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Italian quality wine and food selected by WineCountry.IT
WineCountry.IT
Extensive online database listing Italian wine producers, exporters, importers and distributors
Italian Wine Hub - Extensive online database listing Italian wine producers, exporters, importers and distributors
Extensive online gallery featuring over 1,000 Italian wine labels
Extensive online gallery featuring over 1,000 Italian wine labels

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Italian Flavor Forum X
Loris Scagliarini – November 20, 2008
Photos by Alessandro DeSogos

Italian Flavor Forum X

 

On November 12, 2008, at San Francisco's Golden Gate Yacht Club, the tenth Italian Flavor Forum, dedicated in particular to presenting the Centellino Areadivino, the amazing top-of-the-bottle aerator which oxygenates the wine naturally and in real time, officially to the local press. The Centellino, designed and produced in Italy by Table Top and imported to the US by WineCountry.IT L.L.C., opens the aroma and flavor of a wine while it pours into the glass, obtaining results comparable to letting the wine breathe for a couple of hours in a regular decanter.

A few months back, California-based WineCountry.IT L.L.C. agreed to import the Centellino Areadivino exclusively to the US, distributing it directly in California while contracting with Missouri-based Fiorino Italian Imports L.L.C. to distribute it in the other 49 US states.

Italian Flavor Forum X: Claudio Faggi, general manager of Table Top, Joe Fiorino, Managing partner of Fiorino Italian Imports, L.L.C., Loris Scagliarini, president of WineCountry.IT, Fabrizio Marcelli, Counsul General of Italy in San Francisco.
From Left: Claudio Faggi, general manager of Table Top, Joe Fiorino, managing partner of Fiorino Italian Imports, L.L.C., Loris Scagliarini, president of WineCountry.IT, Fabrizio Marcelli, Consul General of Italy in San Francisco.

For the first time, since we started organizing the invitation only Italian Flavor Forums for trade professionals and specialized press, we opened the show an half hour in advance for the press only, before opening the door to professional buyers, wholesale distributors and importers.

Italian Flavor Forum X: Jenny Snodgrass pours wine to a guest
Jenny Snodgrass pours wine for a journalist

For the occasion, Massimo Menetti and Claudio Faggi, owner and general manager of Table Top, traveled from Tuscany to San Francisco, as Joe Fiorino, managing partner of Fiorino Italian Imports, L.L.C. came in from St. Louis, Missouri, to assist in the presentation and promotion of this appreciated wine accessory.

Click the following link to see more, wider format, videos featuring the Italian Flavor Forum X

IFF X

WineCountry.IT had the honor of welcoming the Italian Consul General, Fabrizio Marcelli, who kindly worked around his busy schedule to participate in the show, as did Amelia Carpenito Antonucci, director of the San Francisco Italian Cultural Institute.

Italian Flavor Forum X:
From Left: Fabrizio Marcelli, Consul General of Italy in San Francisco, WineCountry.IT president Loris Scagliarini, Amelia Carpenito Antonucci, director of the San Francisco Italian Cultural Institute, and Margherita Pagni.
Ruio Ruio Ruio

For the tenth Italian Flavor Forum we decided to repeat the successful wine layout we presented in May, at the previous Italian Flavor Forum IX, separating the wines into four main groups, sparkling, dry white, dry red, and dessert wines, then setting them in order by region and by variety, closing with 18 Sangiovese-based wines, including 100% varietals as well as Super Tuscan blends. This way the buyers had the opportunity to better evaluate how the characteristics of wines made with the same grapes are affected by terroir, environment, and winemaking techniques.

Italian Flavor Forum X - The Italan sparkling wines desk
Click on the labels above to see the label blow up and description.
Click on the rest of the bottle to read the wine characteristics.

First the guests were invited to taste the sparkling wines, which included two versions of Prosecco di Valdobbiadene DOC, the Brut, Ruio, and the Extra Dry, Gorio by Azienda Agricola Malibràn, plus the Rosato Italiano IGT, a rosé made with Lambrusco grapes and the red Lambrusco Emilia IGT from Azienda Agricola Mauro Zini.

