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  Wine Tasting Issue 13, November 2003   
Tasting Fortified WinesTasting Fortified Wines Wines of the MonthWines of the Month  Contents 
Issue 12, October 2003 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 14, December 2003

Tasting Fortified Wines

Considered among the most underrated and least understood wines, fortified wines are indeed an extraordinary world to be discovered, a charming and enchanting beverage

 Fortified wines are certainly among the most underrated and least understood wines produced by enology. Nevertheless their greatness is a fundamental part of the enological history of the past centuries, when these wines were capable of keeping alive a flourishing trading and their importance and prestige was much higher than it is today. Indeed the extraordinary greatness of these wines did not change in the course of time, the techniques used for their production are basically the same, they are still based on the same events capable of giving them particular and complex qualities. It should be noted the category of fortified wine includes a pretty vast number of wines having qualities and typicalities pretty different one from each other and it should be remembered fortification is just a wine making technique with the main purpose of stabilizing a wines.

 

Fortified Wines: Not Just Alcohol

 Before discussing the organoleptic qualities of these wines, it is necessary to understand the process of fortification and its meaning. Fortification is a wine making technique which consists in adding a specific amount of alcohol to a wine during a determined stage of the productive process. The most evident effect of this technique is the increase of alcohol by volume in the final product, a value that can also be as high as 20%, however fortification is mainly used for stabilizing a wine in order to prevent any possible degradation. Sometimes alcohol is added while the wine is fermenting, in order to stop the activity of yeasts, therefore stopping the process of transformation of sugar into alcohol while leaving some sweetness to the wine. Alcohol can also be added to the end of the production, such as in Jerez Fino (Sherry) or Marsala Vergine, therefore obtaining an extra dry product where alcohol, besides increasing its percentage by volume, will also contribute to balance.


The color of a 20 years old Port Tawny
The color of a 20 years old Port Tawny

 Fortified wines include a pretty vast number of products, even very different one from each other, from sweet wines to dry ones, as well as special wines which undergo to particular and special processes that give them extraordinary characteristics, such as Jerez (Sherry), Marsala or Madeira. Among fortified wines these probably are the most underrated and least understood ones, nevertheless their complexity, elegance and magnificence is nothing less than any other wine style, their unique qualities constitutes, as a matter of fact, one of the most complex and amazing exercises for sensorial tasting, in particular for the evaluation of aromas. It should also be remembered the prestige of these noble wines was largely compromised by disputable commercial strategies, in particular during the last century, releasing on the market “disputable” interpretations as well as abusing of the fame of their names which probably ensured an easy commercial success. The result is still evident today, no matter the efforts of producers in order to safeguard their products and the glorious names and supported by very strict quality procedures, their fame faced a dramatic decline and they are still considered by many as minor wines. Nevertheless the extraordinary complexity and richness of a Marsala, of a Jerez, of a Madeira or a Port, are pleasures that still few are capable to enjoy and to understand, first of all, there are many who are still convinced about the scarce quality that characterized the majority of these products since few years ago and therefore they are not even considered.

 The fortification process is mainly done by adding some alcohol, however for certain wines, brandy is used as well and, besides increasing the value of alcohol by volume, it also adds its organoleptic qualities to the wine. As previously mentioned, the fortification process mainly has a role of stabilization in wine, as bacteria, as well as yeasts, cannot survive to higher quantities of alcohol and therefore their action is blocked as well as neutralized. For this reason, fortification is generally used during the fermentation process in the purpose of stopping the action of yeasts and therefore stopping the process of fermentation. Adding alcohol during the fermentation process also means to keep a high quantity of sugar in the wine and, as a consequence, the final product will be characterized by an evident sweetness. The quality and the origin of alcohol used for fortification plays a fundamental role because, as well as increasing the alcohol by volume of the final product, it will also give the wine its organoleptic qualities and, in case of low quality alcohol, it could also compromise the quality of the final product, in particular the quality of aromas.

