Tenuta San Guido is located in the town of Bolgheri in the province of Livorno in the Tuscany region of Italy.
The winery is acknowledged as one of the pioneers in the production of Super Tuscan blends. They produce three red wines, utilizing several varietals and different blends. The wines, from most expensive to least, are Sassicaia, their premier red blend, Guidalberto, and Le Difese.
The 2009 San Guido Guidalberto is a red blend, composed of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, and 10% Sangiovese. The wine was aged in French and American oak barriques for 12 months, followed by an additional 3 months in the bottle. The wine had an IGT classification. The label listed ABV was 14%.
I had previously enjoyed the 2008 vintage of Guidalberto. After tasting the 2009 version, I can unabashedly attest this wine has become one of my favorites.
Bodegas Muga is based in the town of Haro in the Rijoa region of Spain. The winery produces red, white and rose wines using a number of different varietals.
The 2004 Bodegas Muga Rioja Reserva Seleccion Especial was a red blend, made with 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha (Grenache), 7% Mazuelo (Carignan), and 3% Graciano. The wine was aged for 28 months in oak casks, and an additional 12 months in the bottle. It carried a label listed ABV of 14%.
Having tried a number of their wines over the years, I was looking forward to this tasting.
The wine delivered within expectations.
On the 24th of April, 2012, Undici restaurant hosted a wine dinner for Podere Cantina Oddero.
Oddero, located in La Morra in the Piemonte region of Italy, is run by two sisters, Mariacristina (Cristina) Oddero and Mariavittoria Oddero. The Oddero family has been producing wines at their estate since the 18th century. At the dinner, I had the good fortune to meet with Christina and her niece, Isabella, who is the winery’s spokesperson.
Over the course of the evening, we tasted seven wines expertly paired with four courses by Undici’s executive chef Giovanni (this man is one great chef!). There were actually five courses and eight wines, but I missed the dessert course. Great Italian wine plus great Italian food resulted in a great wine tasting experience.
In February of 2012, Restaurant Nicholas hosted a wine dinner featuring 12 different wines from the Burgundy region of France. I had previously not been particularly fond of wines from this area. The dinner at Nicholas changed that.
Domaine Faiveley, founded in 1825, is located in the town of Nuits-Saint-Georges in the Burgundy region of France.
The 2009 Faiveley Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Lavieres was 100% Pinot Noir. This vintage was aged for 14 to 16 months in French oak barrels (roughly 30% new). The label stated ABV was 13%.
As a 2009, I drank this wine much too early, but it was difficult staring at it on each trip to the cellar and wondering if it was as good as it was at the dinner. I can now definitively state this was a great bottle. And this is one of their lower end wines.
Bastianich Winery is located in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region in the northeast section of Italy. They produce a number of red, white, and rose wines.
I had the pleasure to meet Joe Bastianich in November 2011 at wine tasting dinner hosted by Undici restaurant in Rumson, NJ. Despite having completed the NYC Marathon the day before the dinner, Joe was a gracious speaker with his passion and knowledge for wine clearly coming through. It was at this event I first tasted the Vespa Rosso.
The 2008 Bastianich Vespa Rosso was a red blend, composed of 50% Merlot, 30% Refosco, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Cabernet Franc. The varietals were aged separately for 18 months in French oak, and then spent an additional year combined aging in the bottle.
I had a fond memory of this wine from the dinner. This time around things didn’t turn out as well.
Bodega Catena Zapata produces a line of wines utilizing the Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec varietals. The winery is based in Mendoza, Argentina, and harvests its grapes from six vineyards in the Uco Valley and Lujan de Cuyo regions.
I had previously sampled their 2007 Catena Alta Malbec and their 2007 Malbec Argentino. I opened the 2007 Nicolas as Part II of World Malbec Day on the 17th of April 2012 (okay…I admit it, I was just looking for any reason to taste this bottle!).
The 2007 Nicolas Catena Zapata was a red blend, composed of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Malbec. The wine was produced with grapes from 4 of Zapata’s vineyards (La Piramide, Domingo, Adrianna, and Nicasia). The 2007 Nicolas was aged for 24 months in new French oak.
Of all the wines I have tried from Catena Zapata, this was one of the best I have ever tasted.
Catena Zapata, based in Mendoza, Argentina, is one of that country’s most well-known wineries. They produce a number of red and white wines, utilizing Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec varietals.
I previously tasted their 2007 Catena Alta Malbec. The Catena Alta was produced using grapes from four of the winery’s vineyards. The Argentino product utilized grapes from the best lots of two of their vineyards (the Adrianna and Nicasia vineyards).
The 2007 Malbec Argentino was 100% Malbec. The wine was aged for 24 months in new French oak. The label listed ABV was 14%.
Similar to my experience with the Catena Alta, the Argentino was a very, nice bottle of wine.