“The Cellar” Tasting at Harbor View Wines & Liquors
Thursday, October 3, 2019, 4:30-7:00 p.m.
“The BEST Time of Year in Tuscany!”
One of our best vacations to Italy that my wife and I ever had was a week-long trip to Tuscany when we had our own wine store. Our original business plan included an annual adventure with our customers to a wine region where we organized tours and tastings at local wineries and restaurants, along with side trips and events not necessarily based on wine. There were several organized dinners, but we also allocated free time so people could also explore the various regions on their own. Eighteen people joined us on the first trip, which we dubbed, “Savvy’s Trek to Tuscany,” and to this day folks still talk about what a wonderful experience they had.
And, what a trip it was… We went in the fall and nailed all of our objectives! We had fabulous winery tours and enjoyed incredible food, and the Tuscan countryside was simply spectacular in colors as it often is here at this time of year. It’s a trip that I’ll always remember fondly.
So this Thursday, I’d like to take a similar trip through Tuscany with four wines that represent the region and are terrific for the kinds of fall-weather dishes many love to enjoy during this gorgeous time of year in central New Year. Join me Thursday between 4:30 and 7:00 p.m. and savor these Tuscan ‘gems’. Once again, I have included recipes that match the season and the wines. And with these selections’ low prices, you can certainly pick up a couple of bottles to share with family and friends.
Cin Cin! ~ Cellar Master Dale
Salcheto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2015 (Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy) – 94 points Wine Spectator To be frank with you, we initially bought this wine due in part to the eye-popping 94-point score it received from Wine Spectator. Contrary to what some believe, Wine Spectator is not in the habit of awarding such a high score unless it is especially deserved. But their scoring and notes are indeed absolutely dead on.
The wine is also made from a clone of Sangiovese that I am particularly fond of: Prugnolo Gentile. Not to be confused with Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (made from the Montepulciano grape), this Sangiovese-based red is just as noteworthy as its celebrated Tuscan neighbors, Chianti and Brunello.
“Aromas of green tomato and tomato leaf segue into plum and cherry flavors in this concentrated red. Leather, iron and sanguine notes chime in as this cruises to a lingering aftertaste. Shows terrific intensity and balance.” WS
The classic pairing with Vino Nobile is wild boar. In Tuscany, wild boar roam wild and can tear up a vineyard in a heartbeat if not controlled or fenced out. As a result, Tuscans for years have hunted them and made hearty dishes with pasta and tomatoes that pair superbly with the native wine. While you will have to mail order wild boar, you could also substitute Bison or beef. It’s a great all-day Sunday kind of a dish to make and let simmer while the games is on.
Cellar Price: $21.99/bottle (No additional discounts)
Tenuta San Guido ‘Guidalberto’ Toscana IGT 2015 (Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy) – 91 points Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator; 90 Vinous Tenuta San Guido is the legendary winery that conceived of the world-renowned ‘Super Tuscan’ Sassicaia. While Sassicaia is indeed an unbelievable wine, it also requires many years of aging to bring out its best qualities. As a result, the winery created a second wine stylistically similar, but more approachable at an earlier age. Rather than a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc as with Sassicaia, Guidalberto is a blend of Cabernet and Merlot. It’s a fantastic little brother than is also far less money than its older sibling.
