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Italian quality wine and food selected by WineCountry.IT
WineCountry.IT
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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 VI
Loris Scagliarini – November 24, 2006
Photos by C. Lepori, S. Valerio, L. Scagliarini

IGS - Italian Flavor Forum IV

 

The Italian Flavor Forum VI, or our sixth invitation-only trade show organized in the San Francisco Bay Area, took place on November 21, 2006 at the Golden Gate Yacht Club, located at the end of the pier at One Yacht Road, in the heart of the Marina district. The weather was gorgeous and it was a pleasure looking out the windows at the bay, with the rock of Alcatraz to the right and the glowing orange structure of the majestic Golden Gate Bridge to the left. Actually, it was so hot through the glass windows that poor Lionello Rosso, owner of Poderi Rosso and producer of the excellent Barberas d'Asti DOC, as well as of the gorgeous Barbera and Cabernet Sauvignon Monferrato Doc Infinito (Endless), had to ask for some kind of shading, as his back was to the west in the bright sunny afternoon.

The Event

Italian Flavor Forum V
Lionello Rosso, of Poderi Rosso, in the Monferrato mountain area of Piedmont,
answers the questions of a guest about his prize-winning Barberas and Monferrato DOC

Notwithstanding the fact that the event took place just two days before Thanksgiving, some wine and food buyers were out of town or state visiting with their family, and still others could not afford to let any personnel go as they were busy with the pre-holiday shopping, the turnout was very satisfying. The first guests arrived as usual just as we opened the doors at 2PM, and continued more or less steadily until closing time, at 6 PM.

Wine TastingThis time around we introduced 82 wines, including four white sparkling and four red sparkling, 18 dry whites, 49 dry red and 7 dessert wines, from 8 different regions: Piedmont (22 wines), Tuscany (17 wines), Campania (11 wines), Veneto (10 wines), Sardinia (6 wines), Emilia Romagna (5 wines), Apulia (5 wines), Umbria (3 wines), and Marche (3 wines). In addition, we presented five intriguing liqueurs from Emilia Romagna, 12 extra virgin olive oils from Apulia, Veneto, Tuscany, Campania and Sardinia; traditional balsamic vinegar and balsamic vinegar fruit sauces from Modena; tomato sauce, multi-colored pasta, and preserved vegetables from Campania, tasty black and green olive spreads from Veneto, and gourmet coffee from Molise.

For the first time, we also introduced a line of olive oil-based body products and a new wine accessory which we believe will be a great success in the near future: the Centellino, or, a new concept decanter which fits on top of the bottle, in place of the stopper. The Centellino decants the next glass of wine while one drinks what's already being poured, and offers you and your guests the great advantage of seeing what you are drinking. This is totally missed when a wine is poured into a traditional decanter.

Italian Flavor Forum V - ABTM

Wine tastingThe Centellino attracted a lot of attention and admiration. Look forward to seeing it available online at Emporio-Italia.com. European residents may contact Table Top s.a.s., located in Via Longo, 18 at Sesto Fiorentino, in the province of Florence (Tel. +39 055 4206005
Fax. +39 055 4204526).

The feedback sheets filled in by a large number of guests testify that the majority of them widely appreciated the wines and food products presented. Abundant praise was given to the cold and hot pasta recipes prepared on the premises of the Yacht Club kitchen by our own Italian marketing manager, Christian Lepori, who in the past owned, managed and directed restaurants in Italy.

The Buyers Feedback

We asked our guests, all wine and food professional buyers, 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

I am pleased to notice that the gap between maximum and minimum score is not as huge as it used to be, in some cases there is actually almost an agreement across the board. I would like to think that our Italian Flavor Forums have contributed to familiarizing some San Francisco Bay Area professional tasters with Italian wines. In addition, though there is a lot more interested in red wines compared to white wines, I am pleased that the 18 white selections presented, generally speaking received what I consider a fair score.

