The Clan gather in Palermo (not Sicily)

… okay so it’s not Palermo Sicilia, it’s Palermo Hollywood, wherever that maybe? “fuggedaboutit”.

This Thing of Ours got together for a little geographical touching-base with the important regions of Italy, at one sitting. (no firearms allowed please Mister Remington)

1996 Barbacarlo Oltrepo Pavese is a Croatina 50%, Uva Rara 30% & Ughetta 20% blend. And what a blend. Garnet, with a complex floral nose and hints of earthy red currant. The softest of tannins still showing, and a hint of spicy salinity. Drinky uppy!

2007 Luce Toscana Rosso IGT from Frescobaldi. I used to sell gallons of this Sangiovese/Merlot back in the 90’s to a guy in San Fransisco. I always think of it as a Hollywood quaffer. There is a baby version aswell but I cannot remember the name right now. Lucette? Anyways, it has bags of Supertuscan sexiness. Super easy to drink and not what I would call a difficult wine at all. A posh picnic red for up on the hills overlooking LA perhaps. Or? even Trundell Hill at Glorious Goodwood week. I prefer the latter idea.

The Clan Gather

2004 Breg Anfora Rosso Josko Gravener is always going to make me sit up and Breg for more. The second vintage of this genius red made from 100% Pignolo showing a dense inky red. Cherries and ripe plumbs abound with stalky acidity and a finish that makes me want to go back for another glass. An outstanding wine, up there already as one of the reds of the year, definitely the evening.

2014 Pranzegg Vigneti delle Dolomiti Rosso IGT “Laurenc” comes with 100% Lagrein inside the bottle. Dark ruby color with darker red fruits leaping around the Alto Adige palate. I could almost taste the granite tunnels that you have to drive through in northern Italy, to get there. An ethereal wine in the best sense, quite elegant and really a surprise. I would like to try this again on it’s own.

2009 Macchiona La Stoppa also know as an Emilia Rosso IGT still comes beautifully made by Elena P. with 50% Bonardo & 50% Barbera. I have followed the La Stoppa stable since their 1990 vintage and would make this one of my house wines if I were able to get my hands on more. Brick red and a nose of mature undergrowth, ripe raisiny dried fruits. Non tannic and having been in a long maceration, has kept it’s youthfulness and freshness that almost offer a hint of sweet red cherry on the finish. Delicious!

2013 Barrua, Agricola Punica from the black island, Sardinia. It’s the second time that I have tried this wine in the last few months and I do find it very good indeed. Deep ruby in colour, offering a young intense Sardinian Carignano herbal palate. A full wine with velvety tannins that ooze class. My other fave Sardinian winery is Argiolas, and I would not compare the two styles. This Barrua is a Super Sardinian in all it’s Tusckaness. (It may have something to do with the winemaker coming here from Bolgheri on his days off to make the wine) Turriga etc…is more authentic of the Sardinian way, for me that is.

2012 Montevetrano blend is made up of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and the rest Aglianico, from Colli di Salerno (IGT). My perfect lunchtime red, needless to say. Tobacco, licorice and blackcurrants all blended together in total harmony. Fine grained tannins and a silky finish.

2005 Collepiano Sangrantino Arnaldo-Capri is a powerful wine in all it’s true meaning. Silly olde me always thinks Caprai’s wine comes from Basilicata, it does not. It is an Umbrian classic, and still a bit closed. Minty, juniper and wild leather (if that’s at all possible). It is a focused wine that does not hold back at all on what it is offering in the way a big red wine.

2012 Barolo Bricco Boschis Cavalotto offered mature Pinoty complexity. Truffles and tar all mixed up in a bowl of roses. Of course there is still a hint of Nebibiolo tannins on the finish, but for me a wine to drink now.

2009 Barolo Elio Altare ‘Vigneto Arborina’. A show stopper! Delicious, intense, grippy and extremely well made. Cherry blossom nose gives this wine the purity of one of the great Barolos, and from a super vintage. The wine of the evening, without doubt. First tasted in the ‘en primeur’ 2009 Barolo tasting in London, 2012. It just gets better and better, and now almost 10 years old.

After Altare’s masterpiece the poor old Amarone from Tommasi did not really have a chance.

But we tasted, with a mature cheeseboard on hand, the 2008 Amarone Tommasi (Corvina Veronese 50%, Rondinella 30%, Corvinone 15% and Oseleta 5%) and 2008 Amarone Ca’Floria Tommasi side by side. Ca’Floria is made up of 75% Corvina Veronese, 15% Corvinone and 10% Rondinella. Both show Valpolicella elegance. Chocolaty, balmy balsamic notes with Black Forest gâteaux fruit. Very old style and both in their way showing the complexities of good Valpolicella.

The ‘administration’ then retired, and the consigliere has made another date, for us to confirm, for our next bit of garbage business. I have made an Omertà not to share with you as yet, the date, the place of the going down.

Mum’s the word.