By Franco Sartor
October 22nd 2018 was a wonderful day to attend this by “invitation only” tasting, which was presented at the Terminal City Club in Vancouver.
Italy is one of the worlds largest producers of red and white wine. Italy grows nearly one thousand varietals. Many of us here in Canada are aware of a few of the more familiar ones like Merlot, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, and Barbera, but have you heard of the grapes, Montepulciano, Nero d’ Avola, Aglianico, Primitivo, Granaccia, and Negroamaro?
Or the whites, like Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay and Trebiano, but have you heard of Vermentino, Glera, or Pecorino?
There are so many wines, and so little time. It is really a shame to drink bad wine, when there are reasonably priced wines just waiting to be sold in Canada. The ITC works in conjuntion with the Consul General’s office to bring some of these wines to our distributors.
In order for the wines to be sold in Canada, they first have to find an agent that is willing to import these juicy offerings. The opportunities to taste new wines from Italy will increase if, when we go to our local wine store, we ask the manager if he has any of these varietals in stock.
I, and my good friend Bruce, did the best we could to sample a large cross-section of these wines, and I am here to tell you, that there are some excellent gems available, and even after our BC taxes are added, there are many good values. Listing all the wines we enjoyed would take more than a single page of this paper, so just a few of my personal favourites, a 2016 Nasco di Cagliari, Sapororo, made with 100% white Nasco grapes from Sardegna.
A tight tasting sample that quickly opened with a few swirls in the glass, to give an explosion of fresh crisp fruit and a zesty finish. A Moscato from Piemonte that has perfumed aromas of mandarin orange, ripe pear, honeysuckle and orange blossom, providing an off-dry finish that went so well with a small piece of parmigiano. And every one needs to taste a least one Prosecco from Veneto.
Can you say Delicious?
The reds were equally fantastic, with a Chianti Classico from la Toscana. Made with 100% Sangiovese grapes, This 2013 reserva, was full of cherry, blackberry and blueberry flavours, a little earthy, with a plumy finish. An Amarone DOCG from Veneto, made with a blend of Corvina, Rondinella and Oseleta, full of robust flavours that lingered longer than what was poured in my glass.
My best tasting of the afternoon was from a winemaker in Puglia. Made with 100% Primitivo, this 2015 jet black nectar, had all the flavours in all the right place.
Starting with the nose, with fig like nuances, then as it entered my mouth with fresh jammy berries, a long finish, with a little oak. Yummy!
It was our privilege to attend this tasting and we are already looking forward to next year. Viva Italia, e Viva li Vini!