Saturday 25 June 2016

A quick tour round off-beat Italy with Zubair Mohamed of Raeburn Wines

As part of Tom Cannavan's Glasgow Festival of Wine in June 2016, I attended a couple of  "masterclasses" (actually a chance to escape the crowd of the walkround tasting and sit down and taste some wine in comfort!). This was a selection of interesting wines from Italy, selected and presented by Zubair Mohamed of Raeburn Wines in Edinburgh.
The grand setting of Glasgow's Trades Hall.
2012 Blanc de Morgex et de la Salle, Maison Vevey Albert, DOP Vallee d'Aoste, 12.5%
£18.60 per bottle.
I'm not sure I've come across the Prié Blanc grape before. Vineyard adjacent to Mont Blanc. Ungrafted vines, as there aren't crampons small enough for phylloxera to get up there.
There's loads of minerality on the nose. Herby meadows-y notes, but also a hint of toffee-honey.
Very crisp, minerally palate. Opens out nicely in the mouth. There's a wonderful clarity to this, and it's difficult
given the terroir not to think of bubbling mountain streams.
An interesting wine. Great length.
Very nice, very drinkable, very expensive for what it is.

2010 Il Pigro della Marca, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, La Marca San Michele
£21.00 per bottle.
Aged for two years in botti grandi.
A deep, rich nose with butter and white flowers, and a bit of an oxidised feel.
Full palate. I wouldn't guess this was verdicchio if I didn't know.
Whether it is a bit oxidised, or made in an oxidative style, I don't know, but on the palate, it could be anything.

2010 Morus Alba, Vignai da Duline, San Giovanni al Natisone, Friuli
£22.99 per bottle.
60% Malvasia Istriana; 40% sauvignon blanc.
Quite a golden colour.
Rubbery, sweaty, cheesy nose. Very curious. A dense, solid nose, with some quite extracted distilled florality.
Lovely palate: very rich and full. Hugely interesting. Deep and complex, with massive length.

2013 Rosso di Gaetano, Azienda Agricola Le Coste di Clementine Bouvéron, Lazio, 13%
£15.00 per bottle.
A blend of mainly sangiovese, with some merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and grenache.
A vibrant, youthful colour.
Fascinating nose: Rubbery and yet also very floral red fruit.
Gorgeous palate. Lots of red fruit. Very pure and juicy. Very clean finish.
There's a touch of Vimto on the palate. Which is not a criticism.
Rosso di Gaetano bottle.jpg

2005 Nerello Mascalese Vecchie Vigne Etna Rosso, Calabretta, Etna, Sicily
£18.99 per bottle.
Scented, lifted, very compelling nose.
Delicious palate. Very pure red fruit. Very clean, pure finish.
This is really good. Packed full of character and lovely fruit, lingering all the way through.
Great length.

2009 Valpolicella Superiore Monte Lodoletta, Dal forno Romano
£61.00 per bottle.
How much? That sets the bar very high.
A bit of a mini Amarone with the grapes being dried for 1½ months. Aged in new oak for 36 months.
An inky, very dark colour.
Massive oak on the nose and not a lot else.
Very silky palate. Very big. Very full. Very oaky. There's no finesse or elegance here.
It's definitely not my preferred style of wine, and seems to need years. I know oak costs money, but £61 for this oak monster just seems ridiculous. What am I missing? Are the grapes individually polished by Vestal Virgins or something?
The only reason I could see for me to buy this would be as an investment, in the hope that Romano dal Forno isn't a bubble that's going to burst.
It is certainly very unapproachable at the moment. I also find myself questioning how long this will last: is there enough to it to keep it going for the 10+ years it seems to need? Is it all superficial structure?
Not for me.
86/100 (being generous and making allowances for my tastes)

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