A glorious night out with the Czech Republic!

4 Oct
2008

Tonight we had a great time. Gianni, Andrea, Stefano and myself drove to Mango to a low-key trattoria where Stefano’s friend, Geoff Chilcott of New Zealand had friends over from the Czech Republic. We were a group of 18 in total. Geoff works for the Gresy family winery in Barbaresco and has been living here for the last twenty years or so. We all had to bring a covered bottle of wine…or two. Hence about 24 wines in total! What a festa!

All the bottles at the end of the night…

So the dinner party started after 9pm. Classic. To kick off the evening in case we didn’t think we would be drinking enough wine that night, we had an aperativo of Champagne. Philippounat I believe. From there flowed the wine continuously with options games taking place.

Five antipasto dishes (including prosciutto with puff pastry, salami, insalata russa, carne crudo di vitello, which I love, tripe and tripe soup with fagioli beans). Primi was next with ravioli in sage and butter sauce, a classic Piemontese pasta dish which I have become a bit of a wiz at. Several secondi were put in front of us which I gladly consumed, including cinghiale with polenta and guinea fowl.

Fratelli Cigliuti’s Serraboella vineyard Barbaresco 1989

At about 1pm or a bit after the nocciola ice cream and pineapple tart dessert arrived and 24 bottles of wine were polished off. I had brought with me the One Eye Shadowfax 2005 Shiraz, which looked quite good, but so not European so it stood out amongst everything else.

Go the ‘Fax!

Drank:

Brut Champagne by Gobillar (50% Chardonnay, 25% each PN & PM). Wonderful lees characters, refreshing and balanced.

2003 Bouin Muscat di Frontignac from Macedonia. Seemed like a Sauvignon Blanc, still fresh, but quite simple.

2005 Langhe Sauvignon Blanc by Parusso – Montforte d’Alba

1998 Langhe Chardonnay by Tenute Cisa Asinari dei Marchesi di Gresy – Martinenga. Opened up beautifully with time in the glass, still fresh with a lot of oak influence which did not dominate though. Overall impressive.

2006 Arneis by Malvira – Rodera. Simple but admittedly a good example of this Piemontese variety.

2006 Pinot Nero by Boheme in Czech Republic. Seemed like a Gamay but was actually a Pinot Noir.

2007 Suche’ Neronet by Esterka in Czech Republic di Moldavia. Wine with a dark colour, high pH, sweet palate, is a native grape.

2001 Valpolicella Superiore di Veneto. I thought it was Grenache, Stefano guessed Nebbiolo. Damn.

2007 Rose d’Austria using Blaufrankish.

2005 Shiraz ‘One Eye’ by Shadowfax – Heathcote. After sampling Italian wines with high acidity and less obvious fruit, this Aussie Shiraz stood out like a sort thumb. Most people guessed it and they thought it was quite a big wine, which is true especially in relation to its alcohol content.

2004 Pinot Nero from Valais, Switzerland. I could tell it was distinctly Pinot Noir but wrongly assumed it was a nice Burgundy. My first wine ever from here! And I am impressed! The acidity is higher in these wines than Burgundies too.

2007 Nebbiolo Langhe by Gresy, Martinenga in Barbaresco. For a wine this young it was surprisingly drinkable now!

2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Aglianico blend by Montevetrano in Campagna.

2001 Sagrantino by Montefarco in Umbria. Was a tired, problematic wine.

2003 red grape by Pallavo- Sicilia. Corked.

1998 La Spinetta Valeirano Barbaresco. Looking tired with loss of fruit, cork’s fault!

2003 Chapoutier’s Chateauneuf du Pape in the Rhone. Lovely wine.

2005 Bourjeoes Cru Bordeaux in Medoc

2003 Merlot da solo by Gresy, Martinenga in Barbaresco.

1989 Fratelli Cigliuti Barbaresco Serraboella. Stood up to the test and was a lovely wine, old age bottle characters, still juicy fruit, firm tannins. Superb.

1998 Malvira Roero Superiore. Quite a robust wine, not tired at all.

2007 Moscato d’Asti by Goergis, Mango in Piemonte.

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