All these wines are listed at Alba restaurant, which has a terrific selection of Gambero Rosso-winning wines.
Casa Zuliani Sauvignon Blanc 2003 – DOC Collio, Friuli: classic NE Italian lively and pungent Sauvignon – closer to the Loire than NZ with its herbaceousness, but showing greater palate weight with attractive tomato plant notes; good finish – joint favourite white if the night.
Cesconi Nosiola 2003 – IGT Vigneti delle Dolomiti, Trentino – tangy native white grape variety with lemony Coxes Orange Pippen flavours, fresh acidity and a hint of fennel – a real seafood wine.
Jermann Pinot Grigio 2004 – IGT Venezia Giulia, Friuli – its copper tone sets it apart from the standard pinot grigio – serious, complex PG, closer to Alsace with its spicy apricot kernal flavours and nougat notes, but with livelier acidity. Stunning minerally, steely finish – joint favourite white of the night.
Marco Felluga Tocai Friulano 2003 – DOC Collio, Friuli – classic Tocai profile with a soft, suave mouthfeel of nutty, macademia fruit with peach kernal and raddichio notes imparting a (pleasantly) bitter edge (worked well with supper).
Colterenzio Gewurtraminer 2004 DOC Alto Adige – this is the co-op’s baby Gewurtz so I’d love to try their top Cornell wine – very much my style of Gewurtz: fabulous freshness and focus (not a blouse in sight!), with spice, ginger and Turkish Delight notes. Terrific and joint favourite white of the night.
St Micheal Eppan Pinot Nero/Blauburgund-er Riserva 2001, DOC Alto Adige – pale and pretty Pinot with delicate raspberry and strawberry fruit, a touch of leaf and coffee, soft tannins – good.
Foradori Teroldego 2002, DOC Teroldego Rotaliano, Trentino-Alto Adige – intriguing, lifted nose of balsamic dressed cherry and plum fruit with darker coffee notes. The palate is succulent with black cherry, yet earthy and nuanced with balsamic, soy, violet and coffee bean layers; chunky texture with present but ripe tannins and elegant acidity – I had a foretaste in Rome at Cavour 313, Via Cavour with a carpaccio of tuna in a soy dressing – a sublime combination!
Neidermayr Lagrein 2002, S?dtirol, DOC Lagrein dell’ Alto Adige – an inky wine, showing radicchio, violets and earthy notes on the nose; good depth of black cherry and plum fruit with wilder bilberry notes. Chunky tannins and balanced acidity – good food wine for hearty fare.
Franz Hass Merlot 1999 DOC Alto Adige – a super smoothie, everything a good merlot should be with spicy, fragrant blueberry fruit on the nose which follows through on the palate together with richer plum pudding and fruitcake flavours and a lingering, slightly smoky finish. Well-balanced acidity and ripe but present tannins give structure to this fleshy wine – favourite red of the night.
Franz Hass Moscato Rosa Trentini 2002, DOC Alto Adige – a “silly smile”, yet serious wine – exuberantly fruity sweet and spicy rosé with plenty of zip; delightful flavours of ginger, lychee and rose make this perfect for pairing with Chinese food.
Girolamo Dorigo Picolit Passito 2001 - Vigneto Montselapade, DOC Colli Orientali del Friuli – the rare Picolit, known as Italy’s Yquem fully justified its reputation – My Wine of the Month and favourite wine of the night – aged in acacia wood, its delicate, honeyed, floral flavours mingled with acacia, almond and calisson notes – very pure, lingering and long with an ephemeral, silky texture – gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!!!
The Wine Detective