Thursday, 5 April 2012

VinItaly - Days Two and Three, by Mike Unsworth

The following morning I was running around like a headless chicken. Neb phones me and says “hurry up the bus is ready to leave”. “Neb I have lost my passport” I say in dismay. “No you left it at the reception!”  “Oh yes” I cried and promptly left the room without my key to top the embarrassment off. I’m getting too old for this I fear!
Day 2 was a busy day with many appointments and new faces at some of our existing suppliers. Agriverde has fantastic approachable wines at key prices for restaurants. The Pecorino Riseis IGT 2011 was my tipple, great nose with nettle, citrus peel and a zing of acidity.
 Next visit was the husky voiced Leonardo, who under the influence of alcohol shows no mercy on the dance floor and gives any John Travolta impersonator a run for his money!! Back to the wines, the Parva Res will have new labels soon and the packaging will be very smart- we were really impressed. The new vintages show how really good these wines are for the quality of wine inside the bottle. The ideal house wine.

Another couple of potentials followed by Angelini - great portfolio of wines from different areas. The new vintage of Busillis Viognier, Tre Rose is well worth trying: not too tropical or viscous and delightfully fresh and balanced. The various reds are brilliant but the star of the show for me was Vin Santo di Montepulciano 1999, Tre Rose. Sadly stocks are exhausted but the ’04 is developing well.
Next meeting was with Romina, from Tacchino, a lovely lady who works hard. The Gavi de Gavi is one of our biggest selling wines; we looked at a Moscato too which was interesting.
Sprinting down the aisles to our next appointment, Neb seemed to be on roller skates and was walking so fast I was almost sprinting to keep up!
Conti Zecca have new labels which will be coming on stream shortly as well as new vintages, certainly their Negromaro is a great example.
Elena Walch followed quickly after (we are running late!). Such wines here really deserve more time such is the sheer elegance of her wines. It almost makes it compulsory to slow things down and reflect on life. The Pinot Grigio 2011 blows most other PG’s out of the water for me. We also tried a Muller Thurgau, not sure on this one, but it proves popular in the USA where, as we know, they have a sweeter palate… 

Silvano Bolmida has fantastic Barolos and the Barbera d’Alba Conca del Grillo, Bussia 2008 was superb.
A couple more visits then out for dinner in the evening with Francesco. Good food and company with a risotto made with Amarone, now that is a good starter! A few beers in the beautiful square and of course this is where “Romeo and Juliet” was written. The architecture is beautiful with plenty of balconies to sing from!
Last visit in the early hours was Bottega Del Vino- perhaps the most famous wine bar in Verona, Bottega Del Vino has class. Its waiters wear crisp uniforms and its patrons display the height of Veronese style, apart from the two weary wine merchants from Bancroft!!
Next morning, a couple of quick meetings before catching the plane back to Gatwick, including Muratori, a new venture for us. The wines are yet to be confirmed but some real corkers from this estate with fabulous sparklers. 

Last meeting was with the lovely Federica from CaRugate, tasting the Soave Classico San Michele 2011. Whilst perhaps Soave has become a little old fashioned perhaps, this wine is so approachable, well made and very quaffable. The new vintage of the multi award winning Soave Classico Monte Fiorentine needs a little time in bottle, but no doubt will be fantastic and the others including the Valpolicella’s are great value considering the quality.
Although tiring our time in VinItaly was extremely constructive. Now off to the airport finally, where we hear the weather is good for a change!

Written by Mike Unsworth, Regional Trade Sales

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