 

Color

 The practice of fortification does not alter the color of a wine because alcohol is crystalline and colorless. The only exception is represented by the use of brandy in wines having a pale color, a pretty rare practice, because fortification by using brandy is generally done on dark colored wines or wines produced with red berried grapes. Giving general indications about the color of fortified wines is therefore difficult and not useful: their color exclusively depend on the one of the base wine, on the varieties of grapes used for its production as well as on processes and enological techniques done during the production, such as oxidation, frequent in many types of fortified wines. The color of fortified wines is theoretically representable by every color which is typical in any wine, from the pale straw yellow of Jerez Fino, up to dark and impenetrable purplish red of young vintage Ports.

 Thanks to the presence of alcohol and to its preservative effects, fortified wines are particularly suited for long aging in bottle. Despite alcohol has a good preservative action for wine's organoleptic qualities, color tend to change with time and it usually changes like in other wines. In fortified wines produced with white berried grapes, the color tends to darken with time, from straw or golden yellow color to amber yellow with more or less intense hues. In wines produced with red berried grapes, such as Port, the color which is in youth pretty dark and impenetrable, tends to get lighter and to assume garnet red colors and, after a long aging, orange or brick red with evident sediments, just like in red wines. In some fortified wines, produced with particular techniques, it is possible to see pretty dark and deep colors which could appear as impenetrable mahogany, such as in the case of Jerez Pedro Ximénez.

 

Aromas

 The nature of fortified wines' aromas mainly depend on the type of base wine and on the enological processes done during its production. However it should be observed there is a common characteristic in every wine belonging to this category and that could also represent a fault. The practice of fortification, when it is done by using a low quality alcohol, could also compromise the overall aroma of the wine, in particular when its aroma becomes intrusive and prevails over the rest. This condition may also happen in case a base wine has light and delicate aromas that would be covered by the one of alcohol. In order to understand this concept it is necessary to recognize the aroma of plain alcohol; something that can easily be learnt by means of a simple experiment.

 Buy a little bottle of plain ethyl alcohol at 95% by volume, generally used for pastry and for home made liquors. Smell the alcohol, with caution and keeping the bottle at a distance: pungency and “ethereal” sensation, typical of alcohol, should be clearly perceivable. The aroma of alcohol is pretty strong and intense, therefore it is advisable to keep the bottle away from nose as the impact could violently attack the olfactory apparatus, with an effect that can also be painful and shocking and not all individuals could stand to such a strong stimulus. Also take a bottle of fortified wine, pour a little quantity in an ISO tasting glass and try to detect the aroma of alcohol in wine. In case the aroma of alcohol is pretty evident and its pungent impact prevails over the other ones, in an evident and clear way, this should be considered as a fault. This fault could be because of the usage of a low quality alcohol as well as because of a base wine lacking in aromas. In a quality fortified wine the aroma of alcohol should never be clearly perceivable, despite the fact it contributes to the overall aromas of the wine, alcohol is an agent which promotes the development of aromas, its pungent and “ethereal” aroma must never be perceived in an evident way.


The color of a Marsala Superiore Ambra
The color of a Marsala Superiore Ambra

 By considering the number of wines produced with the fortification technique, aromas that can be found are virtually endless. The practice of fortification is also used in some ”unsuspicious” wines and no one would think its alcohol by volume is because of this technique. Among the most renowned fortified wines there are Jerez (Sherry), Marsala, Madeira, Porto and Málaga. These wines represents, as a matter of fact, a pretty exacting exercise for the evaluation of aromas, in particular because of the production technique used, apparently negative, such as oxidization and the development of beneficial yeasts, called “flor” by Spaniards, which greatly contribute to the aromatic complexity of these extraordinary wines. Describing with words, or by means of analogy, the enchanting and complex aroma of these wines is probably difficult, however, as they are perceived for the first time it is nearly impossible not to recognize them in subsequent tastings. This particular character, defined by Spaniards as “rancio”, is typical for Jerez, Marsala and Vernaccia di Oristano (an extraordinary non fortified wine, unfortunately not particularly known and that would certainly deserve a higher appreciation) and it basically is the result of oxidization. The same aroma, although slightly different, is also found in Madeira. When a wine has a strong hint of oxidization it is usually defined as maderized, just because it resemble the aroma of the renowned wine produced in the enchanting Portuguese island.

