Showing posts with label Brunello. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brunello. Show all posts

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Brunello Tre Bicchieri New York Italian Wine 2022





As usual at this time of the year, I'm looking forward to the biggest, most important Italian Wine Tastings of the year. Those being; # 1, The Tre Bicchieri , # 2 The Brunello Tasting, and # 3, yet no less important, The Chianti Tasting on Monday, February 28th ... I love all these tastings, and being one of New York's Top Italian Wine Guys for some 20 plas years now, these are my favorite Italian Wine Events of the year. That is unless, if someone like my old pal Jacopo Biondi Sante of Biondi Sante Brunello fame, happens to be hosting an amazing private Wine Dinner of his great wines, which include his famed Brunello, Moscadello, and Super Tuscan and other IGT wines made by his family wine estates Tenute Greppo (not longer owned by the family, and Castello Montepo (still owned by Jacapo Biondi Santi), and the dinner is only for 16 lucky people. I was one of the Lucky few of several Million people living in New York, when I was invited by Jacapo and Martin Scott Wines (former Improter Distributer) to be among the chosen few at this prestigous Wine Dinner, in a Private Room at Spark's Steakhouse in New York (1998), as I was one of the owner (Chef / Wine Director) of one of the Hottest New York Italian Restuarants of the time, Bar Cichetti. To make it short and sweet, we hadan amazing dinner, starting with an assortment of Italian Antipasti, like; Baked Clams, Stuffed Mushrooms, Stuffed Peppers, Prosciutto and other Italian delicasies. We followed that with a famous Spark's Dry Aged New York Cut Sirloin Steak each, followed by a Cheese Course, then an assortment of wonderful desserts with Jacapo's supreme Moscadello di Montalcino. 

Naturally we drank 3 different vinatges of Biondi Sante Brunello, as well as two of the companies fine Super Tuscan wines in Sassoaloro and Schicdione wines. The evening was absolutely wonderful, as you can see my passion reminiscing these 24 years gone by.


Well, sorry, I got off of the subject a minute (2022 Italian Wine Eventes NYC). So, as I've said, these are the most important Italian Wine Events of the year (in New York), unless of course you are at an event such as I've just described. If not, then it's The Brunello Tasting, Tre Bicchieri, and The Chianti Tasting, and of these 3, Tre Bicchieri is the most improtant, as it is not just Brunello or Chianti, or any single wine or wine region, but all of the best wines of Italy, in every wine region, all over Italy, from: Peidmonte with their great Barolo and Barbaresco wines, to Montalcino and Brunello, to Chainti Classic and Chianti and numerous Super Tuscan Wines of the region, to Friuli and all the gerat white Italian wines of the North-East of Italy, and all over the land. And besides all the great wine, my favorite thing about this tasting, is that I get to see my Italian friends there, along with all my New York friends in the wine business in New York, or simply lovers of fine Italian Wines, Tre Bicchieri is awesome. 


Roberto Fiore with his Dad

The Famed Winemaker VITTORIO FIORE

With Thier Famed Sper Tuscan Il CARBIONIONNE

Tre Bicchieri "can't Remember which Year"




OK, that's Tre Bicchieri, now on to the New York Brunello Tasting 2022. As always I look forward to drinking the newly released Brunello di Maontacino, Reserve Brunelli, Moscadello di Maontalcino, and a few Super Tuscan offerings brought by the Brunello producers of Montalcino.

There is without question one Brunello producer who makes my favorite Brunello of all, and that's Fattoria Barbi and their Brunello Normale and Brunello Reserva, with its amazing Red Label that I love so much. Barbi is one of Montalcino's oldest producers, among the First 30, they make amaing Brunello and other wines, and they have one of the most Gorgeous Wine Cellars in the wole of Italy. Bar none.

