An evening with Marchese Piero Antinori

Sunday October 28 (2007) I had the pleasure of attending a tasting at Ristorante Otto in the swanky W hotel. The tasting was hosted by Maxxium wine agents and their special guest was Marchese Piero Antinori. The Marchese was in town touring with the Instituto di Vino di Qualita Grandi Marchi . No he’s not a rock star. He’s the president of a group of 18 historic Italian wine producers such as Gaja, Biondi Santi and Mastroberardino who travel the world promoting their exceptional wines. This year Montreal was the city chosen.I tasted verticals of Brunelllo di Montalcino Pian delle Vigne and Guado al Tasso, one of their Super Tuscan blends from Bolgheri.

My notes
Vertical of Brunello di Montalcino Pian delle Vigne 1996-2001
All of the vintages had a thread of similarity that linked them all except for two vintages. The first wine that we tasted was the 1996 and was discovered to be slightly corked. (Later replaced with another bottle) The 2000 vintage was weaker in power and fruit and stood out to be inferior to the rest of them. Despite these two, the rest all had similar mushroom, sottobosco, plum and cherry fruit. Medium to full bodied very elegant wines with good acidity for long ageing.

Veritcal of Guado al Tasso 1998, 99, 00, 01, 03

Guado al Tasso means Badger’s ford. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. The vines are located in the Bolgheri region of Tuscany, in the south western coast about 100km south west of Florence.

My Notes

Completely different from the Pian delle Vigne. The nose of is more intense and explosive. The 98 vintage stood out from the rest. It seemed to be the most evolved ready to drink of the bunch. Like a well matured Bordeaux. Wonderful notes of leather and cedar and cassis. Full bodied elegant and rich. Gorgeous!

The 2003 was the least interesting of all. The wine was reflective of the vintage - almost port-like. High in alcohol, and highly oaked. The others were silmilar but extremely closed and not ready to drink. If the 1998 was an indication of greatness to come from the other wines, than Guado al Tasso will be amongst the greatest wines of Italy for a long time.

Dinner was even more special. A wonderful three course meal prepared by OTTO’s chef Nick D’Onofrio.

Yellow fin tuna Kampachi Carpaccio
Risotto with mushrooms served with braised veal cheeks and white truffle
Grilled veal chop seved with a caponata
Gianduia Chocolate
Cervaro della Sala 2005
Tignanello 1993
Tignanello 1994
Solaia 1993
Solaia 1994