The Best of the Show

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

Sparkling White Wines

       
Wine Name Producer Region Highest Score Lowest Score
Average Score
Gorio – Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOC Spumante Extra Dry 2005 Azienda Agricola Malibran Veneto 92 79
84.82
Ruio– Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOC Spumante Brut 2005 Azienda Agricola Malibran Veneto 100 78
83.91
Prosecco Spumante Nibesa IGT 2005 La Bottega del Faé Veneto 90 71
83.31
Bianche Rocce del Fae' – Prosecco Frizzante 2005 La Bottega del Faé Veneto 90 60
81.30

Sparkling Red Wines

       
Wine Name Producer Region Highest Score Lowest Score
Average Score
Penisola Sorrentina Gragnano V.F.Q.P.R.D. 2005 Vini Iovine s.n.c. Campania 92 83
87.50
Il Maglio – Lambrusco di Modena IGT 2005 Azienda Agricola Cantina Barbolini Emilia Romagna 95 65
79.78
Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro DOC Biologico (Organic) 2005 Azienda Agricola Cantina Barbolini Emilia Romagna 85 70
79.77
Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro DOC Terra dei Pio Cru 2005 Azienda Agricola Cantina Barbolini Emilia Romagna 92 60
74.45

Dry White Wines

       
Wine Name Producer Region Highest Score Lowest Score
Average Score
Aurora DOC Monteregio di Massa Marittima 2005 Fattoria Coliberto Tuscany 95 78
88.17
Langhe DOC Arneis 2005 Azienda Agricola Gagliardi Piero Emilia Romagna 89 86 87.34
Falanghina Pompeiano Bianco IGT 2005 Casa Vinicola Ferraro Campania 90 82 87.34
Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC Superiore 2005 Graziano Vini Marche 90 85
87.17
Gavi DOCG di Gavi Rovereto VignaVecchia 2004 Castellari Bergaglio Piedmont 90 82
86.34
Soave Classico DOC 2004 Azienda Agricola T•E•S•S•A•R•I Veneto 97 78 86.00
Bianco di Custoza DOC 2005 Azienda Agricola Frezza Veneto 88 81 85.50
Penisola Sorrentina BiancoV.F.Q.P.R.D. 2005 Vini Iovine s.n.c. Campania 87 84
85.34
Torre Varano - Falanghina DOC Taburno 2005 Graziano Vini Campania 90 80 84.80
Gavi DOCG di Tassarolo Fornaci 2004 Castellari Bergaglio Piedmont 85 81
84.75
Gavi DOCG Pilin 2000 Castellari Bergaglio Piedmont 95 70
84.63
Sannio Falanghina V.Q.P.R.D. 2005 Vini Iovine s.n.c. Campania 95 70
83.50
Vermentino di Sardegna DOC - La Pagliastra 2004 Cooperativa Vinicola Romangia Sardinia 87 83 83.34
Gavi DOCG di Gavi Rolona 2004 Castellari Bergaglio Piedmont 86 80
83.34
Venelle Monteregio di Massa Marittima DOC 2005 Fattoria Coliberto Tuscany 85 79
83.00
Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio Bianco DOC 2005 Casa Vinicola Ferraro Campania 88 65 81.80
Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie IGT 2005 Graziano Vini Veneto 90 60 81.75
Solaluce – Monferrato Bianco Classico 2004 Azienda Vitivinicola Colledoro Piedmont 84 75
81.00

