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A Wine Lover's Diary, Part 601: Tre Bicchieri (June 13, 2016)

My two 94-point wines at the Tre Bicchieri tasting

Monday, June 6th: Down to Liberty Grand for a Master Class on Gambero Rosso's special Tre Bicchieri award wines conducted by the book's editor-in-chief, Marco Sabellico. He told us 421 wines received 3 glasses (tre bicchieri in Italian) for the 29th edition. 70 tasters assessed 22,000 wines.

  • Ca' del Bosco Franciacorta Dosage Zero Brut Noie Vintage Collection Riserva 2004: straw colour; bready, citrus and apple nose; elegant, beautifully balanced, minerally, lovely mouth-feel; great length with a toasty finish. (94)
  • Terre Stregate Falanghina del Sannio Svelator 2014: bright straw colour; spicy, lemony, minerally nose with a floral note; crisply dry, beautifully balanced, smoky, lemony flavour with great length. (90)
  • Schiopetto Collio Friulano 2014: straw colour; minerally, struck flint nose of licorice and citrus with an animal note; elegant, beautifully balanced, lovely mouth feel with yellow plum sweet grapefruit flavours with a floral note. (91)
  • Manincor A. A. Terlano Sauvignon Tannenburg 2013: straw colour; grassy animal nose, white Bordeaux style; medium-bodied, dry, well-balanced, green plum flavour with a suggestion of oak. (91)
  • Pietradolce Etna Rosso Barbagalli 2012: ruby colour; minerally, cherry and plum bouquet; medium-bodied, dusty, grainy, firmly structured with an earthy finish. (89)
  • Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Asili 2012: ruby with a tawny note; cherry, licorice, rose petal nose; beautifully balanced and elegant; firmly structured with a lovely mouth-feel. (93)
  • Guado al Meio Bolgheri Rosso Superiore Atis 2012: deep purple colour; cedary, blackcurrant nose; ripe and full in the mouth with plum and currant flavours; great balance with a firm finish. (90)
  • Allegrini Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2011: dense purple colour; blackcurrant nose with a floral (lavender) grace note; elegant, lively mouth-feel, richly extracted blackcurrant and cherry flavours, full in the mouth and beautifully balanced. (94)
  • La Crotta di Vegneron Valle d'Aosta Chambave Moscato Passito Prieuré 2013: old gold colour; lilac and honey on the nose; medium-bodied, spicy, pear and rose water flavours with great length. (92)

Then downstairs for the Tre Bicchieri tasting, 62 wineries arranged by region. My top wines here:

  • Cantina Tollo Montepulciano d'Abruzzo "Mo" Riserva 2011 (91)
  • Poggio Bonelli Poggiassai 2015 (90)
  • Poggio Le Volpi Baccarossa 2013 (90)
  • Mascarelli Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Marina Cvetic 2013 (90)

Tuesday, June 7th: Emma Garner, Thirty Bench's winemaker, dropped by with her wines for a tasting.

  • Thirty Bench Sparkling Riesling ($35): pale lime with an active mousse; grapefruit with a faint petrol note on the nose; light-bodied, crisply dry, grapefruit and lime flavours, clean and refreshing with a long lemony finish. (89)
  • Thirty Bench Winemaker's Blend Riesling 2015 ($18.95): very pale, almost water white; minerally, grapefruit nose; off-dry, honeyed grapefruit flavour with a touch of bitterness on the finish. (88)
  • Thirty Bench Small Lot Riesling Steel Post 2014 ($30.00): pale straw; minerally, grapefruit nose; light-bodied, dry; crab-apple and citrus flavours with a touch of bitterness on the finish. (89)
  • Thirty Bench Small Lot Riesling Wood Post 2014 ($30.00): very pale with a lime tint; minerally, green apple and citrus nose, very Rheingau in style, lovely mouth-feel; a floral note, touch of honeyed sweetness in mid-palate but finishes dry on a lime note. (91.5)
  • Thirty Bench Small Lot Riesling Triangle Vineyard 2014 ($30.00): very pale with a lime tint; much broader on the nose than the other single-vineyard wines – minerally, apple and citrus nose with a light petrol note; light-bodied, off-dry, good tension between sugar and acidity, great mouth-feel. (91)
  • Thirty Bench Small Lot Gewurztraminer 2015 ($30.00): pale straw colour; spicy, aromatic, rose petal, ginger, lychee and grapefruit rind bouquet; great intensity, dry, rosewater and white peach flavours. (89.5)
  • Thirty Bench Small Lot Rosé 2015 (37% Cabernet Franc, 23% Pinot Noir, 22% Meunier, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Merlot - $22): pink with an orange tint; candied raspberry and orange peel nose; red berry and pomegranate flavour with good acidity and an intriguing bitterness from tannin. (89)
  • Thirty Bench Red 2014 (Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc – $24): deep purple-ruby colour; cedary, spicy, toasty-smoky, black plum nose; medium-bodied, petit château style; dry, red and blackcurrant flavours; firm tannic finish. Cellar worthy. (89–91)

Wednesday, June 8th: Dropped in to Safari Bar on Avenue Road for a quick lunch with our fishing group (we leave on August 11 for a week to Peterson's Lake lodge, 200 miles north of Yellowknife).

