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Great Grange & Grand Italians – A wine tasting event

20 Mar

2012

Penfolds Grange is unquestionably Australia’s most famous red wine and has reached celestial heights in terms of adoration and expectation. From its experimental inception in 1951 by winemaker Max Schubert, Grange has been lovingly crafted to shine as a uniquely Australian wine of longevity, power and class.

“Grange’s aesthetic quality and remarkable aging potential is the stuff of legends.”

Andrew Caillard MW

In line with the 20-year celebration of the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, an event was arranged that could commemorate the significance of this anniversary. Two bottles each of Penfolds Grange 1971 and 1976 (tested by the clinic in 2011) were obtained from a close friend of the owner of my workplace. The extensive museum Italian wine list was pulled out for perusal. It was like being a kid in a candy store as eight other wines were chosen that hail from Italy which would sit alongside Australia’s most iconic wine. The wines selected are classified in the upper echelon of quality and come from the most respected producers. These include rare wines such as Ceretto Bricco Rocche Barolo Brunate 1990, Produttori del Barbaresco Montefico 1985, Mastrojanni Brunello di Montalcino Schiena d’Asino 1990, Tedeschi Amarone della Valpolicella ‘Monte Olmi’ 1991, Castello di Ama Chianti Classico 1997 and even the famous Toscana IGT wine Antinori’s Tignanello 1985 and Bolgheri’s inimitable Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia DOC 1987.

In total, the combined age of these wines is over 200 years. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and one that I feel privileged to have been able to pour at. Below is a visual diary of the evening with small commentary made as to the condition of the wines.

La Donna del Vino savouring a glass of Grange

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The Tasting: Valpolicella, Amarone and the venerable Speri

2 Aug
2011

A week ago on the 27th July 2011, the wonderful Sommeliers Australia association put together a delightful tasting for twenty willing Members at the old Melbourne Wine Room in St Kilda. The tasting was hosted by none other than The Wine Guide’s Dan Sims, with panel members including Speri winemaker Luca Speri, Italian wine importer Matt Paul from Trembath & Taylor and La Donna del Vino. I sat up the front voraciously anticipating the good things to come over the next two hours.

What words do you associate with an Amarone della Valpolicella wine tasting? Let me tell you: Velvety. Voluptuous. Vim. Vibrant. Va va voom! Exaggeration aside, my brain cannot ignore the urge it has to continue that alliteration of the letter ‘v’ by making reference to the script from a scene in the movie, ‘V for Vendetta’. Right here. Right now. Apologies for confusing anybody. Blame my brain.

Voila!

In view, a humble Vaudevillian Veteran, cast Vicariously as both Victim and Villain by the Vicissitudes of fate. This Visage, no mere Veneer of Vanity, is a Vestige of the Voc populi, now Vacant, Vanished. However, this Valorous Visitation of a bygone Vexation stands Vivified, and has Vowed to Vanquish these Venal and Viulent Vermin Vanguarding Vice and Vouchsafing the Violently Vicious and Voracious Violation of Volition!

The only Verdict is Vengeance- a Vendetta, held as a Votice- not in Vain, for the Value and Veracity of such shall one day Vindicate the Vigilant and the Virtuous. [Chuckling].

Verily, this Vichyssoise of Verbiage Veers most Verbose, so let me simply add that it’s my Very good honor to meet you, and you may call me V.

As spoken in V’s introduction to Evey – V for Vendetta (2006)

Enough of that. Now to the details of the tasting!

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The Wines of Valpolicella – Fratelli Speri

21 Jun
2011

Fratelli Speri is located in the the wine zone known famously as Valpolicella within the Veneto region of north-east Italy. It lies within the province of Verona. Working back that’s the winery (Speri), then the zone (Valpolicella), then the province (Verona), then the region (Veneto). Don’t worry, I get confused too. They make a number of wine styles including Valpolicella, Ripasso, Amarone and Recioto (all to be explained later). There is also a casual review of their Speri Valpolicella Vigneto La Roverina DOC 2008 to finish things off. But firstly, here is an excerpt by the Speri family that I enjoyed.

From left: Gianpaolo, Gianpietro, Luca, Chiara & Alberto

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Prince Wine Store Tasting: Tre Bicchieri Winners & A Few Favourites!

4 Jan
2011

Well it has taken me an awful long time to get around to this but finally I can rave about a tasting I went to in December 2010 with Michael McNamara at the Prince Wine Store in Bank St, South Melbourne. All the wines are available there. After the free oyster and French Chablis tasting in the store, you could pay $35 and go into the Pod to try Italian goodies! You’d be silly not to, right?

Apparently only six other older gentlemen agreed with my logic.

One lady…many men

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