My second favorite Brunello comes form my pal  Conti Franceso Maruni Cinzano, who along with his family own the great wine estate Col d' Orcia in Montalcino, producing some of, easily the World's Best Brunello. Francesco, always has wonderful older vintages of his wonderful Brunello for me to taste, and it is always a very special treat when I do, especially when he taste me on his most amazing Brunello Reserva Poggio al Vento. This particular time, Francesco tasted me 2004 vintage of the Col d' Orcia Brunello "Poggio al Vento" Reserva 2004.


Vintage 2016 In Brunello Di Montalcino - The Greatest Ever

The 2016 vintage shows unique tendencies. It is simply a vintage that will stand as a legendary and memorable vintage, regardless of whether we look 5 or 50 years ahead.

If you look back at some of the greatest Brunello vintages, 2016 will stand out, both greater and more magnificent than the others. 2006, 2010, 2015 will all simply come to stand in the shadow of vintage 2016 in the future. Brunello di Montalcino from this vintage is in such perfect balance that the most important wine critics are extremely excited. The producers are also happy - they can see how great wines they have made.

Vinous, which is the great authority in Italian wines, has recently released scores on most, if not all, of the essential wines from this vintage, and there is a clear trend - the quality is high like never before. Wine Advocate has only released a few scores so far. This means that the wine investor can secure strong Brunellos with high scores from Vinous.


Tasting some of The Counts WonderfuL Brunello

This was back in 2014 ... Week of NY BRUNELLO TATSTING


Other BRUNELLO Producers I LOVE, are : Altesino, Poggio Antical,
Livio Sassetti, and  IL Poggione.


Let me say it, right up front, "I Love Chianti" ! I first started going to the beautiful area known as Chianti Classico, way back in 1997. I fell in love with the area immediately, driving around, visiting with Giovanni Manetti at Fontodi in Panzano, after an amazing visit to Villa Calcinaia in Greve with the two noble Conti Capponi, the brothers Nicola an Sebastiano Capponi, whose Noble Florentine Family has owned a Pallazzo in Florence, and the wine estate Villa Calciania for over 400 years now. That day we met with the two Conti, who showed us around their family estate, into the cellars and vineyards, and culminating in an amazing private lunch with the two Florentine Counts (Conti). Needless to say, it was more than wonderful. We drank Villa Calcinaia Chianti of course. We at antipasti, pasta, Roast Chicken with potatoes, and dessert with the tasty Vin Santo from Villa Calcinaia, one of the most memorabel meals ever.

After our amazing lunch with the two Counts, we made our way down the beautiful Cypress lined driveway, and made a right on to the Chiantigiana Road (Ancient Roman Road), south to Panzano to meet up with Giovanni Manetti at the Fontodi  Estate. And yes this was quite nice as well. Not like having lunch with two noble Italian Counts, but not bad, being given a private tour of the Fontodi Cellars and Estate by the owner Mr. Giovanni Manetti. The tour was followed by a tasting of all of Fontodi's fine wines, including Chianti, Chianti Vigna del Sorbo, the estates famed Super Tuscan wine Flacianella, Syrah, and Vin Santo. 

Needless to say it was a great day.



So I am greatly looking forward to seeing a few of my old friends on February 28th in 
New York. I am particularly looking forward to my old pal Cavelieri Luigi Cappellini who O haven't seen in a few years. Luigi owns what to me is one of the most beautiful wine estates in Italy, Castello Verrazzano in Greve. Along with the fine Chianti of Villa Calcinaia, Lugi makes some of my favorite of all Chiantis at his Verrazzano estate. He also makes amazing Chainti Vinegar, Aceto, Olive Oil, and Honey, and when you have a lunch or dinner at Castello Verrazzano it's quite soemthing.

At least one of the Conti Capponi will be there to represent his family estate, it will most likely be the brother Sebastiano. I have never seen his brother Nocola in New York, only at the family's Palazzo in Florence, and at their wine estate Villa Calcinaia in Greve, about 18 miles south fo Florence. But one never knows, maybe Nicola will show up as well, and I can't wait to try their lastest vintages of Chainti, and if I'm lucky, they will have their sublime Chianti with them as well. Ir's going to be great.