 Generally speaking, the typical aromas of fortified wines are pretty complex, strongly depending on the style of base wine, however are pretty common aromas of dried fruit, such as almond, hazelnut and fig, of jams, such as figs, apricot, orange, peach, black cherry, strawberry, blueberry and black currant. Fortified wines can also be produced with aromatic grapes, such as vin doux naturel from Languedoc-Roussillon, in this specific case muscat blanc à petits grains, therefore the charming aroma of the grape will be a primary characteristic of the wine. After a long time of aging in bottle, even of tens of years, fortified wines develop extremely complex and elegant aromas, such as leather, tar and balsamic aromas, such as Vintage Ports aged for more than 20 years as well as Marsala Vergine and Soleras.

 

Taste and Balance

 In fortified wines the presence of alcohol is evident from the very moment they enter the mouth and the tactile pseudo-caloric sensation could also appear as dominant in regard to the other gustatory perceptions. Despite the high alcohol by volume is a peculiarity for these wines, just like for the evaluation of aromas, the taste of alcohol must not be clearly perceivable; the flavors of the aromas perceived by the nose should be the dominant characteristics. Alcohol also plays a fundamental role in balance, a role that can vary according to the type of wine. Fortified wines, saved few exceptions, also have a pretty high quantity of sugar and its sweetness is clearly perceivable: in this specific case alcohol, thanks to its caustic effect on taste buds, will lower the perception of sweetness therefore avoiding the wine to taste sickly.

 Alcohol also has a balancing function for acidity, present in many white wines, and for astringency, virtually present in every red wine, such as Port. The quantity of alcohol represents, as a matter of fact, a critical choice because its contribute must never prevail over the other elements of the wine. It will play a balancing role while keeping the overall harmony of wine, despite the quantity of alcohol in these wine is pretty high, the sensation perceived in the mouth should be a pleasing “warm” sensation instead of “burning”. A characteristic of these wines is represented by their intense flavors that pervade the mouth from the beginning and, generally speaking, it is also characterized by an excellent taste-olfactory persistence. Fortified wines just like sweet and botrytised wines, are among the most persistent ones, often they go beyond 15 seconds and it is not rare to find wines lasting more than one minute.

 

Practical Application

 For the practical application about fortified wines we will examine three renowned and representative wines for this category: Jerez Fino, Tawny Port and Marsala Superiore Riserva Ambra. The temperature at which the three wines are served will be different for each one of them: Jerez Fino will be served at a temperature of 12° C (53° F), Marsala at 16° C (60° F) and Port at 18° C (65° F). The color of the three wines will clearly be different and they will all show different characteristics. Jerez will show a pale straw yellow color, Marsala will show a pretty intense amber yellow color, whereas Port will show an intense ruby red color with little transparency.


 

 At the nose the three wines will have very different aromas, however the aroma of oxidization will be pretty evident in Jerez and pretty appreciable in Marsala, a characteristic not found in Port. We will begin by evaluating Jerez and it will be the evident aroma of rancio to be clearly perceived, an aroma which is hardly definable and, as always, the best way to recognize it is just to perceive it. Jerez will also be characterized by aromas of dried fruit, in particular almond, hazelnut and dried fig, it will probably be perceived an aroma of very ripe banana, as well as of caramel. Even in Marsala the aroma of rancio will be clearly perceivable, followed by intense aromas of caramel, dried fig, fig jam, apricot jam, hazelnut, almond and date, as well as aromas of citrus fruit peel and leather. The aroma of Port is very different from the other two. In this wine will be the aromas of red and black skinned fruits, mostly of jams, to be perceived, such as black cherry, strawberry, cherry, blueberry and blackberry as well as an intense hint of violet.

 In the mouth Jerez will be very dry, with very intense flavors, in particular the one of hazelnut will be clearly perceivable and alcohol will play an important role in balancing acidity. The taste of Marsala will be pretty different: sweetness will be evident and the caustic sensation of alcohol will be more evident, Marsala usually has an alcohol by volume of 18%, and the combination of the two elements will avoid the wine to taste sickly. Also in this case flavors are very intense and will be the ones of caramel and fig jam to prevail. Even in Port the burning sensation of alcohol will be pretty evident, in this wine it can also be 20%, and alcohol will play a good role in the balance. Port's flavors will be characterized by black cherry jam and blueberry jam, very intense. All the three wines will have a long taste-olfactory persistence and it will probably be more than 15 seconds, a pretty common characteristic for this style of wines.

