Bibemus & ABBA do Chianti & the Super-duper Tuscans

4 Dec

“Super-duper Tuscans gonna blind me
But I won’t feel blue
Like I always do
‘Cause Chianti’s in the crowd there too”

[Apologies from the daggy Krystina for ruining Abba’s Super Trooper song. On a side note, did you ever notice how annoying Agnetha’s pointing arm gets after the third time?]

Late one Monday evening a fresh group of Bibemus club members were beckoned by my terrible song choice tacked onto an invitation to gather together at Mister Bianco in Kew. Anthony D’Anna and Matteo Paulo had put in a lot of effort to source a grand total of nineteen Italian wines in line with the theme ‘Chianti & Super-duper Tuscans’ for dinner. They also organised for the kitchen and its Florentine chef to prepare us a super tasty menu.

The evening went a little something like this:

ABBA celebrating the great Chianti and Super Tuscans with Bibemus


Food: Panzanella salad and yoghurt dressing, pappa al pomodoro and gnudo di ricotta served with a selection of florentine crostini

Starter Wine) Grattamacco Vermentino DOC 2010 – Sees new barriques. Flavours and aromas of white peach, smoked white meat, Trebbiano-like, bitter finish, woody herbs, mineral chalky texture, medium acidity with a salty finish.

Bracket One

Wine 1) Castellare di Castellina Chianti Classico 2010 13.0% alc – Deep forest fruits, licorice, musky hints in the background, bloody mid-palate, warm red fruits, gentle tannins and spicy finish. Ranked 4/4.

Wine 2) San Giusto a Rentennano Chianti Classico 2010 14.0% alc – sealed under Diam. Warm red fruits, vanillin lick, sticky tannins, wild strawberry liqueur, savoury finish with hung meat flavour. Ranked 2/4.

Wine 3) Poggerino Chianti Classico 14.0% alc. – sealed under Diam. Savoury, mineral, black cherry liqueur, delicateness in everything, seamless tannins, balanced acidity, classic, pristine Sangiovese. Poggerino was the first Chianti Classico I ever tried, back in 2006 with Anthony D’Anna while I was working vintage with his twin brother Franco at Hoddles Creek Estate. Suffice to say that it still impresses me and was thus ranked 1/4.

Wine 4) Rocca di Montegrossi Chianti Classico 2010 14.00% alc. – with 5% Colorino and 5% Canaiolo. Ripe alcoholic, ripe red fruits like cherries, forest fruits, black silty tannins, long, deep, hints of rosemary. Grown on rocky soils, picked a little too late, without the texture to support it like the Poggerino does. Ranked 3/4.


Food: Pappardelle with sugo of hare, risotto of braised onion and quail ragu

Bracket Two

Wine 1) Monsanto Il Poggio Chianti Classico Riserva 2007 – Rich, ripe red mulberries, sour cherry, licorice, grippy, savoury tannins, tingle of acidity, black charry soot finish. Ranked 4/5.

Wine 2) Castellare di Castellina Chianti Classico Riserva 2007 (30th vintage special) – Has an LUC of over $100. Plenty of new oak, stewed barbecue sauce, black savoury line, oxidative style, big, old tannins, ground coffee texture. Ranked the lowest at 5/5.

Wine 3) San Giusto a Rentennano Chianti Classico Riserva 2007 Le Baroncole – approximate LUC $53. Bright herbal nose, long savoury meaty finish, texture ‘all day tannins’, acidity tang. Delicious to consume. Ranked as my favourite and one of my wines of the night 1/5.

Wine 4) Poggerino Chianti Classico Riserva 2007 – approximate LUC $53. Ripe, black fruits, licorice, more enriched sweet tannins, spike of acidity, yet balanced. Ranked 2/5.

Wine 5) Mazzei Castello Fonterutoli Chianti Classico Riserva 2007 – approximate LUC $68. Cabernet-like green capsicum character, mature black fruits, herbal with a sweet/sour component that was not entirely appealing. Ranked 3/5.

Overall a rather disappointing bracket aside from the San Giusto and Poggerino. Overripe extracted styles seem to be the go for the Riserva category where they end up coming across unbalanced and over-worked.


Food: Rabbit fricasee, trippa fiorentina and white polenta, T-bone fiorentina

Bracket Three

Wine 1) San Giusto a Rentennano Percarlo 2001 – 100% Sangiovese. Black sweet cherry, licorice, black savoury dominance, long finish, prominent but soft tannins, Sangiovese bite. Incredible length. Ranked 1/3 and my wine of the night.

Wine 2) Isola e Olena Cepparello 2001 – 100% Sangiovese. Cherry liqueur, long, salty, savoury, peppery, ripe, with soft tannin profile. Ranked 2/3.

Wine 3) Fontodi Flacianello delle Pieve 1996 – 100% Sangiovese. Unfortunately suffering a severe case of brettanomyces. Insert sad face.


Food: Selection of Tuscan cheeses

Bracket Four

Wine 1) Antinori Tignanello 2007 – made with 85% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc. Black balsamic, liqueur notes, dense herbal and woody characters, rosemary and sage, mineral lightness. Crackingly good wine. Drinking beautifully now too. Ranked 1/4.

Wine 2) Antinori Tignanello 2008 – a more tropical year with black ripe fruit aromas, fresh and savoury elements too, hints of iodine, red & black licorice stick, spice, finishes with chalky tannins. Bit of a VA lift. Ranked 4/4.

Wine 3) Antinori Tignanello 2009 – Ripe plum, high octane, violets, black olives, peach skin lift, super concentrated black fruit flavours, closed. Ranked 3/4 but with great future potential.

Wine 4) Antinori Tignanello 1990 – 13% compared to the others which were all a degree higher. Complex herbal characters dominating, coffee grounds, florals, weak tobacco, mineral finish. Sublimely elegant and a beautifully aged wine. Ranked 2/4.

We completed the evening with some cantucci alongside two slightly ordinary Vin Santo. Nevertheless, the red wines performed extremely well and I was overall impressed to find the quality in the San Giusto a Rentennano and Poggerino wines to be outstanding.

I normally like to finish a post with something ridiculous and tied in with the theme. This week is no different. So entertain yourself momentarily with this great promotional photo of ABBA. Notice the white overalls with platforms and a golden puffed pirate shirt. That is all.


One Response to “Bibemus & ABBA do Chianti & the Super-duper Tuscans”

  1. veneta December 4, 2012 at 8:28 AM #

    I am laughing so hard….at the moment at Abba’s clothing style but LOVE IT. And love the song SUPER TROUPER. Guess I will be humming that all day too. Thanks La Donna Del Vino…you seem to have Kandinsky moments with your wines & music and make reading your blogs very enjoyable. Some people have synesthesisia and see colors in words & numbers, you hear music when you taste wine. 0

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