Some of my other favorite Chianti producers I'm looking forward to seeing, are from : Bibbiano, Badia Coltobuono, Monsanto, Vicchomaggio (Greve), Castello Querceto (Greve), my good friend Giovanni Manetti from Fontodi (Panzano), Vignamaggio in Greve, on the estate where scholars beleive the Mona Lisa may have been painted by Leonardo di Vinci. Naturally the estate has a wonderful wine, named after the lovely lady, the wine Vignamaggio Chianti Classico Grand Seleczione Monna Lisa. 

Flesina will be there, along with Ruffino from Castellina, Villa Cerna, Castello Gabbiano, Castello Fonturetoli, and my good friends the Marchesi Frescbaldi bringing wines from their estate in
Tenuta Perano in Gaiole. 

I can hardly wait to see all my Italian friends from Chianti Classico, one of the most beautiful spots in the World. I'll see my Tuscan friends and drink thier wonderful Chianti Wines. I Love it. And if I can't be in Chianti, in Tuscan, this is the nest best thing. "It's gonna be awesome"


The Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri Tour and Top Italian Wines Roadshow are the World’s Premier Italian Wine showcases. We’re pleased to announce the tour’s return to the U.S. Join us once again for the ultimate, industry-only tasting of Italy’s highest-rated wines! The Tre Bicchieri events feature top Italian wineries pouring wines awarded the coveted “Tre Bicchieri” (“three glass”) designation, exclusively for members of the wine trade; additional wines will also be shown, including some of the year’s “top value” wines from Italy.

Come taste Italy’s “best of the best”, meet the winery representatives, and celebrate the release of the newest edition of Gambero Rosso’s legendary wine guide, the Vini d’Italia. Featuring more than just reviews of Italy’s finest wines, Vini d’Italia covers the brilliant, passionate individuals who devote their lives to winemaking. Today, more than 70 expert tasters comprise the team that blind-tastes 45,000+ wines annually. Of these many thousands of wines, fewer than 1% achieve the Tre Bicchieri designation. Gambero Rosso will visit four U.S. cities in 2022, introducing remarkable Italian winemakers and hundreds of Tre Bicchieri-awarded wines to the U.S. wine trade.



My Own Personal Favorite


Fattoria Barbi Brunello di Montalcino

Saturday, October 23, 2021





There are eight Chianti zones in Tuscany. The biggest, oldest, and the one that may produce the best wine is the Chianti Classico zone. It is called Classico because of it is the oldest zone of the region and it is in the center of the region.  The Chianti Classico zone, a very large area between Florence and Siena, includes all the territories of the communes of Castellina in Chianti, Gaiole, Greve, and Radda in Chianti and parts of Barberino Val d'Elsa, Castlenuovo Berardegna, Poggibonsi, San Casciano Val di Pesa and Tavarnelle Val di Pesa.

            In 1924, 33 producers get together in Radda in Chianti and founded a consortium to defend and promote Chianti Classico wine and its symbol of origin, the black rooster.

          This symbol has always appeared on the bottles of Chianti Classico produced by consortium members. Not all of the producers of Chianti Classico belonged to the consortium and only members were able to use the black rooster on their bottles. In 2005, however, the black rooster became the emblem of the entire Chianti Classical zone.

            The Chianti Classico Consortium had the words Gallo Nero printed over the head of the rooster on the neck label of all of its bottles. A few years ago the Gallo winery in California sued the Consortium and won the case. The words were removed from the label.

            The black rooster symbol has origins in both the history and legends of Chianti.  It was depicted in a painting by Giorgio Vasari on the ceiling of the Salone del Cinquecento in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence to indicate the military league of Chianti. There is also the legend of the Black Rooster.  Florence and Siena in the Middle Ages were always fighting each another over land. The leaders of the rival cities decided to have a horse race to determine the boundary lines.  A rider would depart from the capital of each republic and the border would be drawn at the point where the horsemen met. They would set out at dawn by the crowing of a rooster. Siena picked a white rooster and Florence a black rooster. The night before, the black rooster was not fed.  It awoke early and the Florentine rider almost reached the gates of Siena before encountering the other rider.  The rest is history.