Italian Flavor Forum X: The white wines desk
The white wine table

Next, journalist and buyers were advised to taste the 17 white wines and 39 red wines from six different Italian regions, then to close the itinerary with three dessert wines from as many regions.

Italian Flavor Forum X
Master Sommelier Dan Gulbronson, Grande Echanson and Echanson Provincial of the Committee for the Société Mondiale du Vin (French for World Wine Society) consults the show catalogue to decide what to taste next.

The totally new item at our Italian Flavor Forum event this time was quality wine in a box. Because of the state of the economy, which forces most of us to mind our expenses, our Italian marketing manager, Cristo Lepori, scouted boxed wine whose quality/price ratio is inviting. Since we do not have experience with this type of product, we asked for the help of our guests in figuring out if we should start importing it.

Italian Flavor Forum X: Italian dessert wines
Wine in a box from Apulia

Altogether we presented 63 limited production Italian quality boutique wines, four boxed wines, and three organic extra virgin olive oils. The breakdown by region of the wines and olive oil producers presented, was the following:

Italian Flavor Forum X: Italian dessert wines
The Italian dessert wine table

In addition to the Centellino, which comes in three sizes for wine, dessert wine, and liquors, and improves the tasting experience of the guests greatly, we present other products from the Table Top catalogue. Gift boxes with one Centellino for wine holding 125 milliliters, or the correct pour for a wine glass order, with the space for one bottle of wine, to fill with one's favorite varietal; others with one Centellino and two 500-milliliter, or 300-milliliter wine glasses. Still others had four 200-milliter glasses and one 60-milliliter Centellino for dessert wine, and six 60-milliliter liquor glasses with one 35-milliliter Centellino.

Italian Flavor Forum X
Table Top products, imported to the US by WineCountry.IT

Unfortunately, a cargo with 300-milliliter and 500-milliliter glasses shipped from Italy and due before the tasting, was delayed and did not arrived. The few lucky guests who got to use the few Table Top glasses available expressed their appreciation for the wide, generous glasses which allowed them to appreciate the scent of the wine while drinking.

Italian Flavor Forum X: Terry Sullivan serving wine with the top-of-the-bottle decanter, Centellino
Terry Sullivan serving wine with the top-of-the-bottle decanter, Centellino

In addition to the participation in the Los Angeles County Fair International Wine Competition of our two Prosecco wines produced by rising star Maurizio Favrel, which has been presented for a few years now, and the review of a couple of La Togata wines by Wine Spectator magazine, this year we presented a selection of wines from our portfolio to important US competitions, such as the National Women's Wine Competition and Pro Wine Buyer's Competition, obtaining the following gratifying results.

Italian Flavor Forum X: Guests from the Cello reastaurants group. Sam Fard, the owner, is the second from the right, with sunglasses
Guests from the Cello restaurant group. Sam Fard in sunglasses, the owner, is the second from the right.

Los Angeles County Fair International Wine Competition 2008

Wine Prize
Ruio Prosecco di Valdobbiadene DOC Brut Silver Medal
Gorio Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Extra Dry Silver Medal

Italian Flavor Forum X: Cristo Lepori, WineCountry.IT Italian marketing manager.
Cristo Lepori, WineCountry.IT Italian marketing manager.

Wine Spectator

Wine Points
Brunello di Mont. DOCG La Togata Riserva 2001 96 points
Azzurreta IGT Toscana 2005 90 points

Italian Flavor Forum X: WineCountry.IT Cinzia Mandati entertains guests
WineCountry.IT Cinzia Mandati entertains guests.

National Women's Wine Competition 2008

Wine Prize
Soave Classico DOC Le Bine Longhe di Costalta 2007 Gold Medal
Gavi di Tassarolo DOCG Fornaci Silver Medal
Barbera d'Asti Superiore "Vigna del Carlinet" 2005 Silver Medal
La Marina - Cannonau di Sardegna DOC Bronze Medal
Thesan - Monteregio di Massa Marittima DOC 2002 Riserva Bronze Medal

Italian Flavor Forum X: Elke Reinhardt and Jenny Snodgrass
A rare quiet moment at the Sangiovese tables. Elke Reinhardt and Jenny Snodgrass
share a laugh with the photographer retained for the event, Alessandro DeSogos
.

