Italian Wines over dinner at Harts, Nottingham

13th June 2008

A very enjoyable evening at Harts Restaurant in Nottingham. Interesting, rather than great wines: there weren't really any that stood out.  Harts Restaurant was good again (though the food was not as good as last time, I thought) and the private room is an excellent venue.

Thanks for all the organisation are due to the organiser, Andy Leslie.

All the wines were served blind.

2004 Crede Prosecco, Bisol, 11.5%
Crisp, quite lemony nose with a dry water biscuit note. Some peachy fruit, and plenty of gentle acidity, but quite balanced. A nice easy style. 88/100

2007 Emilio Bulfon Cividin, Vino da tavola bianco, 12.5%
Obviously everyone reading this knows that cividin is the grape. [Wink]
This has a lovely nose with pear fruit and a sweet lemon, sugary edge. There's mention of lemon meringue pie around the table which is on the mark. Just a hint of volatility on the nose too.
Interesting palate, with a grapefruit freshness and crispness. Very good acidity on the finish, where it has a sort of appley-grapefruit feel. Very interesting and very enjoyable wine. 92/100

Gorgeous label:

1991 Soave, Bolla, 11.5%
Was this a bottle that had been across the Atlantic and back again? Anyway, it felt like it. An oxidised old nose with a sort of white bubblegum hint. (I'm not sure what white bubblegum is, but it's the descriptor that came to mind at the time!) Concentrated, oxidised palate. Drinkable and, if you didn't know it was meant to Soave, you might be thinking that these Tondonia wines are rather good. 84/100

2007 Emilio Bulfon Sciaglìn, IGT Venezia Giulia, 12.5%
A very minerally, iodine nose with a sort of oily nuttiness and remarkably strong tomato leaf notes (identified first by Ian, I think). Pleasant palate: quite wide and open with a pleasing dryness, though without any especially notable acidity. This is interesting to try (hmmm ... where the weird grape varieties checklist? Ah, yes, here we are: sciaglìn grape ... tick!), but not really that interesting as a wine. You put it in your mouth; there's a bit of non-descript flavour; then it stops, and it's all over. It just doesn't go anywhere. 86/100

2005 Vigneti di Foscarino Soave Classico, Inama, 13.5%
A deepish colour. White fruits, lilies and lots of minerality on the nose; quite reminiscent of walking into a florist's. Very good palate: rich and full, though just feeling a bit extracted and concentrated. Very nice Soave, in a heavier style. 91/100

1999 Cialla Bianco, Azienda Agricola Ronchi de Cialla, DOC Colli Orientali del Friuli
Corked? It wasn't circulated anyway. Shame: it should have good.

1996 Batàr, IGT Bianco di Toscano, Agricola Querciabella, 13%
A deepish bright gold colour. Oldish, oxidised nose with oak, some cucumber and quite a buttery feel. I'm heading off in Planeta chardonnay type directions.
Full and round on the palate, pretty much following the path set by the nose. There's a spicy oak feel in the mouth and a very lingering finish. 89/100

2004 Terre Alte Rosazzo Bianco, DOC Colli Orientali del Friuli, Livio Felluga, 13.5%
This is a blend of tocai friulano, pinot blanc and sauvignon blanc. The pinot blanc and sauvignon are fermented in stainless steel; the friulano in French oak.
It has a light, fragrant, floral nose, with white flowers and some orange and grapefruit zest, but there's also an interesting lactic character. Much, much fuller on the palate than on the nose. This has complex, full flavours. Rounded, full and very interesting. There's quite an acidic bite on the finish and lingering long after. Lovely stuff. 92/100

1990 Carpineto Chianti Classico, 12.5% (this has a US importer's label on the back of the bottle)
An old nose, though it doesn't look old. Maybe a bit cooked. Decent attack with red fruit, but it falls away massively. Very lean with the remains of drying tannins on the finish. 85/100

1980 Brunello di Montalcino, Baricci, Az. Agr. Colombaio di Montosoli, 13.5%
A strange nose: stinky and a bit cheesy. Not attractive. Pretty dead on the palate.