Dry Red Wines

       
Wine Name Producer Region Highest Score Lowest Score
Average Score
Barbera d’Asti DOC Superiore Vigna del Carlinet 2003 Poderi Rosso Giovanni Piedmont 100 88
93.39
Infinito – Monferrato DOC 2003 Poderi Rosso Giovanni Piedmont 100 88
92.28
Brunello di Montalcino La Togata dei Togati Cru 2000 DOCG Tenuta Carlina S.a.s. Tuscany 100 86 92.20
Ugolino – Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG 2001 Graziano Vini Marche 93 85
90.72
La Marina – Cannonau di Sardegna DOC 2003 Cooperativa Vinicola Romangia Sardinia 94 85 90.60
Brunello di Montalcino La Togata Riserva 1999 DOCG Tenuta Carlina S.a.s. Tuscany 100 88 90.37
Brunello di Montalcino La Togata 2000 DOCG Tenuta Carlina S.a.s. Tuscany 95 84 90.28
Temados Astro Monferrato Rosso DOC 2004 Tenimenti Marchisio d'Osasca Piedmont 95 60 89.67
Barbera d’Asti DOC Superiore Cascina Perno 2003 Poderi Rosso Giovanni Piedmont 95 83
89.38
Brunello di Montalcino La Togata 2001 DOCG Tenuta Carlina S.a.s. Tuscany 98 81 88.23
Azzurreta 2004 Toscana IGP Tenuta Carlina S.a.s. Tuscany 92 80 88.14
Thesan Riserva 2002 DOC Monteregio di Massa Marittima Fattoria Coliberto Tuscany 91 81 88.00
Aglianico Pompeiano Rosso IGT 2005 Casa Vinicola Ferraro Campania 93 80 87.60
Barbera d’Asti DOC 2003 Poderi Rosso Giovanni Piedmont 94 82
87.00
Nebbiolo d'Alba DOC 2004 Azienda Agricola Gagliardi Piero Piedmont 92 80 86.84
Barengo IGT Toscana 2003 Tenuta Carlina S.a.s. Tuscany 94 81 86.83
Mandonion – Primitivo di Manduria DOC CantOlio – Cantina ed Oleificio Sociale di Manduria Apulia 91 82
86.67
Le Baccanti – Primitivo di Manduria DOC 2004 CantOlio – Cantina ed Oleificio Sociale di Manduria Apulia 91 70
86.67
Poventa DOC Valdichiana 2003 Azienda Agricola Buccelletti Vivai Tuscany 88 83
86.34
Merigge 2004 IGT Toscana Azienda Agricola Buccelletti Vivai Tuscany 90 80
86.34
Barbera d’Asti DOC 2004 Poderi Rosso Giovanni Piedmont 90 71
86.12
Negroamaro Salento IGT 2004 Graziano Vini Apulia 91 75 85.67
Monica di Sardegna DOC 2004 Cooperativa Vinicola Romangia Sardinia 91 75 85.00
Laran 2003 DOC Monteregio di Massa Marittima Fattoria Coliberto Tuscany 90 80 85.00
Aglianico IGT 2004 L'Eroe Graziano Vini Campania 90 60 84.77
Occhini  IGT Toscana 2004 Fattoria `"La Striscia" Tuscany 94 78
84.34
Chianti Bernardino DOC 2004 Fattoria `"La Striscia" Tuscany 100 80
84.17
Temados Nova Monferrato Rosso DOC 2004 Tenimenti Marchisio d'Osasca Piedmont 95 79 84.17
Morellino di Scansano DOC Graziano Vini Emilia Romagna 95 65 83.90
Rosso di Montalcino 2003 – La Togata Tenuta Carlina S.a.s. Tuscany 91 75 83.58
Redinicchia – Barbera d'Asti 2004 Azienda Vitivinicola Colledoro Piedmont 90 71 83.40
Prime Luci – Barbera d'Alba DOC 2004 Tenimenti Marchisio d'Osasca Piedmont 90 75 83.00
Jennos – Cannonau di Sardegna DOC 2004 Cooperativa Vinicola Romangia Sardinia 85 79 83.00
Arthas – Primitivo di Manduria DOC CantOlio Manduria sca Apulia 88 76
82.75
Sito Romano Dolcetto d'Alba DOC 2005 Tenimenti Marchisio d'Osasca Piedmont 87 75 82.43
Punsin – Barbera d'Alba DOC 2005 Azienda Agricola Gagliardi Piero Piedmont 90 65 82.15
Penisola Sorrentina Rosso V.Q.P.R.D. 2005 Vini Iovine s.n.c. Campania 87 74
82.00
Noeddu – Cannonau di Sardegna DOC 2004 Cooperativa Vinicola Romangia Sardinia 87 77 81.80
Ca' Andrea – Umbria IGT 2004 Carlo Massimiliano Gritti Umbria 87 79 81.75
Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio DOC 2005 Casa Vinicola Ferraro Campania 93 70 81.58
Sito Romano Dolcetto d'Alba DOC 2004 Tenimenti Marchisio d'Osasca Piedmont 85 75 81.17
La Muda Umbria IGT 2004 Carlo Massimiliano Gritti Umbria 83 48 80.75
Aglianico Sannio V.Q.P.R.D. 2005 Vini Iovine s.n.c. Campania 85 75
80.67
Vino del Curato Sangiovese Colli D'Imola 2003 DOC Graziano Vini Emilia Romagna 83 76 80.25
Morello 2004 DOC Monteregio di Massa Marittima Fattoria Coliberto Tuscany 88 70 80.17
Prime Luci – Barbera d'Alba DOC 2005 Tenimenti Marchisio d'Osasca Piedmont 85 71 79.35
Lacrima di Morro d'Alba 2005 DOC Ramosceto Graziano Vini Marche 87 73 79.25
Bardolino DOC 2005 Azienda Agricola Frezza Veneto 80 75 78.50
Rosso di Crevada – Cabernet 2005 La Bottega del Faé Veneto 80 60
73.75