 



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  Wine Tasting Issue 13, November 2003   
Tasting Fortified WinesTasting Fortified Wines Wines of the MonthWines of the Month  Contents 
Issue 12, October 2003 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 14, December 2003

Wines of the Month


 

Score legend

Fair    Pretty Good    Good
Very Good    Excellent
Wine that excels in its category Wine that excels in its category
Prices are to be considered as indicative. Prices may vary according to the country
or the shop where wines are bought




D'Araprì Riserva Nobile 1999, D'Araprì (Italy)
D'Araprì Riserva Nobile 1999
D'Araprì (Italy)
Grapes: Bombino Bianco
Price: € 16,00 Score:
This wine shows a brilliant straw yellow color and nuances of straw yellow, good effervescence and foam, fine and persistent perlage. The nose reveals clean, delicate, pleasing and elegant aromas which start with pear and apple followed by banana, hawthorn, hazelnut and vanilla as well as hints of bread crust, yeast and honey. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a crisp and soft attack with good effervescence and good balance, intense flavors, good body and agreeable. The finish is persistent with flavors of apple and pear. The base wine used for the production of this sparkling wine ferments in barrique and ages in bottle on the lees for at least 48 months.
Food Match: Roasted fish, Pasta and risotto with fish, Crustaceans, Fish soups



D'Araprì Gran Cuvée XXI Secolo 1997, D'Araprì (Italy)
D'Araprì Gran Cuvée XXI Secolo 1997
D'Araprì (Italy)
Grapes: Bombino Bianco, Pinot Noir
Price: € 20,00 Score:
This wine shows a brilliant straw yellow color and nuances of straw yellow, good effervescence and foam, fine and persistent perlage. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing and elegant aromas which start with aromas of yeast and toasted bread followed by aromas of pineapple, hawthorn, green apple, hazelnut, pear and grapefruit as well as hints of honey. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a crisp and effervescent attack however balanced, good body, intense flavors and agreeable. The finish is persistent with flavors of green apple and pear. This sparkling wine is produced in the best vintages only and ages on lees for at least 60 months.
Food Match: Roasted fish, Pasta and risotto with fish and mushrooms, Crustaceans, Fish soups



Radici Fiano di Avellino 2002, Mastroberardino (Italy)
Radici Fiano di Avellino 2002
Mastroberardino (Italy)
Grapes: Fiano
Price: € 8,60 Score:
The wine shows a brilliant greenish yellow color and nuances of greenish yellow, very transparent. The nose reveals intense, pleasing and clean aromas which start with fruits such as apple, pear, pineapple and grapefruit followed by good aromas of broom, hawthorn and almond. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a slightly pleasing crisp attack however balanced, intense flavors and good body. The finish is persistent with flavors of pear, apple and pineapple. This wine ferments in cask and is aged in bottle for 3-4 months.
Food Match: Aperitifs, Eggs, Pasta and risotto with vegetables, Sauteed fish



Radici Taurasi 1999, Mastroberardino (Italy)
Radici Taurasi 1999
Mastroberardino (Italy)
Grapes: Aglianico
Price: € 16,00 Score:
The wine shows a beautiful and brilliant ruby red color and nuances of garnet red, moderate transparency. The nose reveals clean, elegant and pleasing aromas which start with a pleasing aroma of black pepper followed by good and intense aromas of black cherry jam, strawberry jam, plum jam and carob as well as pleasing hints of licorice, blueberry and vanilla. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a slightly tannic attack however well balanced by alcohol, good body and intense flavors. The finish is persistent with pleasing flavors of plum, black cherry, blueberry and black pepper. A well made wine. Radici Taurasi ages for 24 months in cask followed by at least 12 months of aging in bottle.
Food Match: Roasted meat, Braised meat with mushrooms, Game, Hard cheese