            Baron Bettino Ricasoli in the middle of 19 century devised the formula for making Chianti Classico:   Sangiovese with such native varieties as Canaiolo and Colorino.  Two white grapes had to be included, Trebbiano and Malvasia.  It could not be 100% Sangiovese. Many producers back then used the governo method.  Ten percent of the grapes (Canaiolo) were dried and then added to the wine. I believe that there is only one producer today, Querciavalle, that still uses this method.

            Over the years the percentages and the grapes have changed.  Currently, the percentage of Sangiovese is 80% to 100%.  Native varieties such as Canaioio and Colorino or foreign ones including Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot can be added up to 20%. As of the 2006 vintage, the white grapes are no longer allowed.

            Chianti Classico can be aged in wood, steel tanks or glass lined cement tanks; the normale is aged for one year before it is released. The riserva must be aged at least two years and an additional three months in bottle and have an alcohol content of at least 12.5% before it can be released. The riserva is a wine that can age for a number of years. The riserva  had  a gold circle around the black rooster but that stopped in 2005.


Sunday, May 16, 2021

Sunday, November 10, 2013


. .
Robert Parker
Most Wine Drinkers may not know this, but they'd be well advised not to ever listen to Robert Parker and his ill-advised wine news-letter The Wine Advocate. Not if they want the best wine drinking experience possible and they want to choose a good wine to go with their meal, they will not follow the terrible advice and reviews that Robert Parker gives on wine. The kind of wines Parker loves the most are overly oaked, Overly-Rich, heavily concentrated wine that are crafted to be Heavy Thick Full Bodied Oaky Fruit-Bomb Wines. Wines that clash with food instead of complimenting it. If it was up to Robert Parker he'd have all the wines in the World tasting like over-manipulated, big, fat powerful wines like California Cabernets and Meritage Blends instead of wonderful food complementary wines like; Chianti, Barolo, Brunello, Beaujlais, some Bordeaux wines and the like. Wines  that go well with food instead of clashing with it as many of the so-called Parkerized Wines do. The man has ruined the publics perception to what good wine is and should be. The public thinks because he is a famous wine writer, that he knows best and what he's talking about. Maybe he does, but the style of wine he likes, well?     If the general public wants the best wine drinking experience possible, they'd be wise to steer clear of The Wine Advocate and any wine advice dished out by Parker.
      Robert Parker's advice on wine is advice that steers and influences peoples perceptions of what great wine is, into a quite a bad, almost one-dimensional place of homogenized overly thick un-natural wines. People should stop taking advice of Robert Parker, the World of Wine would be a much better place, a place of real wine that is  It SUCKS! Robert Parker's advice reviews, and Ratings of Wine that is.
     If you want to is true to the local terroir of whereever any particular wine might come from. In other words, Chianti should taste like Chianti, Barolo like Barolo, and Bordeaux like Bordeaux and not like a "Big Fat" California or Autralian Cabernet or Meritage Blended Wine and such.  People should drink Wonderful Wines that go great with food and are "Real Natural Wines" the kind of Wines that were made for 100 of years and still are except for those wines made by owners who have fallen into to whole Robert Parker "Spin Doctor" realm and make "Overly-Concentrated Wine" that taste fake and un-natural, they are manipulated and are the kind of wines that Parker likes and gives High 90 Plus Ratings to.
   Drink real Chianti (not any that contain Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot), drink Barolos that have been aged in large gentile Slovenian Oak Cask instead of small 225 liter Barrique Barrels that make many wines taste more of Wood (the way Parker likes them) than beautiful unadulterated with natural fruit (Grapes). Wines like; Brunello, Cote du Rhones, and just about anything other than overly-concentrated, overly Oaked, minipulated overly-oaked wines from Australia and over-powering Californian and Australian monsters and you'll be doing OK.
   "Just DON'T Listen to anything ROBERT PARKER and his highly popular but we say awful newsletter "The Wine Advocate" has to say or Write about Wine." The man almost single handily Destroyed what Good Wine "is" and should be.
Be "Anti-Parker" you'll be glad you did. "Do." Daniel Bellino Zwicke

