Bolgheri is located in the town of Castagneto Carducci in the Tuscany region of Italy. It is home to several wineries, including Podere Sapaio. Podere Sapaio produces two red wines and olive oil.
The 2008 Podere Sapaio Superiore was a red blend, composed of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 20% Petit Verdot, and 10% Cabernet Franc. The wine spent 18 months aging in oak barriques, and then an additional 12 months in the bottle, prior to release. The label listed ABV was 14.5%. The Italian classification was DOC. There were 2,500 cases of this vintage produced.
There are a number of Super Tuscans that rank among my favorite wines to drink. As I was looking over the wine list at Undici in Rumson, NJ (They have over 600 wines, solely from Italy. Check out the list under “Menu” on their website. It is pretty impressive.), I came upon the 2008 Podere Sapaio. Knowing the region, but not the wine, I decided to give it a try.
Given my success with other Bolgheri wines, I had high hopes for this bottle.
The Casanova di Neri winery is located in the town of Montalcino in the Tuscany section of Italy. While they are best known for their Brunello di Montalcino, the winery also produces red wines with different varietals and blends, grappa, and olive oil.
The 2006 Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Cerretalto was 100% Sangiovese. The wine was aged in oak barrels for 31 months. The label listed ABV was 14.5%. The wine’s designation was DOCG. This vintage resulted in the production of 10417 (750 ml) bottles, 250 (1500ml) bottles, and 36 (3000ml) bottles.
This wine received a 100 point rating from James Suckling. As a result, on every trip to the cellar, I couldn’t help but look at the bottles, even though they were placed in an out-of-the-way spot on the racks. The curiosity of tasting the wine versus holding it for years became a regular battle. Did I break down and open a bottle ahead of its time to see what I thought of it?
Yes…yes, I did.
On the 9th of May, 2012, Undici restaurant hosted a wine dinner with Giacomo Neri featuring the wines of the Casanova di Neri winery.
Casanova di Neri is located in the town of Montalcino in the Tuscany region of Italy. In addition to Brunello di Montalcino, the winery produces grappa, olive oil, and several red wines using Sangiovese as well as Cabernet Sauvignon.
The dinner at Undici was overbooked. As a result, the courses were completely mismatched from their intended pairings. This was unfortunate as Chef Giovanni puts a great deal of thought into pairings for the wine dinners at the restaurant, and he is very good at it.
Still, the evening presented an opportunity to sample some delicious wine and taste some great food.
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.
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.
Castello di Ama is based in the Tuscany region of Italy.
They are best known for some of their reds, such as Chianti Classico, but also produce rose and white wines.
I discovered this bottle in 2011 at a wine tasting at Undici restaurant.
Al Poggio is 75% Chardonnay and 25% Pinot Grigio.
While I typically do not care for Chardonnay, I found this blend rather tasty.
Wow. This was my first 20-year old Barolo and it was fantastic. I need to find some more of these!
The nose was earthy with red fruit. Cherries exploded on the palate with ultra smooth tannins, settling into bright red fruit. The finish was long and lingering with very, very mellowed oak, a mild hint.
Undici, a local restaurant, had it on their seasonal list, which often moves older vintages. It may turn in the next few years, but was drinking superbly tonight.
So…I only need another 14 years for the 06 Barolos I am holding……