Barbera d'Asti Superiore Vigna delle Rose 2000, Franco Mondo (Italy)
Barbera d'Asti Superiore Vigna delle Rose 2000
Franco Mondo (Italy)
Grapes: Barbera
Price: € 10,00 Score:
This Barbera shows an intense ruby red color and nuances of garnet red, little transparency. The nose reveals good personality with intense, clean, pleasing and elegant aromas of black cherry, blueberry, plum and violet followed by good aromas of vanilla, licorice, dried rose as well as a hint of menthol. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a slightly tannic attack however well balanced by alcohol, full body and intense flavors. The finish is persistent with good flavors of plum, black cherry and blueberry. A well made wine. This Barbera ages in barrique for some months followed by a short aging in bottle.
Food Match: Braised and stewed meat, Roasted meat, Game, Hard cheese



Piemonte Moscato Passito Sìleo 2000, Franco Mondo (Italy)
Piemonte Moscato Passito Sìleo 2000
Franco Mondo (Italy)
Grapes: Moscato Bianco
Price: € 16,00 Score: Wine that excels in its category
The wine shows a brilliant amber yellow color and nuances of amber yellow, very transparent. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing, elegant and refined aromas which start with the characteristic aromatic hint of Muscat grape followed by aromas of fruit and jams such as raisin, dried apricot, candied fruit, fig jam, quince jam, peach jam, orange marmalade, litchi and citrus fruit peel as well as pleasing and clean aromas of vanilla, toffee and lavender. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a round and velvety attack however well balanced, very pleasing sweetness, good body and intense flavors. The finish is persistent with good flavors of raisin, candied fruit, orange marmalade and dried apricot. A well made wine. Sileo ferments in barrique for some months.
Food Match: Hard and piquant cheese, Fruit tarts, Confectionery



Leverano Rosso Vigna del Saraceno 2001, Conti Zecca (Italy)
Leverano Rosso Vigna del Saraceno 2001
Conti Zecca (Italy)
Grapes: Negroamaro (70%), Malvasia Nera (20%)
Price: € 4,45 Score: Wine that excels in its category
The wine shows a brilliant ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, moderate transparency. The nose denotes intense, clean, pleasing and elegant aromas of black cherry, blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, plum and violet. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a slightly tannic attack however balanced by alcohol, good body and intense flavors. The finish is persistent with pleasing flavors of black cherry, plum and blueberry. This wine ages for about three years.
Food Match: Stuffed pasta with meat, Broiled meat and barbecue, Hard cheese



Lugana S. Onorata 2002, Visconti (Italy)
Lugana S. Onorata 2002
Visconti (Italy)
Grapes: Trebbiano di Lugana
Price: € 6,60 Score: Wine that excels in its category
This wine shows an intense greenish yellow color and nuances of greenish yellow, very transparent. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing and elegant aromas which start with apple, pear, peach and plum followed by pleasing aromas of broom, chamomile and hawthorn as well as a pleasing hint of anise- In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a round attack however well balanced by acidity, intense flavors and good body. The finish is persistent with good flavors of chamomile, plum and apple.
Food Match: Roasted fish, Sauteed meat, Roasted white meat, Pasta and risotto with fish



Lugana S. Onorata Superiore 2001, Visconti (Italy)
Lugana S. Onorata Superiore 2001
Visconti (Italy)
Grapes: Trebbiano di Lugana
Price: € 9,00 Score:
This wine shows a soft straw yellow color and nuances of greenish yellow, very transparent. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing and elegant aromas of apple, pear, peach and plum followed by pleasing aromas of hawthorn and wistaria. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a balanced attack, very agreeable, intense flavors and good body. The finish is persistent with flavors of plum and pear. This wine ages for a short period of time in barrique.
Food Match: Mushrooms soup, Pasta and risotto with mushrooms, Soft cheese, Sauteed meat



Masetto Bianco 2001, Endrizzi (Italy)
Masetto Bianco 2001
Endrizzi (Italy)
Grapes: Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Traminer
Price: € 10,00 Score: Wine that excels in its category
This wine shows a brilliant greenish yellow color and nuances of greenish yellow, very transparent. The nose denotes intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas that start with pear, apple, litchi, melon, peach and plum followed by a pleasing hint of broom. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose and a slightly round attack however pleasing and well balanced by acidity, intense flavors and good body. The finish is persistent with good flavors of peach, plum and pear. Masetto Bianco partly ferments in steel tanks and partly in barrique.
Food Match: Soft cheese, Sauteed fish, Sauteed white meat, Pasta and risotto with vegetables



