Italian wine tasting at The Wine Country in Signal Hill, Ca.

As I sit in LAX waiting for my delayed flight back to Eugene I figure I should do something productive. The reason I am here is because I watched the Ducks beat up on previously undefeated Florida State in the Rose Bowl. What a game!

I also attended an Italian wine tasting at The Wine Country in Signal Hill, CA. I will go over the wines tasted, along with my notes and then summarize what I took from the tasting.

1 2012 Valfaccenda Roero Arneis – Piedmont ($25)

2 2013 Kettmeir Muller Thurgau – Alto Adige ($20)

3 2012 Antico Fuoco Rosso – Veneto ($12)

4 2011 Schola Sarmenti Critera Primitivo – Puglia ($15)

5 2011 Isole e Olena Cepparello – Tuscany ($68)

6 2009 Ciacci Piccolini Brunello – Tuscany ($50)

7 2010 Bindi Sergardi Chianti Classico – Tuscany ($68)

8 2007 Bosco Agostino Barolo La Sera – Piedmont ($45)

9 2008 Ettore Germano Barolo Riserva – Piedmont ($90)

10 2004 Fontanabianca Barbaresco Sori Burdin – Piedmont ($50)

11 2011 Antinori Solaia – Tuscany ($250)

12 2010 Massimago Amarone – Vento ($68)

13 2007 Villa S. Andrea Vin Santo “Occhio del Pernice” – Tuscany ($35)

1 4 days of skin contact created tannins and a rich mouth feel. Very little nose. Not my style of white. 84

2 Stone fruit on nose, peach pit, Gwertz like spice on palate. 87

3 60% Merlot, 40% Corvina, aged in stainless, no oak. Candied cherry on nose, hint of chocolate, plum and cocoa palate. 90

4 Black raspberry, pepper on nose. Licorice, olive on palate. 90

5 Dill/Fennel on nose. Spicy berries and mineral on palate. More structure, definitely needs time. 88 now, maybe 92 in 5 years.

6 All olive on nose, bitter dark chocolate on palate. 30 months in slovenian oak is a little over the top. 87

7 Licorice and caramel on nose, caramel almost too sweet. Juicy fruit, a little salami and herbs on palate. 86 because of caramel dominating nose. Could be very nice if oak integrates

8 So very tannic. Rustic nose, very harsh tannins on palate. 85

9 Again way too young. Great structure but 10 years too soon. Would wear my palate out now! 87

10 Not as much oak as previous two wines. Meat and herbs on nose. Still lots of tannins on palate. At least 5 more years needed on this wine. 88

11 Chocolate and eucalyptus on nose, very complex. Too young to drink, tannins are intense. 90

12 Grapes dried for 80 days. Tastes like chocolate covered raisins. Over the top. 83

13 100% Sangiovese dried then pressed and aged 3 years in oak in the attic for heat. Sweet, oxidized. Not my style NR

This tasting cost $45 to attend. As you can tell by my scores I wasn’t overly impressed with the wines. A big part of that is because of the style of most of the wines was so tannic, almost undrinkable. I preferred #3 and #4, the lower price wines that were aged in very little oak, or none at all. I thought those wines would pair very well with Italian food. Most of the heavy reds would need a big piece of meat to soften the tannins and I am not sure that would do it. This tasting was very well done with lots of information provided. I have a lot of respect for the people at Wine Country, they have a wealth of knowledge. My scores and opinions reflect my palate and the wine styles I prefer. I am glad I live in Oregon where Pinot Noir thrives in the north and Tempranillo is showing well in the south.

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