Sunday, October 27, 2013



The Great Kevin Zraly held a Brunello Seminar at The New York Brunello Tasting 2013 ...And for the few lucky enough to attend, it was quite a great event. Great, yes great, and Mr. Keven Zraly in my book is quite great when it comes to knowledge of wine, his Love and approach to it, drinking, tasting for his own pleasure and knowledge as well as the Drinking, Tasting, and Education Kevin imparts on those in his classes, readers and owners of his famed Windows On The World Wine Course (Book), and anyone as I've Just said "Lucky Enough to Attend One of Mr. Zraly's Wine Seminars," in this case for one of Italy's and The World's most esteemed wines and one of Kevin's 3 Favorite Wines (Kevin's words) Brunello di Montalcino.

   "Don't Touch It! Don't touch it !!!" shouts Kevin Zraly, near the beginning of his seminar. He know there are always people on every level of experience at any one of the many wine seminars he has conducted over the years, including the most experienced and at least one or maybe several people who have never ever been to a Seminar Wine Tasting like this in their lives. This maybe their first one, "Don't Touch Don't touch!!!" It's quite funny and a bit shocking the way Kevin does these as he sets the tone for his style of wine seminar, which is "No Muss No Fuss No BS," and as Mr. Zraly says no English Poetry, in an effort to say there will be none of that overdone pontification, just straight normal talk, and talk even a beginner could grasp about wine, and with Kevin his approach will make you love the object and the subject of "Wine" even more. That's what a great wine educator does. There are not many better than Kevin Zraly, "if any?"
   Yes, the seminar was quite wonderful. If being at the most important Brunello Tasting of the year wasn't enough, and being the first in the World to taste the 2008 Vintage and 07 Riservas, in a beautiful setting like Gotham Hall, in The Greatest City in The World, and as the Head of The Brunello Consorzio stated this glorious day, "New York Is The Greatest and Most Important Market in The World For The Producers of Brunello di Montalcino." Yes Sir "It Is." Yes those at The New York Brunello Tasting were among-st the first in the World to taste these fine wines, and Mr.s Zraly made that point, as well as stating how wonderful the Wines were, that we were very fortunate to be drinking them, and that Brunello was along with Bordeaux, one of his 3 Favorite wines in the World to drink. Myself and Michael Colameco (Who is The fine host of "Real Food" one of TV's Best Cooking Shows on PBS) sitting next to me at the seminar, we both surmised the third  of Kevin's 3 Favorite Wines of The World had to be Burgundy. This we need to find out.
    "Smell it 3 times. Cover the glass with your hand. Sniff! Toast the person sitting next to you and drink. Think about it for 1 minute at 15 second intervals. Do you still taste it? What do you taste?" Well, we tasted 8 very fine offerings of this fabulous wine, Brunello di Montalcino. The wines were all wonderful, and being at Benvenuto Brunello in such a gorgeous setting as Gotham Hall and being led in a Tasting of Great Brunello by one of the World's Greatest Authorities on Wine, this was a combination that was unbeatable. Being in the Italian Wine and Restaurant Business for more than 25 and writing for another 8, I can tell your that I've been to many a incredible wine event, like: a Vertical Wine tasting and Luncheon with the Marchese Piero Antinori, Dinner at Spark's Steak-House with Jacopo Biondi Santi and his wines, as well as lunches and dinners on many great wine estates in Italy. The kind of events people would kill to be able to attend, I've been to many, and this Brunello Seminar tasting with kevin Zraly shall be filed in my head with some of those other great wine moments. It was most enjoyable, and I'm so glad I made it (almost din't go).
   So Bravo Brunello! And Bravo Kevin for your passion, love of the wine, and the way you lead others, in your very Zraly Direction.

