Five days of tasting Italian wines at the Skirball Cultural Center, the Vino California wine event returned to Los Angeles for an exclusive showcase of wines direct from Italy.
It was also organized in collaboration with Blue Lifestyle who’s founder is Anthony Dias Blue, is a James Beard Foundation Award winner.
This wine event was jammed packed with exclusive Italian wine dinners, industry seminars, a Trade Tasting, and a Grand Tasting for consumers.
My friend and I were invited to attend the Vino California wine event a few weeks ago. She was in search of tasting the many old world Italian wines whereas I had a specific search for Super Tuscans. A couple years ago I attended a Vino California Grand Tasting event and discovered some of the very best Super Tuscans that I’ve ever tasted. Back then, the Super Tuscans were primarily blended with Bordeaux wine like Merlot. This year’s Vino California vendors showcased a lot of Super Tuscans blended with the musty, tart yet sour cherry finish of a Sangiovese and a Bordeaux wine like a Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon or a combination of both. I was amazed to have picked up the hints of cocoa, truffle, currant, and young leather nuances typically found in Bordeaux wines in several amazing Super Tuscans. I found each wine affordable at less than $30 a bottle and drinkable now. My favorite was the 2010 Salustri Marleo Montecucco.
Aside from tasting a lot of Super Tuscans, I also enjoyed the rich, bold fruity flavors of this 2011 Apollonio Rocca dei Mori Briaco Primitivo wine from the Salento region of Puglia, Italy. It tasted similar to a Zinfandel from Lodi, but it had more pumpkin spice and blackberry notes with some earthiness. It retails at $14 a bottle.
However, it was a joy to try this particular wine by Fattoria Nittardi from Chianti that was supposedly made from grapes of a vineyard that was once owned by Michaelangelo. I don’t know if the origin and century old history is true or not, but I do know that I love this award wining wine for its blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah. It’s lightbodied and elegant, and it possesses a wonderful array of berries and licorice notes. An endearing wine to drink.
So if you missed the Vino California Italian wine tasting event, don’t worry about it. They will be back next year to pour more amazing Italian wines.
Vino California http://www.vino-california.com/