Dessert Wines

       
Wine Name Producer Region Highest Score Lowest Score
Average Score
Moscato di Sorso Sennori DOC Cooperativa Vinicola Romangia Sardinia 100 60
92.87
Re Sole – Lacrima di Morro d'Alba Passito 2005 Graziano Vini Marche 96 83 92.80
Abeterno – Primitivo di Manduria 2004 DOC CantOlio Manduria sca Apulia 92 80
88.00
Terre Aride – Moscato d'Asti DOCG 2005 Tenimenti Marchisio d'Osasca Piedmont 90 86 88.00
Recioto di Soave DOCG Tre Colli Azienda Agricola T•E•S•S•A•R•I Veneto 93 84
87.40
Ventisei Moscato d'Asti DOCG Azienda Vitivinicola Colledoro Piedmont 90 80
87.30

Liqueurs

       
Product Name Producer Region Highest Score Lowest Score
Average Score
Rubino del Bosco – Wild Berry Liqueur Distilleria Galdino Caselli s.r.l. Emilia Romagna 95 85
90.00
NoceKafe – Walnut and Coffee Liqueur Distilleria Galdino Caselli s.r.l. Emilia Romagna 92 80
87.40
Fragolino – Wild Strawberry Liqueur Distilleria Galdino Caselli s.r.l. Emilia Romagna 90 65
85.67
Nocino – Walnut Liqueur Distilleria Galdino Caselli s.r.l. Emilia Romagna 90 75
85.00
Mirtillino – Blackberry Liqueur Distilleria Galdino Caselli s.r.l. Emilia Romagna 85 77
80.00

Balsamic Vinegar and Other Condiments

Product Name Producer Region Highest Score Lowest Score
Average Score
Black Olive Spread Azienda Agricola Frezza Veneto 97 90 92.50
Green Olive Spread Azienda Agricola Frezza Veneto 100 85 91.67
Cranberry Sauce with Balsamic Vinegar from Modena Distilleria Galdino Caselli s.r.l. Emilia Romagna 99 85
91.00
Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena Affinato (ABTM) – Aged 20 Years Azienda Agricola Cantina Barbolini Emilia Romagna 98 90
90.67
Fig Sauce with Balsamic Vinegar from Modena Distilleria Galdino Caselli s.r.l. Emilia Romagna 88 85
86.50
Balsamic Vinegar from Modena Riserva Oro Distilleria Galdino Caselli s.r.l. Emilia Romagna 92 80
86.00
Strawberry Sauce with Balsamic Vinegar from Modena Distilleria Galdino Caselli s.r.l. Emilia Romagna 87 72
80.00
Balsamic Vinegar from Modena Riserva Botte Antica Distilleria Galdino Caselli s.r.l. Emilia Romagna 82 71
75.00
Balsamic Vinegar from Modena Classico Distilleria Galdino Caselli s.r.l. Emilia Romagna 80 60
71.67

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 100 86
91.75
Filtered Extra Virgin Olive Oil Fratelli Ferrara Apulia 92 85
89.00
Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Organically Grown Olives Azienda Agricola Masseriola Apulia 90 80
85.00
Pureed Tomato Sauce Santa Lucia Campania 90 79 84.98
Seasoned Extra Xirgin Olive Oil Santa Lucia Campania 90 79 84.50
Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Organically Grown Olives DOP Dauno Sub-appennino Azienda Agricola Masseriola Apulia 88 80
84.34
Monte Tolla – Extra Virgin Olive Oil Azienda Agricola Dessole Sardinia 92 70
84.00
Extra Virgin Olive Oil DOP "Frezza" – Black/Gold Label Azienda Agricola Frezza Veneto 83 75 80.50
Filtered Extra Virgin Olive Oil DOP "Frezza" – Blue Label Azienda Agricola Frezza Veneto 82 75 79.00

Other Food Products

Product Name Producer Region Highest Score Lowest Score
Average Score
Pitted Olives in Extra Virgin Olive Oil Azienda Agricola Frezza Veneto 100 91 95.10
Amarette di Trani Olives Industria Alimentare Capobianco Campania 100 89
95.00
Gourmet Pasta Industria Alimentare Capobianco Campania 100 87
95.00
Caffè Reale Gourmet Coffee Caffè Reale di Reale Maria Molise 98 82
92.50
Preserved Vegetables in Extra Virgin Olive Oil Industria Alimentare Capobianco Campania 92 81
85.90