1985 Gianfranco Soldera Intistieti, Vino da Tavola, Azienda Agricola Case Basse di Gianfranco Soldera, 14%
A slightly stinky, reductive nose feeling old and past it. A bit better on the palate than on the nose. Alive but old. There's some red fruit stilll there, but lots of old tired tannins. 87/100

2001 Spargolo Sangiovese de Toscana, IGT Toscana, Cecchi, 14%
A youngish appearance. Chocolatey red fruit and cherries on the nose.. Lovely vibrant fruit. Feeling fairly modern, soft and very drinkable. But lacks a bit of structure. 86/100

2001 Poliziano Asinone, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, 14%
A slightly musty nose, but actually in a nice way, with savoury black fruits. Very nice palate: layers of falvorus. Possibly some hot notes, but it rounds itself off very nicely. It has a lovely bitter fruit character. 90/100

1998 Chianti Classico Riserva, Colle Lungo, 13.5%
A slightly mushroomy nose with lots of red fruit. Very nice palate, with interesting complexity. Nice tannins that linger in the mouth long after. Not tannic in the way of a big new world over-oaked wine, but there are lots of tannins. 89/100

1996 Castello di Brolio, Casalferro, IGT Sangiovese di Toscana, 13%
An attractive voluptuous nose with a bit of black fruit and a souky spice market feel. Attractive attack. There's forward fruit initially, but it falls away very quickly. A touch hot on the finish. But works rather nicely. 89/100

1997 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, Castiglion del Bosco

1997 Riserva, Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano DOCG, Crociani, 13.5%
A very attractive nose - mushroomy black fruit and black cherries. Luscious (the word sexy is being bandied about) attack. Lots of tannins build towards the finish. There's a nice fruit acid lift. Very balanced. Lovely spicy, spiky finish. 92-93/100
As I say, this really divided the table. I (and others) loved it; others hated it. 

2001 Granato, Foradori, IGT Vigneti delle Dolomiti Rosso, 13%
Circulating in two halves, which fortunately both arrived at me at the same time, so I was able to taste both: what a difference!
First half: Rich blackberry and chocolate nose. Dull palate - fairly full on, but a bit boring. It just sits there on the palate, lazily not doing anything. 85/100
Second half: A bit less rich and syrupy on the nose. Lovely voluptuous palate. Very balanced and elegant, but with a lovely ripeness. 91/100

1999 Brunello di Montalcino DOCG Vigna di Pianrosso, Ciacci Piccolimoni d'Aragona, 14%
A very curious, refined nose with some redness and lots of honey (thanks Emma). Very ripe fruit on the attack, feeling very silky. But then it falls away quickly (yet another wine to fall away too quickly), ending up with just grippy tannins, without anything to sustain them. 83/100

1997 Casanuova di Neri, Tenuta Nuova, DOCG Brunello di Montalcino, 14%
There are black fruits on the nose with some spirit. Very deep nose, possibly almost a bit closed. Powerful sweet fruit on the palate, but it gives way quickly to pretty aggressive tannins. But this time, there is something in there to support the tannins and this is going to last and develop a while. 88/100

1995 Sassicaia, DOC Bolgheri Sassicia, Tenuta San Guido Bolgheri, 12%
The nose some black cherry and blackcurrant fruit with a slight mushroomy note and some green vegetal notes. There's a richness on the palate, which feels fairly direct. Quite sweet fruit. Good acidity. But it lacks depth a bit. Good tannins on the finish. 91/100

2001 Brunello di Montalcino, Tenuta il Poggione, Proprietà Franceschi, 14%
A floral, elegant, poised nose with some strawberry and cherry fruit. Very vibrant, very attractive palate. It's immediately attractive with a chocolatey-black fruit richness which then gets backed up by a firm tannic strucure and a nice woody spice. 92/100

1964 Chianti Classi Nipozanno, Frescobaldi, 13%
The nose has cooked, dark furniture polish and maybe, just maybe a hint of fruit. Sweet on the palate and there's no doubting this is cooked and maderised.
On the other hand, this is the best bottle out of the four that I bought at auction a few years ago, and you can actually drink this without gagging. This started to grow on me, once you started to think of it more as a very old Madeira. 82/100 completely blind and assuming it was meant to be maderised. As Chianti, off.

NV Vino da Tavola, Valentein, Maurizio Nervi & Ezio Negro
Believed to be about 6-7 years old. It has a fragrant muscatty nose - a sweet muscat, rather than a d'Asti style. Very light, fresh muscat on the palate: lovely fragrance and balance. 90/100

2005 Recioto di Soave, DOCG Vino Spumante dolce, Balestri Valda, 11.5%
A gorgeous peachy, raspberry and white chocolate nose. Much drier on the palate than on the nose. Quite an extracted feel that doesn't offer huge pleasure. 81/100

2004 Recioto della Valpolicella DOC, Corte Sant' Alda, 14.5%
There are sweet blackberry fruits on the nose with a chocolatey richness. Very herbal, though. Sweetish, velvety palate, which resolves itself into a quite chocolate-blackberry flavour. Just a hint of heat on the finish. 88/100

1998 Maculan Acininobili, IGT Veneto, 12%
Half bottle.
A bronzey deep gold. Rich, honeyed, fragrant nose, slightly raisined. Very poised palate. Lovely, haunting sweetness without any hint of cloying. 91/100


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Last updated: 30 December 2008