“The 2015 vintage promises good things in Tuscany and this wine offers an informal sneak peek at what we can expect from the celebrated Tenuta San Guido vineyards in Bolgheri. The 2015 Guidalberto opens to a darkly saturated garnet hue. It shows similar concentration and power in terms of its aromatic delivery. Aromas are shapely and round with dark fruit nuances followed by leather, spice and dark tar. The wine is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with a smaller part Merlot. You feel the lush softness of the second grape as the wine glides smoothly over the palate. It takes on more weight in the glass. This is a solid buy from Bolgheri on the Tuscany Coast. Drink now-2026.” WA
“Bright black currant and blueberry fruit shine in this red, accented by a dusting of wild herbs, mineral and spice. Turns compact and slightly chewy on the finish, with moderate grip. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Best from 2019 through 2028.” WS
“The 2015 Guidalberto is a delicious, mid-priced red from Tenuta San Guido. Here, too the style is quite restrained for a wine that in the past has played more on textural richness and volume. At times, Guidalberto was richer and more voluptuous in style than Sassicaia, but the 2015 is done in a style that is more similar to that of its big brother. It remains to be seen if that is a true stylistic shift or simply a reflection of the 2015 vintage. In any event, the 2015 is very pretty. Sweet Cabernet Sauvignon aromatics, pliant red-toned fruit and mid-weight structure are the signatures.” V
The ‘go-to’ pairing is for beef, veal or game, as well as hard Italian cheeses. Veal Saltimbocca is a great pairing with this wine.
Cellar Price: $41.99/bottle (No additional discounts)
Marchesi Antinori Guado al Tasso ‘Il Bruciato’ IGT 2016 (Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy) – 94 points James Suckling; 93+Wine Advocate;
90 Wine Spectator
Guado al Tasso’s estate is located in the small but prestigious Bolgheri DOC, on the coast of upper Maremma, about one hundred kilometers southwest from Florence. It has 790 acres of vineyards, all planted to Bordeaux varietals. Wines from this region have produced some of the most expensive and iconic “Super Tuscan” wines of the past 50 years, such as Sassicaia, Tignanello and Guado al Tasso. Which makes this little beauty all the more intriguing and worth buying. With multiple 90+ scores, I think the Wine Advocate says it best:
“This is absolutely one of the best value wines you will find in Italy and I suspect beyond. The 2016 Bolgheri Rosso Il Bruciato is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 15% Syrah. With more than one million bottles made, there should be no problem finding it at your nearest wine merchant. Once you do locate it, I enthusiastically recommend that you pick up a few cases. This vintage comes together with seamless intensity and smoothness. You get so much dark fruit flavor, paired with soft tannins, spice, smoke and dried blackberry. Il Bruciato pulls off its magic effortlessly. It doesn’t try to be anything other than it is: Delicious.” WA
“This second wine shows such a great balance of round tannins and juicy, creamy and chocolate character. Full, flavorful and joyful. Salty and juicy. Savory and even meaty. Drink now or hold.” JS
“Cherry jam, blackberry and floral aromas and flavors prevail in this fruity red. Well-structured and balanced, if showing a youthful exuberance. Fine length. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. Best from 2020 through 2028.” WS
I’ve already mentioned that wild boar is a local Tuscan animal that is considered a special delicacy of the region. So what is better than a slow-roasted pork shoulder simply seasoned with only salt & pepper? Crispy pork shoulder roast is one of my favorites.
Cellar Price: $23.99/bottle (No additional discounts)
Castello Banfi Aska Bolgheri Rosso DOC 2014 (Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy) – 89 points Wine Enthusiast
Predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon with Cabernet Franc, this comes from vineyards in Bolgheri, Tuscany, famous for its prestigious wines and its exceptional territory.
ASKA, in Etruscan means container. The Etruscans used it as a vessel to store wine and olive oil and to collect perfumes and nectars. Much the same blend as the famed Sassicaia, this wine is far more an “every day” red that is totally approachable now flavor-wise and price-wise.
“A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, this opens with ripe dark berry and baking spice scents. The dense palate delivers black currant, tobacco and mocha flavors, fleshed out by round tannins. Drink through 2020.” WE
This wine screams for a steak! As I’ve told anybody who’ll listen, Costco’s steaks are restaurant quality at very reasonable prices. Go buy a big rib eye steak and prepare it with a seasoned butter baste and then enjoy!
Cellar Price: $26.99/bottle (No additional discounts)
You must be at least 21 years old to attend this FREE tasting. Valid photo ID is required. Selections subject to change based on distributor availability.
Wines subject to change based upon distributor availability. You must be at least 21 years to attend this FREE tasting. Valid photo ID is required.