Body Products

Product Name Producer Region Highest Score Lowest Score
Average Score
Antirughe Viso – Anti-wrinkle Face Cream Azienda Agricola Frezza Veneto 100 50
80.78
Fluida Mani – Fluid Hand Cream Azienda Agricola Frezza Veneto 100 50
80.50
Fluida Corpo – Fluid Body Cream Cream Azienda Agricola Frezza Veneto 100 50
80.55
Body and Face Soap Azienda Agricola Frezza Veneto 100 46
78.38

The Blind Tasting

Three Italian and three US experts participated in the blind tasting face-off between three California and three Italian wines of roughly similar value and similar types. This time we presented two whites (Viognier 2005 from the US and a Gavi di Gavi DOCG 2004 from Italy) and four red wines (Zinfandel 2003 and Pinot Noir 2005 from the US, and Merlot 2004 and Barbera 2003 from Italy). The experts who kindly accepted to be part of the jury are David P. Jones, wine writer, Raphael Knapp, wine expert, and Raul Gallyot, producer and radio host of the 'Pleasure in Taste' radio show, for the US team. The Italian counterpart was represented by Christian Lepori, WineCountry.IT Italian marketing manager, Paolo Tazzioli, sales person, and Maurizio Barilli, wine broker.

Strangely enough, given the fact that red wines are generally preferred, the winner turned out to be one of the two white wines, the Gavi DOCG di Gavi Rolona 2004, by Castellari Bergaglio from Piedmont, with a total score of 503 points (253 from the Italian team and 250 from the US team), or 83.333/100 average, followed by the Barbera d’Asti DOC Superiore Vigna del Carlinet 2003, or the top scoring wine in the general feedback, with a total score of 491 (230 from the Italian team and 261 from the US team), or 81.833/100 average. It is interesting to note that, with the exception of the two top wines, the scores assigned differed widely between the Italian and US team. In addition, the US team resulted far more generous than their Italian counterpart.

Blind tasting
Blind tasting

Blind tasting

Top photograph, from left: Raphael Knapp, Brigit Solé-March, David P. Jones, Raul Gallyot, Maurizio Barilli, Paolo Tazzioli, Christian Lepori.
Middle: Raul Gallyot, David P. Jones, Raphael Knapp
Bottom: Paolo Tazzioli, Maurizio Barilli, Raul Gallyot, David P. Jones, Raphael Knapp, Brigit Solé-March

Splitting the two sets of scores, the US team would have assigned the victory to the Barbera d’Asti DOC Superiore Vigna del Carlinet 2003 produced by Poderi Rosso Giovanni, while for the Italian judges the best was the Gavi DOCG di Gavi Rolona 2004.

Wine Producer
Region
Italian Judges Score
US Judges Score
Overall Score
Gavi DOCG di Gavi Rolona 2004 Castellari Bergaglio
84.33
83.33
84.33
Barbera d’Asti DOC Superiore Vigna del Carlinet 2003 Poderi Rosso Giovanni Piedmont
76.66
87.00
81.33
Viognier 2005 Procissi Cellar
El Dorado County
70.66
86.33
78.50
Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2003 Cline Cellars
Contra Costa County
66.66
86.33
76.50
Cork Dancer 5.1 Hitching Post Pinot Noir 2005 (featured in the film 'Sideways') Hartley Ostini
Santa Barbara County
60.00
85.66
72.83
Merigge 2004 IGT Toscana Azienda Agricola Buccelletti Vivai Tuscany
57.66
85.00
71.33

The Drawing

To express our gratiutude, at the end of the show we held a drawing from among all the guests that returned their feedback forms filled with their evaluations of the products tasted.

The grand prize winner was Gordon Reetz, Assistant Winemaker at Merryvale Vineyards, in Napa, who won:

Thanksgiving

Lionello Rosso - Christian Lepori
Lionello Rosso,

We celebrated Thanksgiving at the Mountain Home Inn in Mill Valley, near the wonderful Muir Wood natural park.
The weather was wonderful and the view from the terrace of the restaurant was breathtaking.
Top: Lionello Rosso of Poderi Rosso Giovanni, producer of prize winning Barbera and Monferrato DOC wines,
with WineCountry.IT's Italian marketing manager, Christian Lepori.
Bottom: WineCountry.IT's Brigit Solé-March and Loris Scagliarini with Lionello Rosso.



 
 
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