Thursday, November 13, 2008

5 wines by Cameron Hughes, Then Dinner With Old and New Brunellos

What follows is a post to the website made by Gregory Dal Piaz, regarding a tasting of 5 new wines by Cameron Hughes, then a great Italian dinner at Il Corso paired with a half dozen or so bottles of old and new Brunello's di Montalcinio and Chianti's:

The start with Cameron Hughes and the end with Vin Santo

by Gregory Dal Piaz

I had a great afternoon on Sunday as I met with Eric Guido and Dave Trieger in the Snooth conference room to try a line-up from Cameron Hughes. I was really interested in these wines and glad I ended up popping them on Sunday, since I was fortunate to have the time on Monday to go through them again... and as well as they showed on Sunday, they were singing by Monday night.

Just briefly the line-up included;

The "fruit bomb" Campo de Borja that was ok but I can see it being a crowd pleaser

The tough, austere Tempranillo that exploded in the glass by day 2

The effusively good old vine zin that everyone liked, and I do mean everyone

The easy going, soft and plummy Meritage that stayed the course over 2 days

The classic Napa Cabernet, rugged yet polished with excellent cellaring potential, a killer value!

We then went out for a great dinner and met up with Dave's friend Allen, and Ben Goldberg for a fine repast including Tuscan delights!

We began with a pair from Chianti, the 1990 Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico and the San Giusto a Rentennano Chainti Classcio Riserva.

The Riserva was a finer wine, fleshier and rounder though the Badia a Coltibuono was just so ready, so transparent and peaking that I found it irresistible. I have a soft spot for catching wines at their peak and it was an itch that this bottle scratched!

We followed these up with a pair of Brunello;

The Col d'Orcia was beautiful, almost fully resolved with remarkable freshness and detail, a bottle I could spend all day with. The La Torre on the other hand had just entered it's drinking window and should ultimately prove to be a better bottle than the Col d'Orcia, in some 10 years or so. Perfectly rich and ripe with great balance and structure it was a delight to try.

We ended the reds with a pair of youngsters, both still in the flush of youth.

Both still benefited from the ample baby fat of youthful fruit, The Nando was a rich, oaky, fruit filled Chianti destined for early consumption while the Barbi offered good depth in a difficult vintage with just a touch of the tough tannins that so many wines of the vintage carry.

Finally with a nice array of dessert we shared a bottle of Vin Santo

It was a gorgeous wine, rich yet balanced, complex yet fresh, absolutely smashingly good and much better than my last bottle. The finish was both lingering and ethereal. Hauntingly good stuff and worth the admittedly high tariff.

And that was it, the end to another Snooth dinner. Intimate and friendly, joining friends new and old. I enjoyed the wines, the discussions and the chance to spend some time with fellow Snooth members.

Until the next time...



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