Pro Wine Buyer's Competition 2008

Wine Prize
Ruio Prosecco di Valdobbiadene DOC Brut Bronze Medal
Rosato Italiano IGT 2007 Bronze Medal
Soave Classico DOC Le Bine Longhe di Costalta 2007 Bronze Medal
Sereno - Toscana Bianco IGT 2005 Bronze Medal
Aurora – Monteregio di Massa Marittima DOC 2005 Bronze Medal
Gavi di Gavi DOCG Rolona Bronze Medal
Monferrato DOC Infinito 2004 Bronze Medal
Caliscana Occidental IGT 2004 Bronze Medal
Perbacco Maremma Toscana IGT Bronze Medal
Montalpruno - Toscana Rosso IGT 2005 Bronze Medal
Canto del Leccio - Chianti DOCG Riserva 2004 Bronze Medal
Poventa - DOC Valdichiana 2003 Bronze Medal
Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio DOC Bronze Medal
Brunello di Mont. DOCG La Togata Riserva 2001 Bronze Medal
Brunello di Mont. DOCG La Togata 2002 Bronze Medal

Italian Flavor Forum X: Networking
Networking

The Buyers' Feedback

We asked our guests, who were sommeliers, professional buyers, journalists, and wine collectors, to please judge the products using the following 100-point scale.
  • 95-100 = Excellent
  • 90-94 = Very Good
  • 80-89 = Good
  • 70-79 = Average
  • 50-69 = Not recommended

Italian Flavor Food X: David Meyer
David Meyer (right), Wine Club Host at Niebaum-Coppola's Rubicon Estate in Rutheford, CA,
chats with two other guests

The Best of the Show


Italian Flavor Forum X
One guest scoring the wines tasted

Should you be interested in purchasing the products featured in this article, please use the links provided below to contact the right person.

Italian Flavor Forum X
More scores

Sparkling White Wines

       
Wine Name Producer Region Highest Score Lowest Score
Average Score
Ruio– Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOC Spumante Brut 2006 Azienda Agricola Malibran Veneto 100 75
93.50
Rosato Italiano IGT Azienda Agricola Mauro Zini Emilia Romagna 95 50 86.73
Gorio – Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOC Spumante Extra Dry 2006 Azienda Agricola Malibran Veneto 96 60
85.67
Lambrusco Emilia IGT Azienda Agricola Mauro Zini Emilia Romagna 90 50
81.00

Italian Flavor Forum X: Elke Reinhardt attendsone of the Sangiovese based wine desk
Elke Reinhardt pours the Super Tuscan Azzurreta aerating it with the Centellino


Dry White Wines

       
Wine Name Producer Region Highest Score Lowest Score
Average Score
Pinot Grigio DOC Colli Orientali del Friuli 2005 Mosolo Gleni Friuli Venezia Giulia 92 70
88.84
Soave Classico DOC 2004 Azienda Agricola T•E•S•S•A•R•I Veneto 92 50 87.17
Tocai Friulano DOC Colli Orientali del Friuli 2005 Mosolo Gleni Friuli Venezia Giulia 96 40
87.00
Gavi DOCG di Tassarolo Fornaci 2004 Castellari Bergaglio Piedmont 90 50
86.67
Langhe DOC Arneis 2005 Azienda Agricola Gagliardi Piero Emilia Romagna 90 65 86.13
Solaluce – Monferrato Bianco Classico 2004 Azienda Vitivinicola Colledoro Piedmont 92 60
85.50
Gavi DOCG Pilin 2000 Castellari Bergaglio Piedmont 94 50
85.25
Soave Classico DOC 2007 Le Bine Longhe di Pietralunga Azienda Agricola T•E•S•S•A•R•I Veneto 92 60 85.00
Gavi DOCG di Gavi Rolona 2004 Castellari Bergaglio Piedmont 91 55
84.58
Verduzzo DOC Colli Orientali del Friuli 2005 Mosolo Gleni Friuli Venezia Giulia 90 60
83.72
Fior Fiore Ansonica IGT 2005 Caliscana Tuscany 91 55
83.50
Gavi DOCG di Gavi Rovereto VignaVecchia 2004 Castellari Bergaglio Piedmont 94 45 83.15
Aurora Monteregio di Massa Marittima DOC 2005 Fattoria Coliberto Tuscany 88 60
81.67
Falanghina Pompeiano Bianco IGT 2005 Casa Vinicola Ferraro Campania 90 60 80.17
Bianco D'Elisa Vermentino IGT 2007 Toscana Azienda Agricola La Carletta Tuscany 92 40 79.83
Vermentino di Sardegna DOC - La Pagliastra 2004 Cooperativa Vinicola Romangia Sardinia 95 40 78.50
Sereno Toscana Bianco IGT 2005 Montalpruno Tuscany 82 50
73.80

