture of beauty---Jeff compared it to "dishwasher detergent."

The Icardi Barbera incited the most emotional comments. Many of us were pleasantly surprised with its affordable price, though Peter "would pay you to take it away." Dimitri found a smooth wine with notes of bread and yeast and called it the "most well balanced" of the lot. Greg found it pleasant; he enjoyed it's earthiness, and butterscotch and caramel flavors.

Many of us thought the Farina's Barbaresco to be a weak imitation of the Vietti. Peter called it "one-dimensional"; au contraire, Jeff thought it well put together---"a good breakfast wine," he said.

The Maranges had some of the most unusual aromas. Greg found canned green beans. Dimitri noted distinct aromas of eggplant fried in olive oil. Peter likened it to Jell-o. Kai discovered Jasmine tea. Olga found urine, medicine and cough drops (oh my!). I couldn't keep my mind from exotic peper smells. If only the producer imported, I'd love to see what other aromas we could find...

We thought the Abbona to be a good value, with flavors of smoked meat and bacon. It also had a longer after taste than most. It went very well with the excellent Gorgonzola cheese that Peter brought.

We were surprised by the price of the Mascarello. It had some nice flavors---licorice, red currants, wood after a rain and grilled veggies---but didn't compare in intensity to the Vietti.

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Last modified: Sun Dec 5 12:17:15 2004