Masetto Nero 2000, Endrizzi (Italy)
Masetto Nero 2000
Endrizzi (Italy)
Grapes: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Lagrein, Teroldego
Price: € 11,50 Score:
The wine shows an intense ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, little transparency. The nose reveals intense, clean and pleasing aromas which start with black cherry, blueberry, plum and carob followed by good aromas of violet and vanilla as well as hints of thyme and licorice. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, very balanced and agreeable, pleasing tannins, good body and intense flavors. The finish is persistent with pleasing flavors of black cherry, blueberry and plum. A well made wine. Masetto Nero ages in barrique for 18 months followed by 6 months of aging in bottle.
Food Match: Roasted meat, Braised meat with mushrooms, Hard cheese



Terre di Franciacorta Bianco Vigna Bosco Alto 2000, Ricci Curbastro (Italy)
Terre di Franciacorta Bianco Vigna Bosco Alto 2000
Ricci Curbastro (Italy)
Grapes: Chardonnay
Price: € 10,00 Score:
The wine shows an intense straw yellow color and nuanced of golden yellow, very transparent. The nose reveals good personality with intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas which start with a hint of toasted followed by good aromas of banana, apple, pear and grapefruit followed by aromas of hawthorn, yeast, vanilla and a pleasing hint of flint. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a slightly crisp attack however well balanced by alcohol, good body and intense flavors. The finish is persistent with pleasing flavors of peach, grapefruit and pear. This wine ferments in barrique and ages on its lees for one year followed by 8-12 months of aging in bottle.
Food Match: White meat, Roasted and broiled fish, Pasta with fish, Soft cheese



Franciacorta Extra Brut 1999, Ricci Curbastro (Italy)
Franciacorta Extra Brut 1999
Ricci Curbastro (Italy)
Grapes: Chardonnay (50%), Pinot Noir (50%)
Price: € 15,00 Score:
The wine shows a brilliant golden yellow and nuances of golden yellow, Good effervescence and foam, fine and persistent perlage. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing and elegant aromas which start with pineapple, broom, apple, pear, banana and plum followed by pleasing aromas of yeast, honey, hazelnut and toasted bread. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a dry and effervescent attack however well balanced by good acidity and alcohol, good body and intense flavors. The finish is persistent with good flavors of pear, apple and plum. This Franciacorta is produced in the best vintages only and ages in bottle, at the end of secondary fermentation, for 42 months and no dosage is added (Pas Dosè).
Food Match: Crustaceans, Roasted fish, Pasta and risotto with fish



Colli di Faenza Sangiovese Col Mora 2000, Rontana (Italy)
Colli di Faenza Sangiovese Col Mora 2000
Rontana (Italy)
Grapes: Sangiovese
Price: € 10,00 Score:
This wine shows an intense ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, moderate transparency. The nose reveals intense, clean and pleasing aromas of black cherry, raspberry, blueberry and plum followed by pleasing hints of menthol and carob. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a slightly tannic attack however balanced, good body and intense flavors. The finish is persistent with pleasing flavors of plum and blueberry.
Food Match: Stuffed pasta with mushrooms, Sauteed meat, Cold cuts, Hard cheese



Colli di Faenza Rosso Riserva Colle Torre Monte 2000, Rontana (Italy)
Colli di Faenza Rosso Riserva Colle Torre Monte 2000
Rontana (Italy)
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon (40%), Sangiovese (40%),
Merlot (20%)
Price: € 16,00 Score:
The wine shows a deep ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, little transparency. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing and elegant aromas which start with black cherry, raspberry, blueberry, plum, black currant and violet followed by good aromas of vanilla and carob as well as a pleasing hint of black pepper. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a slightly alcoholic attack however balanced by tannins, good body and intense flavors. The finish is persistent with pleasing flavors of plum, black cherry and raspberry. A well made wine. Colle Torre Monte ages for 20 months in barrique followed by an aging in bottle of at least 10 months.
Food Match: Game, Roasted meat, Braised and stewed meat, Hard cheese