Italian Flavor Forum X: Elke Reinhardt describes the wines at her desk to guests
Elke Reinhardt describes the characteristics of the wines at her table


Dry Red Wines

       
Wine Name Producer Region Highest Score Lowest Score
Average Score
Infinito – Monferrato DOC 2004 Poderi Rosso Giovanni Piedmont 99 85
97.50
Brunello di Montalcino La Togata 2002 DOCG Tenuta Carlina S.a.s. Tuscany 100 82 96.80
Poventa DOC Valdichiana 2003 Azienda Agricola Buccelletti Vivai Tuscany 98.5 80 96.40
Barbera d’Asti DOC Superiore Vigna del Carlinet 2004 Poderi Rosso Giovanni Piedmont 98 80
95.25
Barbera d’Asti DOC Superiore Cascina Perno 2004 Poderi Rosso Giovanni Piedmont 97 79
94.56
Barbera d’Asti DOC 2005 Poderi Rosso Giovanni Piedmont 96 80
94.25
Quercialsale Orcia Rosso DOC 2003 Terre di Nano Tuscany 96 80 93.75
Mandonion – Primitivo di Manduria DOC CantOlio – Cantina ed Oleificio Sociale di Manduria Apulia 96 75
93.50
Maclura Toscana IGT SuperTuscan 2003 Terre di Nano Tuscany 95 80
92.34
Thesan Riserva 2002 DOC Monteregio di Massa Marittima Fattoria Coliberto Tuscany 96 60 91.86
Montalpruno Toscana IGT SuperTuscan 2003 Montalpruno Tuscany 95 70 91.40
La Marina – Cannonau di Sardegna DOC 2003 Cooperativa Vinicola Romangia Sardinia 100 60
91.25
Chianti dei Colli Senesi DOCG 2006 Terre di Nano Tuscany 93 80
91.25
Occhini  IGT Toscana 2004 Fattoria `"La Striscia" Tuscany 95 60
91.20
Le Baccanti – Primitivo di Manduria DOC 2004 CantOlio – Cantina ed Oleificio Sociale di Manduria Apulia 96 70
91.12
Monica di Sardegna DOC 2004 Cooperativa Vinicola Romangia Sardinia 100 70 90.75
Merigge 2004 IGT Toscana Azienda Agricola Buccelletti Vivai Tuscany 95 74
90.60
Il Tempio Maremma Toscana IGT 2002 Azienda Agricola La Carletta Tuscany 95 50 90.58
Sito Romano Dolcetto d'Alba DOC 2004 Tenimenti Marchisio d'Osasca Piedmont 93 60 90.20
Caliscana Merlot 2004 / 2005 Toscana IGT Caliscana Tuscany 93 65 90.13
Caliscana Poliphemus 2004 Toscana IGT Caliscana Tuscany 97 68 90.00
Azzurreta IGT Toscana 2005 Super Tuscan Tenuta Carlina S.a.s. Tuscany 98 50 89.84
Caliscana Occidental 2004 Toscana IGT Caliscana Tuscany 99 65 89.39
Laran 2003 DOC Monteregio di Massa Marittima Fattoria Coliberto Tuscany 94 65 88.00
Caliscana Sangiovese 2004 / 2005 Toscana IGT Caliscana Tuscany 97 60 87.83
Il Canto del Leccio Chianti Riserva DOCG 2004 Montalpruno Tuscany 91 70 87.34
Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio DOC 2005 Casa Vinicola Ferraro Campania 95 60 87.15
Caliscana Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 Toscana IGT Caliscana Tuscany 92 60 87.00
Cabernet Franc DOC Colli Orientali del Friuli 2005 Mosolo Gleni Friuli Venezia Giulia 93 60
85.80
Chianti Bernardino DOC 2004 Fattoria `"La Striscia" Tuscany 92 60
85.75
Aglianico Sannio V.Q.P.R.D. 2005 Vini Iovine s.n.c. Campania 90 60
85.75
Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso DOC Colli Orientali del Friuli 2005 Mosolo Gleni Friuli Venezia Giulia 89 55
84.34
Perbacco Maremma IGT 2006 Azienda Agricola La Carletta Tuscany 92 60 84.20
Toscana IGT Sangiovese 2005 Montalpruno Tuscany 97 65 83.75
Jennos – Cannonau di Sardegna DOC 2004 Cooperativa Vinicola Romangia Sardinia 100 40 83.34
Penisola Sorrentina Rosso V.Q.P.R.D. 2005 Vini Iovine s.n.c. Campania 92 50
82.40