Daniel Bellino Zwicke

BRUNELLO SEMINAR with KEVEN ZRALY .. January 31, 2013 .... Afternoon Seminar


1.   Palazzo - 2008
2.   Fanti -2008
3.   Tenute Sivio Nardi - 2008
4.   Donatella Cinelli Colombini - 2008
5.   Uccelliera - 2008
6.   Palazzo - Riserva 2004
7.   Col D'Orcia 2001
8.   IL Poggione Riserva 1999

An overall assessment and thoughts on the 8 Brunello's we tasted. First off, they were all very good to wonderful to remarkable. A great line-up including some excellent producers and very fine vintages of recent years. It seemed an overall consensus that pretty much everyone (Writers, Restaurant People, Wine Professionals,and Hobbyists) in the room liked each and every wine we drank, all wonderful wines, and with Kevin "Cheer-Leading" us with his love of wine and Brunello, I believe everyone enjoyed these wines even more than if they had tasted all 8 in another manner than this great tasting-seminar.
   As all wines were wonderful, I must admit that there were 3 wines that we all got a bit more excited and super-charged over. These wines were; the Brunello Uccelliera 2008, the Brunello Col D'Orcia 2001, and the Brunello IL Poggione 1999 ... Without going into any, as Kevin Zraly would say "English Poetry" these 3 wines were just wonderful. The kind of wines you light up over and just saying "Wow," is enough to say that they had everything you want in a great Brunello or any great wine, great aroma, Wonderful Taste combined with "Perfect Balance," and simply greatness.
   Again, a great tasting, overall Benvenuto Brunello, lots of great wines, wonderful people, and a fine Seminar-Tasting of Brunello conducted by Mr. Kevin Zraly. Again, Bravo!


Brunello Time in New York! Hey I think i just coined a new phrase for our great city New York.   Yes I know it can never catch on like the poetic "Autumn in New York" ... Autumn in New York, the phrase started as a song in 1937, a song that became quite famous and sung by many musical greats like Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitgerald to name just two. The phrase has been made into a movie, and tough it has been a hugely successful song, it's greatest popularity and famed comes as a "Saying" and Slogan of The Great City of New York, "Autumn in New York." Brunello Time in New York. No it will never be as famed as the Autumn of New York, but if you're as big as an Italian Wine Geek and Lover like me, this phrase Brunello Time in New York will sound quite wonderful to you.
    Yes, yesterday, January 31, 2013 was Brunello Time in New York with for all us Italian Wine Guys (Girls too), one of our biggest and most cherished days of the year, The New York Italian Wine Year anyway. It is the Brunello Tasting, as we New York Wine Guys call it. The official named used by The Consorzio Del Vino Brunello Di Montalcino, the governing body of the famed Italian Wine Brunello, these are the people who organize this great show and tasting of the release of the latest vintage of Brunello, the tasting officially known as Benvenuto Brunello.
  As I said, this tasting (event) is one of the most dear of the year to me. That is along with the 
Tri Bicchieri Tasting, the biggest of the year. The Brunello Tasting is quite dear to me, as Sangiovese is my favorite of all grapes, as are the great wines made of it, especially Chianti and Brunello, my favorites, along with Morellino de Scansano, Vino Nobile, and some Super Tuscans that are based on this noble grape Sangiovese. And speaking of Sngiovese and Brunello, the wine Brunello is made of 100% Sangiovese, and of Snagiovese Grosso, also known as Brunello. And Brunello can only be made in Montalcino, and no-where else in the World, and it must be made to the exacting standards of The Consorzio del Brunello Di Montalcino, of whose President was on hand for the event.
    The event "The Brunello Tasting" consist of 52 of the more than 200 producers of Brunello. The main reason for this Brunello Tasting is the "Release of The Newest Vintage of Brunello di Montalcino," in this case The 2013 Brunello Tasting is for the Release of The 2008 Brunello's and The 2007 Brunello Riservas. These are the two main wines of the tasting, but other wines are shown and offered, along with Moscadello the famed Dessert Wine of Montalcino based on Moscato. All producers will have on hand their Rosso di Montalcino made with the same grapes (100% Sangiovese Grosso "Brunello") as the Brunello. The Rosso's are not aged as long, and the grape yeild is slighly higher. The 2010 Rosso di Montalcino where on hand, and one of the nice things about drinking these Rossos is that you can get an advanced glimpse of what the 2010 Brunello's will be like when they are released in 2016.

