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Review: 5/31/03 Sunset Corners Superstars From Tuscany Tasting

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  • Leo Bueno
    5/31/03 Sunset Corners Superstars From Tuscany Tasting A friend a few days ago ordered a couple of glasses of Chianti at Vino and was surprised by the tab. In
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 1, 2003

      5/31/03 Sunset Corners Superstars From Tuscany Tasting

      A friend a few days ago ordered a couple of glasses of Chianti at Vino and was surprised by the tab.  In his mind, Chianti meant pedestrian; he needed not ask about price when he ordered, since what he was ordering must have been cheap stuff.  I suspect he remembered his younger years when Chianti was likely an everyday beverage for his family.  He must have recalled the straw bottles from the 1970s and 1980s which gave Chianti its image and hard to shake reputation as low-end product.  We here at miamiWine know better.  There is good wine made in Chianti (which is in Tuscany by the way).

      When Mike announced the free Tuscany tasting (see post at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/miamiWINE/message/395), I peeked at the prices, so I had an idea of the price points, but not the price of individual wines when I tasted.

      2000 Valdicava Rosso di Montalcino $29.99
      1999 Felsina Chianti Classico $29.99
      1997 Felsina Chianti Classico Riserva $39.99
      1997 Felsina Fontallaro $79.99
      1998 Fontodi Chianti Classico $29.99

      I got to the tasting late and was in a bit of a hurry, so I did not take notes (and I hope Mike chimes in to correct my facts).  There were actually six wines, two of which--Felsina Chiantis--were not available for sale.  So it looks like the above lineup is missing those two or has one extra sale entry listed.  

      If my memory serves me right, one of the unlisted wines was the 1994 Felsina Chianti Classico Riserva.  Mike mentioned that 1994 was not a good vintage.  However, that wine was all-around pleasant.  Time had nicely smoothed it already.  I speculate (since I don't have sufficient experience to make these sorts of predictions) that it was now at its peak and would probably not get much better.  It was great to see the contrast with the the younger 1997.  Those of you who did not attend missed the opportunity to contrast these Chiantis but also to begin to dispel the perception that Chianti is synonymous with low quality.

      I picked up a bottle of the 2000 Valdicava Rosso di Montalcino (located about 25 miles South of Chianti, for those of you who care about these things; see map at http://tuscansensations.equat.net/media/Tuscany.jpg).   The shop has it for sale at $33.99 but honored the $29.99 posted price.  I gave it as a gift to Alina's parents (so you know I stand behind this wine at the risk of losing points with the daughter!), whose wine preferences I don't know.  I figured this would be a good and safe pick.  I could sense a bit of residual sugar and berry nose, reminiscent of California style products.  So, whether they like the old or new world styles, they can enjoy this one (and I hope they invite me to open it so I can enjoy it again).  At $33.99 though, the price is a bit on the high end, according to listed Wine-Searcher.com entries (which follow).

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      Location and Description Services Wine Details
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      Sherry-Lehmann USA (NY): New York, NY. Fine wine merchant. Retail-Service Online-Ordering World-Wide-Delivery Valdicava Rosso di Montalcino 2000, 2000 $24.95
      The Wine Room USA (CA): Irvine, CA. Wine merchant. Retail-Service 00 Valicava Rosso di Mont., 2000 $25.99
      Liquid Partyworks USA (CA): Chatsworth, CA. Mostly Californian wines store, with many small production, new wineries. Retail-Service Valdicava Rosso Red table Montalcino, 2000 $26.49
      John and Petes Fine Wines & Spirits USA (CA): Los Angeles, CA. Serving the West Hollywood area for over sixty years, with allocations of many hard to find wines. Retail-Service VALDICAVA ROSSO DI MONTALCINO, 2000 $27.99
      Pops Wines & Spirits USA (NY): Island Park, NY. Fine wine merchant. Discounts available. Retail-Service Online-Ordering World-Wide-Delivery Rosso Di Montalcino, Valdicava, 2000 $28.08

      World-Wide-Delivery =World-wide delivery. Online-Ordering =Full e-commerce web site. Retail-Service =Primarily a retail business.
      Check with the merchant for stock availability. Prices are indicative only and show the date obtained. Wine-Searcher is not responsible for printing errors, inaccuracies, or omissions.

      Leo Bueno
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