Galhasi Inzolia - Catarratto 2002, Foraci (Italy)
Galhasi Inzolia - Catarratto 2002
Foraci (Italy)
Grapes: Inzolia, Catarratto
Price: € 4,80 Score:
The wine shows a brilliant straw yellow color and nuances of straw yellow, very transparent. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing and elegant aromas which start with an aroma of hawthorn followed by good aromas of pear, peach, pineapple, citrus fruits, almond and pleasing hints of elder. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a pleasing and crisp attack however well balanced, good body and intense flavors. The finish is persistent with flavors of peach, pear and almond. This wine ferments in steel tanks.
Food Match: Pasta and risotto with fish, Broiled fish, Crustaceans



Galhasi Nero d'Avola 2001, Foraci (Italy)
Galhasi Nero d'Avola 2001
Foraci (Italy)
Grapes: Nero d'Avola
Price: € 5,10 Score:
The wine shows an intense ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, little transparency. The nose denotes intense, clean, pleasing and elegant aromas which start with a pleasing hint of black pepper followed by aromas of black cherry, raspberry, blueberry, plum and violet as well as hints of licorice, vanilla and carob. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a slightly tannic attack however balanced by alcohol, good body and intense flavors. The finish is persistent with pleasing flavors of black cherry, plum and blueberry. A well made wine. This Nero d'Avola is aged in cask.
Food Match: Braised and stewed meat with mushrooms, Roasted meat, Hard cheese



Vallée d'Aoste Petite Arvine 2002, Institut Agricole Régional (Italy)
Vallée d'Aoste Petite Arvine 2002
Institut Agricole Régional (Italy)
Grapes: Petite Arvine
Price: € 8,00 Score:
The wine shows a brilliant straw yellow color and nuances of straw yellow, very transparent. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing, elegant and refined aromas which start with pleasing aromas of elder and pineapple followed by banana, hawthorn, apple, broom, pear and peach. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a crisp and slightly round attack however well balanced, good body, intense flavors and very agreeable. The finish is persistent with good flavors of pear, pineapple and peach. A well made wine.
Food Match: Pasta and risotto with vegetables, Soft cheese, Sauteed fish



Élite 2001, Institut Agricole Régional (Italy)
Élite 2001
Institut Agricole Régional (Italy)
Grapes: Viognier
Price: € 10,60 Score: Wine that excels in its category
The wine shows a soft straw yellow color and nuances of greenish yellow, very transparent. The nose reveals good personality with intense, clean, elegant, pleasing and refined aromas which start with an intense aroma of peach followed by pleasing aromas of banana, litchi, apple, pear, grapefruit, hazelnut, acacia, hawthorn as well as pleasing aromas of vanilla and toasted. In the mouth has excellent correspondence to the nose, very balanced, pleasing crispness, good body and intense flavors. The finish is very persistent with flavors of peach, pear, apple and hazelnut. A well made wine. Élite ages in steel tanks for 3 months followed by 9 months in barrique and 1 month of aging in bottle.
Food Match: White meat, Roasted meat, Soft cheese, Pasta and risotto with fish



La Comète 2001, Institut Agricole Régional (Italy)
La Comète 2001
Institut Agricole Régional (Italy)
Grapes: Sauvignon Blanc
Price: € 12,60 Score:
The wine shows an intense straw yellow color and nuances of golden yellow, very transparent. The nose has great personality with intense, clean, pleasing, elegant and refined aromas which start with pleasing aromas of banana, acacia and vanilla followed by intense and good aromas of hawthorn, broom, litchi, hazelnut, peach, apple, grapefruit as well as pleasing hints of brioche, butter and toasted. In the mouth has excellent correspondence to the nose, very balanced, pleasing crispness, good body and intense flavors. The finish is very persistent with long flavors of banana, peach, pear, hazelnut and grapefruit. A great wine. La Comète ages in steel tanks for 3 months followed by 9 months in barrique and 1 month of aging in bottle.
Food Match: Pasta and risotto with fish, truffle, White meat, Roasted and broiled fish






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  Wine Tasting Issue 13, November 2003   
Tasting Fortified WinesTasting Fortified Wines Wines of the MonthWines of the Month  Contents 
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