Italian Flavor Forum X: WineCountry's Michelle Keene
WineCountry.IT's Michelle Keene (left) pours the single vineyard
Barbera D'Alba Superiore DOC Vigna del Carlinet for a guest.


Dessert Wines

       
Wine Name Producer Region Highest Score Lowest Score
Average Score
Recioto di Soave DOCG Tre Colli Azienda Agricola T•E•S•S•A•R•I Veneto 100 70
92.00
Moscato di Sorso Sennori DOC Cooperativa Vinicola Romangia Sardinia 95 69
90.67
Abeterno – Primitivo di Manduria 2004 DOC CantOlio Manduria sca Apulia 95 70
90.29

Italian Flavor Forum IX
Myriam Johnson, our trustworthy catering lady, (right) describes the five varieties of cheese offered.
At the forefront are featured the organic extra virgin olive oil from Tuscany and Apulia.
Click on the bottles above to read the characteristics of the olive oil.
olivolo1 olivolo2 masseriola1 masseriola2 masseriola3

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Product Name Producer Region Highest Score Lowest Score
Average Score
Olivolo – Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Organically Grown Olives Azienda Agricola Buccelletti Vivai Tuscany 98.5 90
97.50
Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil DOP Dauno Sub-appennino Azienda Agricola Masseriola Apulia 98 70
95.00
Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil Azienda Agricola Masseriola Apulia 95 70
92.60

Italian Flavor Forum X: Cristo Lepori, WineCountry.IT marketing manager for Italian operations, Loris Scagliarini, WineCountry.IT president, Angelene Janusonis of Gea Wineworks Canada, who flu in from British Columbia, appositely to participate in the Ita;an Flavor Forum X.
From Left: Cristo Lepori, WineCountry.IT marketing manager for Italian operations, Loris Scagliarini, WineCountry.IT president, Angelene Janusonis of Gea Wineworks Canada, who flew in from British Columbia to participate in the Italian Flavor Forum X.

The Blind Tasting

The all-American jury who participated in the blind tasting face-off between three Italian and three California wines, similar by grapes, characteristics and price, included:

  • Lisa Feltis German, CS, CSW – Wine Educator
  • N. Jorgensen – Sommelier, Fine Wine Collector
  • David Mayer – Wine Professional, Wine Club Host at Niebaum-Coppola's Rubicon Estate
  • Mike Hokker – Importer
  • Tony Mack – Event Planner, Caterer
  • David Robert – Psychologist, Investor in Lark Creek Group and Richmond Country Club
  • John Hannin – Attorney, Wine Lover.
Italian Flavor Forum X: Blind Tasting
Italian Flavor Forum X: Blind Tasting
The Blind Tasting

The Italian wines:

  1. 2004 Monferrato DOC Infinito, produced by Poderi Rosso Giovanni, Piedmont
  2. Azzurreta Toscana IGT 2006 Super Tuscan, produced by Tenuta La Carlina, Tuscany
  3. Perbacco Maremma Toscana IGT 2006, produced by Azienda Agricola La Carletta, Tuscany
Italian Wines
The Italian wines

The California wines:

  1. Super Tuscan 2006, produced by Picchetti Winery, Cupertino, CA
  2. James Vineyard Sangiovese 2005, produced by J. Keverson Winery, Mendocino County, CA
  3. 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, produced by PB Hein Vineyards, Napa Valley, CA
Italian Flavor Forum IX - Blind Tasting
The California wines

The 2004 Monferrato DOC Infinito by Poderi Rosso Giovanni, from the Italian region of Piedmont, made with 60% Barbera D'Asti and 40% Cab, won the face-off with a total score of 65, or an average score of point 9.286 on a ten scale point.

Wine Producer
Region
Overall Score
2004 Monferrato DOC Infinito Poderi Rosso Giovanni
9.286
James Vineyard Sangiovese 2005 J. Keverson Winery Mendocino County
8.714
2005 Cabernet Sauvignon PB Hein Vineyards Napa Valley
8.643
Perbacco Maremma Toscana IGT 2006 Azienda Agricola La Carletta Tuscany
8.071
Azzurreta Toscana IGT 2006 Super Tuscan Tenuta Carlina S.a.s. Tuscany
8
Super Tuscan 2006 Picchetti Winery Cupertino
8

The Drawing

Among all the feedback forms returned to us with the product evaluations by our esteemed guests, we draw one form and awarded the lucky guest one bottle of the rare Brunello di Montalcino DOCG Riserva La Togata 2001 worth $150, which received 96 points from the Wine Spectator magazine, with the comment:

"Black as night, with aromas of blackberry, violet, flowers and Indian spices. Full-bodied, with loads of tannins, but ultra-refined. Very long and beautiful, with great texture. This is 1997 again. Best after 2010. 500 cases made."

Italian Flavor Forum X: Brunello di Montalcino DOCG Riserva La Togata 2001
The lucky winner turned out to be Ms. DeAnna Alba, manager of the National Women's Wine Competition.
Ruio Ruio Ruio Ruio Gorio Rosato Lambrusco ruio1 gorio 1 Rosato 1 Lambrusco1

WineCountry.IT Team, Friends & Associates

Italian Flavor Forum X: Cara Cacciatore, Event Planner & Marketing
Cara Cacciatore, Event Planner & Marketing
 Italian Flavor Forum X: Andy Giardina
Andy Giardina, Marketing
 John
John Dawdy, Vice President of Wine Country.IT
 Michael De Alessi
Michael De Alessi, Sales
 Michelle Keene
Michelle Keene, Sales
 Elke & Jen
Elke Reinhardt, Friend (left) and Jenny Snodgrass, Sales
 Brigit Solé-March
Brigit Solé-March, English Editor in Chief
 Terry
Terry Sullivan, Friend
 Tor
Tor, Friend
 Shirley
Shirley Johnson, Friend
 Myryam
Myriam Johnson, Caterer
 Joe
Joe Fiorino, Head of Fiorino Italian Imports, L.L.C.

Cristo
Cristo Lepori, Marketing Manager Italy
 Cinzia e Loris
Cinzia Mandati, Sales; Loris Scagliarini, WineCountry.IT President.
 Massimo, Claudio, Massimo
Massimo Menetti, Owner of Table Top (left); Claudio Faggi, Marketing Manger of Table Top (sitting);
Massimo Margelli, WineCountry.IT's General Manager of Sales and Distribution.
 Claudio
Claudio Faggi of Table Top
 The Centellino Team
The Centellino Team Usa 2008: Loris Scagliarini, Claudio Faggi, Joe Fiorino, Massimo Menetti
Ruio Ruio Ruio Ruio Gorio Rosato Lambrusco ruio1 gorio 1 Rosato 1 Lambrusco1

 
 
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