Thursday, June 9th: Wrote my On the Go column and spent the rest of the day working on my novel. Then got down to some tasting in the evening with Michael Vaughan:

  • Boschendal The Pavillion Chenin Blanc 2015 (Western Cape): very pale colour: pear skin with a floral note on the nose; medium-bodied, sweet pear flavour with balancing acidity. (88)
  • Liquidity Viognier 2015 (Okanagan Falls – Product of Canada: $25): light straw colour; spicy, floral peach nose with an earthy note; full-bodied, off-dry, peach and citrus peel and fennel flavours. (87.5)
  • CedarCreek Chardonnay 2014 (Okanagan Valley): straw colour; spicy, toasty oak dominating apple and citrus aromas; full-bodied, richly extracted, apple, green pineapple and butter with mouth-freshening acidity and great length. (89)
  • Bench 1775 Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (Okanagan Valley): pale straw colour; sweaty-grassy nose of green plums; medium-bodied, crisply dry with lively flavours of green plum and cut grass. (88)
  • Bench 1775 Chill 2015: pale straw colour; a nose of banana and citrus peel; medium to full-bodied, melon flavour with a touch of bitterness on the finish. Good length. (88)
  • Bench 1775 Viognier 2015: pale straw colour; spicy peach bouquet; medium to full-bodied, dry, white peach flavour with a light floral note. Good varietal character. (89)
  • Charles Smith Kung Fu Girl Riesling 2014 (Washington State): pale golden colour; petrol, lime and honey on the nose; medium-bodied, off-dry honeyed grapefruit with little spritz. Good length. (89)
  • CedarCreek Riesling 2014 (Okanagan Valley): pale straw colour; minerally, lime with a floral note; medium-bodied, crisply dry, lime and grapefruit flavours; clean and true with great length. (91)
  • Obsession Symphony 2014: pale straw colour; flamboyant nose of orange blossom, peach; off-dry, spicy, floral peach and apricot flavours, well-balanced, perfumed, elegant with good length. (90)
  • CedarCreek Pinot Noir Rosé 2015 (Okanagan Valley): light pink colour; minerally, raspberry nose; medium-bodied, off-dry, raspberry and orange flavours. Finishing dry with good length. (88.5)
  • Flat Rock Pink Twisted 2015 (Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara; Gamay, Cabernet Franc and "a dash of Riesling" – $16.95): deep pink; cherry pit nose with a light floral note; medium-bodied, dry, minerally, cherry flavour; fresh and lively on the palate with a touch of tannin on the finish to give structure. (88.5)
  • Flat Rock Red Twisted 2012 (Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara -$22.95: Syrah and Pinot Noir): deep ruby colour; smoky-charry nose of black plum with oak spice; medium-bodied, dry, savoury plum flavour with lively acidity and deftly handled oak. (89)
  • CedarCreek Cabernet Merlot 2013 (Okanagan Valley – 58% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon): deep ruby colour; candied raspberry nose with a cedary note; medium to full-bodied, juicy and fresh with lively acidity; finishes firmly on a blueberry note. (89)
  • CedarCreek Merlot 2013 (95% Merlot, 3% Malbec, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon): deep ruby colour; sandalwood, red berry and pencil lead nose; medium-bodied, dry, juicy and fruity with well integrated oak and good length. (90)
  • Bench 1775 Merlot 2013 (Okanagan): deep ruby colour; cedary, lightly spiced plum bouquet; medium-bodied, dry and savoury with evident tannins. (87.5)
  • Bench 1775 Cabernet Franc 2014: deep ruby, colour; cedary, redcurrant nose; medium-bodied, dry red and blackcurrant flavours with a firm finish. (88)
  • Bench 1775 Syrah 2013: deep ruby colour; cedary-herbal nose of blackberries with a peppery note; medium-bodied, dry and savoury with vanilla oak, blackberry and pencil lead notes and a creamy mocha finish. (89)
  • Shingleback Red Knot Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 (McLaren Vale): dense ruby-purple colour; cedary, smoky blackcurrant nose; medium to full-bodied, dry, savoury, blackcurrant with a lively spine of acidity. Firm tannic finish. (88.5)

Friday, June 10th: A Vintages release tasting this morning, after which, the customary French fries on the way home.




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