     Well, some Big Guns of Italian Wine were out at the Brunello Tasting. Big Guns from Italy along with some Big New York Italian Wine Guys like; Renzo Raspiacolli (Wine Director Barolo), Phillipo Debarladino, and Charles Scicolone, one of America's Greatest Authorities of Italian Wine "If Not Thee # 1 Top Guy." And speaking of Big Guns, as far as Italian Wine goes, The Biggest Gun of Them All, "The Marchese Piero Antinori" was on hand at this, one, along with The Count Cinzano of Col d'Orcia and other Italian Wine luminaries.

Daniel Bellino-Zwicke



Friday, October 25, 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Most Important Italian Wine Tasting of The Year

Yes, the most important Italian Wine Event of the Year is upon us, The 2013 Tre Bicchieri Tasting of Gambero Rosso is tomorrow (Domani) at The Metropolitan Pavillion. All the Big Guns of Italian Wine will be in attendance, including New York's Top Italian Wine People and many of Italy's top-producers (Italian Wine Estate Owners and Winemakers) will be on hand.
  This tasting, the Tre Bicchieri is of Italy's Top Wines as voted by Gambero Rosso, The Wine Spectator of Italy. Will be tasting many great Italian Wines, like; Barolo, Barbaresco, Brunello, Super Tuscans, Taurasi, and the top White, Dessert, and Sparkling Wines. Oh happy day. Along with tasting all the great Italian Wine, really my favorite aspect of this tasting is a chance to see some of my good friends (Wine Producer), taste their wines and chat a little bit. Always quite a lot of fun.

Stay tuned for tomorrows Report of my favorite wines of the day and who I ran into. Caio for now, Daniel.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

TIME To TASTE WINE "Italian Wine" Brunello Chianti And ?

