Sunday, January 27, 2008

Italian Wine Tasting at The Vineyard

Gary Burrell representing Rolivia, Inc. (C)2008 SmellsLikeGrapeThe Vineyard is a wine and cheese shop located north west of Boston, MA. On January 27th, The Vineyard held a tasting of 22 Italian wines presented by Bob McVickers representing the Boston Wine Company, Elizabeth Tamasino representing The Vineyard and Gary Burrell representing Rolivia, Inc.

We’ve attended a few store tasting before. They generally give a small pour into a thimble sized plastic glass which is impossible to evaluate color or aroma. When we arrived after the 50 minute drive through light blowing snow, we were greeted outside the door in the 30 degree weather by Bill Dwyer, the store proprietor. Much to our relief, he had a table set up outside with 50 small, what I consider to be the Italian restaurant burgundy glasses, chilled by the New England weather to a nice temperature for evaluating the white wines.

Bob McVickers representing the Boston Wine Company. (C)2008 SmellsLikeGrapeThe Vineyard was named "New England's Best Wine Store" by WHDH-TV (Channel 7) and "Best of North Shore" in the wine/spirits category by Northshore Magazine.

Bill welcomed us to the shop, made us feel at home and invited us in. The wine shop was small, but very well stocked. We found many of the familiar wines from major appellations, Old and New World. There were three tables set up with flights from all regions of Italy.

For us, this wine store offers a different variety than we have seen in the area. One of our finds was a David Coffaro Escuro Californa Red Wine blend which caught our eye because of Dr. Deb’s posting. We will be reviewing this in the future.

Taking tasting notes was a little difficult due to the number of people and lack of horizontal space. But we did get the highlights of the wines we tasted. Water, cheese and bread sticks were available to keep the palate cleansed.

The wines we will be reviewing in the future will be the Falesco 2006 Sangiovese (Umbria), the Santa Cristina Sangiovese (Toscana) with its tobacco, rose, coffee, cherry and silky tannins. Poggio Alle Sughere 2003 Morellino di Scansanso (Toscana) and the Villa Fulvia 2002 Amarone della Valpolicella (Veneto) with its cherry, leather, elderberry, smoky vanilla and cedar notes.

Gary Burrell representing Rolivia, Inc. (C)2008 SmellsLikeGrapeAnother wine we felt was quite delicious was La Pieve 2002 Bolero (Piemonte) which had fragrant pine, cherry-blackberry characters.

We are grateful for Mr. Dwyer for putting on this fun and educational event. If you live in the striking distance of North Andover, get onto the emailing list. On Saturday, February 9th, there will be another tasting featuring 52 wines.

Table 1: Bob McVickers, Boston Wine
1. Tramin 2006 Pinot Grigio (Trentino-Alto Adige) $14.99
2. Zenato 2006 Lugano (San Benedetto Lugana) $14.99
3. Falesco 2006 Sangiovese (Umbria) $13.99
4. Taurino 2003 Salice Salentino Reserva (Apulia) $11.99
5. Morgante Nero D'Avola 2005 (Sicily) $14.99
6. Corte Giara 2004 Ripasso (Veneto) $19.99
7. Maculan Dinderello (Veneto) $23.99

Table 2: Elizabeth Tomasino, The Vineyard
1. Val D'Oca NV Prosecco Il Blu (Veneto) $14.99
2. La Caplana Gavi (Piemonte) $12.99
3. Tormaresca 2006 Chardonnay (Puglia) $11.99
4. Santa Cristina Sangiovese (Toscana) $11.99
5. Cantina Zacagnini Montepulciano D'Abruzzo (Abruzzi) $17.99
6. Poggio Alle Sughere 2003 Morellino di Scansanso (Toscana) $16.99
7. Tormaresca 2006 "Neprica" (Puglia) $11.99
8. La Caplana Dolcetto D'Ovada (Piemonte) $12.99

Table 3: Gary Burrell, Rolivia Inc.
1. Villa Cornaro "Select" 2006 Pinot Grigio (Veneto) $13.99
2. Sensi 2006 Montepulciano D'Abruzzo (Abruzzo) $10.99
3. Sensi 2003 Chianti Classico Reserva (Chianti) $17.99
4. La Pieve 2002 Barolo (Piemonte) $37.99
5. Sensi "Testardo" 2004 Sangiovese/Cabernet (Toscana) $24.99
6. Villa Fulvia 2002 Amarone della Valpolicella (Veneto) $29.99
7. Petrone Limoncello (Please Save this your for last taste) $19.99