Fattoria dei Barbi Brunello di Montalcino Riserva

  Time to taste Wine? Italian Wine in particular. It's always time to taste wine. Well there are times in the year when you drink and taste wine (Italian Wine) more than others. Times that is. If you happen to be in the wine or restaurant business, you know these times. September is big, with most large importers and distributors of wining having there Grand Portfolio Tastings in this month, the month of September, Summer is over, it's not only back to School it's back to business fro many, and for the people in the wine or restaurant businesses, September to the end of December is the busiest time of the year. In this month I will go to the large Portfolio Tasting of Martin Scott Wines, Winebow, Vias, and others. October and November will find a couple big Tastings of The Italian Trade Commission.
    As far as wine tastings go, things slow down for the month of December (all Business) and January. January, well that's all till the last day of January this year, as one of mine and other Italian Wine Lovers favorite tasting of the year will be, "The Brunello Tasting" and of one of my own personal favorites along with Chianti, is Brunello. They are both Sangiovese based wines. Brunello produced only in the famed wine town of Montalcino, "The Home of Brunello," the only place of Brunello for those who might not know. The also make Rosso di Montalcino in Montalcino. Both wines are made from 100% Sangiovese Grosso, also known as "Brunello," that's the name of the grape. They also produce one of the World's great dessert wines in Montalcino, of which is Moscadello. And of fourth not as far as Montalcino wine production is concerned, some properties make proprietary wines that you will know as Super Tuscans, which are made throughout all of Tuscany. 
    So The Brunello Tasting. Along with the Tri Bicchierri Tasting of the Best Wines from the whole of Italy. Anyway the BrunelloTasting. I just love it. And it will be back to just tasting the latest vintages of Brunello the 2008 Brunello's and the 2007 Brunello Riservas. Wow! There will be Brunello to taste of course, along with Rosso di Montalcino from each producer as well, and maybe a Moscadello and or some sort of Super Tuscan. Not every Brunello producer makes the later two wines.
    Now, how bout my favorites. Well, on the top of the list is the are the Brunello's from my friends the Colombini family, the normale and the Riserva of Fattporia Barbi are always amazing. The wines are always in perfect balance and true to what real Brunello should be. Other favorite Brunello's would be the Castel Giacondo Brunello from my good friends the Frescobaldi's who make superb Brunello as well as fine Chianti Rufina and some Italy's top Super Tuscan Wines.
    One big not on the Brunello Tasting of New York is that it started out as just that Brunello. For the past three years or so, The Brunello Tasting include Prosecco, Chianti, and Vino Nobile as well. This year The Brunello Tasting is back to just Brunello and other wines produced on Brunello properties. I'm glad for that. I love those other wine, especially Chianti, but myself and many others prefer the pure Brunello Tasting. And I love when they have a pure Chianti Tasting as well, which they don't do every year, but when they do, it's one of my faves.
    So yes, a big time for Italian Wines and their tastings. On February 15th 2013, the biggest and most important Italian Wine Tasting of the year will take place, it is The Tri Bicchierri Tasting of Italy's Top Wines from around the country, as rated by Gambero Rosso "The Wine Spectator" of Italy. Many great wines, but my favorite aspect of the Tasting is seeing and socializing with my many Italian Wine Friends, the Proprietors and Winemakers of Italy's greatest wines. People like the affable and talented winemaker for the famed Sassicaia Mr. Sebastiano Rosa, as well as his cousin Piero Incisa Rochetta of Tenuto San Guido, the estate where the grapes for Sassicaia are grown and Sassicaia is made into  Italy's Most Renowned and Prestigious Wine. Well there are many, including Marchese Ferdinando Frescobaldi, Emanuella Stucchi of Badia Coltibuono, the beautiful Sicilian lady Francesca Planeta of Planeta, Giovvani Folnari of Nozzole, Gianpauolo Venica who makes along with his father and uncle some Italys finest white wines at Venica. And yes, many more wonderful Italian Wine people, too many to name. Yes it's great fun at the Tri Bicchierri Tasting to see my Italian friend and taste there great wines. 
  And so ladies and gentlemen, the Hieght of The Italian Wine tasting Season is upon us with The Brunello tasting on January 31 followed by The Tri Bicchierri Tasting February 15th, the day after Valentines Day, and Love will be in the Air. The Love of Love and Italian Wine, "Mangia Beve Amore"

Article:  Daniel Bellino Zwicke


Sebastiano Rosa of Sassicaia
Author Daniel Bellino-Zwicke
Giovanni Folanari of Nozzole

of Recent Tastings

Fattori dei Barbi  2007
Angelo Sassetti 2007
Fattoria dei Barbi Reserva  2006
Casanova Neri  2007
Frescobaldi Castel Giacondo  2007
Lisini "Ugolaia" 2006
Conti Costanti  2007
Val d' Cava 2006
Livio Sassetti "Pertamali" 2006
Castello Banfi "La Morra" 2006
Castel di Argian0 2007

My 10 Favorite Brunello's of All-Time
That I Drank

1. Angelo Sassetti 1990 (at Del Posto, NY)
2. Fattoria dei Barbi Riserva 1995 (at Barbi Estate)
3. Biondi Santi Riserva 1988 (at a friends House in New York)
4. Fattoria dei Barbi 1997 (at The Barbi Estate)
5. Biondi Santi Riserva 1997 (with Jacopo Biondi Santi, Dinner at Spark's, New York)
6. Cal d' "Madonna"Cava 1990  (at Babbo, NY)
7. Casanova Neri "Tenuta Nuova" 1993 (at Barbetta, New York)
8. Castel Giacondo, Frescobaldi 1993 (at Barbetta, New York)
9. Conti Costanti 2001 (at Macari Vineyards, North Fork, LI, NY)
10. Lisini "Ugolaia" 1995 (at Estate in Montalcino)